The Seasonal Moment of Equinox @ EarthGaia comes around again at 21:58 UT on the 20th March – the first for this Gregorian calendar year of 2019, and it is Autumn in the Southern Hemisphere, Spring in the Northern Hemisphere. For my region of East Coast Australia, the actual Moment is 7:58 on the 21st March (minus one hour for Queensland) … and all global times may be found here: archaeoastronomy.com. It is a moment of balance in Earth’s annual orbit around Sun: the dark and the light parts of the day are of equal length in the South and in the North of the Planet – for a moment. The balance will then tip into increasing dark in the South, a Season when the losses of this moment (and each moment) may be felt and contemplated, and deep grief may be expressed; yet it is also a time for recognising and giving thanks for the rich harvest of this moment (and each moment). In the North of EarthGaia the balance will tip into increasing light, when life bursts forth with new strength, emerging from the dark with certainty; and the joy and power of being may be celebrated.
For Autumn Equinox (Mabon) in the South 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.
For Spring Equinox (Eostar) ceremony in the North 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.
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 Autumn or the Spring 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. At Autumn Equinox ceremony, a red thread may be tied on each to witness to this continuity beneath and within all.
The story of Persephone’s descent and return chosen for PaGaian Cosmology is the pre-Hellenic one, the version of her voluntary descent. This version is researched and told by Charlene Spretnak in her book Lost Goddesses of Early Greece, and also told by Carolyn McVickar Edwards in The Storyteller’s Goddess. I develop this story in this essay: The Equinoxes as Story of Redemption: Sacred Balance of Maternal Creativity. 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 Autumn Equinox Poetry: PaGaian Mabon on YouTube
For some Spring Equinox Poetry: PaGaian Eostar on YouTube.
In the South of our Planet many groups will gather on the Moment or close to, to celebrate Autumn Equinox/Mabon, 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, but will be travelling at the transition Moment. My partner and I will do a modest ceremony in our location, probably right on the Moment, and I invite others in this way:
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 Equinox/Mabon and Spring Equinox/Eostar meditations are on the PaGaian Cosmology Meditations CDs and are also available individually in digital form at that link (scroll down). These meditations may be nurturant of your participation in this Seasonal transition – with a group or for yourself.
Some Autumn and Spring Equinox story may be found in Appendix F of PaGaian Cosmology, under the names of Mabon and Eostar 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 may be found in Chapter 5. Ceremonial scripts are offered in Chapter 7; the on-line versions are usually a bit different from the paper versions, as they evolve and change, and depending on your current context.
Blissed Autumn/Spring Equinox transition to you
P.S. People of Earth-based tradition in the Southern Hemisphere have to endure dominating unseasonal Easter festivities at this time of the Gregorian calendar. Herewith an essay about that: It’s Autumn in the Southern Hemisphere – not Spring/Eostar.