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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Spring Equinox

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Ostara

Here is a little video that I made regarding the upcoming Sabbat of Ostara. Blessings of the Spring Equinox to you all!

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Your Spiritual Evolution: Four Transformative Teachings for the Spring Equinox


The Spring Equinox is a time of rebirth and new beginnings. Nature buds and blossoms as the seasons of light and life return, and the Goddess offers up Her mysteries of spiritual evolution to guide your journey of soul.

In the Fall, Persephone begins Her journey as a maiden who leaves behind the sunlit realm of Her Mother Demeter. She descends into the Underworld, and spends the Winter months traveling its mysteries of darkness and death, and suffering its trials.

In the Spring, Persephone returns to Her Mother Demeter’s realm of light and life as a Goddess reborn into a more mature, evolved version of Her Self. She is the Queen of the Underworld and Goddess of Spring Growth, with a wholeness and bigness of being that is wise, loving and powerful enough to bridge and balance the immense, opposing energies of the death-centered Underworld and the life-centered sunlit realm. Where Persephone walks the Earth, She leaves a trail of spring flowers in Her wake.

Through this mythic Goddess tale, you can embrace a new understanding of your Self, your life story, and your journey of spiritual evolution. Here are four transformative teachings offered by these Mother-Daughter Goddesses, Demeter and Persephone, at the Spring Equinox.

1. New growth and beginnings arise from darkness, death, suffering and wounding.

In many spiritual traditions, spiritual evolution is associated with a rarefied, higher state of consciousness: one becomes enlightened, ascends to a higher frequency, and transcends the human, material condition.

The problem with this conception of spiritual evolution is that it’s elitist, granting spiritual superiority to the very few who can achieve this state of purity. It favors the path of the monk or ascetic who chooses to separate themselves from the complexities and messiness of everyday life. It negates the very substance of our human existence, that we are flesh and blood creatures, living in a material world. And, most importantly, it leaves out the vast majority of us traveling a sincere spiritual path of personal healing and growth in accordance with the dictates of our own soul and life story.

Nature and the Goddess illuminate a very different conception of spiritual evolution.

In Nature, green-growing things arise out of the dark belly of the Earth, nourished by the decay and death of composting soil. The Goddess Persephone comes into Her full maturity and power through her trials and suffering in the Underworld. Persephone’s experiences in the realm of darkness and death are the very makings of Her personal growth and spiritual evolution.

You don’t need to think of spiritual evolution as a rarefied state of enlightenment.  Instead, you can understand and engage your spiritual evolution as a journey of new beginnings and growth that arise out of the darkness, trials, suffering and wounding of your life story. Rather than transcending these inescapable parts of your human experience, you can honor and embrace them as the very things that inform and nourish your journey of evolving into your full maturity and power.

2. Your life story is the vehicle of your spiritual evolution.

In the Fall, Persephone sets out on a journey of discovery and self-determination outside of the circle of Her Mother Demeter’s love and guiding presence. She has Her own, unique, personal experiences in the Underworld, separate from the ways of Her Mother and the sunlit realm She left behind.

This is Persephone’s story, not Her Mother’s, nor the story of any of the other Goddesses in the Greek pantheon.  And it’s the full range of Her life story — with its beginning in the sunlit realm of Her maidenhood and innocence, travels into the depths of the mysteries and trials of the Underworld, and return to the sunlit realm, stepping into a new level of maturity, power and wholeness — that drives Persephone’s personal growth and spiritual evolution.

Your life story, from the moment you are born to your very last breath, is the vehicle of your spiritual evolution. You aren’t here on this Earth to live by the dictates of anyone else’s story, or to become anything other than your true, deep, beautiful Self.

Like Persephone, you must consciously choose to set off on a journey of discovery and self-determination by stepping beyond the people and parts of your life that define and limit you, and descending into the mysteries and trials of your inner darkness. Here you’ll find everything you need — amongst the lost and repressed parts of your Self and life story that hold your beauty, wounding and dormant potential — to guide your new, spring-like beginnings of personal growth and transformation.

This isn’t the work of one season, but of a lifetime of descent into your inner darkness and personal trials, and return to the sunlit world of new beginnings and personal growth.  The journey itself, drawing on the wellspring of your life story, is your spiritual evolution.

