Welcome to the Summer Solstice Celebration page!

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Community of Infinite Spirit presents the Summer Solstice Celebration, held each year on or near the Solstice at Community of Infinite Spirit, 1540 Hicks Ave. in San Jose

In 2017 it is scheduled for Saturday evening June 24, 7 PM-9:30 PM. Suggested donation is $10, but all are welcome. For more info call (408)293-3838.

Events and guests for 2016

Special guest artist Robert Perala performs selections from his new album Spectacular Red; featuring new original songs performed by Robert, in the style of The Beatles and new age pop music. He is known for performing songs by The Beatles, Frank Sinatra, David Bowie and other favorites as well as for his own compositions, and also for his books and lectures on spiritual transformation and ET visitations.

The program will begin with esoteric philosopher and musician Eric Meece opening the sacred circle. We call to awareness the annual seasonal journey that culminates in the Summer Solstice. In this way we bring the solar power within us to life.

This year, Ed Simon will awaken us to the Solstice with the sounds of the 12 Crystal Bowls that immerse us in this seasonal journey, which is also our spiritual quest of renewal.

Each bowl expresses one of the 12 powers described by Charles Fillmore, and takes us up the chakras at the same time. The 12 powers are sacred soul centers within us, part of the divine power in each one of us. Each power can be tapped by listening to the corresponding bowl, and each power is located near one of the 7 main chakras. We can also tone each chakra, connecting us to the chakras and the 12 powers associated with them. Each sign of the zodiac is a phase in the seasonal cycle that culminates at the solstice. The movement of kundalini up and down the chakras is also the same as the movement through the seasons and the zodiac. According to the maxim "as above, so below," the cosmos and the Earth's seasonal journey are within us. The chakras are our starway to heaven.

See Here for more info on the 12 powers and their correlations. On the table, click on the "Fillmore's 12 soul powers" heading to see how Fillmore's original placement of the 12 powers compares with the positions used at the solstice celebration and my website that correlate to the chakras.

The climax of our solstice rituals will be the short spiral snake dance, an integral part of our venerable Summer Solstice tradition, and a sacred Earth ritual performed at this time all over the world. We dance to the metaphysical music of J.S. Bach's Toccata in F Major as recorded on you tube by Dan Campolieta, as we act out the awakening of our powers and our chakras and Salute the Sun.

After our intermission and performance by Robert Perala, our celebration concludes with an exciting drumming circle that attunes us to the sacred rhythm of life. We will follow Rev. Christine Emmerling as we unleash our creative power and go forth enlivened for the Summer Season. Bring your instruments and join in the circle.

        

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Past Celebrations in our ongoing tradition:

2015
Guest presenters included Danielle Norsworthy, Davie Pfaffle and all the Oneness Blessing Givers from Silicon Valley Oneness: Raising Kundalini and Oneness Blessing.

Danielle explained why and how we raise kundalini and activate the chakras. Pranayana Breathing raised our kundalini, followed by deeksha oneness blessings for spiritual awakening and connecting to NOW.

Rev. Lynn Rogers and Rev. Patricia Hull-Anglin of Universal Church of the Master led us in a special ritual called the Angelic Solstice Blessing. "Reverend Goddesses" Lynn and Pat described some of the nature guardians from the Divine Nature and neo-pagan traditions, such as the grandmothers and grandfathers and the sacred animals for each Direction on the Medicine Wheel. We honored the guardians that nurture and protect us through the Summer, enhanced by special visual aids and objects in the Wheel.

Lynn and Patricia are intuitive readers; Lynn Rogers is also an author and artist.

Ed Simon played the crystal bowls for us again this year. He is a master of the art and knowledgable about the sacred meanings of the bowls. Each bowl represents a chakra and one of the 12 spiritual powers within us, which were described by Charles Fillmore, founder of Unity Church.

E. Alan Meece (Eric Meece) presented Bach and the Chakras again this year. In order to understand the Solstice, you must also understand astrology and the chakras and how all 3 are linked together, and how they connect you to the "stars" above. As above, so below. J.S. Bach understood this too, and laid out our heroic journey through the seasons and up and down the chakras in his epic, cosmic Toccata in F Major, BWV 540. The most metaphysically-symbolic instrumental piece in the world, it connects to all esoteric and scientific knowledge. Eric will show a few of the connections, introduce the themes, and lead a meditation to the music. Then we'll get up and do the spiral dance to the music to celebrate the seasonal journey and the arrival of Summer. The Spiral Dance is part of the traditions of Nature Spirituality and is often used to mark the seasons. We'll hear the Toccata in a great new performance recorded on you tube by Dan Campolieta. See Eric's essay on the Medicine Wheel and the Toccata below.


