The Seasonal Moment of Equinox @ EarthGaia (as our Planet may be named[i]), will occur March 20th at 21:24 UTC (that’s “Universal Time” as it is named – measured at Greenwich England). Equinox is a moment of balance of dark and light for the Planet, when the dark and the light in the South and in the North of our Planet are of equal length – for a moment. From this moment on, the Southern Hemisphere will tip into increasing dominance of dark after the dominance of light for six months – thus it is Autumn Equinox, and the Northern Hemisphere will tip into increasing dominance of light after the dominance of dark for six months – thus it is Spring Equinox.
At my place East Coast Australia, where it is the Season of the Autumn Equinox, the actual Moment occurs at 7:24am on March 21st (plus 1hr for NSW and Victoria). All global times for the actual Moment are here: archaeoastronomy.com
At Equinox – Autumn or Spring – we may celebrate the Sacred Balance that enables all of existence to come forth. I like to think of this Seasonal Moment[ii] of balance, as representing the delicate balance of the “curvature of space-time” that enables all to come forth, and that is part of what I see in the ancient image of Demeter handing the wheat to Persephone. The creative continuous thread that is passed on, is the harvest of all that has gone before making this moment and every moment, possible; yet it is also the seeds of the future. This sacred harvest passed by the Mother to the Daughter, as it has been poetically recognized since ancient times, holds within it a balance of grief and joy. It is a multi-valent balance, the creative tension of resistance and expansion, the continuing thread of Creativity through space-time, in which all participate, whether consciously or not.
It may be represented in a red thread, as the gift of life itself. At the Autumn Equinox ceremony as it is done in PaGaian tradition, we tie red threads on each other, to signify our gracious receiving of this gift and the vision of its continuity beneath the visible, in the dark of Earth, in the dark of space-time, in the eclipse of known ways It is also a remembrance of the ancient initiates who wore red threads when they participated in the Mother-Daughter Mysteries celebrated in Eleusis Greece at Autumn Equinox.
The poetry of Autumn Equinox (often known as “Mabon”), may express the loss of the Beloved One, who may have many faces, many valencies. In the story of Demeter and Persephone, Persephone descends to the underworld to tend to the dead and for the gaining of knowledge … poetic expression for the power of the seed to restore life and beauty. Persephone’s descent is metaphor for the experience of LOSS in our personal and collective stories. Such sacred moments may be ceremonially recognised at this time and connected to Larger Story – that of Earth Herself and Cosmos: that is the healing, the wholing of personal and collective grief.
The Spring Equinox (often known as “Eostar”, and from which “Easter” takes its name[iii]), may be celebrated as the return of the Beloved One from the depths, as in the story of Demeter-Persephone, or in the story of Inanna, or that of Dumuzi: it is Poetic expression for the return of the GREEN evident in the life-force surging through plants again, and the many flowers that only appear at this time. It is a Return that we may hope for, that we work for, however that may manifest and be understood: it may be small victories and accomplishments that give beauty midst grievous situations, as well as larger emergences from challenging long journeys. Such sacred moments may be celebrated at this time in particular, the remembering and recognizing of them as moments of stepping into power and joy; and connecting them to Earth’s Creativity, to Cosmic Creativity – to the Great Universe Story, in which we, each and all, are.
Note that the version of the Persephone story that I tell in PaGaian Cosmology is one wherein Persephone descends of Her own volition, and not the later abduction version. 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. Persephone’s voluntary descent expresses and enables Persephone’s integrity, Her shamanic redemptive quality, a quality that is innate to the Cosmos and present in the Seed. I develop this story in this article: Female Metaphor, Science and Paganism: a Cosmic Eco-Trinity.
For Autumn Equinox/Mabon Poetic video: PaGaian Mabon 2009
For Spring Equinox/Eostar Poetic video: PaGaian Eostar 2009
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, along with a diagram of the PaGaian Wheel of the Year. 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.
There is a PaGaian Cosmology Facebook group where all members may initiate discussion and/or respond, and also a Pagaian Cosmology Facebook Page.
To be on the PaGaian Cosmology Seasonal list (for both hemispheres) please contact me (Glenys).
[i] Evolutionary biologist Elisabet Sahtouris advises: “The English word Earth came from an ancient Greek root meaning working the ground , or earth – ergaze -which evolved into the name of the Nordic Earth goddess, Erda and then into the German Erde and the English Earth.” Earthdance, p.5-6.
[ii] I have coined this term to speak of the “Sabbats”, the eight Earth holy days of the Old European calendar, based onThomas Berry’s naming of Earth-Sun transitions as ”moments of grace”.
[iii] Eostre is a Goddess name: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ēostre. Christians named their resurrection festival “Easter” in the Middle Ages.
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