This essay was originally published at Neo-Paganism.com.
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Autumn is my favorite season. As the Autumnal Equinox/Mabon/Alban Elfed approaches, I’m thinking of how this season has always carried a sense of magic and spirit… of descent into the sacred secrets of time… a place of reckoning, with a wise power that can see you as you go, while all the foliate cover falls away… a place where truth can’t hide. Truth is powerful and healing and terrible and cleansing and undeniable, and this is the cathartic season where you feast on it, and it feasts on you.
I was in the garden yesterday, devoting these warm weather days to Spring time. I was not born with the greenest thumb, but the more I've tended the sacred garden of my heart in communion with Earth as Divine Creatrix, the more nurturing my hands have become to Her soil, and in life.
In his book, Spiritual Growth Through Domestic Gardening, Al Fritsch, a Jesuit priest, says, “Gardening enhances our relationship with Earth. Through gardening, we are helping to heal the planet which is part of the work we are called to do.”...
Got plastic bags? Many businesses offer or sell reusable shopping bag swag, but we still haven't totally eliminated the old standard disposable sack. If you have any of these lying around, reuse them as much as you can, and then up-cycle them. This is important work, and one of the best ways to honor the earth and leave a smaller environmental footprint. Even the rattiest plastic bag can be made into something cool: a heavy duty tote, an apron, place or door mats, even a shower curtain; the list is endless. Use extra care when doing this work with children as ironing and cutting are involved. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Assorted plastic bags (garbage, food, store) in different colors, sizes, patterns
- Wax paper
- Ironing board or table covered with a heavy towel
Cut the plastic bags so they lay flat (no handles or folds at the bottom). You'll need between five and seven layers to make one sheet of material, so plan ahead to make sure you’ll have enough! In order to know how many plastic bags you will need, you have to decide what you are making. A tote bag (which will require sewing or stapling) will require more than a change purse. Of course if you use large bags, then you will need fewer. We made an apron, and used five medium store bags for the fabric, and four smaller bags that we cut designs out of to decorate it....
With all of the wacky weather we have been experiencing the globe over, one could get the impression that Mother Nature is royally ticked-off with us. Can you blame her? She's been so often abused, neglected, and taken for granted it is a wonder that we still have a planet fit to live on. What we can do is let her know that we care. Think of it like honoring your own mother on Mother's Day. I am a big fan of building strong energy and channeling it through ecstatic dance and music. I used to attend a great dance in Evanston back in the day, and there's no reason why you couldn't hold your own. For Earth Day this year, try organizing a Trance Dance. As in Transcendental. No, we're not talking about Rave 'Til Dawn. Your mission: find a great space, and create mood lighting. Low lights, candles on the outskirts (safely out of the way), pretty electric glowy lights and lava lamps, would all do the trick. Do you or someone you know have access to a large basement, church space, or school gym? The most important factor is that the space is wide open and that no one has to worry about colliding with objects or each other in it. Elect someone to play DJ for the eve. Make sure in advance that you have a decent sound system. Get a good-sized, unselfconscious group to come on out and let the party begin.
The main idea that everyone should be let in on from the beginning is that you are holding a dance with intent. To send out nurturing energy to help heal our Mother Earth. Send her your love with the energy that you create through your dancing....
Before proceeding to describe the nature of the archetypes, I want to return to the structure of the psyche which I discussed in a previous post. In that post, I depicted the structure of the psyche as an iceberg. Jung describes the psyche using other metaphors, including a building and a plant. Both of these analogies bring the discussion of archetypes down to earth, so to speak. The connection of the archetypes to the earth or to matter is of special interest to earth-centered Pagans.
Smile O voluptuous cool-breath'd earth!
Earth of the slumbering and liquid trees!
Earth of departed sunset — earth of the mountains misty-topt!
Earth of the vitreous pour of the full moon just tinged with blue!
Earth of shine and dark mottling the tide of the river!
Earth of the limpid gray of clouds brighter and clearer for my sake!
Far-swooping elbow'd earth — rich apple-blossom'd earth!
Smile, for your lover comes.
Walt Whitman - Song of Myself
Beltane always falls when the Sun is in Taurus; if you celebrate Beltane astrologically, the Sun will be exactly halfway through Taurus, and halfway between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice — always a few days later than May 1st. (This year, it fell early on Sunday, May 6th) Whether you are heading towards summer or winter, the Earth is in transition. Perhaps this is why the sign of Taurus is so concerned with security, with farming, and the Earth. Taurus’ other main focus is a sensual connection with the Web of LIfe, and the creation and enjoyment of beauty.
The New Moon Eclipse on May 9th will highlight Taurean themes for some months to come. There are four planets (a stellium) in Taurus in this chart — Sun, Moon, Mercury and Mars — and if you follow this blog, you’ll recall that the influence of a solar eclipse can be as long as a year. Saturn in Scorpio provides a balance point for all that Taurean energy. Though there is no direct opposition, as I noted in this post, “We can look on the progress of Saturn through Scorpio over the next 2 ½ years as an initiatory undertaking — a deep, transformative time when, if we will discipline ourselves to fulfill the requirements of the body and the Earth, we can create with power, insight and spiritual awareness.”
Venus, the ruler of Taurus, has just moved into bright, aware Gemini, where life is a question to be answered, and connection to others is key. Venus is square to Neptune in Pisces, and Pisces' other ruler, Jupiter, is also in Gemini, unaspected, making it even more of a wildcard than usual.
All of this suggests that in the months to come, issues of material security will be raised again and again at varying levels of intensity depending on how this configuration falls in your personal chart. Are you stuck in a rut somewhere? Has the pursuit of security smothered your creativity and playfulness, or do you need to pay more attention to how you support yourself on this Earth? What are the personal and social costs of the way you live your life? If you don’t ask yourself some of these questions, they will be asked of you, and the answers will demand both action and clear communication.
I believe in the flesh and the appetites,
Seeing, hearing, feeling, are miracles, and each part and tag of me is a miracle.
Walt Whitman - Song of Myself