Sailing by the Stars

A calendar can be many things. It can tell me when to go to school, when to eat dinner, when to go to school, and a myriad of other mundane things. There is value in all of those things, but they are not the only things a calendar can do. A calendar can also be about currents and tides, about when is the right time and about the best moment to begin new things.

I know from my historical research that the inhabitants of ancient Crete who have inspired my spiritual practice so much were deeply connected to the rhythms of the sea and stars. Images of sea life are everywhere on the utensils and murals they left behind. Some of the structures they built have stellar alignments. It appears that knowing about what was happening in the sea and in the night sky were important enough to them that they made art and monuments bearing visual connections to these two areas of interest that are so durable they continue to exist, 4,000 years later.

Though I practice a spirituality that has its roots in that time, I am living here and now. I did not grow up with generations of ancestors who all knew how to be in tune with the currents of the sea and the night sky. For a long time, this was a great concern for me. I felt that I would be forever disconnected from those streams of wisdom that were so important to the past.

As it turns out, the stars are still here, and so is the sea. They are both still as powerful, awe-inspiring, and capable of teaching a willing pupil as they were all those years ago, back when the first sailors learned that it is not a good idea to put their boats into the water until the winds have changed in the spring and the stars are aligned to guide a passage to foreign lands.

Even though I do not have a boat to row out to where the winds can catch a sail, I do have a lot in common with those far-away mariners. I am a business person who seeks to provide for my family while remaining honorable and in tune with the ecosystem that sustains me. The tools of my trade are slightly different than theirs where, but I can still benefit from taking a moment to honor the beginning of the season where I do most of my work, and to seek a blessing on the objects and actions that bring me a good living.

If you are doing the same on this day, I offer you this blessing:

Blessing of the Ships

May the winds be kind to your fleet. 

May the sun be ever a guide. 

May the stars be with you at night. 

May the dolphins come gently to your bow

May the swallows go softly at dawn

May you return as well as you are now

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