“This is Lunar Samhain (the New Moon in Scorpio is the Lunar gate for Samhain) AND it is the precise Solar gate of Samhain (the exact midpoint between Fall Equinox and Winter Solstice is when the Sun cross 15 Scorpio).
“We have a rare event of Solar and Lunar gates aligning- a Hierosgamos, a sacred marriage in the depths, in the dark and in the abyss. This is a VERY POWERFUL SAMHAIN PORTAL. The massive endings, releasing, letting go and completion of old karmic patterns that you commit to, initiate and follow through on in the coming months until Winter Solstice is nothing short of profound.
… Something massive is ending, something quite significant is about to begin- and right now we are in that fallow period where the degree to which we can let go, surrender and truly sit with loss, grief and endings (rather than fill them up with the next person/place/thing/substance so as to avoid the feelings that arise) informs the heights to which the phoenix can rise once this deep, internal period is over…
We have the promise of new life amidst the inevitability of death. we are reminded that how we end things informs the next cycle of new beginnings….”
As we hold Easter egg hunts and gift those we love with bunny shaped candies this weekend, we are actually tapping into European rites of spring from pre-Christian times. The ancient Germanic Goddess Eostre (aka Ostara) embodied spring, the season of rebirth, renewal and new growth. Eostre’s symbology included fertile rabbits as well as the egg.
The sacred moon Goddess Ix Chel holds a similar place of honor in the Mayan culture. Ix Chel has been worshipped throughout Mexico and many parts of Central and South America for thousands of years. It is said that Ix Chel is responsible for sending rain to nourish the crops, and was sometimes called “Lady Rainbow”. She insures fertility by overturning her sacred womb jar so that the waters will flow through the world, nourishing new life.
Like Eostre, Ix Chel is also associated with rabbits. She is shown above with her beloved consort rabbit:
“the Goddess Ix Chel, known as the Maya[n] Goddess of the Moon, Water, Weaving and Childbirth… all having to do with cycles, tides, creating and bringing new life.
Her Rabbit consort/ child/sister/brother/mother/father/friend is the personification of new life and cleaving to bringing the young along, the gentle spirit, the shy, and yet the enduringly fertile/creative.
She is called the pale one…and is co-existant and interchangable with the moon and the moon’s cycles… she is a miracle maker, a healer, a teacher, a keeper of stories… and as she is also the moon also going dark for three days… Ix Chel suffering torment but comes ever back to full radiant reflective light again.
There are so many Ix Chels in the world, and so many Auroras and so many Jesu’s and so many Attis’ and so many of the great One who was taken down and then came back to life in triumph.
~Clarissa Pinkola Estes
It is amazing that people in all corners of this sacred Earth created similar stories and myths of rebirth and renewal to honor spring. We are truly one Tribe.
Whatever your spiritual or religious beliefs, now is the perfect time to pause and honor this season of renewal and new growth. Create your own ritual with a lit candle, spring flowers, green shoots and leaves, stuffed bunnies… choose whatever symbolizes spring for you. Or perhaps you want to simply go and sit in nature. Just take a few moments to express your love and gratitude for spring.
Heaven is hers! Earth is hers! She is a warrior. She is a falcon. She is a great white cow. She fought the dragon and slew it. She seduced the scorpion and tamed it. The golden lion slept at her side. She is the singer. She is desire. She is the mountain of silver, gold and lapis. On her hips tall trees grow and grasses. From Her waters spout and savory grains. Her lap is holy. Her lips are honey. Her hand is law. Her breasts pour heavenly rain. She is the healer. She is life-giver. She is the terror, the anger, the hunger. Fierce winds blow from her heart. Hers is the thunder, the lightning, the glory. She is the morning. She is the evening. She is the star. She wears the gown of mystery. Heaven is hers! Earth is hers! Who can argue?
Inanna’s Chant by Janine Canan
Inanna is an ancient Sumerian Goddess of fertility, love and beauty. The people of Mesopotamia worshipped Inanna as far back as 4000 BCE (perhaps even earlier) as the undisputed Queen of Heaven. No other Goddess in any culture has come close to matching Inanna’s stature and power. The Akkadians also knew her, calling her Ishtar. And many anthropologists assert that Inanna later morphed into the Greek Goddess Aphrodite, and then the Roman Venus.
The story of Inanna’s journey into the Underworld has been told and re-told since ancient times. Inanna enters the darkness of the Underworld and must strip away her adornments and clothing piece by piece. Inanna is tested and must let go of who she once was. She is laid bare. Eventually Inanna embraces her naked and vulnerable true Self. And ultimately, she emerges from the dark and rises again as the Queen of Heaven.
Inanna’s myth is an ancient story. Yet it still holds deep wisdom about the transformation many of us go through. Hers is the story of a woman embracing her true self and recovering her Soul.
Every 584 days, the planet Venus traces Inanna’s mythic journey in the skies over our Earth. Venus appears in our sky as a bright morning “star.” Over many weeks, Venus descends toward Earth and then disappears from view. Weeks later, Venus emerges from the dark Underworld. She has been transformed and is now a mature evening “star.”
Venus, Inanna, Aphrodite, Ishtar… there are many names for this sacred Goddess, the Queen of Heaven. Her roots are ancient and deep. And her wild wisdom flows through the Souls of all women. By any name she is one original #BadassWoman!
Last night it rained. This morning when I walked the dog, there was a scent in the air that took me a moment or two to place… Then suddenly I remembered; it is the smell of soil waking up, coming alive after its long sleep. It is the smell of spring.
Go outside and sniff the air. Do you smell it? Listen. Perhaps you can hear the gentle whispers? Mama earth is beginning to stir. All winter, she has quietly held the seeds of spring in her soil body; she has coddled them and kept them safe, waiting for the time to sprout. And now spring is almost here and the seeds are stirring, preparing to crack open and grow new life.
The chickadees know; they whistle to each other from every treetop in my neighborhood. My dog knows; she sniffs at the soil with new interest. And the sheep know; they birth their lambs in February, knowing spring is almost here. My Celtic ancestors celebrated Imbolc at the time of lamb birthing. It was their way of honoring the end of winter and the promise of life returning to the land. Modern man has turned Imbolc into Groundhog Day, but I personally prefer the celebratory air of ancient Imbolc.
It has been snowing and snowing here, even more than usual. And I had begun to worry that winter might decide to go on and on and on. But then, on a cold, wet day in February, I hear earth’s whispers and I get a whiff of her soil coming alive. It feels like I just received a message from a long lost lover. And I instantly know that the spring I crave is on its way back to me.