Honoring Spring

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.


Happy Spring

Rainbow Woman Ix Chel

What if the Temple was the Earth?

What if the Temple was the Earth?

What If?

What if our religion was each other?

If our practice was our life?

If prayer was our words?

What if the Temple was the Earth?

If forests were our church?

If holy water—the rivers, lakes and oceans?

What if meditation was our relationships?

If the Teacher was life?

If wisdom was self-knowledge?

If love was the center of our being

~Ganga White

Nature is my Religion

Snowy Wonderland

When people question what my religion is, I want to say that I believe in Taoism mixed with a large serving of gnostic Christianity and a side of Tibetan Buddhism thrown in for meditative measure. Or perhaps I could offer a brief lecture on the common threads in all religions….

Maybe it’s more honest to just say that nature is my true religion. And share this beautiful poem by J.L. Stanley as a way of explaining:

Catechism for a Witch’s Child

When they ask to see your gods
your book of prayers
show them lines
drawn delicately with veins
on the underside of a bird’s wing
tell them you believe
in giant sycamores mottled
and stark against a winter sky
and in nights so frozen
stars crack open spilling
streams of molten ice to earth
and tell them how you drink
a holy wine of honeysuckle
on a warm spring day
and of the softness
of your mother who never taught you
death was life’s reward
but who believed in the earth
and the sun
and a million, million light years
of being.

Feminine Wisdom of Creation

Saraswati Painting by Durgada Krishnappa
Saraswati  by Durgada Krishnappa

Saraswati, the Wise and Flowing One

In the beginning there was chaos. The Universe was in a formless, fluid state. “How do I bring order to this chaos?” asked Brahma. “With Knowledge,” replied Devi as she emerged from Brahma’s mouth riding a swan as the Goddess Saraswati, holding sacred texts in one hand and a stringed instrument in the other.

Under Saraswati’s tutelage Brahma acquired the ability to sense, think, comprehend and communicate. He began looking upon chaos with eyes of wisdom and thus saw the beautiful possibilities that lay before him. Brahma discovered the melody of mantras in the cacophony of chaos.

With Saraswati’s Wisdom, Brahma Learned How to Create the World 

The sound of mantras filled the Universe with vital energy and everything began to form: the sky dotted with stars rose to form the heavens; the sea sank into the abyss below, the earth stood in between. The sun rose and set, the moon waxed and waned, the tide flowed and ebbed. Seasons changed, seeds germinated, plants bloomed and withered to the new rhythms of life.

Saraswati was the first being in Brahma’s world. And Brahma began to look upon her with eyes of desire. Brahma could not control his desire and his infatuation for the lovely Goddess grew. He gave himself four heads facing every direction so that he could always be able to feast his eyes on Saraswati.

Saraswati moved away from Brahma, taking the form of a cow. Brahma turned into a bull and followed her. Then Saraswati changed into a mare and Brahma gave chase as a horse. Every time Saraswati turned into a bird or a beast, Brahma followed her as the corresponding male animal, thus giving life to all the creatures on earth.

Saraswati is commonly shown seated on a white swan, flowing calmly down the river of life. She is the Goddess of creativity, wisdom and the arts.

Saraswati on Swan
Saraswati on Swan