The Seasonal Moment of Equinox @ EarthGaia comes around again at 20:02 UT on the 22nd September – the second for this Gregorian calendar year of 2017, and it is Spring in the Southern Hemisphere, Autumn in the Northern Hemisphere. At my place East Coast Australia that is 6:02 on the 23rd September … and all global times may be found here: archaeoastronomy.com. It is a moment of balance in Earth’s annual orbit around Sun: the light and the dark are of equal length in the South and in the North of the Planet – for a moment … about to tip into increasing light in the South – the joy and power of being, life bursts forth with new strength; and into increasing dark in the North – the grief and power of loss, we may give thanks for the harvests of this moment yet remember too the losses involved.
For Spring Equinox (Eostar) ceremony in the South of our planet:
The story of Old tells us that Persephone beloved Daughter, returns from Her journey to the Underworld. Demeter, the Mother, stretches out Her arms – to receive and rejoice. The beloved One, the Lost One, returns with new Wisdom from the depths.
We may step into a new harmony. Where we step, wild flowers may appear; where we dance, despair may turn to hope, sorrow to joy, want to abundance.
For Autumn Equinox (Mabon) in the North of our planet:
The story of Old tells us that Persephone, Beloved Daughter, receives from Her Mother, the wheat – the Mystery, knowledge of life and death – for this she gives thanks. She receives it graciously. But she sets forth into the darkness – both Mother and Daughter grieve that it is so.
I like to think of this Seasonal Moment of balance, as representative of the delicate balance of the “curvature of space-time” that enables all to come forth, and just so, it may be celebrated in the Spring or the Autumn as the creative edge of grief and joy, the creative tension of resistance and expansion – they are never separate. The image in my mind is of Demeter handing Persephone the wheat … I think of this as an icon of the Sacred Balance: the Mother handing the thread of knowledge to the Young One, the Daughter, and She carries it into the dark, makes it Her own – finds Her sovereignty, and emerges with it anew in a great display of beauty. This is the Equinox story/Poiesis as I understand it, plumbing the depths of this tenacious creativity, witnessed in planet Earth and in our Cosmos, represented in the Mother-Daughter mysteries.
The story of Persephone’s descent and return for PaGaian Cosmology is the pre-Hellenic one, the version of her voluntary descent: see Charlene Spretnak, Lost Goddesses of Early Greece, pp. 105-118, and PaGaian Cosmology book . It is an interpretation of the story that enables Persephone’s integrity; enables Her integrity as a redemptive quality, that restores beauty to the world. This quality is innate to the Cosmos, and present in the Seed, which the Ovum is; and the Fruit is in the Seed, and the Seed is in the Fruit … a continuous red thread passed on.
For some Spring Equinox Poetry: PaGaian Eostar 2009 on YouTube.
For some Autumn Equinox Poetry: PaGaian Mabon 2009 on YouTube
In the South of our Planet many groups will gather on the Moment or close to, to celebrate Spring Equinox/Eostar, and perhaps naming it differently according to tradition. I am now living in my mother country of Australia (S.E. Queensland), having returned here recently, and I will do a modest ceremony in this new/old place, perhaps with newly found others; it all seems very fitting for this Moment of the Mother-Daughter Mysteries. Three priestesses will gather in the ceremonial space of MoonCourt, PaGaian Cosmology’s home ground, to explore and feel for the Moment. The invitation traditionally sent out reads:
This is the time of the Spring Equinox,
Earth is poised in balance of light and dark
You are invited to celebrate
Warmth and growth are sensed in the Land.
Life bursts forth with new strength.
The Beloved One return from the Depths
with new Wisdom.
We may leave behind the binds of the past …
and step into the Power of Being
with new Wisdom.
She is alive in us, and we in Her!
PaGaian Cosmology blogs for Spring Equinox/Eostar
PaGaian Cosmology blogs for Autumn Equinox/Mabon
You may find the Spring Equinox/Eostar and Autumn Equinox/Mabon meditations on PaGaian Cosmology Meditations CDs nurturant of your participation in this Seasonal transition – with a group or for yourself. The meditations may be purchased individually (and digitally) or you may purchase the whole set (in CD form or digitally).
Spring Equinox/Eostar and Autumn Equinox/Mabon preparation/celebration e-notes, images and meditations are offered: Celebrating PaGaian Cosmology on-line.
Spring and Autumn Equinox story is offered in Appendix F of PaGaian Cosmology under the names of Eostar and Mabon respectively, or if you have a paper version of the book, there is an Index for references throughout. These Seasonal Moments in relationship to the whole Wheel of the Year can be found in Chapter 5, and ceremonial scripts are offered in Chapter 7, though they of course have always evolved and been adapted to personal and regional poeitics. they evolve. The on-line versions are different from those in the paper copy of the book.
 the version of Persephone’s voluntary descent is also told by Carolyn McVickar Edwards in The Storyteller’s Goddess. I develop this story in an article published in the Indian Journal of Ecocriticism: Female Metaphor, Science and Paganism: a Cosmic Eco-Trinity.