The Equinox has Arrived

Today marks the autumnal equinox in the northern hemisphere and spring equinox in the south. The equinox marks a time of transition as we move from one season to the next.

This morning our Sun rose directly in the east and tonight it will set due west.  Day and night approach equal length at the equinox as well. This is a time of natural balance.

Take a moment to pause and honor Mother Earth and Father Sky for their sacred dance of light and dark, autumn and spring, yin and yang.  Light a candle in the dark and express your gratitude for the abundance of our sacred planet. Bless the energy of life that pulses both without and within you.

“…Wherever we find ourselves on the spectrum, it is the time of balancing the dark and the light. In the Northern hemisphere, as the days get shorter and the outer light recedes, we move inward to kindle our inner light. In the Southern Hemisphere, as the days grow longer, we we move our way back into the world and bring out our inner light to share with the world.

Everything in nature is constantly giving and receiving. This balance is essential, and it is part of the expressive energies of yin and yang that we are re-balancing as a collective…”

Excerpt from Mysticmamma

Celebrate Harvest

The Corn Harvest by Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Now is the time of first harvest in the Northern Hemisphere. Traditionally, our ancestors held festivals at this time of year to celebrate the bounty that Mother Earth and Father Sun create.

Take a few moments to pause and take stock of everything you have accomplished and “harvested” in your life this year. Offer thanks to our Earth and Sun for the life they offer us all.

Celt Mara Freeman shares insights about harvest time below:

It’s high summer – time to celebrate the old Celtic festival known as Lughnasadh in Ireland and Lammas in Britain – the traditional time of pilgrimage in the northern Celtic lands where for centuries people have rejoiced in the endless light-filled days by climbing sacred hills, drinking at holy wells, or voyaging to green islands set like jewels in a sunlit sea.

As we pause in our labours, celebrate the warm weather and enjoy the fruits of our daily work, we have an opportunity to take stock of what the seasons so far have yielded: to reflect upon our hopes and dreams that were sown in the dawn of the year, came to life in the springtime, and are now maybe ready to bear fruit. On the spiritual level, we can ask ourselves what wisdom we have garnered so far this year: What will be the harvest of our souls?

For as the wheel turns, the life-giving triumph of the harvest must give way to death, reminding us that nothing stands still, and that on the human level, for whatever is gained in our lives, there must be an equal giving-away, a sacrifice, so that cosmic balance and order can be maintained. 

~Mara Freeman, Chalice Centre

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And The Shamanic Astrology Mystery School shares details about the astronomical and astrological significance of early August:

Lughnassadh  (pronounced Loo-nuh-suh) refers to harvest and victory and is usually celebrated on August 1 or 2 but the actual zodiacal cross-quarter is August 7 when the Sun reaches 15 Leo.

In 2018 on August 7 the Sun is within a couple of degrees of Retrograde Mercury at 17 Leo adding to this unusual Cross-Quarter Time.

The August Cross-Quarter marks the half-way point between the June Solstice and the September Equinox – an in-between time for gaining insight and/or inspiration. Said another way this is excellent time for divination, meditation, journeying and connecting with other forms of guidance.

~Cayelin Castell, Shamanic AstrologyMystery School

Celebrate Life

Today is Beltane in the northern hemisphere.  Celebrate the dance of Life!

All around us, yin and yang, male and female dance and merge to create the new life that is springing forth all around us.

☾☽

#NaturalMagic

Spring!

 

Yahoo!
The equinox today signals the start of spring in the northern hemisphere!

Please join us in celebrating this seasonal turning toward life and new growth. Pause and express your gratitude to Mother Nature for the return of spring.

#HappySpring
#NewGrowth

Imbolc 2018

Blessed Imbolc has arrived!

Imbolc actually means “in the belly”.  It refers to an ancient Celtic celebration that was held in the early days of February. This is the time in the northern hemisphere when ewe bellies are fattening with the new life growing within. We are halfway between winter solstice and spring equinox. The wheel of the year has officially turned toward spring!

For more information, please check out Nancy’s 2017 article on Imbolc:

Turning Towards Spring

The In-Between Time of Samhain

The In-Between

Certain times in our lives are filled with potency and magic. Twilight is such a time, as is dawn. These are magical moments when it is neither day nor night. Birth is another potent in-between time, along with death. These special times mark borders and transition zones. The in-between is a sacred time when magic is afoot.

Here in the northern hemisphere, we find ourselves on the boundary between autumn and winter. The light is slowly fading away as our Sun drops lower and lower in the sky and our nights grow longer. This is another potent in-between time. The ancient Celtic people would celebrate Samhain (Sow-in) at this time.  Some tribes chose to celebrate at the 1st new moon after late harvest (October 19th this year). Other tribes celebrated at the 1st full moon after harvest (November 3rd this year). The celebration of Samhain was a beautiful way to honor the seasonal  transition out of the light and into the dark.

