SPRING EQUINOX BLESSINGS

BLESSINGS OF SPRING EQUINOX

We stand at the Gateway of Spring. Dark and Light are momentarily balanced. After Spring Equinox, every day is brighter than the one before as Earth blossoms into Spring.

At Wanderland, the forest has turned a psychedelic green– the closest I can come in naming it is Chartreuse, but it glows, so it almost looks gold. For a moment I think there is something wrong with my eyes. But no, it is the forest coming back to life. Along the trail, a hill of trilliums pushes through the moss. They are the sacred Lily of this forest, glowing white, tri-petaled, beloved of the goddess.

Today, as the forest glows around me, I know that Kore, the World Soul, has once more returned, and we are in a new Season of growth. I am grateful to see another Spring. My heart gladdens as old friends reappear: skunk cabbage, colts foot, oxalis, huckleberry, trillium…A miracle of rebirth everywhere, a forest coming alive again after a winter down under.

As a way of celebrating this new birthing, take time to walk on the Earth. As you walk, greet returning plants, new growth, new blooming. Welcome them back, See their Beauty. Offer them thanks. Then sit in silence and allow this energy of new growth to fill you. What is unfurling in you? What are you dreaming into form? Record this in words or images on a quarter sheet of paper. Roll the paper into a scroll, tie with ribbon and hang outside to receive the blessing of sun, wind, and rain.

Traditional Chant to the Goddess Kore

Her name cannot be spoken,

Her face was not forgotten,

Her power is to open,

Her promise can never be broken.

All sleeping seeds She wakens

The rainbow is Her token

Now winter’s power is taken,

In love all chains are broken.

All seeds She deeply buries,

She weaves the thread of seasons

Her secret, darkness carries.

She loves beyond all reason.

She changes everything She touches, and

Everything She touches, changes.

Change is, touch is. Touch is, change is.

Change us! Touch us! Touch us! Change us!

Everything lost is found again,

In a new form. In a new way.

Everything hurt is healed again.

In a new life, In a new day

Kore Chant

Her name cannot be spoken,

Her face was not forgotten,

Her power is to open,

Her promise can never be broken.

All sleeping seeds She wakens

The rainbow is Her token

Now winter’s power is taken,

In love all chains are broken.

All seeds She deeply buries,

She weaves the thread of seasons

Her secret, darkness carries.

She loves beyond all reason.

She changes everything She touches, and

Everything She touches, changes.

Change is, touch is. Touch is, change is.

Change us! Touch us! Touch us! Change us!

Everything lost is found again,

In a new form. In a new way.

Everything hurt is healed again.

In a new life, In a new day

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THE HOLY DAY OF IMBOLC

FEBRUARY 1

MID WINTER HOLY DAY—IMBOLC

If you listen deeply, you may hear the Quickening– for this is the time when darkness begins to recede and new life stirs within the Earth. As the light grows, so does the stirring within —who, what, and how will you become? What shadows need illumination ? What desire needs a bit more light to be seen clearly? What quality has dimmed and needs brightening? Now is the time to shed the Dark, and renew your inner flame.

In Celtic Lore, the Fire Goddess, Brigid, is honored at this time. It is at her sacred well that you purify your heart and let go of the darkness that weighs upon you. It is her Holy Flame that ignites the spark within you and gives rise to your creativity.

On this day as Earth begins to awaken, we join an ancient tradition: as we Bless the Earth with Fertility and Life, we call on the Light to illuminate our own unique creativity and growth. There is much Darkness to shed. But as Amanda Gorman so eloquently says: “The new dawn balloons as we see it; for there is always light if only we are brave enough to SEE it; if only we are brave enough to BE it.”

RITUAL FORMING A PRAYER: On your alter, place a bowl of pure water, and light a candle as Brigid’s Holy Flame: “Brigid, goddess immortal, most blessed, I light this candle in fiery offering to you.” Smudge and purify yourself. Take two small sticks and weave them together in a cross. As you weave, think of the four points of the cross as the Elementals—Earth, Air, Fire, Water. In their movement and mixing they create Life. As you weave the sticks together, see the center as your growing self. Allow a prayer to emerge. Here is my prayer: “Let my Heart be pure; let me grow towards the Light.”

