The Summer Solstice is fast approaching and I am perceiving its intensity more keenly than usual. Summer Solstices often evoke peak experiences activated by the light’s fullness, the sense of expansion and abundance evoked by the short nights and nature’s response to them.


In the last few weeks I was gifted several sights of birds of prey, some at a surprisingly close range. I still vividly recall one such encounter that took place about three weeks ago. I was driving through a relatively wild stretch of road in the Tuscia at a lower speed than my usual, when I noticed a dead animal in the middle of my lane. I slowed even more and unexpectedly time did the same. It was one of those instances when a handful of seconds take the space of a handful of minutes. With my peripheral vision I see a falcon zooming down towards the corpse at full speed. I sense its one-mindedness, I see it in its eyes (it is that close). The car doesn’t respond to the time warp and continues rolling towards the dead animal albeit in very slow motion. All happens extremely fast. The falcon senses the car approaching but refuses to give up the prey, its beak grabs a strand of meat and then with a supernatural effort it twists its body in a spiraling upward motion. I see the torsion in its powerful wings as it lifts up and almost brushes against my windshield. I am at a stand still and spellbound. The falcon disappears to my right with a last piercing look straight into my eyes and I refocus on the road, back to the present. No other vehicle had driven by.

Grace.
I couldn’t think of any other word
to summarize the moment.

It is imprinted in my retina and I relive the sequence over and over. For a couple of days. Layers of reality, necessity, life and death cycles, beauty, power, timing, synchronicity, connection, recognition. Life offered and lives spared, worlds intersecting. We saw each other and we both knew it. Grace.

So grace it is. This is what I invite you to seek in celebration of this year’s Summer Solstice. An abundance of grace. Let’s see what this word is about and what it is about for you.

The term “GRACE” is familiar through various contexts, from theology and religion, to indicate unmerited favor and love bestowed by a god/dess to a human. Legally a grace period, allows a payment or a commitment to be delayed with no penalty. But grace is also in humans, animals, and nature as elegance, harmony of shape, ease of movement. A gracious person extends courtesy and goodwill to others. Calling someone “your Grace” acknowledges higher rank in the nobility of state and religious institutions. In music, a note added just as an embellishment is a grace note. Gifts.

And then, yes, I am sure you are thinking of the Three Graces, the sisters, almost goddesses of mythology, full of charm, beauty, creativity, and generosity. Through time, from Greek mythology through the Renaissance, they are represented as beautiful young women dancing or standing in circle. Daughters of Zeus and the Oceanid Eurynome, their names of Greek roots are Aglaea (Splendor), the ones who enhances the attractiveness and elegance of everything she touches. Euphrosyne (Mirth) brings joy and cheerfulness to both gods and humans, spreading laughter and pleasure wherever she goes. The one who is the heart of celebrations and gatherings is Thalia (Good Cheer) who is fond of blooms. They inspire artists, poets, and musicians, and add a touch of light and delight to all life circumstances.

But there is a lesser-known aspect of the mythology found in certain ancient texts and interpretations where the number of Graces is sometimes four, adding Pasithea, the one who gives rest, tranquility, and invites contemplation and meditation.

Creating for them singularly or as a team might be the perfect first step.

Celebration

For this Solstice, I invite you to consider how it feels to be filled with grace. It can be a profound experience emotionally, spiritually, and psychologically. Her (or their) benevolent presence can ignite inner transformation and also reshape our actions.


Journal about how do you know grace, when have you experienced it, how it impacted you, how you define it.


Words such as serenity, quiet confidence in the unknown, gratitude, the surprise and reverence of the unearned and unconditional nature of the favor you are experiencing… all this come to mind along with a lingering sense of purpose and meaning infused with humility, reverence, and awe.

Flow, purposeful ease, grace. During my time of silence and physical challenges grace was with me, and it colored my experience with loving beauty. What a gift. It could have been a very different time without Grace.

Grace can change the way we view ourselves and experience the world, making it easier to forgive others and show kindness and compassion because one feels forgiven and loved unconditionally. Maybe the gift could be deserved, but it carries such sweetness that while it feels unmerited it is also felt as absolutely and clearly free. Free of strings, judgment, consequences, side effects, and expectations. Free of effort, struggle, and planning. Free of malice and agendas.

Sometimes I wonder if grace is always all around us, like love. But our senses are distracted, hurt, silenced and we do not perceive them because we cannot listen and feel fully.


Be Open to Grace

Opening to grace through applied creativity is powerful and fulfilling. Creativity, when used intentionally, becomes a conduit for experiencing and manifesting grace in one’s life.

Invite grace into your creative process. Sit in meditation, drum, dance, sing, or walk in nature tuning into grace. Dedicate time to your favorite expression like painting, drawing, SoulCollaging a card, or writing as a form of prayer or meditation, as whispers of grace. Let your intuition illuminate a specific aspect of your life or self where an infusion of grace would be a blessing. Set your intention in the form of an invitation to grace and the Four Graces to appear and soffuse it with its gifts enhanced and augmented by the resonance of the Summer Solstice. Listen intently and receive a response from the archetype of Grace and its delightful embodiments, then return to your creative process and give it form, presence, voice, and substance.

If you are a SoulCollager, these are the suggestions you may follow and/or modify according to your intuition for consultations of your deck.