The veils between the worlds grow very thin during this sacred in-between time.  Loved ones who have departed this Earth are believed to be nearby. Many people in Mexico honor this by celebrating Dia de los Muertos  (Day of the Dead) at this time.

Samhain is the perfect time to acknowledge and celebrate the sacred cycles of birth – growth – death – rebirth that are an integral part of Nature.

Some suggestions for acknowledging and honoring the magical in-between time of Samhain:

Take a few moments to honor everything you have “harvested” this year.

Bow to your ancestors and thank them for giving you this life.

Offer love and prayers to loved ones who have transitioned.

Thank the brilliant light of summer and embrace the deep dark of winter.

Listen for spiritual guidance to help you in the coming year.

Celebrate the Magic of Samhain.

Autumn Begins with Balance

Today is the autumnal equinox.  Autumn has officially arrived.

An equinox is the moment in which Earth’s equator lines up perfectly with the center of our Sun’s disk. This occurs only twice each year, in March and September.

At the time of an equinox, our Sun rises directly in the east and sets directly in the west. Day and night are precisely equal at the equator — and very close to equal everywhere else on the globe.

Metaphysical thoughts on the equinox from MysticMamma:

Symbolically, it can be viewed as the point when day meets night, where opposites meet on equal ground, where we can integrate the duality within the oneness of existence.
The ancients, who knew themselves to be at one with the Earth, honored these planetary shifts as important reflections of life. As above so below, As within, so without.
This eternal medicine reminds us of the equanimity necessary to reconcile opposites…

 

Thoughts on equanimity and balance from BuddhaNet:

Equanimity is a perfect, unshakable balance of mind, rooted in insight. Looking at the world around us, and looking into our own heart, we see clearly how difficult it is to attain and maintain balance of mind.

Looking into life we notice how it continually moves between contrasts: rise and fall, success and failure, loss and gain, honour and blame. We feel how our heart responds to all this happiness and sorrow, delight and despair, disappointment and satisfaction, hope and fear. These waves of emotion carry us up and fling us down; and no sooner do we find rest, than we are in the power of a new wave again. How can we expect to get a footing on the crest of the waves? How shall we erect the building of our lives in the midst of this ever restless ocean of existence, if not on the Island of Equanimity.

A world where that little share of happiness allotted to beings is mostly secured after many disappointments, failures and defeats; a world where only the courage to start anew, again and again, promises success; a world where scanty joy grows amidst sickness, separation and death; a world where beings who were a short while ago connected with us by sympathetic joy, are at the next moment in want of our compassion – such a world needs equanimity…

Spend a few moments meditating with Mama Earth today. May she help you find your sense of balance and equanimity in the midst of all the waves of change and chaos.

Harvest Cross-Quarter

Temple of Goddess Arinna    Image: Bernard Gagnon

In a few days, Earth’s northern hemisphere will reach the halfway point between summer solstice and autumn equinox.  This is one of four “cross-quarter” days that occur in our solar year.

Many of our ancestors celebrated the start of harvest on this particular cross-quarter day. The Celtic people of the British Isles paid homage to the Sun God Lugh at this time. But long before Lugh was known, Arinna was worshiped by the ancient tribes  living in the region that is now Turkey (1400 BCE).  The Solar Goddess Arinna was their main deity. Her consort was the weather god, Teshub. 

I love what Cayelin Castell has to say about worship of the Solar Goddess:

“Before the patriarchy this Cross-Quarter celebrated the Sun Goddess thanking her for the abundance of the ripened grain. As the Solar Feminine was diminished during patriarchal times this festival celebrated the Sun God. The Irish called him Lugh (Light). Lugh’s festival focused on celebrating the skills of the warrior and the craftsmen with less emphasis on the ripened grain or bounty of the mother as a gift from the Solar Feminine.

It is true that the Solar Feminine is returning to our awareness in many ways now. So it seems appropriate that the cross-quarter points are a time for remembering the original Solar Feminine festivals and their intent.

  • The February Cross-Quarter celebrated the Mother’s (Solar Feminine) power to give life including the life giving light of the lengthening days.
  • The May Cross-Quarter celebrated the Solar Feminine in her passion for intimate pleasure and the beauty of life in great abundance.

The August Cross-Quarter celebrated the Solar Feminine for her abundant life giving gifts of Food and sustenance for the coming winter season .

  • The November Cross-Quarter celebrated the Solar Feminine power to live through death and be reborn to a new life.

The returning strength and power of the Solar Feminine is a reminder to honor and celebrate the gifts of life-giving nourishment that we all enjoy. If you feel inspired by this you might use the first week of August as a time to give daily gratitude for the Earth and all that she gives us everyday.

At the Turning of the Ages we might ask: What are the new emerging ceremonies and celebrations that are relevant now?” ~Cayelin Castell