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Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Happy Spring Equinox!
Jane Collings' Moonsong Newsletter has so much great information that I asked her if I could share some of it here. Check out her work or sign up for future newsletters at www.moonsong.com.au.
Northern Hemispheric - Spring Equinox, Ostara is traditionally marked on Saturday March 21st, and astrologically it falls this year also on Friday March 20th. See http://www.archaeoastronomy.com/2015.html for accurate astrological information about the sabbats.
Spring Midway through Spring! This is the time of equal day and equal night, the balance of light and dark, and so at this time we have the chance to invite balance into our lives.
Add this to the energy of Spring, and as we see in our gardens, we also have the opportunity for new growth, fresh starts and new beginnings. Now would be the appropriate time for the Easter Egg hunt!
The moon phase on the day of the Spring Equinox is the New Moon. This will effect your inner world and the Earth season, your outer world. So you may feel inward and have a sense of a subtle new beginning or potential, and feel also a bursting forth of new ways sprouting and all the potential that holds. This may 'look' like you feeling hope and excitement for all that lay ahead as well as seeing the truth of it sprouting before your eyes.
The trees have come back to life, blossoms are blooming, the grass is growing, the sprouts are ‘taking off’, growth is everywhere! Beautiful smells, sprite-liness and baby animals… During Spring, everywhere in nature, we see and feel and hear, the energy, the pulse, the sound of new growth.
And so we have the opportunity to consciously align with this energy and ‘use’ it to fuel whatever new beginnings we are creating in our lives.
Your being, as part of the Earth, part of the cycle of the seasons, will be influenced by this energy whether you’re paying attention to it or not. If you pay some attention, you will feel it, and you can be in flow with it. The equivalent time in our lives to Ostara is Menarche (first period) for girls and puberty for boys, new beginnings of the next level.
Spring Spiritual Practice Think like the gardener, and align with the Earth energy of now, contemplate the growth that has taken hold in your life and around you… What are you developing, is that what you want? Do you need to get out the ‘fertiliser’ to help what’s growing to be stronger? Do you need to do some ‘weeding’?
At the Equinox, with the equal light and dark, we have the opportunity to give thanks for, ie focus on with gratitude (which will help it grow more) that which is growing and developing in ourselves and our lives and also to let go of that which ‘no longer serves’ ie what stands in the way of your growth and development, this could be ‘bad’ habits and restricting beliefs…
In a moving meditation, feel yourself to be like a tree, as your blossoms are blooming and your leaves are starting to unfurl, move as the wind would move you, strong in your roots and able to shift lightly and easily from a grounded position, swaying from side to side and round and round…notice what wants to fall away as you do this, remnants of old, no longer needed. Make the sounds of spring that rise up from within you…so much will grow from now, headed toward full bloom at the Summer Solstice in three months time.
Suggested Ceremony for Ostara
We celebrate Easter in the Southern Hemisphere at the same time as the Northern Hemisphere, simply because of generational habit of aligning with the religious festival as it occurs in the Northern Hemisphere, not seasonal appropriateness. The word Easter comes from the name of the ancient anglo-saxon spring Goddess Eostra or Eostara. And the Easter bunny and Easter eggs are all symbols of the fertility that is celebrated at the Spring Equinox. Eggs are a symbol of new life.
To honour and celebrate this time you could gather with some like-minded folk, or with your children and conduct a ceremony to give thanks for new ways, new opportunities and balance in your lives.
Here’s a suggestion for a simple ceremony to honour the Spring Equinox with your family and friends. Paint an egg, perhaps simply, decoratively or perhaps with symbols to give particular meanings, to represent something new starting in your life, or something you would like to start. Make a ‘nest’, place it in the centre of your circle that you create together to do your ceremony. Do what you do to make sacred space, call for protection, guidance and support and focus together. Go around the circle and have each person explain what their egg represents for them, what their dreams and intentions for new growth this season are and then place the egg in the nest. Once all the eggs are in the nest have everyone focus on them and send their loving supportive energy. This can be done by visualising pink light flowing from your heart area. Conclude your ceremony going around the circle again with each person making a wish for their community and one for the planet. This could also be as simple as a ‘nest’ on your dining table with you and your children around it doing the magic.
