Spring Equinox 2011
The Spring Equinox, being astronomical in nature, is in the minds of many classified as nothing more then a dusty curiosity. At first glance the Equinox might not appear a profound event that has great bearing on you personally. But for some people the timeless wonder of the rhythmic cycles of nature are more spiritually empowering then any doctrine concocted by humans.
For whatever mysterious reason, billions of years ago, long before life ever appeared on Earth, the planet’s axis of rotation became tilted. The big blue ball we call home skewed its daily rotation some 23.5 degrees away from the plain of its yearly orbit around the Sun. The effects of this on the evolution of life have been both big and small. We living things, have adapted to the yearly sequence of the seasons. Throughout the long and varied history of our biosphere, the need to adapt to the seasonal cycles has guided the course of evolution.
Each season has its own flavor, and atmosphere. The essential nature of spring is hope. Even though the whole of winter’s bluster has not entirely faded, there is a change in the air. The days have slowly been growing longer to noticeable degree. There are no fruits in vegetables coming in for harvest but the crocus has sprouted and come into bloom. The trees maybe be still barren but the sap starts to flow. By instinct you can feel somewhere deep down inside that the world is about to change. Great things are afoot, and if you are to make the most of these springtime transformations you must prepare yourself now.
My personal feeling is that we love the rites of spring because they awaken some deep internal impulses akin to being roused from winter hibernation. We stretch and yawn, and groggily stumble out of our winter dens to sniff at the slightest hint of growth and re-birth that wafts through the air. Something primeval comes alive inside us.
For thousands of years cultures around the globe have seen fit to mark this time of year with Spring Equinox Celebrations and Rites. Any discussion of the spiritual nature of the Spring Equinox would not be complete without mentioning its connection to ancient fertility rituals. Rabbits, chicks and decorated eggs have been used as symbols of the prolific fertility of springtime since before the christian era. These ancient religious icons were simply too powerful to be suppressed. Instead they were just misappropriated and associated with Easter, a chrisitan holiday that scheduled to the first Sunday after the first full moon, after the Spring Equinox.
Similarly hot cross buns so popular this time of year most likely represented the pagan concept of the wheel of the year split into the four seasons and not a representation of the christian cross at all. Rather then a representation of the implement of the execution of Jesus it is a symbol of the cycles of nature.
If you are searching for ways to celebrate the Spring Equinox that incorporates a rational view of the universe then you may use these ancient pagan offerings. The wish for fertility at heart speaks of optimism and hope for the future. The cycles of nature are something we know and explore through the scientific method. These are themes you may be thinking about this Spring Equinox.
You can celebrate the Spring Equinox in whichever manner you find most spiritual moving. To do so you may find it beneficial to become an ordained minister of the Church Spiritual Humanism. Spiritual Humanism is a world view that fuses the human need for a personal connection to nature and the cosmos with an understanding of the universe based on the scientific method. The church offers ordination as a minister to aid you in your own spiritual journey.