December 20, 2016
Winter Solstice, Mercury Retrograde

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December 20, 2016

Winter Solstice, Mercury Retrograde

Dear Friends; The Winter Solstice is the shortest day and longest night of the year. It is December 21st. Imperceptive to us, every day became a little shorter, every night a little longer since June 21. I am in awe that ancient people observed the solstices and equinoxes and built it into traditions and into ancient sites, Druids, Wicca, Stonehenge come to mind. Travels to ancient sites as a pilgrim not a tourist, to Ireland, England, and Scotland informed me of the deep connection between us, the land, and the heavens. It was meaningful to celebrate the winter solstice on several occasions in the Bay Area during dark times, such as I feel now at the end of 2016. For after this night, there is an imperceptible but real return of the light. Outdoors around a fire, each of us put something in the fire that represented what we wanted to release and let go of, see turned into smoke. Indoors, the fireplace fire, paper on which we wrote what it was. Or in the dark with only one candle for illumination, each holding a candle, each in turn, lighting it from the center one with a wish or intention for ourselves, for our country, for the planet. 

The symbolic meaning of the Winter Solstice is what I most appreciate: the longest, darkest night is the turning point.  Hope stirs in the midst of a dark night of the soul. 

Mercury in Retrograde
December 19, 2016 - January 8, 2017

I have learned to respect when Mercury goes Retrograde. It does seem that this is when communication problems arise: Gremlin glitches in computers, misplaced cellphones, misunderstood communication of all kinds. Mercury is Hermes the Messenger God, Guide of Souls into the Underworld, Traveler and Trickster, the god with wings on this shoes and helmet, who could go from the heights of Mt. Olympus to the Underworld and bring Persephone back to the Upper World. When Mercury-Hermes goes retrograde, it is as if he leaves his usual straightforward communication path in the upper world of light, where we are extroverted, friendly, care about social impressions and holiday spirit, and are drawn inward by our nighttimes dreams to unearth uncomfortable or unwelcomed feelings we have suppressed, secrets and unexpressed pain. This is a time when the things that go wrong—could be synchronistic events, like waking dreams to be interpreted. Mercury Retrograde coincides with the Winter Solstice this year—could be a powerful time to find wisdom in our introspective introversion. 

5WCW in 2020
Grassroots Activism at the UN - NGOCSW Forum
Proposed Panel: "Women Empower and Achieve Goals Together—thus 5WCW in 2020” 
Description: A UN 5th World Conference on Women (5WCW) and the accompanying Forum of NGOs would bring women and girls together to empower them to achieve goals: of the ten MDGs, four have a direct effect on girls and women. “That women need to become activists on their on behalf” was the conclusion of the largest global study of violence against women.  5WCW in 2020 would energize global women’s movements needed to stop violence and physical intimidation against women and make gender equality possible. It would bring the millennial generation together with the boomers who had been inspired at 4WCW in Beijing.  Both generations uphold the premise that “women’s rights are human rights,” (Clinton) and “women belong in all places where decisions are being made.”(R.B Ginsburg) 
I met the December 9 deadline to submit a proposall, will hear on January 9, 2017.

Support a UN 5th World Conference on Women (5WCW) Click Here

While 2016 isn’t over, there are no further events this year. There is however a lot to be done and deadlines to meet at the end of this year in preparation for the UN CSW meetings in New York, March 13 -24. In January, you’ll be hearing about my second Shift Network course based on Goddesses in Older Women: Archetypes in Women Over 50 and Crones Don’t Whine.  It was a new experience and a pleasure to teach “Liberating the Goddesses Within You” (based on Goddesses in Everywoman) from my living room with a format that has time for me and time for live Q&A. Questions and comments came from Australia, South Africa, Europe and many places in the United States. I am looking forward to telling about qualities in older women related to goddesses of wisdom, each archetypes of specific wisdom qualities: Practical and Intellectual Wisdom, Mystical and Spiritual Wisdom, Intuitive and Psychic Wisdom, and Meditative Wisdom, and the archetypal goddess energies tapped into by post-menopausal women which also include Transformative Wrath (the enough is enough archetype), Healing Laughter, and Compassion. I will be leading a women’s retreat in the inaugural program at Multiversity, a new center in Santa Cruz, California in August 2017. 
Descriptions & More Details

2017 EVENTS:

January 21, 2017 – Washington, D.C.
The Womens March on Washington
Lincoln Memorial - 2 Memorial Circle NW, Washington, D.C. 

March 13-24, 2017, New York
Commission on the Status of Women
March 12: Consultation Day
March 31-April 7, 2017 – Ireland
New York Center for Jungian Studies
Theme: Aging With Panache:  Later Life is Now
Plenary: Superfoods for the Psyche: Ingredients for Living 
(and Aging) Well: Meaning, Fun, Love,
Experiential Workshop:  Circles with a Sacred Center: Sanctuary, Temenos, 
Seminar and writing workshop:  Hestia: Mother Nature, Sacred Feminine 
Self: Encounters with Mystery: 
Location: Connemara Coast Hotel, Galway
April 21-22, 2017 – Raleigh, NC
Jung Society of the Triangle Area
Lecture:  Artemis: The Indomitable Spirit in Everywoman
Workshop: A Path With Heart, A Path With Soul: The Inner Compass 
Location:  Church of Reconciliation, Chapel Hill, NC
May 29-June 2, 2016 – Big Sur, CA
Esalen Institute – Five Day Women's Retreat
Artemis, Women’s Circles and Sacred Feminine
Location: Esalen Institute, 55000 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA 93920 
August 13-18, 2017 – Santa Cruz, CA
1440 Multiversity Campus
Your One Wild and Precious Life, A Deepening Gathering for Women
Scotts Valley, CA

Holiday Blessings for Peace
With Love, Hope, Perseverance, Trust, and Gratitude

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Jean Shinoda Bolen, MD
655 Redwood Highway, Suite 336, Mill Valley, CA, 94941