From a Sermon given Spring Equinox Worship Service March 22, 2020
In Greek mythology there is a story about how the seasons came to be created that is worth retelling this morning. According to early Greek culture, Demeter, the Goddess of Harmony and Fertility, had a child with Zeus, God of the Sky, King of all the Gods. Their daughter Persephone was a beautiful young woman, if somewhat naïve. Demeter was overprotective and usually kept her daughter very close.
One of the other Gods, Hades, who ruled the underworld, fell in love with Persephone. Zeus had promised Hades that he could wed one of Zeus’s daughters but Hades knew that Demeter would never allow the marriage. . .so one day when Persephone was in a field picking flowers by herself, Hades showed up, kidnapped her and took her to his kingdom beneath the earth.
Demeter didn’t know what had happened to her daughter and was extremely distraught. She spent all her time weeping and searching endlessly. As the months went on, all the plants and animals on Earth withered and died because Demeter completely neglected her duty to tend to them. In order to save humanity who depended on the plants and animals Zeus realized he had to intervene so he brokered a deal between Hades and Demeter.
From then on Persephone lived with her mother six months out of the year which is when the Earth experiences spring and summer; and with the husband she eventually fell in love the other six months, which is when we experience fall and winter.
Origin stories are always rich conveyers of spiritual truth, using symbols to remind humans of what we need to understand to act as spirit in the material world. Greek and Roman mythological tales are particularly important to those of us in the United States since they reflect the thought forms upon which Western civilization was founded.
There are many important messages imbedded in the story of Demeter and Persephone but the one I want to direct your attention to this morning is the theme of the Earth dying; and being resurrected again when fertility in the form of the Goddess of Spring returns after a period underground.
Persephone spent time in Hades but Hades was not an evil place like we Westerners might assume. To the Greeks, Hades was simply a resting place for the dead. Death itself was not resisted and rejected in the same way we approach it in the “New World.” Hades was a place for the ancestors and also for the unseen. From a psychological perspective, one might say that Hades was the residence of the collective unconscious, a place where thoughts and feelings reside until they can be acknowledged and brought back into the light.
So here we are on Planet Earth. In the calendar year 2020 we have just entered springtime. This isn’t the usual springtime of daffodils and baby bunnies, though, because in this calendar year we are also beginning a new phase of human consciousness.
Many are still in Hades, struggling to find their way out of the depth of unconsciousness represented by that formidable location. Those who have been working to become aware of and heal uncomfortable aspects that in our guilt and shame we previously buried, have a heads start on emerging from the underworld into the fertility that is Gaia.
Many of us have even been focused on our healing long enough that we are beginning to effectively work more consciously with the ancestors, angels, saints and other non-embodied spiritual presences that have always lived alongside of us, been available and been waiting for our invitation to join us in the abundance that is Mother Earth. Some of us are even on the threshold of learning to bend time, a necessity for the human race to persevere.
One of the ways I find myself thinking about the world right now is that our illusions are being forcefully stripped away so we can find our way back to Mother Earth if we so choose. For many this is a violent and painful process, in part because their individual foundation for changes of the magnitude of this kind is not yet in place.
For some the resistance to change is too entrenched, and/or the pain is too great and the choice is being made to leave the Planet altogether, in hopes for a new beginning at another time.
People who are waiting to be rescued by others are learning they must find the creativity within themselves and their immediate surrounding community to withstand the ongoing forces of hurricanes and tornadoes, fires and floods and famine and the like. Some folks like those of us in the Pacific Northwest who have been privileged to avoid the worst of climate change are discovering that we don’t get to fail to connect the dots to other people and retreat into “life as usual” mode when things get overwhelming. We might not yet have the same level of extreme weather events, but we are increasingly impacted by what the rest of the world’s population is going through.
The “new normal” is that nowhere is there normality. Nor is there going to be when the coronavirus crisis is handled. Our old way of life is toast. Our new way of life involves a vastly different lifestyle.
People like the professionals in our health care system who are used to casting themselves in the role of rescuer are learning that to survive, we must all dig deeper into our soul to find those parts of our psyche and prioritize rescuing ourselves so we may re balance in a new place. Additionally we must learn to serve others under the direction of the divine, rather than ego.
I guarantee you as we move forward into this year nothing substantive in our physical world is going to ever look the same again. The corona virus pandemic is giving many a taste of what is further to come. Don’t hold your breath waiting for vaccines or whatever to eliminate it; and then expect your world to return to the way it was previously.
This “novel” form of a biologically-based organism that has been around for years is only the tip of the iceberg. Technically it may have been named after its shape as a virus but it is no coincidence that energetically it reflects a “new crown” chakra tying together all of humanity, which in some people is attacking the part of their physicality most closely aligned with their fourth chakra—the energy center that at its best, connects us with ourselves, each other, and the God/Goddess within each of us.
