Spring Equinox Meditations and Traditions
Welcome to the Satya Center Vernal Equinox newsletter. Warm greetings from your Editors, Curtis Lang and Jane Sherry.
The Vernal Equinox, celebrated on Wednesday, March 20 this year, is the moment when the Sun enters the sign of Aries the Ram. This is a day to honor the Norse Goddess Frigga, Queen of Valhalla, whose chariot was drawn by two rams.
The Spring Equinox is a time of equal day and equal night, symbolically striking a cosmic balance between the feminine and masculine forces of yin and yang. We celebrate the triumph of love, life and light over darkness and death. From this point forward, throughout the next seasons of the year, the days will grow longer and the nights shorter.
This potent Spiritual Festival has its roots in the Ancient Mystery School Teachings of the pagans, Egyptians, Greeks, Christians, and Mesopotamians.
The Spring Equinox is the traditional Canaanite Feast of the Virgin Goddess Astarte, Queen of Heaven, identified with the Morning Star of Venus. In the Bible she is known as Ashtoreth, the equivalent of the Greek Goddess Aphrodite Aethra, the Heavenly One. She was known in North Africa as Isis, Great Goddess of the Milky Way. Eggs were colored red to celebrate the union of male and female on this festival day in the ancient Near East.
One of the four pagan cross-quarter festivals and a major Sabbat for Wiccans, or witches, the Spring Equinox is the day to celebrate the reunion of the Earth Mother Kore with her long lost daughter Persephone, who has been languishing in the underworld throughout the long winter nights. This is the Greek version of the ancient pagan celebration of the coming ascendancy of the Sun, and the rebirth and renewal of plant life.
Western Astrologers celebrate the start of a New Year today. For those of us who would like a fresh start in our lives, the Equinox offers us an opportunity to connect with the Universal Life Force which is now moving powerfully within the plant kingdom and beginning to manifest throughout all the elements of Nature, accessible to us through water, earth, fire and water.
Extreme Spring Equinox Weather -- The New Normal?
Punxsatawney Phil got it wrong this year. He did not see his shadow this February, so America’s favorite groundhog weather Oracle forecast an early spring. Tell that to the East Coast and people in the Midwest, who have seen one storm after another so far this March.
Here in sunny Northern California, in the East San Francisco Bay where Jane and I live, spring started around the first of March, with above-average temperatures in the low 70s and one sunny day after another in what is normally the Bay Area’s wettest month.
Jane and I have lived here several years now and we are still mystified by the local seasonal cycle and especially the way that even during a super-dry spring the brown hills turn green, fruit trees bud wildly, flowers bloom abundantly, and our local farmer’s market, open 12 months a year, offers a cornucopia of greens, root vegetables, tomatoes, oranges, strawberries, and more. Sure, the farmers are irrigating, and so are we, but that doesn’t explain the greening of our hill country landscape.
So here in California, as in Colorado, we are enjoying beautiful mild sunny days one after another and there have been two fires in the last week on islands near Antioch in the middle of the Sacramento River. We are bracing for a possible drought, with Sierra snowpacks at well under 2/3 normal capacity.
Jane and I are amazed by the psychedelic yellow California poppies, the eye-popping pink and white blooms on the ornamental fruit trees outside our windows, the golden flowering mustard grass that is already 24 inches high in large fields in the flatlands and splashing the green hillsides alike with chartreuse, that touch of springtime magic.
Meanwhile, in the Midwest and Northeast there is a 60-100 degree swing in temperatures from spring 2012 to spring 2013. Last year the onset of spring saw record setting 85° heat in Chicago, and throughout the country’s mid-section. This year we’re seeing snow, ice, cold rain and record cold snaps in New York, New England, Illinois, and throughout the vast middle-lands of America. Across the eastern half of the U.S., temperatures are 5 - 25°F below average this week.
Climate researcher Qiuhong Tang and his associates published a scientific paper on March 12 of this year addressing the mysteries of extreme cold in northern countries, and their findings go a long way toward explaining this year’s extreme spring chill-down. If you guessed that this week’s weather weirdness is somehow related to the Earth changes accompanying global warming, you are thinking like the scientists and you may be right!
“Previous studies have linked changes in winter atmospheric circulation, anomalously cold extremes and large snowfalls in mid-latitudes to rapid decline of Arctic sea ice in the preceding autumn,” Tang explains. “Using observational analyses, we show that the winter atmospheric circulation change and cold extremes are also associated with winter sea ice reduction through an apparently distinct mechanism from those related to autumn sea ice loss. Associated with winter sea ice reduction, a high-pressure anomaly prevails over the subarctic, which in part results from fewer cyclones owing to a weakened gradient in sea surface temperature and lower baroclinicity over sparse sea ice. The results suggest that the winter atmospheric circulation at high northern latitudes associated with Arctic sea ice loss, especially in the winter, favors the occurrence of cold winter extremes at middle latitudes of the northern continents.”