2014

In 2014 we experienced ritual dances, a drumming and blessing circle, and meditation with crystal bowls. Believe It! coach Lynetta Denniston led us in ritual, song and movement. Each person brought a sacred object, flower, fruit, crystal or stone to co-create a sun mandala to celebrate our bounty. Other speakers and performers included Ed Simon on crystal bowls, and Rev. Christine Emmerling. Eric Meece did an opening solstice ritual. We'll also did a music, drum and blessing circle!


2013

A highlight of the 2013 event was the spiral dance, accompanied by the great Bach Toccata in F (a recorded performance by Wim Winters) , and led by Eric Meece, co-organizer of this event.

The Spiral Dance

We also were pleased to welcome back Sophia Songhealer for a delightful performance, plus Ed Simon on crystal bowls, and astronomical ritual leader Tony McGettigan. Eric and Tony performed a hit summer song entitled "Good Time" by Owl City, which had been released right on the previous summer solstice day in 2012. Here is the original video of Good Time


2012

In 2012 (Thursday June 21) we experienced ritual dances, a drumming and blessing circle, vocal performances, and meditation with crystal bowls. Cycles of our planet and solar system in 2012 illuminated an interesting and prophetic time.

Speakers and performers were Ed Simon, Eric Meece, Judy and Tony McGettigan, members of the Serendipity Choir, and Rev. Christine Emmerling.


2011

Among guests in 2011 (Sat. June 25) were tantra teacher Alexsandra Marianetti leading a vibrant chakra dance. Ed Simon played the wonderful and spiritually-entrancing crystal bowls. Also with us was Brother Tymn Urban & Dakini Uma Amitabha, Neo-Pagan ritualists. They are a dynamic couple bringing spiritual events to the south bay through their ministry at DevaGnosis.org and Dance Elemental. They presented a ritual of radiance that continued in the tradition of Crowman's uplifting and inspiring snake dance in previous years. Tony McGettigan opened the Wheel for us and set the astronomical scene. See further down for info on Eric's Bach solstice and chakras talk and walk which he presented for several years.


2010 and the 2000s

A great feature of past celebrations was our snake dance with shaman Crowman (Charles Hawkins) (click on link for more info). The snake dance from the Native American tradition brought the Solstice to life, allowing us to dance our way into the Summer. It closed with a salute to the Sun in which we raised our hands to the sky to evoke the bliss of the crown chakra and spiritual awakening.

Below in the center is Tony with his drum, participating in one of our snake dances. Just to the right of Tony in the picture are Crowman and myself.



Our guest artist for 2013 and 2010, Sophia Songhealer, has led us in a chakra dance ritual to connect us with Earth and Spirit. We have performed along with her the song at right below. The group also sang, drummed and danced to this song in 2012.


                      "The Earth is Our Mother"



From left to right below, E. Alan (Eric) Meece, (the late, great) Crowman (shaman Charles Hawkins), and our frequent guest-artist Paradiso (Eric T.), didgeridoo performer and healer (2008: photo by Linda Johnson)

Note that Paradiso and his partner Rasamayi will be returning for a special concert at Community of Infinite Spirit on Sunday May 29, 2016 at 1 PM.

We have often closed our celebration with Rev. Christine of Community of Infinite Spirit and each member of the group dedicating a prayer and a blessing to peace and Mother Earth. This was followed by a meditative concert of crystal bowls, performed by Trikaya (Al Olliffe), Jaire, or Ed Simon.

In 2001 Norma Cordova's group Winds of Change also got us moving in beautiful dance rituals. They appear on the CD Journey With Me by Patricia White Buffalo. Bear (Olson) and Reta performed for us in 2002.

Here is the flyer for the 2001 solstice celebration, showing the guest performers:


Eric's Solstice Essay

Opening the Medicine Wheel

This site is by E. Alan (Eric) Meece of Community of Infinite Spirit and has often featured his solstice talk and "Bach and the Chakras," which links up with the other great happenings that are part of the Solstice Celebration, past and present.

This essay is based on Eric's 2006 solstice talk; revised. It is a longer version of what is presented at the Solstice, with more info. It also includes many of the other events at the Solstice, which often link synchronistically together,

In 2015 I point out how the solstice, the seasons, astrology and chakras are linked together, and you can't understand one without the others. The cosmos is within you, and the yearly journey through the seasons is also our kundalini awakening through the chakras.