3. Equanimity is an essential skill on your journey of spiritual evolution.

Your spiritual evolution is driven by a special kind of transformative magic. Whenever diverse, opposing energies come together, and are held in a state of equanimity, something miraculous happens. Life is reborn in new, fresh ways that are only possible through the potent meeting and mixing of opposites.

Equanimity is your capacity to remain present and open, in a balance and neutral frame of mind and emotional state, no matter what life brings your way. With equanimity, you can face your life’s trials and challenges, and hold the tension of the complex, opposing parts of your Self and life story, with wisdom, love, acceptance and trust.

Nature and the Goddess Persephone illustrate this transformative magic, and the essential role played by equanimity in the miracle of springtime rebirth.

In Spring, Nature reveals a living equanimity where the wild world is reborn through the balanced, harmonious interweaving of the primal, opposing forces of life and light, and darkness and death. When Persephone returns to Her Mother Demeter in Spring, She is reborn into a mature, evolved version of Her Self, whole and holy as the Queen of the Underworld and Goddess of Spring Growth. Persephone demonstrates Her equanimity through a bigness of being that is wise, powerful and loving enough to bridge and balance the divergent worlds of the death-centered Underworld and the life-centered sunlit realm.

This transformative magic equally applies to your spiritual pathwork. Whenever you consciously embrace and engage diverse, opposing parts of your Self and life story with equanimity, the miraculous happens. You heal, grow and evolve in powerful, new directions that can only arise out of the complexities and polarities of the wholeness that is your life.

4. Spiritual evolution is a journey toward wholeness.

In Her Underworld travels, Persephone reclaims the missing half of Her nature. Her maiden side lived in the realm of light and life, but She was incomplete without the part of Her that held the mysteries of the Underworld and Her experiences of death and suffering. Persephone isn’t one thing or another, but a wholeness that contains it all. At the Spring Equinox, it’s Persephone’s wholeness, as the Queen of the Underworld and Goddess of Spring Growth, that reveal Her as a Goddess evolved into Her full maturity and powers.

Nature is this wholeness. It’s an ever-shifting balance and harmony of darkness and death with light and life. With the change of season, one state naturally steps into the foreground as the other recedes, but neither ever totally replaces the other, and both are absolutely essential and interdependent. It’s Nature’s wholeness that gives rise to springtime’s new, green growth.

You are this wholeness. Yet, like Persephone, you have lost connection with parts of your true nature. By seeking out these lost parts of your Self and life story in your inner darkness, and bringing them back to the light of your conscious engagement, you reclaim your innate wholeness woven of the fullness of your Self and life experiences of light and shadow, beauty and wounding, and love and suffering.

This spiritual pathwork of seeking and reclaiming will naturally change and evolve you, deepening your spiritual maturity and power, and granting you a sense of peace and rightness as you live in accordance with the rich, complex wholeness that is your innate, true, beautiful nature.

Photo Credit: Gariele Wright on Unsplash

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Spring Equinox

 

Visual Lifesavers © Jennifer Smith 2008 

 

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
The Incredible, Elemental Egg

We are now between the time of Imbolc, when the fires in the belly quicken and hint at the coming rebirth, and Ostara, when that new birth of Spring occurs and the hibernating potential bursts forth in colorful blossoms and familiar bunnies and chicks.

Then there is the most familiar Egg: the supreme symbol of Ostara, Spring, new life and fertility. Yet it is so much more than that. Eggs have been painted, decorated, preserved, carved, crafted, offered, venerated and used as symbols and in rituals probably from the earliest days of humankind, certainly millennia before they came to be associated with the “borrowed” Easter of modern Christianity.

Eggs are the perfect symbol of life. They are literally life! All creatures begin as eggs in some form or another and all are composed of all four elements, which are perfectly represented by the parts of the egg: the shell is Earth, the membrane is Air, the white is Water, and the yolk is Fire.

It is easy to understand why so many different cosmologies and creation stories feature one or more “cosmic eggs” from which all beings, the world, indeed the whole universe are created. Several deities, such as Atargatis, are also believed to have been born from sacred eggs. Certain magical creatures are born from eggs under strange circumstances, such as the basilisk, which is hatched by a cockerel from a serpent’s egg.

There is the Greek Orphic Egg which hatched the first primordial being who created all the other gods, the Egyptian cosmic egg which birthed the sun god Ra, and the seven duck eggs hatched on the knee of the Finnish goddess Ilmatar, thus creating the various parts of the world.

