As Equinox Approaches…

 

“Stars, hide your fires; Let not light see my black and deep desires.”                              — William Shakespeare

It occurs to me that we, as human beings, are all some combination of light and darkness. The task is to balance the two, without letting either one have the greater power. Too much darkness will engulf us into the depths of fear and depression. Too much light will make us blind.

The light is active, warm, affirming and life-giving, but excessive sun will give us sunstroke. The night is silent, contemplative and restorative, but too much darkness will cause inertia.

At no time of year are these truths more evident than at Equinox, when light and darkness occupy an equal number of hours in one day.

The light and darkness can also be compared to personalities. Somewhere along the line, darkness got a bad rap. This of course, is vastly unfair. It is true that no one likes “morbid Morticia”. She is rude, harsh, abrupt, maybe revealing a bit too much of the cold, hard truth.

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However, the sugar coated “positive Pollyanna” can grate on our nerves as well. She is too happy. We are jealous. Who lives in a 24 hour sunshine? We want revenge!  Can she be for real?

(You know the types 🙂 )

Think whatever you want about morbid Morticia, but she has some wicked, hidden secrets to reveal. Are you interested? Of course you are! She is the night, the wisdom, the no-holds-barred exposure of the soul. Positive Pollyanna can keep these harsh truths in perspective. She is the illumination, the goodness and the gentleness, forever reminding us of our light within. We need both of them.

“To light a candle is to cast a shadow.” — Ursula Le Guin

There is an ancient Taoist belief that all of nature is a reflection of humanity, and vice-versa. We humans are more like the elements of nature than we might suspect.  Our life cycles stand parallel to those of plants and flowers, going through the same phases of Maiden, Mother and Crone. Therefore, if we seek to heal anything within ourselves, we need only look to nature for the solution.

In the northern hemisphere, we now greet Autumn. We gather our harvest, embrace the last glimpse of summer and prepare for the darkness to come. In the southern hemisphere, we greet Spring. We begin planting, kiss the night goodbye and prepare for the long, fair days to come.

Both are important for our well being. Both are important for the well being of our planet.

At this Equinox, take some time to reflect on and embrace both the darkness and the light within yourself.  Blessed be!

light and dark

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Happy Imbolc

 

february-flowers

Although they are still mired in winter snow, the flowers long to speak out. As Imbolc dawns, they tilt their heads forward, eager to spread their scent across the land.  The goddess Brigid blesses all and leads us to the purity of spring.  As winter slowly breaks, Brigid will be reunited with her lover the Sun King.

Imbolc

‘Lara’s Theme’ from the movie ‘Dr. Zhivago’ seems to me the perfect song for Imbolc. Lovers Yuri and Lara are separated in the frigid winter of the Russian revolution. Much like Brigid and the Sun King, they wait for a time they will be reunited. Yuri, who is a poet as well as a doctor, writes this letter to Lara:

“Somewhere. my love, there will be songs to sing. Although the snow covers the hope of spring. Someday, we’ll meet again my love. Someday, whenever the spring breaks through. You’ll come to me, out of the long ago. Warm as the wind, soft as the kiss of snow.”

Based on the 1957 novel by  Boris Pasternak,  ‘Dr. Zhivago’ was made into a movie in 1965. It starred Omar Sharif and Julie Christie. If you have not yet seen this gem, I highly recommend it! It is the very embodiment of love, longing and political servitude.  (Not to mention waiting for the spring thaw!)

zhivago

The song is performed here by Andre Rieu. Hope you like it!  Have a magical Imbolc.

 

 

 

An Invitation at Beltane

 

diamond_sky_by_yuumei-d6ndqbd

Will you follow me                                                                                                                                                         Into these diamond skies?                                                                                                                          Breathing air of lilac as the                                                                                                                              Beltane fires rise

 

Will you follow me                                                                                                                                                  Into this thunder clap?                                                                                                                                           April rain ensuing and the                                                                                                                                   Aries sun entrapped

Rain-And-Rainbow-Desktop-Wallpaper-1024x640

Will you take a look                                                                                                                                                Into this  glint of spring?                                                                                                                          Mushrooms sprouting rampant in a                                                                                                                    Faery circle ring

mushroom

 

 

But if you follow me                                                                                                                                          Things will never be the same.                                                                                                                        Whole soul  transformations and                                                                                                                      You’ll scarce know whence you came.

If take this route                                                                                                                                                   You’ll be vapid and confused.                                                                                                                        Journey down a rabbit’s hole                                                                                                                                   Be challenged and abused.

Opening your mind                                                                                                                                              You’ll be senseless and distraught                                                                                                                   Garrulous and punchy and                                                                                                                               Forget all you’ve been taught.

If you dare the risk                                                                                                                                     Life has never been so true                                                                                                                                       A mesh of  flesh and color like                                                                                                                               An artist palette  hue.

 

If you share this path                                                                                                                                             Love will show you all its parts                                                                                                                             Connected and perfected in                                                                                                                                     The opening of hearts.

fairy collage

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poem of the Day: in Just – by e e cummings

steampunk_nymphs_and_satyr_by_k1ow3

 

in Just-

spring          when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman
whistles          far          and wee
and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it’s
color-mables
spring
when the world is puddle-wonderful
the queer
old balloonman whistles
far          and             wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing
from hop-scotch and jump-rope and
hopscotch
it’s
spring

and

         the
                  goat-footed
balloonMan          whistles
far
and
wee
pan

 

About the author:e e cummings never bothered capitalizing his own name.  He even legally changed it to use lower case letters, as he often did in his poetry.  Born Edward Estlin Cummings ( 1894 – 1962)  he was an American poet,  painter, author and playwright.