First we're going to talk; then we're going to Bach, and a little later we're going to walk. We're going to walk our Bach talk.

We begin our solstice celebration with a ritual opening the Medicine Wheel, and invoking the four directions. The seats in the hall are placed in a circle to create the Wheel This ceremony is often led, and its 4 directions explained, by shamanic astrologer Tony McGettigan (that's him in front, beating the white drum in the first picture above). He has also connected the Wheel's directions to Mayan sounds and other symbols.

In earlier years, Tony, Crowman and others opened the Medicine Wheel by honoring the spirits of Nature and the four directions, by evoking the grandmothers and grandfathers, the elements, the colors, the archangels, and sacred totem animals such as the bear, the coyote, the eagle, the wolf, the white buffalo, etc.

In more recent years, taking off from Rev. Christine's suggestion, I have used chimes and the tones of EEE, AHHH, OOOO and long AAA to attune us to the 4 directions. These four sounds add up to "YAHWEH" or the sacred name IHVH.

The medicine wheel is a symbol of wholeness, balance and integration of spirit, body, mind and heart. In my (Eric's) descriptions I use signs and symbols to point to the vital parts of ourselves, and link us to the cosmos and the divine within us, so we may experience ourselves as whole beings.


The Philosophers Wheel and the 4 Directions

Exactly 40 years ago in 1966, and just two blocks away from here, at the Summer Solstice, I experienced a vivid awakening of spirit. I learned that the world was love. A few months later, the implications began to dawn on me. For example, I no longer rejected the concept of God. My old problems remained. But I had a different view of life and reality.

So I studied philosophy, both East and West. As I explored this tradition, I discovered that the various schools of thought were arrayed along two great polarities. This is something even the philosophers don't know about, but I think it's true.

The first polarity is spiritual vs. material. Spiritualists, the camp most of us here subscribe to, says that the world derives from the spirit, or the consciousness within. Materialists say that the reverse is true; that our spirit derives from outward physical causes in the world, and that these causes explain things. Now, we may have decided they are wrong, but materialists represent an aspect of how we all relate to reality (as for example in recognizing cause and effect in engineering). So let's give them their due.

The second polarity is often referred to as left brain vs. right brain, or yang and yin. This could also be called male and female. Our left brain is dominant, assertive and rational, while the right brain is receptive, and perceptive. Along this polarity, one school of philosophy emphasizes that things are known by reason, while the other says things are known by experience. The first side values logic, order and decision-making, while the second values spontaneity, freedom and randomness.


When you put these two polarities together, you have a cross. Spiritual and material is the up and down axis, running from the earth to the sky. Reason and experience is left and right; not only the left and right brain, but the left and right hand. The cross is in our own body. Our backbone is the up and down axis, and the left and right hands are the left and right arms of the cross. We also know that the backbone is the axis along which we find our 7 main chakras, the central places in our body and soul where our energy is focused. These range from the first chakra, which focuses on worldly survival, up to the 7th chakra which connects us to divine wisdom. Thus, the great debates and polarities in philosophy, science and religion are all hard-wired into our own bodies, and this represents the basic polarities within us on all levels of our being.



Now, Jesus died on the cross, making it the Christian symbol. But the cross also forms the four directions of the circle, the Medicine Wheel. Different native and world traditions use various elemental and sacred symbols for each of the four directions and quadrants of the circle. My favorite version of the medicine wheel aligns with astrological meanings, and with the philosophical directions which we find in our own brain and bodies.

The Fire element is at the top, or North in our symbolism here (or in the upper left quadrant) (it can also be South), and represents the creative spirit. It is often colored red. The Earth element is at the bottom, South, or lower right, and is given the opposite color of green. The Air element is on the left, or lower left, representing the mind or left brain, and has the color yellow (or orange). The Water element is on the right, or upper right, representing the heart or right brain, and has the color blue, the opposite of orange. The fifth element, the quintessence or Spirit, is the full integration of all four directions, and is found in the center. It is often given the color white, purple or yellow. Our frequent guest star Paradiso, whose music company is fifth element music, has a version of his logo here that aligns with the basic sequence of this Medicine Wheel (with the colors in the opposite positions, or looking down). Shown next to it here on the right is the same logo inverted to align with the 4 quadrants of our Wheel, looking upward.

Below is another logo from Temple of the Four Winds showing this same idea, inverted to align with our 4 cardinal directions. To the right of it is the logo for Dance Elemental, another event that happened at Community of Infinite Spirit/Divine Science Center.

