Now is the time to invite in magic. The spring equinox, for me, is the true new year--and after this particularly long winter, I say we write our own rules. I say we dictate what can and cannot be our reality. I'm sick to death of fear and of cowering before each day, before it's even begun.
When did we get to be so frightened? When did we decide that we weren't made for a happy life? I don't know, but I'm worn to the bone, and I could use a new year and a little magic.
I know the winter is long, and the cold is deep and unrelenting. And, yes, the struggle to see the light at the end of this long season is weighing us down. But I think there's something else at play here, too. Winter reminds us of how little control we really have and of how long transitions take. We're laser-focused on one goal (spring), and when we're that focused, time moves at its own pace (i.e. wicked slow).
But winter is an opportunity, not for distraction, because that's not necessarily a good habit to fall into either, but for absorption. If we constantly focus on the one thing we can't have (yet), then we drive ourselves, and everyone in our orbit, to the edge--which isn't far off for any of us this time of year.
So, instead, look up, look out. And by looking out, maybe you'll notice that the birds started calling fifteen minutes earlier this morning than the last time you happened to listen. Maybe you'll notice you opened your curtains a bit earlier this morning and...
Instead of thinking, oh, I'm a mess, this is a mess, think instead, what a wonderful riot of color, of texture, of shape and of circumstance. How can these pieces come together, layer upon layer, to create this rich and complex life?
What happens when we shift into thinking creatively--whether or not we consider ourselves creative beings?
Spoiler alert: we are creative--we are makers down to our DNA. What do you think our ancestors did with their hands? Built houses, cooked food, created quilts and clothing, gardens and roads. They did it because they must, of course, but they also took the time to make objects more beautiful than they had to be.
That maker-art is still in us, singing its pattern of memories into our blood, waiting for us to pick up the tune.
Spring is the doorway to the otherworld, whatever that otherworld is for you, whatever religious/folkloric/intuited tradition it comes from. We are dangerously narrow-minded when we assume there is only one path to divinity; we are heartbreakingly short-sighted when we fail to realize that every path of light leads to divinity.
And speaking of light, spring provides us with plenty of it. If we can acknowledge this gift of light whenever it occurs to us, then we foster the alchemical connection between our daily- and divine-self. Because here's the thing--I have to believe that divine self is up there, tethered tightly to the crown of my head, the seat of my heart, the soles of my feet. I have to believe it because, from time to time, I hear her voice, I glimpse the shimmer of her long skirt, her bare feet above my head. I sense her in my quietest, most contented moments, no matter how short-lived they may be.
And if I lose that belief from time to time, well, I thank the godd...
More and more, as both we and the climate change our long-held drum beats, it pays to take the long view, to gather what's given in excess when given in excess--energy, water, food, forage, light. It's about taking advantage of time--the old ant and grasshopper saw.
We are, many of us and by necessity, old creatures, old souls. We grow up fast around here, and we know this to be true--time is both endless and heartbreakingly limited. But if we can work barefoot, if we can sometimes go hatless, letting the sun and the wind feed what's chapped and dry and long-hardened, then maybe there's an avenue toward belief.
Plugged in, we become amplifiers, resonant with the pulse, with the message-- This is how it works. This is what it sounds like, what it looks like, to be whole.
We are in Aries time--determined, fiery, inquisitive, the never-takes-no-for-an-answer time. But what else could you expect from the sign that ushers in the true beginning of the new year--the earth-awakening, seed-sowing, light-bringing spoke of the wheel? It's not like spring can be timid or cowed into coming back later. No. Aries, spring is fierce--and there's no reason we can't pull a little of that energy into our own cowed and sapped souls.
I think we're thirsty for a little fire, for a little empowerment, for a little shite-kicking action of our own. This fire is the meat-and-potatoes we've been craving but--for whatever reason or dogma--we've not allowed ourselves. Well. Let's make a pact--let's put some of this old-fashioned stick-to-our-ribs sustenance back into our bodies and see how long we can stomp around in this mud, in this awakening earth.
We're all familiar, no doubt, with the whole "bloom where you're planted" philosophy; there's a lot of wisdom in that. And what we so often forget is the intelligence of plants--true, they're bound, at least in this generation, to where they've rooted, but they have an entire network of signals, an entire underground language that makes them worlds more intuitive, more realistic, and more adaptable than we (mobile creatures that we are) can hope to be.
There is great wisdom in staying put, for a season, at least, teaching ourselves to sense the silent, tribal drumbeat of the earthbound worlds, attuning ourselves to the untapped intelligence urged on by those begging us to put down roots.
I do honestly believe that rising before dawn is one of the rituals which has kept me sane, grounded, and equipped with reverence (never mind that that reverence is, from time to time, easily forgotten). Across traditions and geography and time, that hour or two before the sun rises is sacred, magical. There's an energy here few, relatively speaking, allow themselves access.
All it takes is earlier to bed and an internal alarm that, eventually, kicks in. Because, really, once you experience the community of the pre-dawn, who would want to miss it?
Petals--we made it. There might be acres of snow on the ground, mud where snow isn't, but the equinox has arrived and the first birdsong arrives before dawn.
If the birds are sure the worst has passed, that's good enough for me.
It's a good lesson though, isn't it? The only discernible change is the length and breadth of light, the arrival of birdsong. Even if the weather clings stubbornly to to February, spring has arrived. The fire and will and downright action-planning Aries has arrived. This is the true start to the new year, and this morning we wake with fire in our hearts.
There is music to be heard when we are still, a rhythm apparent enough even for those of us too tone-deaf to carry our own tune in a bucket. The steady drip-dripping of the season changing is a call to arms, a drumbeat to awaken us from long, sometimes troubled, sometimes sweet, slumber.
Don't ignore the impulse, this time, to move. The season is too short to muddy its clarity with our own tuneless thinking.