SPRING EQUINOX is a point of balance, when day and night are equal length all over the world and we stand at the meeting point of the watery, inner-world spirit of Pisces with the the fire driven, active outward energy of Aries. The cycle of the astrological year begins again here, inviting us to shake off the winter journey of healing and launch ourselves into a time of growth and creativity, rebirth ourselves into the world.
For three months since the winter solstice the natural flow has been inward and downward, taking us into our roots and hidden, often hurting, parts. If we run with this flow great opportunity for healing and renewal are there in the underworld for us. If we resist the inward pull, try to keep up the same pace of life we enjoy at other times of year, chances are nature knocks us down, we get sick, drop out of the daily routine and to some extent the healing work is forced upon us.
At the equinox point of balance we can prepare ourselves for the active period by consciously balancing the polarities within us, especially the energy of the rational, analytical mind with our intuitive, instinctive natural wisdom. We might do this through drawing or other creative activity, taking time to listen within to our inner guidance, or journey to music, allowing images to arise and flow in the mind. Tarot cards and other divination tools can offer insight into the journey of the year ahead. The logical mind is so highly praised in our society, that we tend to neglect the intuitive, creative side of our nature, so any action to bring balance also brings rewards.
Of course this approach will only hold any value to those of us who regard life as a journey of spirit, and not simply a random, chaotic, physical accident of evolution. Which came first – the matter or the spirit? – should be a priority debate in our modern world. The most prominent paradigm in the media, in academia and in politics – the three major influences on people’s opinions – is the physical first view. This says the universe resulted from an explosion that created all the atoms that exist, and somehow life emerged from non-sentient matter. It ignores the patterns and synchronicities that pervade life and the universe, and reduces our drives and desires to chemical reactions. Vast numbers of people have swallowed this whole, and despite the soulless, dark and empty picture it paints, prefer to believe in it rather than tackle the mysteries and challenges of spirituality. As humanity breaks the shackles of centuries of patriarchal religious domination over our lives, this is perhaps not surprising. But this physical existential paradigm does not deliver. It does not explain the passions and emotions, the inspirations and exaltations that are as important as the body in explaining who we are. It also leads to abuse and destruction of our planet and each other.
Religion is in the news daily at the moment, with this equinox week bringing turning points not just in the season, but in the two major Christian churches. Both the Roman Catholic and the Anglican churches are enthroning new leaders this week. How frustrating I imagine it might be for hardline atheists to see such prominence given to religious matters, I have seen several screaming that these men, these religions, have no importance or relevance in today’s world. Yet the devoted crowds filling St Peter’s Square tell another story. God is still highly relevant to many – most – people on this planet. To many – most – of us it seems simply obvious that we are not physical matter that randomly developed the ability to think and feel. We are part of a miracle that is in fact as much spirit as it is flesh. Our ideas, dreams, desires, feelings make up who we, and as much a part of our experience of the universe as are our bodies. Mystics the world over have always told us that our sense of self is the divine spark in us. Our consciousness is the cause and root of our being. This is the ultimate journey of exploration – into the self – and there are many teachers in the world to help us. These include the various drugs we use to shift how we feel and experience life. We can open and expand our consciousness until it connects with and enters other dimensions, non-physical planes of reality that have always been part of the human experience, and which were probably much more prominent in the lives of pre-modern people than they tend to be in ours. If we refuse to believe in other levels of being, we keep our minds closed to them and do not go there. But if we keep an open mind, and allow ourselves the chance to experience the interconnectedness of all life, the subtle play of sensual experience and emotional merging that are constantly underway, we unlock the gates of perception and move into fuller knowledge of our nature as spirit.
If we accept that spirit is real, we will be challenged to think again about all our prejudices and problems with religious teachings. Some people are so angry with, or hurt by, religion that they will not consider this. But we should remember that we are at a massive turning point in human history. We do not have to swallow the hell and brimstone scenarios propagated by certain religions. Instead we can learn from a globe full of spiritual wisdom, developed in every corner of the planet over millennia, but now easily accessible in our modern, technological age. We do not have to turn to priests and temples to get close to the divine. We simply have to give ourselves experiences that open and attune us to the vibration of connection and light. Experiences such as meditation, yoga, shamanic journeying and dancing, reiki, conscious sexuality, rebirthing, ritual etc. The way to knowledge involves a turn inwards, where the source of consciousness can be found. It is impossible to find externally, which is why all bleating from atheists about the lack of scientific proof of god is missing the point entirely.
Instead of buying into the conflicts between religious groups, or between non-believers and believers, we can set out to find the light, the truth – and the power and the glory – within ourselves. Equinox is a great moment, a natural spiritual moment offered by nature, when the energy of balance is prominent and available to us. We can know the balance of the material and the spiritual within ourselves, the balance of male and female, the balance of reason and intuition, giving a chance to the feeling nature within us to reveal its depth and wisdom, so helping to keep our critical, quick to judge, mental faculties in their place.
Growth in life is inevitable. So is decay and death of course. We do not have to stay identified with the isolated, death-bound little me. Start from the point that consciousness pervades and pre-exists the material universe, and we become less stuck within the bounds of our limited portion of it. We may have had experiences of ‘becoming one’ with nature, or another person through love/sexuality/drugs – in fact our consciousness can become one with anything we choose to merge it with. Although our bodies must wither, we can continue to grow in awareness, light, love and wisdom – if we choose to. Stepping into the light of spring can also be a moment of stepping into the light of spirit, of expanded awareness. Ultimately we can merge with the impersonal, universal being, die to our individuality (ideally temporarily, occasionally) and so see life from a much greater perspective. When we have felt and seen and known this merging with the totality, and recognise that this is what we are, what we will always be, then our attitudes in and approach to life will undergo a deep transformation that comes in many stages. Luckily the seasonal journey of the calendar is there to guide us and help us to deepen that transformation. At Spring Equinox we are poised to step into the light of our Selves, as the Wheel turns life changes, and changes us with it. We can engage the process or, like getting sick in the winter, be dragged along by it to where we need to be.
For life is changing. The old story of separation and domination is dying. A new world of higher vibrations, cosmic connections, fed by direct experience of our core unity and the role love plays in our evolutionary journey is being born. Step into it, this is the Springtime of Aquarius.