See Paradiso's logo embedded in the middle circles #4-8 of the Kabbalah's Tree of Life (BOTA version). Here is my table showing how I coordinate the four directions and center with many of their symbols. My version of the Tree of Life is here.

Seasons, Astrology, Chakras and the Medicine Wheel

We are here to celebrate the Summer Solstice. The solstice and equinox are the four key points (4 directions) in the great wheel of the seasons. This great wheel is the basis for the medicine wheel. When the Sun is in the south, far away from us, the days are shortest and it is Winter Solstice. When it is in the north, as it is now, the Sun stays up longer and it is Summer Solstice. Halfway up its journey north, the Spring Equinox happens. When it is half-way going back south, it is the Fall Equinox. At the equinox, the days and nights are equal.

The Sun, then, moves up and down (or north and south) each year along the great axis of the world, which forms the north and south pole. This great axis is just like the backbone in our own bodies. The axis mundi is your own axis. In other words, your own Summer Solstice, your north, is your head, and your own Winter Solstice, or south, is your feet. In between the Solstices, we reach the Equinox. This axis is like our right and left hands. These 4 times of the year form a great cross, just like the one in ourselves between up and down, left and right. If you stand up, hold out your hands and twirl around, you are turning on your axis just like the Earth does. You and the Earth correspond; you are one.

The Sun's journey through the seasons is also its journey through the zodiac. The seasons and the zodiac are the same thing (for tropical astrologers, not sidereal ones). There are really 12 seasons. When the Sun enters Capricorn in December it shines directly over the Tropic of Capricorn, and Winter begins. When the Sun enters Cancer in June it shines directly over the Tropic of Cancer, and Summer begins. Aries begins at the Spring Equinox, and Libra at the Fall. In between are all the other signs. If you know astrology, you know that each sign of the zodiac is either yin or yang. For example, Aries is yang (meaning assertive, masculine, etc.), Taurus is yin (reflective, cautious, feminine, etc.), Gemini is yang, Cancer is yin, and so on through the zodiac. Thus, the signs wiggle back and forth between yin and yang, like a snake. You also know that each sign is ruled by a planet, and that each visible planet rules two signs similar to it by nature, one yang and one yin. In the chart below, yang signs are in bold and yin signs in italics. You can also see these charts.

chakraAutumn signsRuling PlanetsSpring signschakra
7-crownLeoSun/MoonCancer6-third eye
5-throatVirgoMercuryGemini5-throat
4-heartLibraVenusTaurus4-heart
3-solar plexusScorpioMarsAries3-solar plexus
2-genitalsSagittariusJupiterPisces2-genitals
1-baseCapricornSaturnAquarius1-base

                   Here's where it gets fun. As you move through the signs along the great axis of the seasons, you also move in and out of the solar system, made up of a ladder of planets that rule the signs (demonstrated with paper plates). We start at the south, and far out in space with Saturn, which rules Capricorn and Aquarius, the southern signs of Winter. Capricorn is the yin sign, and Aquarius is the yang sign. Saturn represents what is cold, dark and far away. As we move north, toward the Summer Solstice, each ruling planet is brighter and warmer. The next level up in the journey is Jupiter, which rules Sagittarius the yang sign, and Pisces the yin. Next up is Mars, which rules Scorpio the yin sign, and Aries the yang sign. As we move north across the Equator, we reach Venus, which rules Libra the yang sign and Taurus the yin. Next is Mercury, which rules Virgo the yin sign, and Gemini the yang. Finally, the Sun and Moon, the great cosmic father and mother, the two great lights, rule one sign each. The Sun rules Leo the yang sign, and the Moon rules Cancer the yin sign; and these are the signs of Summer.

This chart is adapted from Titus Burckhardt, Alchemy (1960, Penguin), page 88.

Notice that now you have seven planets on six levels, or actually seven if you split the highest level between the Sun and Moon. We know what also has 7 levels; the chakras. Thus, as the Sun moves through these 7 levels, up and down the axis of the world, it is like moving up and down the axis of your own backbone through the 7 chakras (demonstrated with colored circles).

