We have just passed through the Spring Equinox. Now it seems certain that Spring has arrived and that the new life, which emerged from the darkness of winter at Imbolc (Feb 1st), will continue to grow unfold and blossom into full potential as the year unfolds and the light and heat increases. I visited Sliabh na Cailleach (Lough Crew) for the Equinox sunrise on March 21st. I left my home just before 6.00am on a bright frosty morning and made the 50-mile journey to Sliabh na Cailleach accompanied by the brightly shining last quarter of the moon. As I drove past Kells and Oldcastle I was amazed to see snow covering the ditches and fields. The sun shone brightly as I arrived at Sliabh na Cailleach and made my way up the snow covered hill up to Cairn T, the Cairn into which the equinox sun shines illuminating a very decorative stone in the back recess of the cairn. Although I have been visiting this site since 1990 this was the first time I saw it covered in snow. It was a few years since I have been there and it was, as always, magical to be at the top of this hill on such a splendid morning and see the great expanse of landscape spread out before our eyes. Many people like myself had gathered to give thanks for making it safely through the dark cold winter time and to ask for the strength and courage needed to walk our truth, in the coming days, weeks and months. We drew energy and resolve as we prayed in the cairn like our ancestors did for thousands of years. While there I was struck by the irony of the presence of snow covering the landscape when we thought that Spring had already arrived! As I reflected on this I realised that so often we humans (speaking for myself) can oscillate between our spring like desire to bounce forward into action and growth and the desire to continue to hibernate to stay in the safe cocoon offered to us by snow and winter time. I observe this dynamic in my own personal, spiritual and professional life. The energy of Spring Equinox is a time of new beginnings, which requires us to transcend our tendency towards stagnation and what we have outgrown. In the spiritual tradition of the Ceile De (www.ceilede.co.uk) the Spring Equinox is the festival of new spears where the son (which represents the young masculine energy) coming into fullness. In this tradition, this festival (and season) is a time to review vows and commitments to our path. At this time, we must choose which seeds, projects, qualities and ideas we will nurture in the coming months. This choice also requires us to let go of other possibilities. This festival and season invites us to reflect on the qualities we need to embrace and strengthen to enable us to achieve our goals. It is also helpful to be aware of the patterns (both conscious and unconscious) that may sabotage our best efforts. Being conscious of these patterns weakens their power over us. Now we must choose to align ourselves with the Divine Will for our lives at this moment.
So, I wish you many exciting adventures as you choose to walk along “Sli na firinne” the path of truth. In the following poem, John O Donoghue addresses this challenge beautifully.
For a New Beginning
In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.
For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.
It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.
Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plenitude opening before you.
Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life’s desire.
Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back; learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.
~ John O’Donohue ~ (To Bless the Space between Us)
With Blessings for your journey Dolores