Monday, September 22, 2014

The Autumnal Equinox don't get no respect ...

At this very moment, at the Autumnal Equinox, we're getting our last equal dose of sunlight. for the year. night and day are in balance for the last time this year.Think of it: from now until nearly Christmas, the night hours will steadily overtake the daily round, until at the Winter Solstice it will seem that the darkness has won, leaving us a short, even miserly amount of daylight.

So, how do we celebrate the Equinox? With a yawn, apparently. When I got up this morning, there was just a smidgen  of light to be seen, and my body, already thinking of hibernation, wanted to remain in bed. As to real celebration, forget it: I wanted to attend an Equinox observance, but have been unable to find one nearby.

Why is this? The Autumnal Equinox comes and goes -- don't blink, or you'll miss it. Digging in for a new school year, kids are already thinking about Halloween (remember those pumpkins our kids made out of orange construction paper? I still have some of those somewhere). In the trees, there might be a tiny hint of color, but the real colors of autumn have not yet arrived (the picture in the upper left is a tease). In the stores and malls, some merchants are already decorating for Christmas; autumn has been forgotten.

Pagans and Wiccans are a bit better at marking and reverencing the passage of time than most of us, and for them the Autumnal Equinox is known as Mabon,  and is one of several harvest festivals. It's an opportunity to give thanks for the earth's fruitfulness, and to prepare for the coming months of increasing darkness, when the earth will no longer produce our food.

Read more here, and have a thoughtful Autumnal Equinox.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

So an older woman walks into a seminary ....

Nope, don't get hysterical, it's not the one at the left. That's the General Theological Seminary, which lots of my friends and acquaintances have attended. I am way, way, way past the age limit for GTS, and even if I weren't, going there would mean relocating to Manhattan and dragging my spouse with me. Some spouses are draggable. Not mine, and that's fine with me. Can you see me in Manhattan? The very thought makes me feel ... well ... shorter. And older!

Anyway, I have a different focus in mind. Next weekend I will begin studying for my MTS (Master of Theological Studies) at the New Seminary for Interfaith Studies, at right. It's also in Manhattan (in fact it's loosely affiliated with the UN), but I get to stay in the provinces and study online most of the time. Intensives and retreats take place in the bucolic NY and MD countryside. And not only do I get to study all major faith traditions, I get to focus on Creation Spirituality. Anyone who knows me has heard me blathering on about Thomas Berry and Matthew Fox for donkeys' years. I'm hoping this additional knowledge will help me to provide spiritual guidance in contexts not necessarily Christian.

So please wish me well on this late-in-life adventure. As a perennial student, I am sure I will enjoy this program.

Or I will soon discover that I have lost my mind.