When we lay the signs of the zodiac out on the Medicine Wheel, all the yin signs are on the West, and all the yang signs are on the East. We walk through the signs in seasonal order, moving up in the Spring to the Summer Solstice, and back down in the Fall to the Winter Solstice. As we walk through the signs, we shift from side to side, just as if we are a snake (walk through signs, alternate between yang signs on the east and yin signs on the west). See chart below.

yin signs on WestRULING PLANETyang signs on East
Cancer (spring)MOON/SUNLeo (autumn)
Virgo (autumn)MERCURYGemini (spring)
Taurus (spring)VENUSLibra (autumn)
Scorpio (autumn)MARSAries (spring)
Pisces (spring)JUPITERSagittarius (autumn)
Capricorn (autumn)SATURNAquarius (spring)

These two paths through the signs are the two currents connecting all the chakras, one moving up from Sacred Earth to the Divine Cosmos, and the other moving from the Divine Cosmos back down to the Earth. These two currents are represented by the two snakes of the Caduceus. Notice how the two snakes shift from side to side on each level. This causes each chakra to spin in the opposite direction to the one below. What does the Caduceus symbolize? Medicine. Same as the Medicine Wheel.

We mentioned before the left and right brain, and the left and right hand. But we know now that the left brain controls the right hand, both usually considered dominant, and the right brain controls the left hand, receptive. As you move down from your brain to your hands, left and right switch places. So as we move up and down our body, the same switch happens inside us as is shown by the ancient Caduceus symbol, where the snakes shift from side to side as you move up and down. The Medicine Wheel thus becomes a spiral of the two snakes as they move up and down the axis of the Earth and our bodies.

The two snakes of the Caduceus are called the yin ("Ida") and yang ("Pingala") currents of our body. The snakes cross each other six times, one for each chakra, and meet at the crown at the top. At the 6th chakra level or third eye, there are two wings, representing our two eyes, or the two halves of our brain. The silvery Moon rules the 6th chakra. The golden Sun shines radiantly at our crown chakra. The Sun is the source of life, the great symbol of Enlightenment. We celebrate its time of glory at the Summer Solstice. This is also the best time to remember and celebrate just how special our planet Earth truly is, for we have a Moon that, when seen from Earth, is exactly the same size as our Sun. And these two greatest lights in our sky, look just like the two most radiant and precious metals in all creation, silver and gold. Perhaps no other planet in the universe is in such a unique situation. Perhaps, a precious planet indeed, and worth preserving.



The Caduceus is also called the Staff of Hermes, from where we get the word "hermetic." Hermetic philosophy gives us the law of correspondence, "as above, so below." In other words, things are reflected on different levels; just as in a hologram, or a fractile, the whole can be seen in each part. Thus the solar system is reflected in the Earth and its cycle of seasons, which in turn is reflected in our own body. The point is, we are all each potentially the cosmos in miniature, and each individual expresses the whole, the Divine. In my handouts and here on this web site you can see all the correspondences I have drawn between the Medicine Wheel and philosophy to the chakras, astrology, alchemy, the Kaballah, the Enneagram, Jungian Types, the Tarot, the Divine Science attributes, the colors and tones, and so on (just click on the links to the articles related to my forthcoming book The Philosopher's Wheel, or see the links below).

Here is a great introduction to the chakras by Anodea Judith:

Remember too, that ultimately all polarities and all directions are ONE on the great Medicine Wheel. So some esoteric symbols run the opposite way; the South is sometimes seen as spiritual and the North material, for example, and Saturn can be seen as the highest planet instead of the Sun and Moon. And so with East and West. Without this ambiguity, the symbols would not be true. The spiritual direction stands for the subjective inner life, and material direction the objective outer world. But the greatest enlightenment is to know that the inner and outer worlds are inter-related (thus the world or North-South axis is "the axis of communion" - Tony McGettigan). You can't have one without the other. All polarities meet in the center, your own heart chakra.


The Chakra Journey in Music

To help you contemplate your microcosm, we're going to turn to the greatest spiritual composer of all time. Now one year, I asked the group who that might be, and someone said "Led Zeppelin." I kinda laughed, but the answer was not off the mark. After all, their greatest song is " Stairway to Heaven," which is what we have just built through 7 levels. And truth be told, there is much to say about that one too; at my website I show how this biggest rock song of all time really does live up to its name. But as some of you know, I mean Johann Sebastian Bach. He wrote the greatest music for the organ, which is mine and his favorite instrument. His music inspired me to learn to play. His Toccata in F Major, the key of love, has been my favorite piece since the 1970s. Yet it was only in 2004 that I discovered that this piece moves through seven ascending sections. Even the liner notes I read had alluded to this. Plus, each section in turn has two parts, showing the two currents of kundalini, the two snakes of the caduceus; except that the last two sections (like the 6th and 7th chakras) can also be seen as two parts of one longer section, just like the Sun and Moon rule one sign each (Cancer and Leo) at the Summer Solstice, or as we'll see, two shades of purple. Thus, in the Toccata there's one sub-section for each sign. Listen to the full Toccata below.

