On Monday March 20, at 6:20 a.m. EST, the northern and southern hemispheres of planet earth are equally illuminated. This marks the spring equinox in the northern hemisphere and the autumn equinox in the southern hemisphere.
It’s a day of equal balance of the hours of light and dark before the sun continues its journey towards longer daylight hours and warming temperatures in the northern hemisphere.
The equinox energy is strong for four days before and after March 20th, giving us time to bask in the opportunities and lessons it brings.
Where I live, in Michigan, it’s still gray and dreary, and it’s snowing as I write this. But a few days ago I saw a red-winged blackbird, and local lore says they come back when spring is just around the corner. So I took heart!
WHAT THE SPRING EQUINOX MEANS
Ancient cultures throughout history have celebrated this time of rebirth of Mother Earth. But what does it mean for us?
My heart broke Tuesday night, as I watched the unthinkable happen. Hillary Clinton, the most qualified presidential candidate ever to run in my lifetime, was defeated by a racist, sexist, mysoginist, bullying, pathological liar.
Of course, it didn’t help that Clinton was a woman.
Ironically, she won the popular vote, but our antiquated electoral-college system gave it to the other guy.
What has happened to our country? What is happening in the world?
I have always known the U.S. was a racist, sexist country, but never knew just how racist and sexist until now. Yet when there is an infection, a festering wound, the puss that comes out also leads the way to healing.
Hopefully that is what will happen here. Seeing what is wrong in our country is the first step to fixing it.
Many people have heard of “smudging,” and may even practice it, but there’s great value in knowing its history, and understanding the true sacredness of it.
There are three primary herbs used in the Native American tradition for smudging: sage, cedar and sweetgrass.
- Sage is used to dispel negative energy.
- Cedar is used for an overall blessing or to cleanse where there has been illness.
- Sweetgrass draws in positive energy.
I have been taught the importance of burning only one herb at a time for smudging, otherwise you are giving mixed messages.
Sage is the most commonly used for cleansing the energy field of a person, place or thing, so I will focus on it for this post.
In ancient Ireland, the ceremony of crowning a king included a marriage ceremony in which the king would marry the land, or more accurately marry the Goddess of the land.
This marriage meant that the King swore to protect the land and the people, and be a caretaker of the earth. In return, when a King was favoured by the Goddess:
- he would rule with wisdom,
- the land would be fertile and prosperous,
- the country would always be victorious in war.
When that sacred contract was broken, the land was no longer fertile.
Water. The original peoples teach that it is sacred and we cannot live without it.
It is the first thing we use every morning, and the last thing we use every night.
It allows us to thrive, and plants, trees and our food to grow. It is essential to all life.
And yet we poison it at every turn:
- It’s reported that at the Rio Olympics, swimmers need to ingest only three teaspoons of water to contract a virus. Rio de Janeiro waterways are contaminated with raw human sewage teeming with dangerous viruses and bacteria.
- 14 billion pounds of garbage, mostly plastic, is dumped into the ocean each year, killing sea life. In January, 2016, thirteen sperm whales washed up dead in Germany, their stomachs full of plastic and auto parts.