Planet Earth as an Alchemist
Our planet can be seen as the ultimate alchemist. The earth is a master creator that uses the sun, moon, star dust, minerals, and gases to continually create an incredible variety of life. Ancient Taoists studied the process of the Earth interacting with heavenly bodies and sought to understand and imitate the Earth’s way of being.
Taoists created the lunar calendar as a by-product of watching the heavens and accumulating knowledge over many generations. They used knowledge of natural cycles to inform agriculture, city planning, spiritual activities, and more. Ancient cultures around the world studied not only annual or generational patterns, but even 26,000 cycles at the Earth’s axis wobbled around the zodiac.
We can look into our own personal history and how we relate to these cycles. Does your energy ebb and flow with the seasons in ways that makes you feel weak or strong? If the cold winds of winter affect your mood or freeze your bone marrow, can you travel to warmer climates? If the dog days of summer (another astrological reference) wilt you like a tender flower, can you find peace in cooler climates?
One way to follow the Earth’s patterns is to plant intentions during the new moon/winter solstice, see those blossom at the full moon/summer solstice. Harvest the fruits of your labor in late summer and sink back to stillness in autumn and winter.