Great version by Dan Campolieta (the version scheduled to be used in 2016)

Lionel Rogg plays the Toccata in F, with the chakras indicated (my video; embedded below)

Wim Winters from his recording (embedded below)


Toccata in F, performed by Michel Chapuis (embedded above) (this was the version I used at the Solstice Celebration in the 2000s)


Hector Paris plays it in concert (embedded above)

TV personality and organ master Diane Bish charms us with a story about Bach, and introduces and plays the Toccata in F ("a real feat!" embedded below)


The Toccata in F is an image of the kundalini!

It has all its energy, starting with the vibrant early sections and taking us up to blissful revelation. Organist Lionel Rogg says Bach's Toccata in F was the first modern toccata, a form which is characterized by "an uninterrupted movement" and "an implacable rhythm." Titus Burckhardt in his book on alchemy says "a serpent or dragon as the image of a cosmic power is found in all parts of the world. A reptile moves without legs and by means of an uninterrupted rhythm..." We hear this in how the notes of the piece alternate up and down (or back and forth). In other words, the Toccata in F is a "snake dance!"

The Toccata is built from several themes that represent the 7 chakras. The opening part of the main "snake" theme has 7 notes, and the entire Toccata has 7 sections (chakras). As above, so below. The theme weaves up and down = back and forth like the chakra currents. It zig zags up and down for 7 notes, for the 7 chakras; then the 7th note becomes the 1st note and it zig zags up the chakras again. The theme thus has 13 notes in all, 12 notes for the 12 signs and 12 chakra positions, and the 13th for the Spirit that flows through them.

The theme is imitated in the left hand, as the right hand plays on. This is called a canon. This is again like the two currents, one following the other up the spine. It is a double helix and a spiral dance. The majestic underlying pedal note is the central column, the backbone, the sushumna, the world axis, and the Ommmmm sound of creation.

The pedal solo which follows graphically illustrates moving up and down the chakras.

Then the second canon or snake theme is played in the left hand and imitated in the right. We thus enter the second chakra, so the direction of the current is reversed. We also reverse the direction of the spiral dance.

After the second pedal solo, we hear the chariot theme. It consists of 12 chords, alternating between up and down, representing the two signs on each side of each chakra. Before each chord pair, a pedal note sounds, alternating between high and low for each chakra. This expresses that each chakra is itself either yang or yin. Thus, two chords and a pedal note on each level-- one pedal note up and the other down, like 6 triangles. This is a star tetrahedron, symbol of the chariot or merkabah, our vehicle of ascension. These are also the 6 triangles that make up the Kabbala's Tree of Life. Four chords cap off the theme, like the crown chakra. The chariot theme is heard 7 times, once for each chakra. It first enters at the end of the 2nd chakra section, as we mount our vehicle, and is heard twice up in the 6th chakra or third eye, representing its two petals, two wings, two eyes, two brains left and right. In the 7th chakra, it descends from the heavens like the Throne of God.

The uplifting or liberating theme zig-zags up the chakras. It is like a rocket the sends us upward. It opens each chakra from the solar plexus onward.

The liberating theme spirals through 4 bars, ending with the 4 "God chords" that are repeated often during the Toccata, representing virtue, or practicing God.

In the heart chakra, the "God chords" jump up an octave once, representing the presence of God in the Heart. In the 5th chakra, this happens twice, and in the 6th, three times. Finally, in the 7th chakra, it concludes the piece, symbolizing the goal of the journey; also represented by the World card of Tarot.

The "God chord" when played in the higher octave is made of the 3rd, 8th, 7th and 8th tones, which add up to 26 (13x2). In the kabbalah's numbering system, the Hebrew letters in God's name, IHVH, also add up to 26, as do the zodiac signs on the World card (representing the 4 creatures around God's throne in Ezekiel and Revelation: the 2nd sign Taurus the Bull, the 5th sign Leo the Lion, the 8th sign Scorpio the Eagle, and the 11th sign Aquarius the Man) . Remember we also toned the sounds of YAHWEH to open the Wheel, which also has the same pattern of high, middle, low, middle as the God chords. The God chord also concludes the 1st chakra section of the Toccata. As above, so below!


Using the Toccata to meditate on the chakras can arouse your sleeping kundalini.

It truly is a stairway to heaven, and it has 7 steps. You can visualize the rainbow color of each chakra as we ascend through the levels (the meanings of the chakra colors are a bit different from the elemental color wheel we saw before). And since each level corresponds to a planet, then Toccata in F is also the "music of the spheres." The first section of the Toccata begins with a long snake-like theme that represents the first chakra of life and survival at the base of the spine, and its color is red. A long pedal solo takes us back down into the deep and dark; then a majestic chord announces the next chakra.

