Equinox Moment @ EarthGaia occurs at 16:15 UT on March 20th – the first Equinox for this Gregorian calendar year of 2018: it is Autumn in the Southern Hemisphere, Spring in the Northern Hemisphere. You can see a model of Earth’s orbit and also a telling of some of the astronomical science here. At my place East Coast Australia the Autumnal Equinox Moment is 2:15 on March 21st … and all global times may be found at archaeoastronomy.com. It is a Moment of balance of dark and light for the Planet – the Southern Hemisphere about to tip into increasing dark after dominance of light for six months, and the Northern Hemisphere about to tip into increasing light after dominance of dark for six months. The light and the dark are of equal length in the South and in the North of the Planet – for a moment.
We may contemplate Her harmonious spin – balance is never static – the balance is actually created by an imbalance, similar in my mind to an AC flow of electric charge. Harmony may be understood as a flow of qualities (I usually imagine a sacred three actually), that allows a spin, manifesting a sense of well-being; even through grief. It may be possible to sense well-being if one keeps looking deeper, and with eyes and heart open: and it is a sens-ible place from which one may act, though not necessarily felt as warm and fuzzy – more like a strength, a power which may come from either joy or grief. Both may be understood as sacred empowering experience – the former a power known in the manifestation and flowering of being, the latter a power and wisdom known in loss. It is a creative tension, always present deep in things.
Autumn Equinox may be a time for grieving for all that has been lost, as the dark increases … and yet it may be done graciously, with thanksgiving for the abundance received in every moment just by the fact of existence: Autumn Equinox is an appropriate Moment for expressing gratitude and joy for what has been received, for the “harvest” of the moment – which has always had a cost, and may be the cause of awesome grief.
Spring Equinox which may be felt as a time of joy and hope as warmth and virulent growth returns to the land, actually requires the recognition of the compost that this beauty emerges from: that is, the source of the joy in the sacred Return is the grief for what had/has been lost, as one emerges with new wisdom and power to act.
This creative tension of resistance and expansion, the creative edge of grief and joy are never separate. It is a thread of Creativity flowing through space-time that may be celebrated in the Spring or the Autumn: it may be imagined as the delicate balance of the “curvature of space-time” that enables all to come forth, seen in the ancient image of Demeter handing the wheat to Persephone. The Mother hands the Young One – “Daughter” is Her title – everything, awesome knowledge: it is passed on, and it requires descent and return. Red thread may represent this sacred and delicate balance of life, that continues beneath the visible – in the dark of space-time, in the dark of Earth. And its amazing emergence celebrated in the Spring, as warmth and virulent green life empowered by the stronger light from our Sun comes forth in the land. One cannot Be without the other … the Dark Journey and the Emergence into Light: this is the full story.
The Autumn Equinox (“Mabon” as it may be known) may be celebrated as the loss of the Beloved One, who may have many faces, many valencies. In the story of Demeter and Persephone, Persephone descends to the underworld to tend to the dead and for the gaining of wisdom: Poetry for the power of the Seed. It is also metaphor for the experience of loss in our personal stories. Such sacred Moments may be ceremonially recognised at this time and connected to Larger Story – that of Earth Herself and Cosmos. Note that the version of the Persephone story that is told in PaGaian Cosmology is one wherein Persephone descends of Her own volition (not the abduction version) – it is an interpretation of the story that enables Persephone’s integrity as a redemptive quality innate to the Cosmos and present in the Seed. This version is researched and told by Charlene Spretnak in her book Lost Goddesses of Early Greece, as well as by others since then (and I develop this story in Female Metaphor, Science and Paganism: a Cosmic Eco-Trinity).
The Spring Equinox (often known as “Eostar” and from which “Easter” takes its name) may be celebrated as the return of the Beloved One from the depths, as in the story of Demeter-Persephone, or in the story of Inanna, or that of Dumuzi: it is Poetry for the return of the GREEN, evident life-force surging through plants again, and special flowers that only appear at this time. It happens in our personal stories as well – and we hope for it – the Return of the Beloved One, however that may manifest and be understood at different times: such sacred Moments may be celebrated at this time, the remembering of them, and connecting of one’s small story to Earth’s Creativity, to Cosmic Creativity – to the Great (Universe) Story.
For Autumn Equinox/Mabon Poetic video: PaGaian Mabon
For Spring Equinox/Eostar Poetic video: PaGaian Eostar
In Australia I will celebrate the Autumnal Moment with simple ceremony this year, as I am travelling, yet I feel it as ever, and I invite celebration:
When Earth is poised in balance of dark and light, about to tip our hemisphere into the dark
You are invited to celebrate
… the season of thanksgiving for our harvest:
the abundance we have reaped,
that we enjoy daily.
And also, the season of grieving,
for all that has been lost – the Beloved One
descends: it may be a Journey to Wisdom.
We join Demeter the Mother in Her sorrow,
and await the unfolding
of the Mysterious, Wyrdly Creative Cosmos.
PaGaian Cosmology blogs for Autumn Equinox/Mabon
PaGaian Cosmology blogs for Spring Equinox/Eostar
Autumn or Spring Equinox meditations are available on PaGaian Cosmology Meditations CDs – and are also available (at that link) for purchase individually in digital format. I also offer this free gift, as a taste of the PaGaian meditations: Autumn Equinox Meditation
Some Autumn and Spring Equinox story may be found in Appendix F of PaGaian Cosmology, 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 may be found in Chapter 5, and ceremonial scripts are offered in Chapter 7, though they always evolve and adapt to personal and regional poetics. The on-line versions are usually different from those in the paper copy of the book.
Note the PaGaian version of the Demeter-Persephone story in: Female Metaphor, Science and Paganism: a Cosmic Eco-Trinity.