In the same heartbeat, every 26,000 years there is a moment when the sun stops in its alignment with the Milky Way and the current cycle or world ends and the next begins. Solstice 2012.

Every day is precious, each a gift, a privilege. The earth is a speck in the vast cosmic ocean of dust and spinning rock, fire and explosions. Life abounds but is so delicate. The greater life’s complexity the greater its power and its vulnerability. We are very complex.

I grow quiet and stunned each year as the winter solstice comes near. It is difficult not to be touched by the immensity, cycles within cycles, the macro and the micro churning in and around each of us and everything. Every ending is a new beginning and each beginning an ending to be celebrated, death and rebirth, moment by moment.

At sunrise on December 21, 2012 for the first time in 26,000 years the sun rises to conjunct the intersection of the Milky Way and the plane of the ecliptic forming a cosmic cross.

Mayan Day-keepers view the Dec. 21, 2012 as the start of the World of the Fifth Sun, a rebirth, the beginning of a new era resulting from and signified by the solar meridian crossing the galactic equator and the Earth aligning itself with the center of the galaxy.

Carlos Barrios
Mayan elder and Ajq'ij (ceremonial priest and spiritual guide)

Solstice, Santa and Christ become symbols, stories, myths and metaphors to awaken in us a primal appreciation for the miracle that we are. Honor all the stories but never forget - they are stories pointing to something else.

Words and stories are symbols. Used precisely they organize energy and can move mountains or blow them up, E=Mc2. Use them like a smith uses his or her tools but for goodness sake don’t become the tool. Look beyond the words.

Spirit is invisible, non-material. Unable to see the invisible we miss the obvious. The ever-changing constellation we call the physical universe and the ever-changing constellation we call Me are created equally. Beneath both is invisible spirit, light. If we could see that light directly we would shout to the heavens – we are the world and the world is us.

We see differences instead of similarities and when teachers, like the innocent boy in the Fairy Tale, The King’s New Clothes shout – ‘we are light,’ we idealize that teacher and praise him or worship her instead of beholding what they are pointing out about ourselves – that my father-spirit and I-spirit are the same-spirit.

When I praise the Lord, or Jesus or Krishna I am praising that invisible creative goodness, that light we all share. God, the word, is a metaphor for all of us and everything. Look beyond the words and rejoice the birth of a new galactic cycle.

Michael Mendizza