In the second section the same theme is heard again, except that the left hand leads the way instead of the right; just as the second chakra turns in the opposite direction from the first. This signifies the yin polarity of the second chakra, which is the center of joy and sensuality, and this is the most joyous part of the piece. It's color is orange. During these two sections, the foot is held down continuously in what is called a pedal point, like the underlying Ommmm sound of creation. No piece of music has a more powerful Om-like pedal point than this one. In these first two sections, the theme continuously imitates itself an octave lower (1st chakra) or higher (2nd chakra) a few seconds later, thus twirling around itself, with the pedal note held down between them; the very image of the Caduceus! Another pedal solo takes us down again, but also readies us for the journey upward, and then we enter our chariot of ascension.

In the third section hands and pedal play together, and this continues through the next 3 sections. A powerful new uplifting theme is heard. This represents the middle part of the soul, the conscious level, while the first two sections represent the lower or subconscious part. The third chakra of power and will is the solar plexus, and its color is yellow. This empowering, uplifting theme, first heard in the chakra of power, returns to mark the beginning of each of the remaining 5 chakras.

At the 4th chakra of love, and we notice the music feels more balanced and peaceful than in the previous section, and more passionate and lyrical too. We are in the eye of the storm. Its color is green.

Then we reach the fifth chakra of expression at the throat, where the music rises higher and becomes more urgent, as more movement is transferred from the feet up to the hands, and the greatest challenges of the heroic journey are met. Its color is blue.

Then we reach a breakthrough of discovery at the sixth section as we reach the higher or superconscious part of the soul. Suddenly the whole journey opens before you, as you see things clearly from a wide vista at the level of the sixth chakra of vision and imagination, the third eye. It's brilliance shines brightest as the snake and chariot themes are played together in counterpoint, putting your left and right brain in synch. It's color is blue-violet or indigo.

Finally, we reach the crown chakra of divine wisdom, as the Ommm sounds again, and we experience the blissful climax, the crowning glory of the piece. Its color is purple. We reach the bliss of enlightenment at the peak of the solar year, when the sun is at its brightest. It is like a deeksha oneness blessing!


The above picture sums up the whole journey and its destination, and our whole Solstice Celebration.

I will climb the stairway to heaven and announce each chakra as we listen to Bach. You can listen too!

Lionel Rogg plays Bach's Toccata in F at Arlesheim in 1970. Smooth, clear, graceful; the best performance on record. See all the chakras indicated in this video
Hear Rogg play each chakra section: ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR, FIVE, SIX, SEVEN.
Dan Campolieta's great performance (heard at the 2015 solstice celebration)
Wim Winters' wonderful rendition (heard in 2012-2013 celebrations)
Michel Chapuis plays it, matching each section of the piece to a Tarot trump. (my video) This is the version used for the Solstice Celebration in the 2000s.
See and hear Toccata in F on You Tube. Excellent version from Bach's own church.
Watch my video of Virgil Fox playing it, with my comments (and his!)
Hector Paris plays it in concert
Arjen Leistra plays the toccata in concert (most expressive version)
Marie-Claire Alain plays Toccata in F BWV 540. World-class organist!
See and hear Toccata in F on youtube by ririkuku
Read expert liner notes for further descriptions of the Toccata and its unfolding


The Snake Dance

Later in our Solstice Celebration, the late-great Santa Cruz shaman Crowman has often led the group in a "snake dance." This was a highlight of the solstice celebration for many years. At first, years ago, he had no idea that this dance, which comes from his own Native American tradition, resembles Bach's Toccata in F, or is related to the chakras within us. Nor did I know about the snake dance until then. These traditions came together in synchronicity at our Summer Solstice Celebration, starting in 2004. This is in fact a unique juxtaposition not found anywhere else.

Crowman explained that the snake dance tells a story of how humans are evolving. We start out as microbes who can't see, groping upwards toward the light. But they fail and have to start over. The second time they rise through a thick fog, again trying to see, but they fall back again (remember the two pedal solos of the toccata). Finally, on the third try, they rise up and see the Sun (just as the toccata's uplifting theme is first heard in the 3rd chakra). We humans continue to progress in this way, rising to ever-higher levels on our journey towards the light.

The group reenacts this journey, forming a long line moving or "snaking" around the room. Here is Paradiso and his didgeridoo leading us in the first of our snake dances with Crowman in 2003. The late Paul Reik is behind Paradiso, followed by Crowman.


