In the northern creation myth Odin appointed, amongst others, Sunna (Sun), Manni (Moon), Dagr (Day), Nott (Night), Summar (Summer) and Vetr (Winter) as the keepers of time and order. To our ancestor, rhythm, and the ability to tap into the rhythm of the world around you was a vital survival skill. For many of us today this is less the case as we have heating on demand, clocks and calendars to keep us on schedule, and specialists in food production and transportation who make sure we can eat and get about. In many ways modern humans are on a mission to master nature and render obsolete the need for physical, mental, emotional and spiritual atunement.
In one of the women’s circles I am part of we were discussing both the benefits medical intervention has brought to the cycling female body and the draw backs. With greater control and empowerment has come an expectation that hormonal fluctuations will eventually be rendered meaningless – an inconvenience overcome which means we can now compete with men on their playing field. On this playing field peaks and troughs of energy are anathema: production most continue day in, day out. Now, just to be clear, I’m not talking gender wars here. What I’m saying is that the current way in which our society produces goods is a relentless production line rather than an agricultural cycle. As some of you know, I have spent the last year training as a women’s leadership coach with One of many and one of the things I’ve come to realise is that the imbalance of the divine masculine and the divine feminine can be felt in a very fundamental way through the way we now structure our years, months and days. Festivals that are tied to the Moon or to what we can see happening in nature are slowly dying away because it is simply too inconvenient to move work schedules around them.
Through these last days preparing to enter the half month of Raidho (30th August) I have come to realise just how incredibly fortunate I am to have worked in circles my whole life where it is considered natural and normal to honour the cycles of the year, month and day. I have also come to realise how incredibly hard we have to work to maintain that honouring. How possible is it for you to stay in bed a little longer in the winter months or take quiet and peaceful time for silence and inward reflection? (Christmas rush anyone?). How often do you have to move your lunar rituals and solar celebrations to the weekend? How often do you have to push through your low energy ebbs because having them at all is considered a sign of weakness? How far are you aware of technology slowly sapping away at your natural rhythms (not it takes an average of 2 hours for the body to be sleep-ready after looking at a screen).
This is a topic I’m actively exploring at the moment. I would love to hear what role rhythm plays in your life. What rhythms govern you? How does it feel when you’re out of rhythm? How have your rhythms changed in the last six months and is this a positive or negative for you? Where are places in your life where you might claim back a little control of your own rhythm?