Saturday, March 20, 2010

Shamanic vernal equinox spiritual parade practice

Milwaukee Lakefront sunriseImage by Indy Kethdy via Flickr

Noticing the horizon points of sunrise and sunset move southward for winter and northward for summer has inspired a shamanic exercise I find encouraging.

I imagine each place where the sun "touches" the perimeter of my extended neighborhood as the entry and exit gates of a universal gift bestowing spirit-parade.

From any particular place on earth, because our planet's axis tilts, the sun appears to travel from the winter solstice southern extreme to summer the summer solstice northern extreme as we orbit around it, bringing darkest to lightest days, with spring and autumn equinoxes of almost equal night and day. Light strikes and shadow falls upon and between prominent buildings and trees on my block help me remember to pause and attend to the changing solar route and welcome the soul empowering, benefaction flinging march-past of spirit and spirits.

Taking a moment to shaman-talk each day's sun-journey into a consciously-customized shower of blessings, tossed upon me, my neighborhood and the world (as I know it) by a processing spiritual entourage is fun. Day-dreaming this on cloudy days requires determination. If I forget at dawn, I may do it in retrospect.

Perhaps the end- and mid-point passages, like today's vernal equinox, properly stir more fanfare, wonder and ritual. I began this spiritual parade practice some years ago on an "ordinary" March day, when I realized that for shamans — who must experience life marching locally and universally at once — all days must be holidays, almost-equally worthy of celebration and ceremony.

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