Crowman reminded us as we proceeded through the dance to go down LOW over and over again, and then rise up HIGH toward the light. Finally we assemble in the center, in what is often a truly ecstatic moment, all of us moving down together and then raising our hands into the sky, expressing our bliss of enlightenment at this-- the peak of solar light during the year. Below is our snake dance climax in 2007.


The Sun shines in full glory and bliss at the crown chakra, and at the Summer Solstice too. The pictures of the snake dance were taken by Linda Johnson, Crowman's life partner. The one below was taken during our dance in 2008.



The snake dance journey parallels the one up through the chakras, and especially the Toccata in F with its two hopeful opening sections that end in pedal solos that take us down into the dark again; but rising the third time with the bright, fiery new uplifting theme; and again through more stages, until the blissful, bright climax is reached in the crown chakra.


Above: video of Arabian kundalini snake dance. By the way, Lionel Rogg calls the opening canon themes in Toccata in F "arabesques."

Another Mayan connection to the Summer Solstice Celebration, besides the Medicine Wheel, is also related to the other themes. At the pyramid near Cancun, a snake becomes visible only at the time when the season changes.

May the music of the spheres awaken your bliss. Keep the Spirit alive.


Here is a chart showing how the signs of the zodiac correspond to (and even generate) the two energy current channels.

In the table below, the yang signs all placed on the right, and the yin signs on the left, like on the Medicine Wheel. The current flows through the sequence of the signs through the seasons, from Aquarius in January to Cancer in June (spring) and from Leo in July to Capricorn in December (autumn). As the table shows, each chakra is ruled by a planet, which in turn rules (is linked to) two signs each, one yin and one yang; except the Sun (yang) and Moon (yin) which rule one sign each. Each chakra spins in a direction opposite to the one below it, because the currents switch from side to side as they ascend and descend:

yin signs on WestRULING PLANETyang signs on East
Cancer (spring)MOON/SUNLeo (autumn)
Virgo (autumn)MERCURYGemini (spring)
Taurus (spring)VENUSLibra (autumn)
Scorpio (autumn)MARSAries (spring)
Pisces (spring)JUPITERSagittarius (autumn)
Capricorn (autumn)SATURNAquarius (spring)

In the table below the zodiac currents are shown with the spring signs on one side and the autumn signs on the other. This shows how the yang and yin signs shift from side to side as we go up the chakras. The yang signs are in bold, yin signs are in italics. The ascending, liberating current or "snake" flows through the yin signs, and the descending, manifesting current flows through the yang signs. This scheme is a combination of the chart from Anodea Judith, Wheels of Life (1989, Llewellyn), page 123 (under Chakras and currents below), and the chart in Titus Burckhardt, Alchemy (1960, Penguin), page 88.

chakraAutumn signsRuling PlanetsSpring signschakra
7-crownLeoSun/MoonCancer6-third eye
5-throatVirgoMercuryGemini5-throat
4-heartLibraVenusTaurus4-heart
3-solar plexusScorpioMarsAries3-solar plexus
2-genitalsSagittariusJupiterPisces2-genitals
1-baseCapricornSaturnAquarius1-base


Some occult symbols (like the Golden Dawn's Tree of Life) reverse the sequence shown in the charts above, putting the outer planets at the top instead of the Sun and Moon.

See you at the Summer Solstice!


Below, another picture of our first snake dance in 2003. I am 5th from the left, with Tony and Christine behind me.




LINKS

Community of Infinite Spirit

Eric Meece Home, index, contact, links

Table of correspondences:3 parts of the soul and 7 levels of the mystic quest

Table of chakras, exalted planets, colors, New Thought

Toccata in F by Bach, a musical symbol of the soul's journey through chakras, Tarot trumps and the Tree of Life; with more tables

LINKS page for Toccata in F, with lots more info

Prayer in the New Age

About Drumming Circles and Prayer

New Thought on Beliefnet

Medicine Wheel by wikipedia

How to Cast a Circle and other wiccan info

My interpretation of Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin

The Chakras by Anodea Judith

The Caduceus, from Wikipedia

The Goddess and the Weaver, from Woman of the Earth, by Spiral Dance with images of spiral dances, etc.

Philosophy on a Circle

Find out your philosophy and where you are on the map of the mind

Neoplatonism and Alchemy

The Tarot Journey

Astrology basics, from Horoscope for the New Millennium by E. Alan Meece

Horoscope for the New Millennium by E. Alan Meece

Summer Solstice at Stonehenge 2014

Summer Solstice at Stonehenge 2013


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