The Autumn Equinox ~ Stepping into the power of the dark part of the yearly cycle.
This is the time when the dark, which has been growing, is in balance with the light. We are grateful for the Harvest, but we also know that Life is waning.
This is time of year when Persephone descends to the Underworld to access her deep wisdom and compassion in caring for the dead. It is the time of her mother Demeter’s grief and sorrow, and with her we weep for our losses.
This year, Mabon, or the Autumn Equinox, is especially meaningful for me. In the past few months I have gone through losses due to an autoimmune disease signaled by a medical emergency in May. Since then, I have not posted much, because I have been resting, regaining strength by walking, and most difficult, getting used to my new life. Some days are good, others are not so good. Until I wake in the morning, I do not know whether I’ll be incapacitated by fatigue, or whether I’ll be able to do some work or visit a friend.
Some days I feel that life is indeed waning. This Equinox I enter the underworld of chronic illness and seek whatever wisdom I am able to glean from this dark place. Certainly I am learning much about patience, loss, compassion, and stepping into my power as I deal with the medical community. The dark also feels womb-like at times, and I can even appreciate how this hermit-life may suit me. This is a perfect time of year for introspection, for seeking wisdom.
Will you be descending to the underworld this Autumn?
Bittersweet berries, from the vine on my front porch.
Beautiful! But they have their shadow side. Bittersweet is an invasive plant. It is work to keep it out of flower beds, and it tends to climb trees. That’s its nature.
So we wore crowns of bittersweet, and we thought about the shadow parts of our own natures; we can be bitter; we can be sweet. It seemed a good way to celebrate our Autumn Equinox.
What fruits will we let fall this season? What will rest in the earth (or in our hearts) over the cold months of winter, to then sprout, transformed, in the springtime?
The Factionist/via Flickr
Today on an NPR blog I read about a symposium (at Concordia College in Minnesota) regarding “re-enchantment.” The posting caught my eye because “re-enchantment” is one of my forms of sacred play.
From the College’s website:
Awakening to Wonder: Re-enchantment in a Post-Secular Age
The symposium will explore the role of wonder in today’s world by asking such questions as:
- What role does wonder play in popular culture, including literature, movies, and games, and what is the significance of the current attention to wonder and mystery in these areas?
- What place does wonder have within the intellectual vocation of making sense of the world?
- Can reason and wonder coexist, or are they in serious conflict with one another?
- How and why is the place of religion changing in the contemporary world?
- Do such changes in religion involve changes in our sense of the world as a locus of wonder?
- What are the experiences writers in a wide range of fields of study have in mind when they speak of re-enchantment?
- Do shared experiences of wonder represent a common ground where people of different faiths, cultures, and academic disciplines might meet, understand and appreciate each other, or explore solutions to problems they have in common?
How I wish I could have attended! A post-secular age. The rebirth of wonder.
At this time of year, when the green melts away from the tree leaves, leaving on display the reds and golds; when the air has that delicious crispness in the morning; when the pace of summer activities has slowed; when I feel myself beginning to be drawn inward ~ the story-spinning part of me begins to awaken, and of course it whispers of inner and far-out worlds. My fingers itch to create masks and otherworldly garments, all in the service of re-enchantment, at a time on the wheel of the year when the earth appears to be falling into a doze.
Awaken! We need new, more expansive ways of understanding the world and our places within it. May our common ground in experiences of wonder lead to many stories, works of imagination, and the enchantment that will empower our creative connections to this amazing planet, and with one another.