This year, Earth Hour celebrations coincided with two other events on our calendar: Autumn Equinox and Easter.
Autumn is a time of thanksgiving for the harvest – for its time of nourishment, and it is also a time of leave-taking and sorrow, as Life declines.
As the dark grows, it establishes balance with the light; Autumn Equinox is that point of balance. We feel our own balance of light and dark within.
In our part of Earth, the balance has shifted into dark. We feel the shift within us, seeing the descent ahead, the darkness growing, remembering the coolness of it.
For millennia, in Greece, this time has been the holy celebration of Persephone’s descent to the Underworld. Her descent is voluntary – she simply understands the necessity of the journey – the mystery, knowledge of life and death – for this she gives thanks. But she sets forth into the darkness.
The Christian calendar, mirroring the patterns of the seasons, marks a similar movement at this time. The Journey of Life-Death-Life played out in the person of Jesus as he enters into the suffering and death of Good Friday, and new and eternal life of the Easter resurrection.
Autumn Equinox and Easter is a time for grieving our many losses, as individuals, as a culture, as Earth community, as Universe, but also for making space, in hope, for new life.
In the crisp air and yellowing leaves of Rahamim, those gathered marked the occasion with ritual and celebrations including poetry reading, a kids home-made lantern procession, a bon fire and woodfired pizza, drumming workshops and the screening of Leonardo Di Caprio’s series Green World Rising, powered by Rahamim’s bike-powered movie set-up.
The lines of Susan Murphy’s Minding the Earth, Mending the World was material for reflection on such an occasion:
…In this universe … life implies death, and being here now implies disappearing later.
When we can embrace this reality more fearlessly just the way it is, we find it fits us perfectly well – always has. The way opens, the sky does not fall in, the ocean confides its songs, each drop of dew forms in exactly the right time and place in the grass…
Everything sentient together.
Adapted from Glenys Livingstone, PaGaian Cosmology, 2005.