Interestingly enough, the theory of the cosmic egg has a place in modern cosmological science. Current models suggest that over 13 billion years ago, the mass of all the universe was compressed into a singularity from which it expanded into its current state after the “Big Bang”. Could the Big Bang have been the moment of fertilization for the singular “egg”? The sparking action all life requires to ignite the potential contained in the seed which then expands and grows and even creates subsequent life?

More and more do quantum physics and other cutting-edge “modern” sciences begin to reflect, accept and even prove ideas that have existed in spirituality and mysticism since time immemorial; concepts that have been believed and perhaps truly known long before the advent of the tools and measuring devices mandated by science to verify the existence of anything.  

So how could the egg not be supremely sacred, and how could it not hold the key to the mysteries of all life and creation? Eggs contain life, potential for life, and they contain all the elements. So too then are the elements, from which everything is created, the keys to truth and understanding.

My kitchen altar is very simple and consists of a single candle, a very cute little plush cow with a tiny porcelain teacup and saucer, and a polished, egg-shaped onyx crystal resting in an egg cup. It serves as a focal point and constant reminder of all I have already said about eggs and then some. I can’t sing their praises enough! Particularly in the kitchen, where they are obviously most common. They are delicious, nutritious and wildly versatile.

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The Pregnant Pause after Imbolc
Imbolc has always been one of the cross quarter dates that easily falls under the radar for me, many years I don't realize that it has occured until it has passed and I often have an internal "bad Priestess" cheeky moment when this happens.
 
While the date is elusive and ephemeral for me most years, the time in between Imbolc and the Spring Equinox is not, in fact, it is the sensation of being in this liminal space between winter's end and spring's beginning that usually alerts me to the fact that I have missed the actual sacred day itself.
 
I believe that the time between Imbolc and the Spring Equinox is one of the most important phases on the Wheel of the Year for all of us as a whole. Speaking from my own experience, I have observed and sat each year with the discomfort of waiting, of containing and of consciously allowing light, life and extreme energy to grow within me until the time is ripe and ready for it's entrance into our realm, The discomfort comes from being born into a patriarchal structure that was created during the industrial revolution that has imprinted a conditioned response within me to produce and consume, so much so that the moment I feel an inner stirring my unconscious response is to farm that inner stirring out into the manifested reality, to prostitute it and bleed it dry before it has even had a chance to come to maturation and then to consume some other form of inspiration in hopes of receiving another inner stirring to farm out into the masses.  
 
Years went by where I would do this, become inspired, farm the inspiration out prematurely and then go seeking all over again, it wasn't until I began to work with the Wheel of the Year in a conscious way that I started to notice what was happening, it was then that I began to dive deeper into the practice and discomfort of waiting.
 
Imbolc is a time when the spark of life and inspiration is ignited within the cave of winter's hibernation. It is a head's up that the great rebirthing of spring is just around the corner. The purpose of this time is to both ensure that the slumber, regeneration and wisdom upgrade that has been occurring in winter's hibernation is fully completed by the time spring comes around, (any inner teachings or upgrades that have been happening need to be prepared to come to conclusion relatively soon) as well as an ignition of illumination and understanding around what it is that we are about to incarnate into in the spring. This time is akin to when we stand on the precipice of the fourth dimension with our guides and angels reviewing the blueprint we have laid out before coming back to earth, it is an exciting and exhilarating time of potential and one that is not meant to be rushed, the more time I spend allowing the potency of this time to expand and build the more powerful and free and complete my rebirths on the equinox feel.
 
Two years ago I was pregnant and due on the spring equinox, I had a completely embodied experience of living the Wheel of the Year as the time from Imbolc until my birthing was so full, ripe and tempting to want to rush along. As any woman who has been pregnant knows, those last weeks of pregnancy feel like a lifetime, the weight of the baby, the stretching of the skin, the expansion of the belly, it feels as though you've been pushed beyond the threshold of everything you once were and into a new being who ceases to be comfortable and has forgotten or perhaps given up hope that the birth will ever occur, it seems as though life will remain in this stretched to capacity and uncomfortable state forever. In a world that offers so many medical interventions it is not uncommon for a woman to be tempted to rush the end of pregnancy along with a little artificial aid to speed the process. In my case I had gestational diabetes and for better or worse I trusted the OB's suggestion that I receive a c-section two weeks before my daughter's due date (which was the spring equinox), this decision may have saved my life (the medical details are irrelevant to this article) and it landed my daughter in the NICU, the necessity and/or choice to rush her process into the world was not without consequence.
 