He was a decided Bohemian who did time in the salons of 1920’s Paris, no stranger to the likes of  Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound  and Picasso.  He was also  a right wing Republican who, back home in the U.S. A.,  supported Red-Scare senator Joseph McCarthy in  1950’s anti-Communist campaigns.  His work was influenced by Dada, Surrealism, Transcendentalism and experimentation of all kinds.

 in Just –  was first published in May, 1920.  Some say this poem is about little kids playing marbles, some say it is about puberty and sexual awakenings. Well now. You decide  🙂

goat_footed_balloon_man

 Happy Poetry Month!

Celebrating Ostara

The very name sounds romantic, doesn’t it? It slips across the lips, sizzles the teeth, makes a guttural R in the throat. It conjures visions of stars and wistful moonlit nights.  Oh. Star.  Oh, star, ahhhh.   Indeed, spring is a good season for star gazing as the nights get warmer and the constellations clearer.

a starry night

Ostara is the official Pagan name for the vernal equinox.  It marks a 24 hour period when the earth’s angle is tilted to receive equal parts of sunlight and darkness, usually around March 20-23rd.   Ostara was first celebrated among ancient Germanic Pagans.  It is a feast that honors the goddess Eostre  who rules growth and fertility.

demeter1

The names Ostara and Eostre might sound suspiciously like the Christian holiday Easter, also celebrated at this time of year.  No coincidence there.  In Christian faith, Easter signifies the day in which Jesus rose from the dead, leaving his tomb rolled open — and empty — to the astonished Mary Magdalene, who was, btw, the only one brave enough to visit her rabbi’s grave.  Easter therefore is a celebration of life everlasting.

Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene--Olsen

The name ‘Easter’ is attributed to Saint Bede the Venerable, a 6th century Christian monk.  Bede was a great scholar who wrote many spiritual treatises.  He was also an expert in chronology and developed a method of dating events relative to Christ’s birth (A.D. and B.C.)   Saint Bede the Venerable is thought to have anglicized the name ‘Easter’ from its original Eostre or Ostara.

 

Easter Sunday  is always celebrated in the spring, but the date changes.  Ever wonder how this is determined? There is a pattern to it. If you check the calendar you will see that   Easter always falls on the Sunday following the first full moon after the vernal equinox.  In this year of 2016, for example, the vernal equinox will occur on March 20th, the moon will be full on March 23rd,  and Easter Sunday will occur on March 27th.  See how that works?  It’s the same every year, and has been since the Middle Ages.

Legend has it that Jesus pondered his fate of crucifixion in the Garden of Gethsemane under a full moon, on a Thursday night (Holy Thursday) after the vernal equinox.  He was crucified the next day (Good Friday) and rose from the dead on that Sunday.

Ted-Neeley---´Jesus-Christ-Superstar´

 

Moving on to chocolate!  Ever wonder where we got those traditions of chocolate bunnies and marshmallow peeps?

chocolate-bunny-with-flower

 

No, not just to give the candy industry extra business,  although it is a great marketing tool.  They are actually symbols traditionally associated with the goddess Eostre;  eggs, chicks and rabbits (yes, for fertility.)  Eostre is also associated with early blooming flowers such as daffodils, jonquils, lilies and tulips.

ostara 1

 

In modern times, it is essential, necessary and fun to celebrate Ostara!  Growth and fertility are the building blocks of human life.  There are several things we can do to honor this special time:

  • Plant a garden, or use starter seeds indoors which can later be transported as the weather gets warmer.
  • Dye and decorate eggs. Use pastels, the colors of the rainbow  🙂

colored-eggs-in-easter-basket

  • Decorate your home with sweet smelling lilies and bright flowers.
  • Be friendly to your local rabbits. Feed them carrots and spring greens.  While you are at it, save some for yourself.  Replenish your body with vitamin A and C.
  • Take a walk in the woods, mountains, beach or local park.  Get in touch with Mother Nature.
  • Bird watch. You’d be surprised at the amazing things robins are doing these days.
  • Eat chocolate bunnies!  Chocolate is full of the chemical compound  phenylethylamine  which releases feel-good endorphins.  Dark chocolate can improve heart and brain function.
  • Oh, and most importantly! Make love not war  🙂

forest lovers

Have a Blessed Ostara.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ostara Sonnet

ostara 1

Ostara goddess Eostre rules the dance

She  tends her lovers’  hopes in red clay earth

The witches’ turning wheel reveals the chance

To bring the flesh explosion love and birth

spring witch

Before the dawn, desire awakens lust

The moon is full and washes silver land

His kiss is pure in perfect tender trust

Her tulips parted in his gentle hand

 

 

The spring is brilliant crystal morning dew

His gifted fingers digging to her flesh

His seed is passion pushing rich and true

And in that wave of glory do they mesh

Pan_and_Selene

A bounding leap of rabbits through the grass

Connecting carnal,  every lad and lass.

eostre 1