According to the weblog of American meteorologist Dr. Jeff Masters, “[Tang and associates] found a mathematical relationship between wintertime Arctic sea ice loss and the increase in unusual jet stream patterns capable of bringing cold, snowy weather to the Eastern U.S., Western Europe, and East Asia, typical of what one sees during a strongly negative Arctic Oscillation. They theorized that sea ice loss in the Arctic promotes more evaporation, resulting in earlier snowfall in Siberia and other Arctic lands. The earlier snow insulates the soil, allowing the land to cool more rapidly. This results in a southwards shift of the jet stream and builds higher atmospheric pressures farther to the south, which increases the odds of cold spells and blocking high pressure systems that can cause extended periods of unusually cold and snowy weather in the mid-latitudes.
Meteorologists theorize that the melting of Arctic sea ice is creating extreme and persistent patterns in the jet stream across North America, resulting in prolonged episodes of both extreme heat and extreme cold in winter and spring.
“Dr. Jennifer Francis of Rutgers has published research showing that Arctic sea ice loss may significantly affect the upper-level atmospheric circulation, slowing its winds and increasing its tendency to make contorted high-amplitude loops,” explains Dr. Masters in another recent blog post. “High-amplitude loops in the upper level wind pattern (and associated jet stream) increases the probability of persistent weather patterns in the Northern Hemisphere, potentially leading to longer-duration cold spells, snow events, heat waves, flooding events, and drought conditions. Arctic sea ice hit an all-time low during 2012 and remains near record low levels, so it is possible that Arctic sea ice loss contributed to the current extreme jet stream configuration, and the past week's spate of extreme temperatures on both sides of the U.S.”
Spring Equinox Mysteries, Histories and Healing Meditation
For us and for many of our family, friends, clients and readers, 2013 has been an emotional roller-coaster ride, bringing highs and lows of all kinds, extremes of hope and fear, and a kind of background buzz of high tension that seems to permeate the collective consciousness of America, and, indeed of the entire world.
The Spring Equinox and the the start of a new yearly seasonal cycle provides all of us with a golden opportunity to reboot our nervous systems, release the inward-turning cycle of winter, and tune in to the upsurge of Solar energy that is promoting the growth of New Life across our blue-green planet.
The Spring Equinox is above all a Solar Festival, and as such it is appropriate to perform early morning meditation and breathing exercises that are designed to help us literally breathe in the prana or Universal Life Force Energy in the ambient atmosphere, which is super-charged by the Spring Sun’s healing rays.
Let us all tune in to the energy of the Sun at this Solar Festival of Spring Fires, and throughout the spring season when we can reap immense benefits from an early morning sun salutation and meditation.
Here’s a favorite Solar meditation of mine. I perform some variant of this early morning meditation virtually every day.
Kriya Yoga Dawn Exercises
This is my personal variation on meditations taught by yogi, saint and Ascended Master Teacher Shri Yukteswar and by American Meditation Teacher and Sacred Geometrician Drunvalo Melchizedek.
Begin your day with a few minutes of silent contemplation as you lie on your back with your eyes closed or better yet seated in a chair, or in half lotus position. I have also done this meditation in a half lotus seated under a tree or walking mindfully in a garden.
Acknowledge your guides and teachers, and give thanks for the new day.
Notice the breath going in and out of your nostrils.
Place your tongue at the top of your palate, behind your teeth. Breathe in through the nostrils, working from the stomach, while you count to seven. (If you can't reach seven, then just keep track of your own personal count and repeat the same number each time you breathe.)
Breathe out through the nostrils, while you count to seven.
Continue to breathe deeply, in and out, to the count of seven.
While you inhale, imagine the Sun is right above your head.
See the golden liquid light of the Sun pour down over your head and into your prana tube.
The prana tube is approximately two inches in diameter and extends from a point about a foot above your head through the center of your body, exiting at the perineum and extending down into the earth about a foot.
The liquid light of the sun pours down that tube into your heart.
As you exhale, see the silvery liquid light of the Earth rise up from far beneath your feet into your prana tube, all the way into your heart.
As you continue to breathe, see the golden and silvery liquid light continue to pour into your prana tube from above and below.
Do this breath ten times.
Unity Affirmations for Self-Realization
"I unify my physical body, my etheric body, my astral body, my egoistic will and my lower mind with my higher self, my higher purpose, and my higher mind."
I unify my higher self, higher purpose and higher mind with the grand unfolding plan for the optimization of the Universe and the liberation of all sentient and non-sentient beings in love and light."
"I unify my higher self, higher purpose and higher mind with the Atman within, the Great Father Mother Source within."
" I feel the downpouring flow of love and light from the Atman within."
