I wake in the early morning hours, when I can still see the stars, to bring in the light of day with meditation. It has always been important, in all the ancient spiritual traditions, to greet the dawn of a new day, to give praise for having come through the darkness yet again.
The ancient Egyptians believed the Sun God, whom they called Amun-Ra, created and then sustained life itself, and ruled as the first king of Egypt. Each day Ra arose as a beautiful child, climbed into a boat and swept across the sky. At the zenith of the day, high noon, he was at the height of his manhood and strength. By late afternoon, he was exhausted, and by sunset he was a feeble old man. At night, he entered another boat and the gods took him through the 12 perilous provinces of the underworld, the hours of the night, when the serpent monster of darkness threatened to swallow him in his weakened state. Somehow, Ra always survived the battles of the night and emerged once more into the brilliant light of a new day. Praise be!
If you look at the cycles of your life, they are much the same as Ra’s daily journey. You come through whatever darkness strikes at your heart—whether that’s depression, or illness, or financial difficulties, or any distress or unhappiness—and, with the help of energy medicine, are born again into the light of day, where you grow stronger in wisdom and inner illumination as you get more connected to your inner Sun, your Higher Self.
In the cycle of light and dark, the dark symbolically evokes negativity and the unknown, while light conveys the positive aspects. The Bible is full of light as the symbol of divine presence and salvation. Jesus became the “light of the world,” while Satan, originally an angel of light, became the prince of evil and darkness and ruled the underworld.
But many thousands of years ago, the Vedic seers in ancient India saw the cycle of light and dark in a much “bigger picture” way—as a vast cycle of time, a great spiral of creation that brings mankind and our planet close to the source of light, then we move farther away into the darkness, and finally return to the light again in great cycle composed of four yugas (great ages). These ages are based on the movement of our solar system within our galaxy—a 12,000-year “descending” time period when our solar system is moving away from the galaxy’s center of magnetism and the strongest light, and 12,000 “ascending” years when our solar system slowly returns to the point closest to the “central sun.”
Stay with me. I know this may seem complicated, but it’s worth understanding because it relates directly the spiritual awakening that is happening these days.
The four yugas are: the Satya yuga, the Golden Age with its direct perception of spiritual truth; the Treta yuga, when spiritual perceptions are less clear; the Dwarpara yuga, when humankind is focused on conquering space and electrical energies; and the infamous Kali yuga, when humanity is not able to perceive anything beyond the physical, material universe.
According to some modern spiritual teachers, well-versed in astronomy and mathematics, we started to cross the threshold into the ascending Dwarpara yuga around 1700 AD, the beginning of the Age of Enlightenment, and now we are finally starting to come out of the Kali yuga, which darkened humanity’s knowledge for 2,400 years. It’s the journey to more light, more consciousness, and more awakened beings on the planet.
If you’ve wondered why you have a certain pull towards spirituality now, why teachings about energy medicine are starting to enter mainstream awareness, and why so many of the patriarchal beliefs and institutions that came out of a Kali yuga mentality are now crumbling before our eyes, it’s because we are on the path back to the light. Sort of like Amen-Ra, we are waking up as children of the light. We’re taking our first steps into higher consciousness, or we’re here to guide others along in their awakening process. Enlightened beings, after all, are those who have merged with the light.
Next week we’ll look at the cycle of light and dark as we approach Winter Solstice, December 21st, the darkest day of the year and the return of the light. And you’ll learn what you can do to greet the light, the dawn of a new year, the start of yet another circle around the sun for our planet.
In the meantime, ramp up your meditation practice, as this is the time of year when it can bring you closest to Spirit!