Spring Equinox is a good time to invoke and recognise our Gaian powers, the truth and power of who we are, as the light in your region grows stronger and the flora feels and responds to the power of our Sun.
The calling of the elements as it has been scripted in PaGaian Spring Equinox/Eostar ceremonies is a naming of the elements of water, fire, earth and air, as our true powers of life; and affirming our knowing of them – our certain sensing of them as powers that manifest in various ways. I am influenced in my expression partly by the work of cosmologist Brian Swimme who describes the elements as “Epiphanies of the Earth” and cosmic dynamics that suffuse the universe[i].
On the occasion of Spring Equinox celebration the elements may be named as Gaian Powers, and I have based the ceremonial associations of each of the four elements on the work of eco-psychologist Sarah Conn, who names four aspects of global responsibility – direct experience, understanding, action and awareness[ii]. I have not arranged them in the order Sarah Conn has put them in, as my arrangement reflects the order of the elements in my particular location in the Southern Hemisphere. Sarah Conn describes growth in the process of global responsibility as non-linear, so I think my varied arrangement may be OK.
Celebrant: “Hail the East and Powers of Water … powers of sensitivity, emotion and response: we are wet with you, we taste you, we know you.”
Co-celebrant takes the water around the circle, and each participant wets their hand and wipes it on themselves, with a response that includes the affirmation: “I am wet with you, I taste you, I know you.”
Celebrant: “Hail the North and Powers of Fire … powers of shaping, passion and action: we are spark of you, we feel your warmth, we know you.”
Co-celebrant lights the fire, takes it around the circle for each participant to pass their hand over it, with a response that includes the affirmation: “I am spark of you, I feel your warmth, I know you.”
Celebrant: “Hail the West and Powers of Earth … powers of presence, memory and understanding: we hold the story of you in our bodies, we feel your weight, we know you.”
Co-celebrant takes around a basket of rocks that each participant has placed there, for each to take up their own; with a response that includes the affirmation, “I hold the story of you in my body, I feel your weight, I know you.”
Celebrant: “Hail the South and Powers of Air … powers of perception, awareness and inspiration: we breathe you in, we expand with you, we know you.”
Co-celebrant lights a smudge stick and takes it around the circle for each participant to breathe in with a response that includes the affirmation: “I breathe you in, I expand with you, I know you.”
The celebrant may then pace the circle affirming: “This is the truth and power of who we are –water, fire, earth, and air. She is alive in us and we in Her”, concluding perhaps with the traditional: “We are beyond the bounds of time and space, we are at Centre – the Centre is here, where light and dark, birth and death, joy and sorrow meet as one.”
Spring Equinox/Eostar ceremony especially may be an occasion for recognising true empowerment, in all its valencies, and its connection to global responsibilty: that is, our ability to respond, to relate to our source of life, affirming the understanding that She is alive in us and we in Her. This is powerful.
© Glenys Livingstone 2018
[iii]Glenys Livingstone, PaGaian Cosmology, p. 210-211. Also available https://pagaian.org/book/chapter-7/
Conn, Sarah A.. “The Self-World Connection” Woman of Power Issue 20, Spring 1991, pp. 71-77.
Livingstone, Glenys. PaGaian Cosmology: Re-inventing Earth-based Goddess Religion. NE: iUniverse, 2005
Swimme, Brian. The Universe is a Green Dragon. Santa Fe: Bear & Co., 1984.