The Seasonal Moment of Equinox @ EarthGaia comes around again at 7:50 UT on the 23rd September, and it is Spring in the Southern Hemisphere, Autumn in the Northern Hemisphere. At my place East Coast Australia that Moment of Earth-Sun relationship will be at 17:50 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 parts of the day 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, and into increasing dark in the North.
In this Moment of balance, one in the light part of the annual cycle and the other in the dark part of that cycle, both celebrate a creative tension and balance of joy and grief. Equinox ceremonies as they have been done in PaGaian Cosmology tradition, for both Spring and Autumn, are based in the story of Demeter and Persephone, the Mother-Daughter Mysteries: wherein Persephone descends to the Underworld in the Autumn, and re-emerges in the Spring. Both Equinoxes may be moments of contemplation and celebration of empowerment through deep wisdom: the Autumn Equinox is a descent to it, the Spring Equinox is an emergence with it.
For Spring Equinox (Eostar) ceremony in the South of our planet, when life is bursting forth with new strength:
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 …
For Autumn Equinox (Mabon) in the North of our planet, when the leaves begin to turn and fall, and seeds may go into the earth:
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 as a redemptive quality: that is, She restores beauty to the world, comforting the sorrows. 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 more see The Equinoxes as Story of Redemption:Sacred Balance of Maternal Creativity
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. At my place in Australia, I will be celebrating Spring Equinox in a long awaited new home, close to the Moment, and I invite others in this way:
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
Spring Equinox/Eostar and Autumn Equinox/Mabon meditations are offered in PaGaian Cosmology Meditations, inspiring for both the experienced and the new. The meditations are available in digital form or as CD, and also individually.
Spring and Autumn Equinox story is offered in Appendix F of PaGaian Cosmology under the names of Eostar and Mabon respectively. 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 always evolve and would be adapted to personal and regional poetics. The on-line versions are different from those in the paper copy of the PaGaian Cosmology 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, which is now also available in edited form in Goddesses in Myth, History and Culture edited by Mary Ann Beavis and Helen Hye-Sook Hwang, Mago Books, 2018.