As our EarthGaia orbits around Mother Sun, the Seasonal Moment of Equinox occurs at 3:50 UT on March 20th. It is the first Equinox for this Gregorian calendar year of 2020, and it is Autumn in the Southern Hemisphere, Spring in the Northern Hemisphere. You can see a model of Earth’s orbit here, and also a telling of some of the astronomical science: http://www.archaeoastronomy.com/seasons.html At my place East Coast Australia the Autumnal Equinox Moment is 13:50 on March 20th (plus 1 hour for NSW and Vic) … and all global times may be found here: https://www.archaeoastronomy.com/2020.html
Equinox is one of two holy Moments of balance in Earth’s annual orbit around Sun, when 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 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 is 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 feel warm and fuzzy. It is more like a strength, a power which may come from a balance of joy and grief, which are never separate. The source of our joy is also the source of our grief, and vice versa. Both may be understood as sacred empowering experience – the former a power known in manifestation of being, the latter a power and wisdom known in loss.
Autumn Equinox (“Mabon” as it may be known) is a ceremonial time for the grieving for all that has been lost: and yet we may do so graciously, remembering the abundance received in every moment just by the fact of existence. Autumn Equinox is an appropriate Moment for thanksgiving, and expressing joy for what has been received, and is received, for the “harvest” of the moment. Every moment is fertile with all that has gone before, seething with depth: each moment has always had a cost, and may be the cause of awesome grief as well as gratitude/thankfulness.
In the celebration of Spring Equinox (“Eostar” as it may be named) where the theme and experience of your place at this time is the joy and return of growth and flowers to the land, it actually requires the recognition of the compost that this beauty emerges from: that is, the source of the joy of the sacred Return, as one emerges with power to act, is the remembering of the grief and former lost wanderings.
This creative tension of resistance and expansion, the creative edge of grief and joy, is the continuing thread of Creativity through space-time that may be celebrated in the Spring and the Autumn. It may be imagined as the delicate balance of the “curvature of space-time” that enables all to come forth. That is a part of what I see in the ancient image of the Mother Demeter handing the wheat to her Daughter Persephone. The Mother hands the Young One everything, awesome knowledge: it is passed on, and it requires descent and return. The lotus grows from the mud, and it is a continuous cycle/thread.
It is an ancient tradition at Autumn Equinox ceremony for participants to wear red threads, or to tie them on each other; to signify the receiving of this gift and the vision of it. It is a remembrance of the ancient initiates who wore red threads when they participated in the Eleusinian Mysteries celebrated at Autumn Equinox in ancient Greece. The red thread may signify this sacred and delicate balance of life, that continues beneath the visible – in the dark of space-time, in the dark of Earth, in the eclipse of known ways. It may also be understood to be held within the Seed – any Seed; and it is not just a promise of life, it is the life that is present; it is simply below the visible.
And the Spring Equinox celebrates its amazing emergence, as green life empowered by the stronger light from our Sun. One cannot Be without the other … the Dark Journey and the Emergence into Light: this is the full story.
For Autumn Equinox/Mabon Poetic video: PaGaian Mabon 2009
For Spring Equinox/Eostar Poetic video: PaGaian Eostar 2009
Note that the Demeter-Persephone story 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, and also by Carolyn McVickar Edwards in The Storyteller’s Goddess. The PaGaian version of the Demeter-Persephone story has been published as a blog: The Equinoxes as Story of Redemption:Sacred Balance of Maternal Creativity
At my place the Autumn Equinox ceremony will be celebrated close to the actual Moment, and I invite others in my hemisphere 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
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, which may be adapted to personal and regional poetics. The on-line versions are different from those in the paper copy of the book, as they have varied and evolved.
Autumn or Spring Equinox meditations are available on PaGaian Cosmology Meditations CDs or digital format – 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
To be on the invitation list, or for notice of events, please contact me.