As a preview of our First Spring Launch, Quattro would like to share an excerpt from Sweet Nothing by Carmela Circelli.
excerpt from Chapter 2: SPRING, AIR AND MIND
Despite my commitment to the task of recovering the importance of darkness, I am as delighted as anyone when the light returns to defeat the dark at the spring equinox. Briefly, they are equal partners; but then, the light stretches its long arms and pushes back the dark. Naturally, I follow, shedding my winter clothing and stretching more freely with the extending days. The city streets and parks fill up with people walking, running, playing, throwing frisbees, kicking balls, happy dogs scampering after them. Lolling on grassy slopes, I join the human throng, longing in sympathy with the blazing yellow forsythia and the ruby red tulips, rising with shocking beauty and confidence from the warming earth. We witness this renewal and rebirth with hope and expectation, our bodies responding to the earth’s glad tidings with its own need for openness and rebirth. Spring at last.
According to ancient pagan correspondences, spring is generally associated with the element of air. This may be because for our ancient, European ancestors, the central male divinity was symbolically tied to the growing and dying vegetation. His fate, therefore, was directly linked to the solar cycle, which is also why he is sometimes identified with the sun itself. In spring, with the lengthening of the days and the warming of the nights, the air itself seems to grow in prominence. Our bodily attunement to the season seems to confirm this. The days are not only getting longer, but somehow wider, as if the surrounding world were expanding and we with it. The shedding of our winter clothing means the air can touch our skin, warm breezes awakening our sensuous connection to the elements. Caressed by warming air, the earth shoots forth with ecstatic beauty, at first with fine tentative whispers; then, with confident abandon, it releases itself to the air’s balmy seductiveness, foliage, bloom and fruit, born from this ancient wedlock of Earth and Sky.
I have always had great difficulty commemorating the crucifixion of Christ right in the middle of spring and the exquisite flowering of the earth. Although I am no longer a practicing Catholic, I still experience Good Friday as a somber day, set against the incongruous backdrop of chocolate bunnies and Easter eggs. For like most other holiday celebrations, the dominant symbols and rituals, though detached and rootless, always hark back to our pagan ancestry. The bunnies and eggs, for example, relate back to an ancient, European fertility Goddess called Eostre, whose symbol was the hare; the eggs, symbols of fertility and rebirth, are associated with the maiden Goddess of spring.
Although I have been reading about the current revival of neo-pagan spirituality for many years, it never occurred to me that the Goddess’s hero/consort was the original prototype of male divinity upon which the Christian Christ was based. This realization, inspired in part by Tom Harpur’s book The Pagan Christ, has helped me to clarify some of my long- standing confusion about Christ and our original pagan hero. By thinking about the sacrifice which Christ made in light of the myth of the Hero-King and his relationship to the Goddess, I have come to more deeply appreciate the meaning of Christ’s sacrifice and the sacrifice of our male divinity in general.
Don’t miss the launch of this and other exciting Quattro Books titles at our First Spring Launch on Thursday, April 24, 2014 at Supermarket Restaurant, beginning at 7:30 pm. Visit the Events section of our website for more information.