Closing: Most Blessed Brigid, Living Light, Bright Arrow, Sudden Blaze, Goddess of the sun and of the Eternal fire, I guard your Flame.”

Hang your prayer in a sacred place. (If you like, see the internet for instructions on how to make a traditional “Brigid’s Cross”)

 

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WINTER SOLSTICE REFLECTIONS

REFLECTIONS ON THE WINTER SOLSTICE

“Faith sees most clearly in the Dark”

In the darkness a storm roars through the forest– trees dancing, bend with the wind. We approach the Winter Solstice, the darkest time of the year. But this year, no alter is lit for a circle ceremony. The Heavens, however, will be lit by a “star”–a rare conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, which some say may have been the star that guided the way to Bethlehem so long ago. May it once again signal a new birth—a birth of Hope.

The Winter Solstice is called “the Turning”; from this night on, the sun returns—longer each day—and begins the gradual awakening of new life. The Earth’s cycles and the oldest Wisdom teaches that Light is born from the deepest Dark. It has been a difficult year—in so many ways a year of darkness. In the small community where I live, this difficulty was transformed into many acts of kindness, into many creative projects to help each other. And there is Hope on the horizon.

I was moved to tears yesterday by a recorded conversation between our newly elected President and a young activist dying from ALS. It was December 18, the day that split the President’s heart open to profound grief and the young activist’s birthday as well. “Faith sees most clearly in the Dark,” the President said, quoting Kierkegaard, but speaking the heart felt Truth of his own experience. The young man spoke of how his purpose and his voice had become clearer as his body was dying.

Ancient Wisdom teaches that walking in the light which emanates from darkness is the key to healing. This is a childlike place. Receiving– and open to experience. There is love at the heart of every moment, Faith is the belief that all will transpire as it must as the cosmos unfolds. We walk in Gratitude for the Beauty that surrounds us.

From darkness comes the light

Out of our blindness, sight

Let shadows now take flight!

Now at the holy hour

The word of power is spoken,

And night is broken.

The year shall cycle round,

The cold earth be unbound,

All that was lost be found!

Now at the holy hour

The word of power is spoken

The ice is broken.

When loss is turned to gain

By joy transforming pain,

Shall sorrow strive in vain!

Now at the holy hour

The word of power is spoken

And death is broken.

The blessed tidings bring

From winter cometh spring,

This is the truth we sing!

Now at the holy hour

The word of power is spoken

And fear is broken.

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HONORING HALLOWMAS

HONORING THE HOLY DAY OF HALLOWMAS (SAMHAIN)

Saturday, October 31

May you be like the moon; Undone and remade a thousand times; Always returning home to your opening heart.

In the forest, Earth is changing. Waters are singing. Alder leaves drift in the wind and pattern the damp earth. Darkness and cold increase and the green force dies back as the strength of all that is returns to its inner source. We, too, return to our core, listening deeply.

Hallows” means threshing floor, where the wheat was separated from the chaff, where we let go of what is no longer needed for our growth. Something dies. Something new begins. For the Celts, this Holy Day was the Shining Portal of Winter and marked the passage into the New Year.

REFLECTION FOR THIS HOLY DAY What are you shedding at this time? What no longer serves you in your growth? Using the elements of fire or water, name and release what it is you are letting go.

DWELL WITH THIS INTENTION:

Do not fear change. Change is the mystery at the ore of evolution. We consciously and willingly break open. We break open to love again and again. Moving through forms and layers and levels of loving break us open again and again even as we let go of love again and again. With each passing from of loving we learn to transcend smallness. We learn to cast off too small form of loving as we cast off old skins. All that is lost is a form grown too small.

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On Fall Equinox Morning

On Fall Equinox Morning

The smoke has cleared.

The air smells sweet

forest bathed in rain and sun.

 

I walked in the garden

(with one walking stick!)

Try not to see only what is out of control

what you would do

if you were able,”

I told myself.

 

The plants are aglow with green.

They can not help themselves

so full of life are they.

Suddenly, I am drenched

in green

in Beauty

In aliveness

I am still here!”

Earth said.

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