There is a reason that on Imbolc, the February High Day, we place such an emphasis on light and fire. When we say I keep vigil to the fire in my heart, we are acknowledging the real and present challenges of winter, as well as the feelings of stasis and stagnation that can occur during the colder, darker months.
We tended that fire because we had to; because it was imperative that we be mindful of the fact that the darkness is not a permanent state. It is only a season.
And now we find ourselves on the precipice of a new season. Here in the Northern Hemisphere we observe the Spring Equinox, the moment when the light of day and the darkness of night are equal. Today, if but for a single moment, there is perfect balance.
And there is meaning in the balance.
The Equinox is more than just a scientific fact, an observable reality; it points to the shift that we are making toward a time of new growth and new life. The outer world -- the thawing soil under our feet, the budding branches of the trees, the new sounds of the new offspring mingling with the bustle of the city -- is all an indication to us that we are changing, too. We are breaking open and coming to life again.
That is, we can be. It is a mindset for us to embrace, should we choose to.
Paganism is made up of many experiential traditions. We come to know by doing. We do not typically act on blind faith, but instead seek to work our way toward a deeper understanding through our actions. We are willing to question our assumptions (or the assumptions handed down to us by others), and we are willing to think expansively about the ways we are connected to the world around us. It is in our experience of living that we come to wisdom about living.
And now, standing at this moment of balance, we have the opportunity to demonstrate these characteristics. We can embody this experiential ethos by asking ourselves:
Are we in balance?
Are we willing to thaw, to soften, to allow for new growth in our lives? What does that look like? How does that feel?
Will we stand in our own sovereignty on this day of balance and accept that there is a good and meaningful work for us in the coming weeks and months?
This is the opportunity offered to us on the Equinox.
Whether we are gardeners, or farmers, or city dwellers, there is a planting to be done in the spring. This is a time to take the plans you made while waiting for warmer weather -- those ideas about new projects, new endeavors, new steps toward a realized dream -- and begin to put them into action. It is a time to start doing.
The world is an example. It is showing you how to start. You need only open your awareness to its unfolding, and you will see how you might begin to manifest the changes of spring in your own life.
"Manifestation," a much over-used word in some circles, is not a parlor trick. It is a series of steps one takes toward a goal. Each step is important, including those small, unseen, internal shifts we make on days like today. Those questions listed above are worth spending time with, especially if the answers are not ready on your lips. They are meant to propel you forward into new action; and through that new action, new growth.
This is the blessing I offer to you on the Spring Equinox:
May you be like the soil.
Become ready for turning,
And welcome new life.
May you be like the bud.
Recognize your potential,
And expand into color.
May you be like the river.
Receive the new waters,
And move forward with power.
May you be like the sun.
Go forth into spring
And bring light to the world.
Pray with a good fire, my friends. Celebrate the Equinox with a full heart, and go into the world with confidence and clarity of purpose.