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  • Writer's pictureAlex Solomon

The days are growing shorter now. It's hard to tell, but sunset is getting a bit earlier every evening, and sunrise is getting a bit later. As the days shorten, I tend to find myself turning more inwards, looking more at myself, and thinking about my "stuff."

We are on a journey, here in the Middle World. That journey is never a straight line. There are twists and turns in the path, and sometimes we feel that we have diverted in some way; but rather than think of difficult times as diversions, consider that they are still our path. The path is sometimes easy and sometimes hard, but we are always on it, putting one foot in front of the other.

As I feel the beginning of the period of shortening days, and feel the cosmos affect my own body and soul, I begin to notice myself on this path of life. I begin to take stock of where I am, and where I want to be, and what I want to consider in myself.

As we work with the Spirits, the Spirits work on us. Part of showing up for the work is allowing ourselves to shift, and allowing the work to shift us. If we don't allow ourselves to change, if we don't engage in our own change, then not only do we stay still on our path, but we do not become the practitioners we can be.

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  • Writer's pictureAlex Solomon

I am beyond delighted to have taught a workshop and hosted a circle, as well as done many healing sessions, in my new space. I have had several offices over the years (and I started my healing practice in my own basement). I have also taught workshops in at least four other locations. It was such a blessing to land here (yes, pun intended).

It has also made me think again about the importance of the land, and of building relationship, particularly when we move. I have received many teachings over the past year about what it is to get to know a place, and also to say goodbye to a place. It also brings into focus the incredible importance of reciprocity with the land. Working with land spirits is an essential part of my practice, but it is also one that developed later on--the understanding of the reciprocity between a community and a place is something very profound, and something that continues to develop for me.

I see a lot of taking the land for granted in my life. Most people don't take time to stop and appreciate the beauty around them. But more than that, more important than appreciation, is acknowledgment. The trees, flowers, rocks, rivers are not passive things to be enjoyed. They are beings, and we share the land with them.

As you go out on the land during this warmer season, I invite you to stop, not just to appreciate the beauty that you see, but to acknowledge the sprits around you. Whisper a prayer. Make an offering. Leave a gift. And see what you notice. You may be surprised at the acknowledgement you receive in return.

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  • Writer's pictureAlex Solomon

I have been thinking about singing a lot recently. It's the time of year that allergies have a noticeable effect on my voice, particularly in the morning (which is when I tend to sing the most). My voice sounds scratchy, and I can feel the effort that it takes to do what is usually almost effortless. It causes me to sing less, and as a result, I feel the effects on my body and soul that come from my not singing.

Yesterday morning, I found out that my chorus teacher from high school passed away. She had a profound impact on my life--more than any other teacher, in or out of school. I learned a tremendous amount from her, more than I can say in a newsletter. There were 86 people in the choir (the year that I counted), and she found a way to pull us out of the anxiety of the school day and get us to go deep into ourselves to find the music we didn't know was there.

When I teach, I often hear people say that their song doesn't come easily, or doesn't come at all. It can feel like a tremendous amount of pressure to allow ourselves to sing. Mrs. Wich told us that there shouldn't be any pressure, because we aren't singing the song, the song is singing through us. Our only job is to allow the song to come out.

This is such a big part of the work we do--the realization that we are not alone in the work, that if we trust, if we show up, the spirits will be there to do the work with us and through us. It requires humility, to realize that we cannot do this work without support; it removes both the egoism and the pressure of what I am now calling "toxic individuality." We are not alone, we are never alone; we have only to let the spirits work through us.

I will leave you with what Joann Wich told her choir so many times: "The beauty of the sound comes from the generosity of the heart."

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