On March 20th at 4:30 “Universal Time” (as it is named) EarthGaia our Planet crosses the midpoint of Her orbit between the last Solstices – Summer (in the South) and Winter (in the North). It is a moment of balance of dark and light for the whole Planet. In the Southern Hemisphere it is the Season of Autumn Equinox with the balance about to tip into increasing dark after the dominance of light for six months. This balance moment in the dark part of the annual cycle is associated poetically with receiving of the harvest and with the descent to wisdom and to the power of the dark: the grief and power of loss. It is a journey that all beings take, mirrored in sacred stories of descent; and it may be an initiation into the vision and knowledge of the eternal cycle of being and dying … it was celebrated in this way in the ancient rites of the Mother-Daughter (Demeter-Persephone) Mysteries in Greece for thousands of years.
Here is some more recent Poetry of the Season:
As Earth is poised in balance of dark & light,
about to tip our hemisphere into the dark …
You are invited to celebrate
… the Season of thanksgiving for our harvest:
the abundance we have reaped,
that we enjoy daily.
And also, the Season of grieving,
for all that has been lost – the Beloved One descends:
it may be a Journey to Wisdom.
We may join Demeter the Mother in Her sorrow,
and await the unfolding
of the Mysterious, Wyrdly Creative Cosmos.
Glenys Livingstone 2006
The choice of images for contemplation in this Season is somewhat arbitrary … there are so many, and also, most ancient images of Goddess are multivalent – She was/is One: that is, all Her aspects are not separate from each other. These selected images tell a story of particular qualities that may be contemplated at the Seasonal Moment of Autumn Equinox.
As you receive the images, remember that image communicates the unspeakable – that which can only be known in body – below rational mind. So you may open yourself to a transmission of Her, which will be particular to you.
- Demeter and Persephone 500 B.C.E. Greece. (REF: The Heart of the Goddess, Hallie Iglehart Austen, p.72). The Mother Demeter hands the wheat to Her Daughter-Self Persephone, expressing the passing on of all knowledge – the continuity of life. Where the Mother Goddess is accompanied by a daughter or daughters, as here in Eleusis, or in Crete or in the Aegean Islands, “the continuity of the religious relationship” is being indicated … the unbroken thread of life.
- Persephone 560 B.C.E. Etruscan. (REF: The Year of the Goddess, Lawrence Durdin-Robertson, p.161). She “holds out in one hand the torch to light the Way, and in the other the pomegranate of immortality”. The Daughter becomes Sovereign of the Underworld – not a naive Maiden/Young One any longer: She is complete in Her self-knowledge through Her journeying in the dark realm. The significance of Persephone eating the pomegranate in the Underworld, as some stories tell, is that She must always return to the fertility of the Deep for “immortality”, “ever-lasting life”, or as I term it and understand it, for “never-ending renewal”. The Deep is where Her roots are, where She is sustained: and once tasted it can never be forgotten.
- Inanna 3000 B.C.E. Middle East. (REF: The Heart of the Goddess, Hallie Iglehart Austen, p. 74). She was the most important deity in Sumeria for three and a half thousand years. As the oldest written story the West has “of the journey of death & rebirth. It precedes and influences the stories of Persephone, Orpheus and Jesus by millennia.” Her descent may be a model for all seekers of self-knowledge.
- Moon – the first story of descent and return, upon which all others are modelled. Moon’s never-ending renewal has inspired humans over the eons. Sun does it daily and its cycles are essential to life on Earth, and Moon does it over 28 day period, creating the tides – Her gravitational pull (unseen power) has apparently been essential to the creation of conditions for life on Earth.
- Minoan Snake Priestess 1600 B.C.E., Crete. Her wide open eyes, and the serpents, and the leopard on her crown, are associated with Vision and power of/in the dark: it is a gift of the dark Journey.
© Glenys Livingstone 2016
 Erich Neumann, The Great Mother, p.142.
 See Jules Cashford, The Moon.
 Glenys Livingstone, PaGaian Cosmology, p.66-69.
Cashford, Jules. The Moon: Myth and Image. London: Cassell Illustrated, 2003.
Iglehart Austen, Hallie. The Heart of the Goddess. Berkeley: Wingbow Press, 1990.
Livingstone, Glenys. PaGaian Cosmology: Re-inventing Earth-based Goddess Religion. NE: iUniverse, 2005.
Neumann, Erich. The Great Mother. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1974.
Music: “Gentle Sorrow” from the CD Dreams by Sky.
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