The Seasonal Moment of Equinox @ EarthGaia occurs at 9:37 UTC on March 20th. It is the first Equinox for this Gregorian calendar year of 2021, and it is Autumn in the Southern Hemisphere, Spring in the Northern Hemisphere. At my place East Coast Australia the Autumnal Equinox Moment is 19:37 on March 20th (plus 1 hour for NSW and Vic) … and all global times may be found here: archaeoastronomy.com
Equinox is a Moment of balance of dark and light for the Planet. From this Moment, the Southern Hemisphere will tip into increasing dominance of dark after the dominance of light for six months, and the Northern Hemisphere will tip into increasing dominance of light after the dominance of dark for six months.
Autumn Equinox (“Mabon” as it may be known) in summary, may celebrate the grief and power of loss, as the descent to darkness is certain. It is a time for the ceremonial grieving for all that has been lost: and there is much grief in these times. Yet we may do so graciously, remembering the gift of what is now lost (for it is all surely a gift), and the abundance received in every moment just by the fact of existence. 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 in its passing, as well as the cause of deep gratitude/thankfulness for its presence. It is a balance of grief and joy.
Even in the celebration of Spring Equinox (“Eostar” as it may be named) where the theme and experience at this time in summary is the joy and power of being, and the return of warmth and growth to the land, it actually requires the recognition of the compost that this beauty emerges from: that is, the joy of the sacred return, the emergence with power to act, is sourced in the remembering of the former lost wanderings and grief, and perhaps rage. It is again a balance of joy and grief.
This edge of grief and joy that may be celebrated in the Spring and the Autumn, may be imagined as the creative tension of resistance and expansion, the continuing thread of Creativity through space-time. 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 creative continuous thread passed on. It is the harvest, yet also it is the seeds of the future. The Mother hands the Young One everything, awesome knowledge: this knowledge requires descent and return, grief and joy. 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 in: Female Metaphor, Science and Paganism: a Cosmic Eco-Trinity.
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. Ceremonial scripts are offered in Chapter 7; the on-line versions are usually a bit different from the paper versions, as they have evolved and vary.
Autumn and Spring Equinox meditations are available individually in digital form (scroll down at the link) at this link: PaGaian Cosmology Meditations CDs where the entire set of Seasonal Meditations is also available.
To be on the PaGaian Cosmology Seasonal list (for both hemispheres) please contact me (Glenys).