Even as the virus currently isolates us, so too is it going to demand that we abandon our ways of working in isolation from each other and from the environment. Humans are no longer going to be allowed to live cut off from ourselves, from each other, from other life forms and from Mother Earth itself.
Get real about this. The universe has just given us a cosmic slap down, a means to slow down, look around us, and smell the roses. Use your time wisely. The corona virus will be contained eventually, but the main impact of the economic tsunami associated with it will be arriving shortly; and there are lots of other challenges laying in wait for human animals, including some much more dangerous ones in the long term, should we continue to try to bury our awareness in Hades as we have been doing for such a long time.
What does “use your time wisely” look like? Of course it will be different for each of us. Here are a few “practice tips” to help you brainstorm what that might look like in your life:
1. Ground. Persephone aka in Greek as Kore, she who became the Goddess of the Underworld, was sometimes referred to as the Goddess of Rooted Things.
Grounding to Mother Earth itself allows you as spirit to manifest yourself in the physical realm as safely as possible; and as a bonus round, gives you a relatively painless means to release what you need to release right now. If you do know how to ground your energy system from your first chakra, do so with awareness several times a day. If you don’t know how to ground from your first chakra, find someone who can teach you how. If you can’t find someone, go sit among big trees and ask the universe to help you match them.
2. Rest/Recharge. We are in a lull between storms of change. The universe answered our prayers and pulled the emergency break. Thanks be to God. The corona virus is not something to be battled, shunned, ignored or feared. It is something to be thanked and gently but firmly put back in its proper place in the created order. Show as much gratitude as you can muster. Consolidate whatever gains you have made in your spiritual awareness to date and prepare for the next round of wake-up calls. Help those who are ill and/or terrified and rest up for the next challenge. Have as much fun as you can right now not from a place of escapism but from a desire to follow the divine’s lead into the place of joy, peace and abundance that is our birthright, should we choose it.
3. Prepare for a Global Economy. Here I am not talking about prepping. Prepping is just an extension of the same obsolete thinking that consumerism will fix everything. It’s hoarding on steroids. What the universe has in mind for humans is not something that can be waited out with a few months or even years of dried food. By all means, stockpile some supplies for those inevitable times when our old infrastructure is not useable for while. But don’t stop there.
I’m talking about making the deep economic transitions that we can expect after a global monetary system that has been dependent on fossil fuels comes to a grinding halt abruptly and permanently, not just because of a temporary health threat. The illusion there is value based on domination over nature has been destroyed. The world is currently downsizing to make room for a place where nothing is real unless it is grounded in human kindness.
What would you do if overnight all the money that normally comes to you and all the money that normally you pay out to others disappeared? What kinds of goods and services would you still really want to have in your life; and what kinds of activities would you engage in with others? Figure that out and then make it happen NOW before the choices around the transactional nature of real relationships is made for you.
What I am talking about is MUCH more difficult than just buying a few extra supplies.
This is the time for ACTION. And the action involves changing your entire lifestyle to suit the new economy in which money will be stripped of its illusionary nature. Don’t misunderstand me. There is ENOUGH FOR ALL that engage in real relationships. There is just not enough of frivolous purchases based on ego. Find out what makes the God of your heart really sing and let go of the other unnecessary temptations offered by your now-out-of-present-time materialistic urges.
4. Listen to the Mountains, the rivers, the oceans, the trees and other plants and nonhuman animals. There is a reason why people have always sought to connect to our Creator by immersing themselves in the natural world; and have often gone to the highest terrain on Mother Earth for our deepest conversations with God. There are many other sacred areas as well.
You don’t have to journey to a mountaintop or anywhere else to find your truth. You can just shut your eyes where you are and find everything you need there. All of Gaia is sacred and your body was designed to be an extension of that sacredness, a finely tuned instrument of access to everything you really need. Find the places that have absorbed the purest intentions of the human spirit both within you and outside of you.
Choosing the best natural settings helps expedite the optimal outcome. Go to the mountain or another sacred site nearby either in your physical or your astral form if you are so inclined. And then LISTEN.
Most people need to actually learn what it means to pray; and stop mistaking God for Santa Claus. It is the time to let go of the arrogance of telling God what we want done. Talk/dream if you want, but the real challenge right now is for all of us to up our skills at hearing from the Source as reflected in our gorgeous physical homeland. Many of the planetary changes that are occurring right now are beyond our imagination. Let the Cosmic Consciousness show us the way.
Gaia is screaming at us right now because we have forgotten how to listen to her. For all of our sakes, heed her call.
Copyright 2020 by Rev. Dr. Resa Eileen Raven
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