I highly recommend making a SoulCollage® card for the archetype of Grace or ask your SoulCollage® deck to offer a card as a standby. You may choose instead to represent the Four Graces individually or together and work with them as your intuition suggests as you follow the upcoming steps.

Place either one (them) in the center of your working space along with the Transpersonal card/s. You will place the cards of this consultation around the center to form and “X”, by placing the first card to the lower left, the second to the upper left, the third to the upper right, and the fourth to the lower right. You will follow this order also in the second round of this activity. It is easier done than explained! Follow the steps and trust the process.

Grace can change the way we view ourselves and experience the world, making it easier to forgive others and show kindness and compassion because one feels forgiven and loved unconditionally

First consultation

Present your intention/invitation to your SoulCollage® deck and ask your Neters to highlight four facets of your intention where you will subsequently invite Grace and/or the Graces.

For example, Grace can touch and transform patterns of procrastination, addressing underlying causes and nurturing change.
Your Neters might highlight fear and anxiety about failure, inadequacy, or the unknown. The need for perfection can paralyze progress and could be root cause of procrastination which is frequently fueled also by negative self-talk and a lack of confidence. Another aspect could be the resistance and avoidance of tasks perceived as difficult or unpleasant and therefore overwhelming.

Second consultation

Once your deck has helped you identify the four aspects that at this moment are most relevant to your evolution, it is time to bring in the great archetype of Grace and/or the Graces.

Leave the cards that have revealed the 4 aspects of your intention face up surrounding the card for Grace/s and the Transpersonal card/s.

Invite Grace to bring understanding and compassion to these moments by infusing 4 SoulCollage® cards from your deck with its presence and speaking through them bringing blessings, elegance, beauty, mirth, and cheers to each of the four identified aspects of your intention.

Let your SoulCollage® deck know that you wish to invite 4 Neters to “channel” Grace and, being infused by its qualities, bring specific free and generous spaciousness to the four aspects of your intention. You may also choose rather than randomly select these 4 cards. Each of these cards will address one of the aspects of your intention or your intuition might guide you to let them interact with more than one or with all four. You can’t go wrong. Move with grace through this activity.

Be open to Grace

Gratitude and integration

Now you have 8 cards surrounding your center sacred space inhabited by Grace and the Transpersonal/s.
Let them sit together for a while and revisit it at least until June 25th, if possible.


Reflect on what you have discovered from the depths of your inner wisdom and let your intuition give you suggestions on any helpful attitude you might embrace.
But most of all, RECEIVE. Take in Grace, let it flow through you, touch your soul and your bones. Again, use your creative impulses to integrate what is vibrating in your 8 cards and express your gratitude.


Meditate, drum, dance, sing, or create! 

Don’t let the moment go unnoticed, let yourself enter a Flow State even if some of the messages you received are unclear to your linear mind. Your unconscious and your spirit know better. Profound change seldom springs out only (or even at all) from the linear mind. This state of freedom and focus can be a gateway to experiencing grace. Embrace Imperfection, Grace doesn’t care. It often comes in unexpected ways and through unexpected forms. Allowing yourself to be vulnerable and imperfect can open you to deeper experiences of grace.


Play! Enter into Summer in the company of Grace.

PS1

If you are longing for depth and support in your SoulCollage® practice, I recommend participating in a facilitated ongoing group. You may also form a peer group which is always a font of consistency in one’s personal practice. But being held by an experienced, thoughtful, and gracious Facilitator is truly a gift of Grace that comes through over and over.


I wish to direct your attention to unusual openings in my dear friend Fran Cherlow’s ongoing SoulCollage® group (its incarnations span 15 years!). Even if you might feel like the “new kid on the block” you will soon discover the amazing welcoming layers of practice and experience this group carries. If you are ready to dive deep, meet Fran and read more here


*Here are 3 comments from members of our group.

 
“When I first joined the group, I thought I might not be creative enough for the process. SoulCollage® has allowed me to tap into my creative self and discover so much about me. What has kept me coming consistently is: how much I enjoy making cards in a group,sharing my cards in a respectful group, who support each other on our self-discovery journey. It is an enlightening and rewarding to me.”
- A- member 15 years


“I’m not sure how many years I’ve been participating in SoulCollage®, possibly 15 but maybe more. The group has helped me transition to retirement . Working with the cards and our facilitator, I’ve increased my self-awareness , my empathy and my artistic abilities. The group has become a close circle of friends that seem like family.”
‘CM’ -retired physician


“The most valuable part of SoulCollage® is the continued care and friendship of the group which creates the trusting environment necessary for mutual sharing. Our facilitator, Fran, makes it feel natural, safe, and easy to jump in and dive deep every time we meet.”
-AT- member 15 years


PS2

Earliest sunrises (or sunsets) happening now

The June solstice – summer solstice for the Northern Hemisphere, winter solstice for the Southern Hemisphere – will fall at 20:51 UTC (3:51 p.m. CDT) on Thursday, June 20.Read about this solstice here. It'll bring the longest day of the year for the Northern Hemisphere. But the earliest sunrises come before the solstice. The exact dates of the earliest sunrises vary with latitude. They can come as early as late May. For much of the U.S., the earliest sunrises are happening this week. Southern Hemisphere? Your earliest sunsets are happening this week.


 Images digitally generated by ©Mariabruna Sirabella

    1 Response to "The Grace of the falcon – Solstice 2024"

    • Terri Burleson

      Thank you for this post. Beautiful encouragement for developing more grace in my life.

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