Inner Festivals ask us, not to recall a great event in the evolution of human consciousness, but to imagine living the event in our own soul and evolving our own consciousness.
WHAT IS AN INNER TIDE?
In Christian (and Pagan) calendar, tide relates to an defined period of time in the cycle of the year between a rising and a falling of activity, focus, and interest in a festival honoring an individual or an event, such as Yuletide/Christmastide, commonly celebrated on recurring cycles in a calendar year or lunar calendar.
St John’s Tide is a seasonal Christian Festival honoring John the Baptist. In the year, it falls opposite Christmas. It is not popular, but it’s lack of popularity is not a reflection of its importance for inner development. This is a very important inner festival.
Does it feel different if, instead of St John’s Tide, I call it St John’s Inner Tide? If we think of the tides of the seas of consciousness. Does this help you relate to it in a personal way? What is an inner tide? A surge of intense pure feeling! A swelling of great moral force! A rising of deep conscious experience! Do you find inner tides in your own spiritual life? And what does an inner tide reflecting the being of John the Baptist mean to your development and destiny?
What was the inner tide of St John? What arose, swelled, and surged in his soul each time he experienced his destiny in the perceiving, knowing, and loving of Jesus? Can you imagine this in John? Can you imagine this in your own experience of perceiving, knowing, and loving another, not because you are related to him, or like her, or desire to feel good, but because unselfishly experiencing another’s karma and destiny is the greatest deed of the human spirit.
A John Imagination is not about imagining another’s story, appearances, strengths and weaknesses – John’s deed in baptizing was attending to what was coming, what was entering into the soul. He held others while the living waters washed away their past so they could meet their destiny unfettered. And to do that he had to perceive, know, and love all that they had been in light of their destiny.
Who do you hold in such a way? A John Imagination requires resonate attunement to another’s soul and spirit.
PREPARATION, THEN FULFILLMENT
June 24th is the festival of John’s birth, not of his deed. He was born with a destiny. His thirty years of living prior to the Christ Baptism were years of preparation, of inner development, of attention to great meanings, of learning how to sacrifice the selfish, and of crying in the wilderness. It was not about seeking personal bliss, peace, or success.
As we imagine the preparation, St John Imagination, it may be wise to imagine how John prepared for perceiving, knowing and loving, how he then prepared others for what was to come. John did not hold on to anything. How can we prepare to let go? Slowly. Gently. Yearly, bringing our activity, focus and interest to the unfolding of our capacity for our own John Imagination.
Take some time and think of how you prepare to truly, unselfishly love another. Reflect on your inner tide of compassion. Although this may seem a silly suggestion (it’s not) do this meditation in or near water even if it’s in your bathtub, sitting by a stream, or swimming in the ocean.
To imagine St John’s Inner Tide we cannot be sentimental which would only build a pretty picture and sweet feelings. The St John Imagination burns like the Summer Solstice sun, burning away any sense of our own wishes and leaving only the living, unselfish truth of another. Not an easy task! Certainly not one taught in Sunday School.
The burning of the Inner Solstice Sun is why we need to do this in or near water. Physical reality and spiritual reality need to be kept in balance.
A TIDE IS NOT A WAVE!
A tide is not a wave. It does not curl up, break, and retreat. Growing up close to the beach in south Florida, I could often hear the breaking of the waves as I fell asleep and I was often scared of being swallowed up by the water and pulled under and tossed out to the black sea. As I have been writing about an inner tide, I realized I was confusing it with a great crashing wave.
The Inner St John’s Tide is not a spiritual tsunami. It is not a wave. It is a tide which lifts your soul once you know how to float.
CAN YOU FLOAT ON A TIDE?
Floating requires a relaxed present awareness. In your soul, floating in the moment on the rising sea of consciousness requires a paradox: you must be fully aware of yourself and you must totally let your self-awareness go and surrender to the vast sea of the spirit. I just spent about fifteen minutes imagining floating, asking myself if this was a right metaphor for contemplation for St John’s Tide. Something in my soul kept pushing me to stay with it.
As I questioned, considered, and poured into the picture of floating, my memories of actually floating on oceans, seas, lakes, and pools surfaced. I realized that I have always thought I was only floating on the water surface right below me. But the wiser, more living truth reveals the entire body of water supporting me and that experience links me to the archetype of water and waters, and the archetypes of floating and sinking, levity and gravity, rhythms and flows and tides. It’s taken me over sixty years of floating to learn the lesson that when I float, I float on all water.
When you learn to let your soul float on the tides of loving consciousness, you float on all love!
Floating will never be the same! As you meditate on the Inner Tide of St John, float and be lifted up.
Blessing on your inner experience of St John’s Tide.