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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in spring

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Spring Equinox

Spring Equinox

The Return of spring, time of holy equality. The landscape is still winter-rough and wind-blown. Walk outside and feel the raw possibility. The world is made of stories, and we need to change the narrative. 

Poised in the season's symmetry, ask: what does another world look like? 

The anxieties hover—climate change, nuclear holocaust, environmental devastation—but let us not stress only existential apocalyptic tales. How de we stop devouring the planet and instead energize stories of plenty and repair?

From the ballast of balance, begin to notice The Commons, that entire life support system that we hold in trust for future beings. Envision a healing parallel economy producing air, diversity, wilderness, asking only respect in return. Collect bits of wind-blown trash for a day. Gather in community, sharing the common wealth.

Remember that the root word for "religion" is "re-linking"; when we speak in the language of longing, we re-enter the mystery. 

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Expanding the Sisterhood Grid © Qutress 2017 

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Find Your Elemental Tribe

Spring is, in my opinion, the best time of year to really connect with nature, the elements, and elementals. Everything is coming back to life and is fresh and new. 

Fire, the first element and initiating spark and spirit of all life makes its vibrant, solar return in spring and continues to gain strength and heat until the peak at midsummer. Fire burns, water flows and rains down, the fragrant air stirs and the earth bears new growth. All the elements have returned in all their glory. 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Flower Carol

The famous anthology Piae Cantiones (“Pious Songs”) was published in 1582, but the songs and tunes that it contains are thoroughly medieval. Among the collection's Latin hymns are to be found a number of songs that are, shall we say, differently pious. Probably the best-known of these “secular” anthems is the famous Tempus Adest Floridum, (“It is the time of flowering”), which was to provide the tune for that most vapid of English carols, Good King Wenceslaus.

I've seen several singable English translations from the original Latin text, nearly all of them unbearably clunky. (“Herb and plant that, winter-long, slumbered at their leisure/Now reviving, green and strong, find in growth their pleasure.” Groan.) Here's mine, which is not so much a translation as, let us say, a fantasia on the original text. If I may say so myself, it captures the expansive spirit of the original much better than any of the more literal renderings.

The little Latin hymn to the Goddess of Love which concludes the song is not part of the original; it comes from that other famous anthology of medieval Latin verse Carmina Burana, on which “20th” century composer Carl Orff based his famous pagan oratorio of the same name. Joel Cohen attached it to the version of Tempus Adest Floridum in the Boston Camerata's recording of songs from the Carmina Burana (by the way, that's CAR-min-ah, not car-MEEN-ah) to their original tunes. I liked the addition so much that I've included it here. I've also chosen to leave it untranslated; it would be impossible (for me, anyway) to create an English text as profound in its beautiful simplicity as the original. I have, however, included a literal translation so that you can know what you're singing.

This one would be appropriate for either Ostara or Beltane, or any time in between!

 

The Flower Carol

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  • Chris Sherbak
    Chris Sherbak says #
    I cherish my copy of your Solstice songs - and I'll just add this along. Thank you!!

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Celebrating the seasonal plants

Key moments in the lives of plants do not always tie in to the standard eight festivals. Yes, the snowdrops flower at Imbolc and hawthorn blooms around Beltain and the grain is generally ripe for Lugnasadh, but these are just a few plants. Many other plants come into their own at other times in the year. A real relationship with the plant life of the UK calls for more attention than just festival plants. If you are not in the UK, your seasonal plants will be different and I think it’s really important to engage with what’s around you, not what comes from the history of the festival.

One of my favourite April wildflowers is the Kingcup – they tend to bloom once it starts feeling warm and springish. Large, exuberant yellow flowers, often occurring in great profusion.  Kingcups favour damp places, canal edges, riverbanks, ponds and streams.

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Posted by on in Signs & Portents
Spring, Spring Has Come!

Greetings all, readers! It is finally the Spring Equinox, also known in Germanic traditions as Ostara (from which the name Easter derives, though not the holiday). Either regarded as the start of spring or its midpoint, the Spring Equinox is widely regarded around the world as an important occasion for when the days begin to grow longer than the nights and the natural world begins to blossom in full.

As we always do we’ve gathered all of our related posts as well as those from around the internet we thought you might enjoy . We hope you have a great time this spring!

-Aryós Héngwis

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  • Arwen Lynch
    Arwen Lynch says #
    What a great list! Thanks for doing this.
  • Aryós Héngwis
    Aryós Héngwis says #
    You're welcome, Arwen!

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
An Ostara Birthday

Every Spring Equinox, I have to admit I feel lucky. The sun has officially entered my astrological sign of Aries, and I feel a surge of newfound energy and confidence. Technically I wasn’t due to make an appearance until early April, closer to my dad’s birthday. But eager little me, I couldn’t wait. I got a kick out of my mom later telling me that she nibbled on jellybeans as she started to go into labor early at my grandmother’s house in Oshkosh. Because of all of these things, this time of year fills me with a renewed sense of hope and strong purpose. I start to review personal goals for the year and make notes about what can be realistically accomplished. It’s also a perfect opportunity to try something out that I’ve been meaning to, in celebration of new beginnings and my birthday on March 23rd. Here are some samplings of adventures I’ve embarked on that I would highly encourage for anyone restless with those first stirrings of spring:

Go to one of those paint/wine studios. Whether you’re artistically inclined, curious, or been meaning to get back to it, this is a great experience. Leave your inhibitions at the door and give yourself permission to indulge your creative side. Lots of these places play fun music in the background while you paint and are pretty informal. Grab a like-minded pal and share a bottle of wine as you aspire to be the next Dali or Picasso.

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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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