Saturday, 24th July, 2021, noon local time.
Sun in Leo, Fire, the Leader; Moon in Aquarius, Air, the Truth-seeker.
Leo gives us a chance to look at how we build new roles of collaborative leadership, using intuitive and creative imagination in linking with the subtle intelligence in Nature and ourselves. The theme of Leo opposite Aquarius blends a generous 'radiant hearted' expansive energy with an inclusive and sensitive empathic rapport for many levels of invisible life, from the elemental, to the angelic realm and guardian ancestors of the sacred in the landscapes in which we pilgrimage. This also includes wisdom from like-minded groups and fellow pilgrims as a field of enquiry: questing for the highest good for humanity and the planet.
In Leo, we can be helped and taught by the elementals of Fire, the salamanders, who, as White Eagle teaches in his book ‘Spiritual Unfoldment – 2’, as “spirits of the sun are concerned with your soul when it is learning the lesson of love.” How appropriate then, that Mair Forder, Local Contact for Yorkshire, now takes us on another of her series of ‘Friendship’ walks to the Solar Plexus. Plexus means a ‘network’, and of course, solar means sun. Wonderful....
Summer Solstice Friendship Pilgrimage
Cold and windy, the Yorkshire Dales cowered under a black sky. Any sensible person would be curled up under a blanket with a good book. But this was the Summer Solstice and there was a mini pilgrimage to be walked.
This was the third in a series of seven walks I had planned to link with the chakras and to celebrate friendship. Today was the turn of the solar plexus, at Masham, so we donned vests, fleeces and scarves to celebrate midsummer.
In the late 1980s, as part of work to replace the cobbles of the square in Masham, an ancient cemetery was uncovered. Fifty- eight Anglo-Scandinavian skeletons were dug up, placed in boxes, and left to languish on dusty shelves for twenty years. They were ceremoniously re-interred in 2009 in the adjacent churchyard and a stone was placed in their memory. It is assumed that it was a Christian burial ground due to the way the skeletons were facing, but this has always troubled me as I have read that pagans sometimes buried their dead the same way.
With this in mind, we began our walk with by the memorial stone in the churchyard, where we cleared some dead flowers from the place, sent healing to the buried souls, and left fresh yellow flowers.
Then we set off on a circular walk that began alongside the River Ure. This is part of the Ripon Rowel Walk, a rowel being the circular disc found on a horseman’s spur.
We came upon a wonderful oak leaf sculpture, which is part of the Masham Leaves sculpture trail. In the field behind it was a magnificent oak tree standing tall and proud.
As we walked along the river, we passed clusters of bright red poppies scattered amongst the barley fields. We gathered fallen petals to form part of the Sun Wheel mandala we intended to make.
Halfway round we scrambled down to a sheltered beach area for our ritual. We reminded ourselves of how the solar plexus chakra governs our personality, freedom, choice, self-confidence and much more. I had composed a chant dedicated to the Goddess Sol and used my singing bowl to add to the atmosphere, but any hopes that the sun might put in an appearance were cruelly dashed.
The creation of the Sun Wheel was immensely satisfying. The mandalas we create on these pilgrimages help us to focus, give the adventure a sense of purpose, allow us to use our creativity and get in touch with our inner child. We scattered the water from our last pilgrimage as an offering and also as a connective thread between places. The bottle was refilled from the river ready for our next excursion. Beachcombing revealed a piece of limestone filled with tiny columns of fossilised coral.
We continued the walk, heading away from the river and back towards the distant spire of the church. Passing through a wildflower meadow, we scattered a small handful of bird seed.
Back in the market square, we headed for the welcoming warmth of our favourite café to mull over our pilgrimage, think about the next one, and thaw our frozen midsummer hands around mugs of hot chocolate.
Local Contact for Yorkshire