Southern Hemispheric - Autumn Equinox, Mabon is traditionally marked on Saturday March 21st, and astrologically it falls this year on Saturday March 21st. See http://www.archaeoastronomy.com/2015.html for accurate astrological information about the sabbats.
Autumn Midway through Autumn! Mabon is the second of three harvest festivals. This is the time of equal day and equal night, the balance of light and dark, and so at this time we have the chance to invite balance into our lives as we move deeper into the descent to winter. Add this to the energy of Autumn, and as we see in our gardens, we also have the opportunity to see and enjoy our ‘harvest’, the fruits of our labours – literally and metaphorically.
The harvests are being reaped, or not!
The moon phase on the day of the Autumn Equinox is the New Moon. This will effect your inner world and the Earth season, your outer world. So you may feel inward and have a sense of a subtle new beginning or potential, and feel also an urgency to be gathering all you need, your harvest, to 'see you through' (the approaching winter). This may 'look' like a sense of a potential, new way of reflecting on 'what is', and the feeling of wanting a quiet space to reflect on what you have 'grown' as well as an awareness that the cycle begins again, always.
Autumn sits in the west on the wheel of the year, and represents all the same energies and qualities of dusk, sunset, and the energy of early evening, the move toward and into the darkness.
The descent is happening. We move now into the yin part of the circle in the cycle of the seasons.
Depending on how you feel about letting go and ‘coming down’ from the high of summer, will influence how you experience the energy of this season.
The bottom line is that the letting go and the descent in to the dark is inevitable, so we may as well ‘go with the flow’, if we don’t, some how or other Nature and our nature will take us there anyway. That’s not a threat to conform, but rather an invitation from Mother Nature to be with one of the greatest opportunities and lessons in life, to be present with what is, and at this point in the cycle what is happening is the slowing down, going inward and letting go of all that no longer serves you.
Most people I talk to love Autumn, perhaps that’s because its such a relief after the intensity of Summer. There’s lots happening literally and metaphorically in Autumn, it’s a busy time and also a reflective time. The heat starts to come down, and the harvest is there, or not!
The wisdom of the cycles, so apparent in Autumn, is about the harvest and the letting go. This season invites inner reflection and metaphoric pruning.
Autumn Spiritual Practice
The Autumn Equinox is the time of equal day and equal night, of masculine and feminine balance. A time for us to give thanks for balance in our lives, for harmony, and as we see in our gardens, we also have the opportunity to “ let go”.
So, contemplate what do you need to let go of in order to find more balance in your life? What needs to be ‘pruned’ or what ‘leaves’ need to fall? What does balance look like to you? What sacrifices do you need to make to have balance? Notice how it feels to contemplate that, see your attachments.
The ‘fruits’ you are harvesting now, are what you have to sustain you through the winter months when there is no outward growth. The ‘fruits’ also hold the ‘seeds’ of what will grow in the next growth cycle, they hold the lessons available to be learned from all you’ve done this growth cycle so far, since the beginning back in Spring earlier in the year.
Notice how you feel the energy of this part of the Earth’s season affecting you. Notice what you need to notice, learn what you need to learn, change what you need to change and heal what you need to heal. That’s the opportunity, that’s the gift. Journal about what your harvest is, are you happy with that? Do you need to bring in or gather other things to sustain you for the rest of autumn and up coming winter?
The harvest festivals continue into Autumn. The seeds from these harvests will go back into the Earth, gestate over the Winter, and be what will be reborn in the Spring. This happens literally in the garden and metaphorically in our lives. Perhaps if you’re not happy with the ‘seeds’ your current harvest will create, then you might choose to plant different ‘seeds’ for your new growth cycle next Spring.
Make new plans, start new ways so you don’t repeat anything that didn’t work so well from the last cycle.
Autumn is a time for reflection and learning what worked and didn’t work.
This same cycle and opportunity occurs each lunar cycle and menstrual cycle. So much opportunity!
Suggested Ceremony for Mabon
Our community gathers together for a fire ceremony. Everyone brings with them a leaf (or several) on which they have written whatever they intend to let go of or leave behind. We go around the circle and one by one these are cast into the fire. Then each person speaks, in the manner of giving thanks, for that which they have harvested this cycle of the seasons. You could do your version of the ceremony above with your family or friends or alone. You can cast a circle to start, invoke the directions and the Goddess and give thanks for protection, guidance, nurturance and support as you do your ceremony.