As with pregnancy and with our internal birthing into a new consciousness, following Mother Nature's lead is in our highest good. I remind myself of this as I sit here, bubbling with passion and idea's sprouting up, a sense of restlessness setting in and enthused sparks igniting within my spirit that these idea's and this restlessness is a reminder to stop and to come back to my body and to rise up in consciousness, the voices that chide me for not doing something more at this time of year are down in the basement now, because I have travelled this Wheel many times, I can recognize this familiar discomfort and I can remind myself of the power in sovereignty in waiting. 
 
Imbolc is just that for me, a sacred moment of waiting, a pregnant pause, a deep breath before bursting into the bright, hot light of manifested reality, I do not need to know how this energy will form when it is birthed, nor do I need to control it's process, I need only surrender to it. Imbolc happens when the sun is in the revolutionary sign of Aquarius and ends in the mystical sign of Pisces, this is about a revolution around how I experience inspiration as well as a mystically potent opportunity to be a vessel that ushers in Heaven to Earth, the highest calling a Priestess can own.
 
So, here I sit, fountain gurgling in the background, toddler napping upstairs, nachos waiting to be warmed when I open my eating window, dreaming of the ability to consciously time travel through my life, wondering if I will ever get on stage again, hoping that age will never have the power to steal my dreams away from me and remembering, thanks to this great sacred pause, to expand my greatest desires, to go so far out in my imaginings that truly anything is possible. 
 
Because of the Wheel of the Year I am reborn annually, I am not subject to the laws of aging in the ways that the patriarchal machine would subject me, and I am not subject to the conditioning of said structure either, I am reminded of this as I sit and wait instead of rush and do.
 
May this sacred waiting bless you as deeply as it has blessed me and may we all be gifted with a healthy and fat manifestation baby on our great rebirthing this spring.
 
Grace Be With You,
Priestess of Grace,
Candise Soaring Butterfly 
 
 

 

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(Spring) Cleaning House

The first day of spring is sneaking up fast. Along with the urge to undertake various spring cleaning projects in the homestead, there is also the need for other renewal of a more personal nature. When is the last time you treated yourself to a meditation class, massage, Reiki, or other natural pampering experience? If you are like me and hard-pressed to answer, it is high time you checked yourself in for a treatment. In fact, make a day of it. Inform anyone else who may routinely depend on you that they will simply have to take a number.

When looking to book, it is always a good idea to go by word-of-mouth that you trust for a good experience, particularly when it comes to massage. If you don't already know someone that you trust or who can be referred by someone that you do, at the very least, do some research and read reviews. Once you've got your appointment booked, get a good solid 8-hours of snoozing in the night  before. Likewise, don't indulge in any partying of the hardy kind. You want to truly be able to luxuriate in the experience. If you are about to rid your body of any pent-up toxic energy, you might as well shed as many toxins as possible leading up to it.

On the day of your appointment, don't schedule any other activities. Wake up in a leisurely, unrushed manner. Take the time to do a crossword puzzle or get artsy with an adult coloring book. Enjoy some fair trade coffee or green tea and a light, healthful breakfast, such as fresh mashed avocado on whole grain toast. Garnish with a few red pepper flakes and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. If you want to partake in a little yoga or other low-impact workout before heading out, definitely do so. Listen to some pleasantly relaxing tunes, too.

I realize that some of you may be morning people, but for the optimum experience, I would recommend a mid-day appointment, around noon or one. A good one-hour minimum is a sure bet to enjoy the best possible benefits. Some spas even offer private nap rooms to continue relaxing after your treatment. If there is no nap room available, head home and take that lengthy siesta. Later, enjoy a home-cooked meal and a quiet evening at home. Play some mellow records like Joni Mitchell, Pentangle, or Cat Stevens. Watch activity out the window. Read a good book. Write in a journal. At all costs, unplug and let the hustle and bustle pass you right by. After all, you've earned it. When Monday rolls around again, consider your inner spring batteries fully recharged.

REFERENCES

Photo by marin, from freedigitalphotos.net

https://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/avocado-toast

 

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