Sunday, September 19, 2010

Equanimity for Equinox

We've been counting down the days until autumn, enjoying some cool weather, and watching the moon as she grows more and more full each night.  This morning we had some fun with a leaf printing project and now we're making a double batch of Roasted Red Pepper Potato Soup with goodies from our CSA and potatoes from a friend's garden.  The windows are open, the breeze is cool, and the the smell of onions, garlic, and peppers roasting in the oven has filled every corner of the house.  

With equinox approaching, we've been discussing how, like us, the earth must rest -- and that autumn is the beginning of her resting time.  We made a big, red, autumn tree and hung it in the classroom with the title, "Equanimity Equinox."  On one side of the tree we've written, "give, rest, dark, serious, sad, night, quiet."  On the other we've written, "receive, play, light, silly, happy, day, loud."  We can't have one without the other.

I've also been reading up on Michaelmas lately.  Michael is the "greatest of all the archangels and is honored for his defeat of Lucifer in the battle for the heavens in the Bible." (from Wiki).  Waldorf schools also use Michaelmas to teach students the importance of using courage to prepare for the colder, darker, winter months.  I'd like to give this a sacred feminine twist.  Maybe we'll tweak it into a goddess subduing a dragon.  Maybe we'll just forgo this festival altogether and have our own celebration to honor Persephone's return to the underworld.

"Greek mythology tells us that, each year as Persephone left to join her husband in the underworld, the goddess Demeter would begin to grieve, bringing on the cold, barren winters.  But a few months later Persephone, the goddess associated with awakening, would return to bring spring and its verdant growth in her wake . . . thus were the seasons established."  (read more here.)

This is the beauty of archetypal stories.  The names and places change, but the message is the same.  Each of us must, for a time, plummet into darkness and face our demons.  In the darkness, we find the light.  No life can be without a measure of darkness and without it, the light would lose meaning.  In autumn we begin our descent into the dark half of the year.  We can't stop it.  All we can do is make it conscious and trust that spring will come again.  This is the how balance is created.

Still, I think it's important for our daughters to hear stories that speak directly to their experiences.  Hero stories greet us at every turn... but what of the heroine?  Persephone's story seems more fitting for us, I think.  

I guess I'm still undecided about Michaelmas.  For now we're just experiencing the change of seasons, watching the moon grow, and seeing ourselves reflected in each autumn leaf.
Related Posts with Thumbnails