Wednesday, March 20, 2019

A Day Both Holy and Magical

Today saw the spring equinox take place in that part of the world where I live. Also called the March equinox or vernal equinox, this event marks the astronomical first day of spring here in the Northern Hemisphere.

As you may know, the word equinox comes from the Latin words for “equal night” – aequus (equal) and nox (night). On the equinox, the length of day and night is nearly equal in all parts of the world.

Following is an excerpt from a spring equinox ritual written by Edward Hays. This ritual is one of a number of Earth-based and -inspired prayers and rituals included in Hays' classic spiritual manual, Prayers for a Planetary Pilgrim.

As the sun’s rays strike our planet more directly, the earth responds with newness and freshness. [Our spiritual ancestors] set this day apart as sacred, as a feast to celebrate the resurrection of the earth. The sun, radiant and healing, revitalizes the dark and dormant, as days and nights are again of equal length on the day of the equinox.

May the eternal experience of spring prepare each of us for a personal rebirth and resurrection. May it be a pledge-sign that life rises out of death.

A true planetary pilgrim experiences this feast not as a spectator but as a concelebrant with the earth and all creation. This day is both holy and magical, filled with hidden spirits and sounds.

May our ears, eyes, and nose be attentive to the rebirth of green life pushing up through the earth, even if it is still hidden from view. May we feel in our bodies the energy of the sun calling for newness and life.

The ancient ones danced to the mystery of new life and sprouting vegetation. They lit fires to banish the tired, aged spirits of winter and darkness. They built their bonfires to ward off the half-hidden fears that perhaps this time, this year, winter would not leave and they would die in the barren, icy darkness.

With reverence, let us be touched by this hidden memory as we respond to the tidal-gravitational tug of the planet Earth on this feast. Rejoice with all the Web of Life, woven so tightly, as the season of spring begins.

– Edward Hays
Excerpted from "A Spring Equinox Ritual"
in Prayers for a Planetary Pilgrim
(Forest of Peace Books, 1989)

Above: Bde Maka Ska (formerly Lake Calhoun) may still be frozen over but spring is definitely in the air here in Minneapolis, MN!

NEXT: O Dancer of Creation . . .

Related Off-site Links:
First Day of Spring 2019: The Spring Equinox – Catherine Boeckmann (The Old Farmer's Almanac, March 20, 2019).
Spring Equinox 2019: Ancient Traditions Echo in Our Modern World – Forrest Brown (CNN, March 20, 2019).
See the First Supermoon on the Spring Equinox in 19 Years – Andrew Fazekas (National Geographic, March 19, 2019).
Welcoming the Spring EquinoxThe Leveret (March 20, 2018).
"Hail to the Seasonal Prince"The Leveret (May 21, 2013).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Spring: Truly the Season for Joy and Hope
Welcoming the Return of Spring (2018)
Farewell Winter
Spring's Snowy Start
The Spring Blizzard of 2018
Celebrating the Return of Spring (2017)
A New Day
Dreaming of Spring
Waiting in Repose for Spring's Awakening Kiss
Let the Greening Begin

Image 1: At the Prayer TreeSpring 2018. (Photo: Raul Fernandez)
Image 2: On the balcony of my friend Raul's apartment which overlooks Bde Maka Ska in Minneapolis – March 19, 2019. (Photo: Raul Fernandez)

1 comment:

Dan Kreutzer said...

Edward Hays – thank you.