" I feel the uprising flow of kundalini energy from deep within the Earth, from deep within my root chakra, and as these flows of love and light meet and intermingle in my heart of hearts -- I am the I am, I am that I am, I am that I am."
With each inhalation and each exhalation, more and more liquid silvery and gold light pours into the heart.
Now, every time you inhale, golden liquid light pours down from your crown chakra into your heart while silvery liquid light pours up from your root chakra into your heart, at the same time.
Now, every time you exhale, silvery liquid light pours up from your root chakra into your heart, while, simultaneously, golden liquid light pours down from your crown chakra into your heart.
By the fifth or sixth breath, the silvery and gold light fills your heart.
See the silvery and gold liquid light pouring from your heart into the rest of your body, filling it up entirely, all the way to the tips of your fingernails and toenails and the tips of the hair on your head.
After ten breaths, relax for a moment.
Then do the same breath sequence, inhaling to the count of five and exhaling to the count of five, five more times.
Invoking the Cosmic Christ
As you do the next five breaths:
1. See a rainbow colored beam of light shoot up from the top of your prana tube into the sky, rising up about fifty miles above the surface of the Earth.
2. See this rainbow colored light fill the sky, and expand until it surrounds the entire planet.
3. See a rainbow colored beam of light shoot down from the bottom of your prana tube deep into the Earth, filling the Earth and its waters with brilliant colors.
4. Invoke the secret name of Christ. Chant the following to yourself over and over, "Yod, Heh, Vau, Heh, Yod, Heh, Shin, Vau, Heh", pronounced "Yod, Hey, Vow, Hey, Yod, Hey, Shin, Vow, Hey". These Hebrew letters stand for JHVH or Jehovah, and JHSVH (Jeheshua or Jesus). The four letters comprising the name of Jehovah, YHVH, stand for the four elements, fire, water, air and earth. The fifth element, which is spirit, is called Shin. When you put Shin, or spirit in the middle of the four elements, into YHVH, you get Jeheshua, or Jesus. Jesus indeed infused spirit into the material world through his Divine presence and ability to sacrifice everything, even his own body, for love. So chant these nine letters over and over to yourself as you meditate and breathe deeply and slowly. In this way, you can attract Christ consciousness, the spirit of Jesus, into your aura, your mind, and your heart.
That rainbow colored light represents Divine Love in the form of Living, Intelligent Light (Holy Spirit, prana, Reiki energy), transformed into the beautiful energy signature of the rainbow, which has always been a symbol of the unity between this world and the Divine, between God and humanity.
By giving back to Sky and Earth, we acknowledge our interdependence with all the sentient and non-sentient beings in spiritual and material realms, with the living light and with the mystery underlying creation.
At the end of this second round of breathing, take an additional three breaths in the same manner.
While you breathe, imagine that silver and gold liquid light radiates out from your heart, filling your aura, a sphere that extends about an arm's length in every direction around your body.
Imagine your aura glowing like the sun, radiating light out into the world in every direction.
After these breathing exercises, relax your body and your mind.
Keeping your eyes closed, and breathing deeply and slowly, reflect on the rising sun, know the sun to be a living being, and reflect on the qualities of the sun you would like to make your own.
The sun gives generously to all without exception without asking for return. The sun represents, purity, conscious will, cosmic intelligence, limitless light, and so much more.
Connect your sphere of light with the sun's sphere of light in your own mind.
Acknowledge that the sun is a sentient spiritual being. Thank the sun for being such a good model for you, for helping you on your spiritual path each and every day.
Thank your spiritual teachers and your holy guardian angel for the protection, grace and guidance they provide you every day. Thank the devas and nature spirits of the place where you currently reside for helping to maintain the equilibrium of natural forces that sustains all life on Earth. Thank Mother Earth for birthing you and nurturing you in her body.
The ideal time to do this meditation is, of course, dawn, but evening twilight is also a propitious time for this exercise.
Spring Equinox Wisdom Teachings
For a deep historical perspective on the Ancient Wisdom Teachings concerning the Spring Equinox, read our article entitled Spring Equinox Mysteries and History.
For millennia the Spring Equinox has been celebrated around the world as a festival of Resurrection, reincarnation, and renewal. Read our article and discover the deep wisdom of the Egyptian spring mysteries of Osiris and Isis.
All great spiritual traditions that have left written records behind, from the Sumerian, to the Egyptian to the Greek, tell the story of seasonal cycles of birth, growth, decay, death and rebirth, corresponding to the yearly seasonal cycles of plant growth and to the much longer spiritual cycles of the immortal gods and of the immortal souls of men and women living on planet Earth.
