Pagan Journal: Thoughts on the Equinox

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Funny; Saturday evening rolls around, and I find myself really craving some spiritual time! And then I don’t really have time for it until Sunday; but here I am.

A few sciencey tidbits about the equinox:

Apparently day and night aren’t exactly equal on the equinoxes; the equilux is the day when they’re exactly equal, and it happens a few days before the equinox in March, a few days after the equinox in September.

Neat to learn a bit more about why the seasons work the way they do in different parts of the world – the self-test questions on the TedEd website are helpful to make it stick too.

did manage to sneak in a ritual tonight ;). Soon I will live in a space where I won’t need to hide it.

I did a tarot reading for myself with this spread; proved to be really insightful, encouraging, and reiterating a few things I already know. Sometimes you need to hear it from another source, though. Or have it shoved in your face by a deck of cards! One of my cards to prune was the Knight of Swords, and that brought someone I know to mind so quickly.

I experimented a bit with using my imagination to go to the astral realm too, and explore these cards a bit more deeply, with the help of a little character who popped out of my brain. I’d like to learn more about people who practice astral projection, create thought forms, all these kinds of things. I feel like I’ve already partially done this, when I would get so engrossed in the story in a book, and then maybe imagine myself talking with characters from the book. Definitely something I will explore more in the future.

Spring means new growth. Growth can be painful; I think I’m experiencing some growing pains now. That’s alright. ❤

Hope you all had a good equinox, whether it’s bringing in the spring or the fall!

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Pagan Journal: Happy New Moon!

So, I have twelve different drafts for blog posts on here. Different ideas that I want to explore, from the nature of reality to the astral realm to soft polytheism, deity, the whole nine yards. I do want to learn more about these things, and work out what makes the most sense for me and my practice; but I also want to have this space as a kind of public journal. A place where posts don’t have to be perfectly thought-out and edited so that I think others will think they’re interesting. Basically, I don’t want to get too self-conscious about my thoughts and my writing.

One part of (most) pagan spiritual paths that appeals to me is the following of the wheel of the year; paying more attention to the seasons as they change, and celebrating the changing year. The next point on the wheel of the year is the Vernal Equinox – spring! ❤ It’s already been feeling like spring here in Virginia, where I’m currently visiting. I’ll have to consider how I would like to celebrate this turn of the wheel.

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By Midnightblueowl [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Another is the lunar cycle, its ebb and flow on a smaller scale. How neat is it that the gravitational pull of the Moon can effect the Earth so much that it pulls the ocean towards it, bringing in the high tide! These forces are at work and affecting us all the time, though we generally don’t sense it, or would be hard put to pinpoint it if we do.

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By Lookang many thanks to author of original simulation = Todd Timberlake author of Easy Java Simulation = Francisco Esquembre (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
The description of that gif file has some neat info about tides too:

Tides are the rise and fall of sea levels caused by the combined effects of gravitational forces exerted by the Moon, Sun, and rotation of the Earth.

The semi-diurnal range (the difference in height between high and low waters over about half a day) varies in a two-week cycle. Approximately twice a month, around new moon and full moon when the Sun, Moon, and Earth form a line (a condition known as syzygy), the tidal force due to the sun reinforces that due to the Moon. The tide’s range is then at its maximum; this is called the spring tide. It is not named after the season, but, like that word, derives from the meaning “jump, burst forth, rise”, as in a natural spring.

When the Moon is at first quarter or third quarter, the sun and Moon are separated by 90° when viewed from the Earth, and the solar tidal force partially cancels the Moon’s. At these points in the lunar cycle, the tide’s range is at its minimum; this is called the neap tide, or neaps (a word of uncertain origin).

I’m fascinated by the connection between biological rhythms and the lunar cycle. My cycle happens to be synced up with the new Moon right now, which is nice – why not start the new lunar cycle with a new menstrual cycle! 😀 But more to the point, this excerpt from Wikipedia really struck me:

The approximately fortnightly tidal cycle has large effects on intertidal[54] and marine organisms.[55] Hence their biological rhythms tend to occur in rough multiples of this period. Many other animals such as the vertebrates, display similar rhythms. Examples include gestation and egg hatching. In humans, the menstrual cycle lasts roughly a lunar month, an even multiple of the tidal period. Such parallels at least hint at the common descent of all animals from a marine ancestor.

I never thought about how the length of our menstrual cycle could be related to the fact that the animals from which we’re descended used to live in tide pools!! Wow. Now, that last sentence is linked to a citation from Darwin (The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex, 1871), so I don’t know if there’s more recent work that gives more evidence for or against that idea.

Many pagans talk about having a new moon ritual. Ritual, its use, and my feelings towards it, is a whole other post on its own. I need to figure out what feels like an authentic ritual expression to me; I really can’t just follow the words that someone else has written.

To be really free in my exploration of that, I think I need to be alone. I need to have no other human eyes on me. I’ll have the chance to have that space, starting in April; so I’ll wait til then to really dig into the exploration of ritual.

That’s all for now! If anyone reading this celebrates the moon cycle or the wheel of the year, I would love to hear about how you do it. 🙂