Easter is a time of re-emergence, a time of joy and hope for what may emerge as the year unfolds. Easter is closely connected with the Spring Equinox, which in the northern hemisphere is around 21st March. It is Spring time and the earth is re-awakening after the dormancy of Winter.
In Ireland the coming of Spring is heralded and celebrated at Imbolc or la Fheile Bhride (February 1st ). This is the time when the earth begins to awaken and when the possibility of growth returns. This festival is associated with Brigid who represents the maiden form of the feminine energy. It is the energy of initiation and new beginnings. It is the primal creative energy that awakens in the earth and in us at this time. Now the influence of the Cailleach, whose energy ruled over the season of Samhain (November till February) has waned. Her task of regeneration through death is completed and her time is over. The gift of her reign leads us to new possibilities which arise from the depths of being. Once we have crossed over the threshold at Imbolc, the primal feminine energy of creativity exerts its influence and awakens the new life within us and all living beings. This is the resounding YES to new life in all its many forms!
As the year turns towards the Spring Equinox and Easter we notice the earth awakening more fully with green shoot of new life evident everywhere. A sense of anticipation for what will emerge during the coming time is more palpable. At this time the masculine energy of activity is rising within all living beings. Now it is time to take action to grow our gardens. It is also the time when we make decisions about which of our dreams and desires we will focus on for the coming period of time. This is a time of saying specific “Yeses”. In our gardens it is the choices of plants we sow. To the extent that we tend and nurture these plants they become our harvest later in the year. This is also true in our personal and professional lives. Sometimes I find myself saying a big yes to an inspiring project or idea but for several reasons I may not be able to proceed with it as the time.
In the period between Imbolc and the Spring Equinox many possibilities arise and the time of Spring Equinox is the time when we make out choice set out our priorities. We recommit to our life purpose as we rededicate ourselves to our unique calling in life. It is within this context that we make the choices of projects for the coming period. These choices may be inwardly or outwardly focused depending on where we are in our journey. In doing this we must sacrifice or die to other possibilities or to a smaller version of ourselves that they might drain the life force from what is longing to be lived through us at this time. We must, as Steve Covey recommends, “Put first things first”. And just like in our gardens, we are called to plant and nurture these seeds with no guarantees of a successful outcome. These are moments of faith which require courage.
The wisdom of the poet Rilke is needed at these times…
“You must trust your images… fear not the strangeness you feel
The future must enter into you long before it is born”
As you reflect on your own life with its unique circumstances ask yourself which dreams will you choose to focus conscious intention at this time? What is it that you are willing to say a resounding yes to at this time of new possibilities? I find encouragement in Brendan Kennelly’s poem Yes which acknowledges the struggle that is required to get to YES
“I love that word and hear its long struggle with no”
At this time of new life and new possibilities may we each hold powerful dreams for ourselves and our society and have the courage to say a resounding Yes to our hearts desire. And take courage from this Goethe couplet…
“Whatever you can do or dream you can begin it
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it “