In a little over a week, it will be Easter, when Christians in the west will celebrate the mystery of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christ is the Christian Avatar, who incarnated into the world, died as a sacrifice for the original sin of Adam and Eve, and for the sins of all men, descended into the Underworld, conquered Death itself, was resurrected on Easter Sunday, and later ascended into Heaven.
Clearly, the story of Christ’s triumphant resurrection echoes the early vegetation festivals of death and renewal celebrated at the Vernal Equinox, which existed for thousands of years before the birth of Christ in cultures both literate and pre-literate around the world.
Archangel Raphael Meditation
Read our article entitled Spring Equinox: The Archangel Raphael Meditation for a lovely outdoor meditation practice that will connect you to the four elements, the angels and devas and nature spirits whose activity quickens plant life and enhances the flow of Universal Life Force Energy throughout the world during the spring season.
“Over the course of the year, passage from one season to another takes place at four points called equinoxes and solstices, which are like nodes of specific forces,” explains Bulgarian Spiritual Master Omraam Mikhail Aivanhov. “The deployment of these forces is organized and regulated by great spirits who take charge of distributing them over the surface of the planet. You must not assume that everything in nature operates mechanically. No, all changes are produced by the work of certain entities who are in charge either of plants, animals, human beings or other creatures.”
“It is the Archangel Raphael who reigns over spring,” Omraam explains. “This archangel has command of a myriad of spirits who work under his supervision on the regeneration and growth of vegetation. So at the beginning of spring you must establish a bond with the Archangel Raphael. Ask him to make you receptive to the virtues hidden in trees, grasses and flowers, so that this new life penetrates you as well.”
Spring Recipes for High Energy and Improved Health
Jane and I believe that springtime is the right time for a detoxification diet that will also provide a healthy high-energy high. You need look no further than the humble greenery springing up all around you to find some of the best foods for a delicious spring tonic!
Read Jane’s recipe for The Lazy Gardener’s Spring Cilantro Pumpkin Seed Pesto for a real zinger!
“I am such a lazy gardener that I created this recipe after I had the good fortune this spring to discover a veritable emerald forest of 'volunteer' young cilantro seedlings in the vegetable bed!” Jane explains. “Upon this serendipitous discovery I created a delicious way to make use of this delicious, nutritious & fragrant herb.”
Jane’s favorite nutrition Guru is Rebecca Woods, who has written many wonderful books about food and about healing with food. This Spring we are happy to share with you Rebecca’s favorite recipe for Dandelion Greens.
“Dandelion greens are one of season’s earliest foodstuffs and one of the finest of spring tonics,” Rebecca says. “Indeed, they are the most nutritious leafy vegetableyou can buy. The greens have a slightly bitter note, they are elegant in a salad and they make a tasty potherb. I also put them in stir fries and soup.”
Rebecca recommends foraging for dandelions if you have access to an unpolluted area where they grow wild.
“Ahh, spring aromas wafting up from the warming earth,” Rebecca exclaims. “How I love foraging. In addition to the anticipation of the upcoming feast, there’s the thrill of the find, the pleasure of piling a basket with freely given gifts and a feeling of inter-relatedness that being outdoors engenders. Indeed, foraging is humankind’s oldest profession.”
If you are a little lazy like we are sometimes, you can find them at the Farmer’s Market in your area, most likely, and quite possibly in a Whole Food Market near you.
Jane and I hope that the spring seeds you plant will grow and produce the most beautiful flowers and the sweetest fruits for you this year! And may you all receive the grace and guidance you need to achieve your most pressing material goals and your loftiest spiritual goals. May you keep your balance when the roads you travel roughen, and may your progress along the path of life be quickened in every way this spring season! May love and light increase and bring new life to the Earth this year and for many years to come!
Meditation Moment -- Spring Renewal Comes From the Rising Sun
When spring comes, we can begin to be nourished by the rays of the rising sun, for light is the best food there is. And the pure air, the awakening earth, the surrounding trees also feed us if we know how to be good cooks! Yes, cooks. Using our thoughts and our love, we can make delicious dishes from all these elements.
The spiritual life is nourishment. It is the art of turning everything we receive from outside into wisdom, goodness, power and peace. We take part in this transformation firstly by placing all our attention on the rising sun. Then, we return to our everyday activities, always feeling replete, stronger and richer. Yes, richer, because the light we have received from the sun is gold, etheric gold, and this gold is worth more than all the ingots amassed in banks.
-- Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov
Persephone's Pomegranate Kiss, original artwork by Jane Sherry, photo by Jane Sherry.
Yellow California Poppies, original photo by Jane Sherry.
Golden Forsythia on Ice, Claverack, New York, original photo by Jane Sherry.
Sun on High, original photo by Jane Sherry.
Sunlight Forest, original photo by Jane Sherry.
Rainbow Rain Clouds, original photo by Jane Sherry.
Jane's Garden, Claverack, New York, photo by Curtis Lang