Tag Archives: equinox

Spring Equinox: A Time of Creation and Resurrection

planet-in-a-green-nebula-cr

Let’s get the death talk out of the way, shall we?

In Buddhism, we are constantly taught to die to our attachments (things, desires, thoughts) and also to the ego.

In Islam, there is not much written about what happens after Yawm ad-Din (The Day of Judgement), but one is expected to die to oneself at least figuratively, to put aside pride and ego and fully submit to the loving and redeeming power and glory of Allah.

And in Christianity, we are taught that through Jesus’ death on the cross, all of our sins and transgressions and pain died with him, and that on that day we were forgiven for good.

I recently came across something in Kabbalah, or Jewish mysticism, called the Shevirah, or “the shattering.” It teaches that there were seven original energetic centers or “seeds of light” hewn into the universe, and just as the seed casing of a plant must die and decompose before the plant springs forth, the seeds of the Shevirah must also shatter. This gave way to new and more complex forms, an unfolding that continues to occur throughout the universe, an unfolding whose center is now everywhere. And this sustained state of shattering, when applied to our lives, is a form of dying to oneself.

Supernovae leave elements behind in great explosions that seed other solar systems, planets and even our own bodies. Every being leaves something behind as food for others. Einstein said “no energy is lost in the universe” and Hildegard of Bingen said “no warmth is lost in the universe.”

Ostara/Easter is not about celebrating death. Yes, death is an inseparable part of the cycle of life and needs to happen for new growth to occur. But, death is celebrated plenty in our culture. We celebrated death in December during the Winter Solstice when we entered the Void, the darkness, the silence. When we were witness to the death of the Sun God at the hands of the Earth Goddess.

And now we celebrate his return.

Easter is about what comes after death. This time we celebrate resurrection — what fills that darkness, silence and emptiness after our denial, elimination and renunciation has occurred. We celebrate our own resurrection from the forms that no longer serve life, and the resurrection of the Christ within us. That’s what we celebrate now. This time allows us to focus on what we choose to carry forward, and to meditate on the new abundantly healing light and energy, the new and invigorating ideas, the new faith in ourselves and the self-love that fills us up and make us whole and that will sustain us for another year.

Make no mistake, spring is a time for celebration. It’s a time when day and night are at equal length, a time when things are in balance. But they are also at a tipping point — tipping towards the light as days are becoming longer and the Earth (at least in our hemisphere) begins to warm up and bring forth new life.

The spring equinox (or Vernal equinox) is a sacred time, when we turn our attention to the dawning of a new year, to new birth and growth, the coming harvest, abundance and fruition, to the long-awaited rising Sun God in the east.

And we celebrate the goddess, Eostre, by decorating and dyeing bright and colorful eggs. By breaking our fast with sweets and chocolate. By surrounding ourselves with the 4-footed creatures of the Earth (the rabbit, the deer) and the winged creatures of the Air (the duck, the eagle).

And we recognize Spring as a time of new life — within and without.

So, today, we celebrate three things — the new year, the coming of spring and resurrection.

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The New Year

In many traditions, this is the start of the new year. The Roman year began on the ides of March (15th). In England and Ireland, between the 12th and 18th century, March 25th was the day the calendar reset. And, the astrological year begins on the equinox when the moon moves into Aries — Aries is the first sign of the Zodiac, The Greek Ares is the equivalent to the Roman Mars, March is the month of Mars.

The Coming of Spring

This equinox also marks the beginning of the Spring season. In Greek mythology, it is the time when Zeus and Demeter are reunited with their daughter, Persephone (who had been abducted and trapped in the Underworld for six months) and a time when the earth is once again crawling with life. The month of March also contains holidays dedicated to the great mother goddesses: Astarte, Isis, Aprhrodite, Cybele as well as the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary on March 25th. The goddess and the divine feminine get to show off a little bit in spring — manifesting herself in the blossoms, the leaves on the trees, the sprouting of the crops, the mating songs of the birds, giving birth to new life in all its forms.

Resurrection

We also re-tell and celebrate the myths of the resurrected Gods — Attis, Adonis, Osiris and Dionysus — who like Christ die and are reborn each year. They are sons of a God and a mortal woman. They are saviors who are sacrificed. They are the fruit and vegetation, that die each year (at harvest) and are eventually reborn.

In metaphysics, we are taught that the crucifix represents the “crystallization of two currents of thought — the inner (vertical) current of Divine Life and the cross current of human limitation and the mind of the flesh.” The intersection of these two currents is the center of action that is our being. It is in that crux, or that cross, that we encounter the final overcoming. The birth of the I AM that occurs in “the place of the skull.” Golgotha (the site of Jesus’ crucifixion) was called the “cranial place” or the “place of the skull.”

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Cultivating Spirit with the Natural World: A Bridge Retreat

This past Saturday, we had the pleasure of attending a nature retreat entitled, “Cultivating Spirit With The Natural World” hosted by The Bridge and led by Dr. Karen Mutter and University of Tampa’s Susan Taylor Lennon. It was a day-long intensive, and when it was over, we had thoroughly honored the Autumn Equinox through dance, guided meditation, a delicious community meal and a vision quest.

To guide us on our journey, we pulled an animal spirit card. Mine featured four birds (an owl, a crow, a hawk and a hummingbird) oriented to the four compass points. The card also contained the words “Life Lessons,” “Victory,” and “Courage” as well as the number 23. What follows are the photos we took while exploring the beautiful Northwood property, and the journal entry that I scribbled down as we were called back to the circle and were asked to share what we had learned.

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It has been said that the map is not the territory.

But in navigating our world – morally, geographically – we depend on the correct tools to stay the course. Magnetic north is only so because of the weight of the cosmos pulling at itself. We continually rely on signs, quadrants, polarities, spectrums, orientation and others to define ourselves, our position and our direction in this world.

And since the center is everywhere and the circumference is nowhere, these orienting energies and drives allow us as individuals to interface like a lens and open like a portal between worlds – aligning interiors with exteriors, the miscrocosm with the macrocosm, individuals in relation to collectives, wholes in relation to parts, the biosphere in relation to the noösphere, sometimes all while plugged into the technosphere.

Since our own face is the face of God, and since our own mind is the mind of God, every time we set our eyes (or even our thoughts) on this world, we face God, staring back at ourselves.

We are of the world. We are in the world. We create and destroy the world, and we only change the world by living in it.

Today, as the sunlight came from behind a tree, warmed my chest, stopped me in my tracks and opened my heart, I asked God, “What would you have me do?” And, God (my own mind) answered. Just as it did years ago when I was instructed to “be the needle” on the record player that is the universe – starting me on a two decade-long journey in the art of channeling melody and lyric and song, a journey and a celebration of the art of music.

Today, God answered, “be the compass,” and I am prepared to look forward to yet another two decade-long journey. This time in the art of leading by example.

The art of acknowledging and creating meaning in every moment.

The art of capture, and also of release.

The art of taking a machete to my insides every season and clearing that field for new growth.

The art of weaving a sustainable web.

The art of loving the world as I love myself.

The art of living.