Turning Point

3024 4032 Social Initiative Forum

Text: Joan Sleigh [ZA] | Photo: Juan Bottero [AR]

St. John’s Tide | Juan Bottero [AR]

In the summer and winter solstices, the sun reaches a turning point in its course throughout the year. More correct would be to say that the earth reaches a turning point in its passage around the sun. This is experienced as the sun changes course in relation to the earth.

The northern hemisphere enjoys the longest day and the shortest night on the 21st of June. While in the southern hemisphere, there is the promise of longer, lighter days again.

As the earth reaches a turning point in its orbit – in this particular and enigmatic year – the whole of society faces a turning point, as it begins to emerge from the impact of the Corona pandemic.

In recent times, the world has moved through months of pending and real disaster, beginning with the threat and manifestation of global climate change. 

At the beginning of 2020, this was quickly overshadowed by the growing anxiety of the highly infectious COVID-19 virus – a fear triggered by contradictory accounts of the cause and treatment of the virus and intensified by the lack of a vaccine with which to control it. 

As the third state of disaster, the world is currently uniting in ongoing global protests for social justice – demanding an end to racial and economic discrimination, police violence, and cultural state-supported prejudice.

The world and all its citizens are at a dramatic turning point in history.  Things must and have changed, but is there real transformation?

Are we going to recognize that the crisis was long in coming, created and manifested by a chronic and unsustainable desire for accumulation of possessions, wealth, and profit? Or are we urging to return the familiarity of self-satisfaction as soon as the restrictions lift?

Synchronous to the drama of the seasonal and societal turning points in this year comes the call to awaken to a more intuitive turning point of attitude and inner purpose.

The summer (winter) solstice is celebrated by the festival of St. John who, representing what is truly human, calls for a change of ways in preparation for what is to come. The midsummer St. John’s Fire, a celebration of outer warmth and inner awakening, is the visible image of transformation by burning away what has been completed – which is no longer needed- to make space for and ignite what is new.

What is it that we can let go of?

What does the world crisis, manifested in three successive disasters of global magnitude, awaken in us?

What inner and outer transformations are necessary to ensure that humanity and the earth as a living organism will survive?

Can we hear the call of St. John to awaken to one’s own personal potential of love in transforming the pain and incapacity of fear?

Can we join in empathy and human interconnectedness – beyond race and gender – to inspire and welcome the change in each other, born out of love?

“So we come to the existential question: what kind of world do I intend to create with others? And how can I summon up the courage to turn this into an unshakable decision of the will? It can begin in a thousand ways, but even the tiniest inner change creates a force that can resonate with changes in others. As scientists and artists of life, we can discover for ourselves the mysterious interweaving of souls within the world’s soul.” |1|

Change can be determined and orchestrated by the state. But transformation can only happen in each individual.

With this call, the Team of the World Social Initiative Forum wishes all partners, members, and co-citizens of this fragile world, a warm and transformative summer and a blessed festival of St. John.

Joan Sleigh | Dornach,  June 2020


1 Benjamin Cherry – The Medicine of Love, June 2020

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