A Spring Equinox Rite

twilight cropped— Wilddragon

The Preparations

The Call

Bard speaks:

We gather at the moment of the tipping of the balance between night and day. Each morning, the Sun has risen earlier, each evening, the night has taken longer to return. Many weeks will pass before the Sun shines in his fullness, but today the Light overcomes the darkness.

In response to that Light, long buried seeds burst open and send forth shoots in search of the Sun¹s touch. Ground that has lain bare through the winter is now green with new life.

We too are seeds; seeds of all that we might be. Let us reach for the touch of the waxing Sun, that in the warmth of his love we too may grow stronger day by day, until the day of our flowering is at hand.

Marking the Circle

(as normal)

Claiming the Circle

(as normal)

The Challenges

East and South move to Southwest and form Arch with staff. North and West cross to Arch and challenge entrants. Participants enter through Arch. Priest and Priestess enter last, then admit quarters.

Challenger: Who seeks to step between the Worlds?

Challenged: I, [name], a seed in search of the Sun.

Challenger: Then enter and be welcome.

Sealing the Circle

(as normal)

The Mystery

Calling the Lord and Lady

(as normal)

Pathworking

Begin with relaxing visualizations using the imagery of spring.

See yourself as a seed. A quiet, still seed, deep within the dark womb of the Earth. Feel the silence of the dark, cool earth that surrounds you. The love of the Mother surrounds you, and for a long, long time you are content. Pause

It is not your nature, however, to remain a seed. Deep within you is the pattern for the entire universe. Turn your gaze inward and feel your potential for growth. Feel the potential of strength and beauty that hides within your humble shell. Open yourself to the image of what you can become. Pause

Stirred by that potential, you begin to change and grow. The pattern within you begins to manifest. As you develop, the shell that has sheltered you now becomes your prison. You struggle against that prison. After much effort you break through your shell … and find yourself in a new world.

Filled with joy at your release into freedom, you do not at first notice that the world beyond your shell is dark and cold. As the rush of excitement fades, however, you become aware of the bitter taste of the dark soil that surrounds you.

You know from the cosmic pattern within you that there is a time for dark and cold, and a place for bitter tastes, that such things are part of the beauty of the natural cycle. You feel within yourself the instinct to struggle through such difficulties, to let those hardships make you stronger.

But there are other things in this soil. Things that are foreign to the pattern within you. Someone has left poisons in the soil, natural substances, perhaps, but present in far higher concentrations than they should be. There are also hormones in the soil, the same as you would make within yourself when the time was right. In their proper time they would spur you to the fullness of your maturity, but now they threaten to trigger premature and unhealthy growth.

What should have been merely a time of struggle and training, has become a desperate battle for survival beneath the cold, dark earth. You cannot live or grow without sipping nutrients from the soil, and along with those nutrients come the poisons that war with the pattern that lies within you. You have become a battleground between the pattern and the poisons, and the pain of that battle fills your being.

Your part in that battle is to live and grow, but every taste is an awful mix of sweet and foul, joy and disgust. You consider gorging yourself on that sweet/foul mix and letting the poisons kill you. You consider refusing to eat, and letting starvation bring an end. Your growth slows as the poisons accumulate within you.

Driven by the beauty of the pattern within you, you fight on against the poisons, although you can tell that day by day you are losing the battle. Then, one day, you realize that the ground is not as cold as it was. The touch of warmth is brief, but it spurs you to fight on.

The next day the touch is longer, and warmer. You open to that warmth, and for a brief time the poisons are held at bay. One the third day the warmth is greater still. In response to that touch you pour out your greatest effort, and you break through into the light.

You are a tiny shoot, on a tiny bit of ground, on a tiny planet. Yet as you bask in the embrace of the Sun, you know that He shines for you alone. Voiceless, you cry out your joy at light and life. The winter is over, springtime has begun.

You know that many trials remain ahead. Your roots lie still in poisoned soil, hail and flood may strike before the time comes for you to flower. But now you draw strength from the Sun to fight those battles. His radiance will enable you to survive both natural and unnatural hardships, and your victory will reduce the poisons in the earth, bequeathing a more wholesome world to those who follow you.

No longer are you alone. In the light of the Sun you see other shoots around you — other victors in the struggle to reach the light — other lovers finding joy in the embrace of the Sun — other sufferers, cleansing the soil by their living sacrifice.

As you grow, we will weave yourselves together to become the seed of a new world. The long gloomy winter of a poisoned earth will give way to a spring of new life and new hope.

For now, however we bask in the warm radience of the Sun. All too soon His face will be again hidden from us, but we know that tomorrow He his loving touch will be stronger and longer. Shout to him your joy at his presence, your thrill in his embrace, your thanks for the give of His shining love.

Song: Lord of the Dance

Prayers (anyone as moved)

Closing

(as normal)

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