Fourth Revolution Around the Sun

Happy Solstice!

It’s almost the most energetic day of the year here in the northern hemisphere (and wishing those in the south a merry return of light!). I hope you’ll join us this Tuesday at 7pm ET to celebrate this auspicious mark on the Wheel of the Year.

It truly is a work of engineering magnificence to build a stone calendar like this. (Image by kidmoses via Pixabay)

On this day of sun-stopping (sol-stice), I wanted to take a pause to reflect on the close of the Gaian Way’s fourth year. Much has happened this past year. Many great conversations, from an in-depth discussion of Gaia Alchemy to an exploration of how to sustain hope in the heart of the polycrisis that’s unfolding.

We also, as you may have read, elected four more-than-humans to our Gaian Council and are excited to actively engage with their perspectives both in and out of council meetings. That includes introducing them at our Solstice gathering (today), offering a chance where we can meet, share ideas, and learn more about the species gifting their time and wisdom to the Gaian Way.

One of the other highlights of the year so far has been Bart Everson’s wonderful guided meditation series around the Wheel of the Year—with his summer solstice meditation just out last week. If you haven’t gotten a chance to listen yet, tomorrow would be a good day to start!

Speaking of audio triumphs, I’m very pleased to also announce (for the first time) that Michael Dowd shared his commanding voice with us, reading the new “Following the Gaian Way” essay printed in the Harvard Divinity Bulletin. You can listen to it here. Thank you, Michael, for adding a whole new level of gravitas to these wayward words.*

The other big news that started at the very beginning of this past year was that the Gaian Way became a true organization—a legal religious organization in the state of Connecticut. This coming year, we’ll take the next important step of incorporating as a federal nonprofit, but it was a major milestone to take the first step and led to the deepening of the mission, creation of a council, even the start of a new project.

Ecological Calendar

Para la Naturaleza’s Calendario Ecológico providing an ecological calendar for Puerto Rico.

That project is actually some of the most exciting news of the year. Artist Jon Schroth (who has drawn several amazing cartoons for Gaian Reflections, like this one) is leading a new initiative to create an ecological calendar for New England, inspired by the wonderful Ecological Calendar created by para la Naturaleza for Puerto Rico.

Thanks to generous support from The Wild Gifting Project, we have the opportunity to connect people in new ways with the cycles of the living Earth, specifically, how the year looks—not broken into 52 weeks—but when visualized through the amount of sun, rain, when leaves appear and fall, when fruits arrive, and so on. This, like nature meditation, like moon fasting, like eco-activism, and other Gaian practices, gives us a chance to connect with the planet in a deeper and more embodied way.

Speaking of moon fasting, I am quite proud of this Moon Fasting Prayer (a collective effort), and I have found it anchors my moon fasts significantly. Over the past year, there were many reflections, as well, on nature meditation (or Mindfulness for Earth practices—this frame stemming from a fall gathering on the subject), and even exploring Earth skills and how learning these ancient skills can more deeply connect us with Gaia (thanks Brennan!).

Did you have a favorite reflection, discussion, experience, or interaction with the Gaian community this past year? Share it in a comment below.

The reflections also included serious investigations of the frightening challenges ahead: from PFAS contamination, to the polycrisis, to visions, like this one by Tom Ellis, of what a Gaian future might look like.

Of course, we’re still a nascent philosophy, and are trying to create meaning and meaningful practices for Gaians, as Anna Churchill’s recent reflection (and upcoming September conversation) captures. Fortunately we continue to learn not just from each other, but those following parallel paths, like Green Spirit and Novasutras, who were kind enough to join me for a discussion of our (often convergent) practices this past spring at the Harvard Divinity School Conference.

But if you were to tell me four years ago, that we’d be this far along, I doubt I would have believed you. Yes, we still have a long way to go, especially in rooting ourselves locally, but four years in, it’s great to know that I am connected to this thoughtful and giving group of Gaians and look forward to another year of collaborating, connecting, and serving Gaia.

To Life!


To Life! was also a new Gaian toast—with deep roots in many other cultures—developed this past year. (Image from Pixabay via Pexels)


*Wayward is often seen as a negative word, but this essay on its use in Macbeth suggests that “women who asserted their wisdom and knowledge might well find themselves castigated as ‘wayward’, and if they were vulnerable and unlucky that ‘waywardness’ might be interpreted more darkly as sorcery or witchcraft.” In other words, those who outspokenly question the dominant way may be challenged for being wayward. Surely, if Gaians’ voices grow loud enough, we too will be called wayward. And they’re right, we’re pointing the way (to)ward our natural place: interwoven within the great being of Gaia.

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