The Sacred Pause of 2020
This is an unprecedented time for most humans around the planet. Coming to North America around the Equinox or Oestara as Pagans call it, along with Passover and the Christian Easter, the Coronovirus Pandemic has forced all human activity to a grinding halt. With currently over 400,000 cases in the United States and a daily rising death toll, most of us have had our lifestyles disrupted, many people have been severely economically impacted, and we are all in a state of Awe of Mother Nature’s power.
The Coronavirus derives its name from “crown” as under the microscope, the virus bears a resemblance to a crown. As with the ancient metaphysical Law of Signatures, this image is perhaps a clue to why it is here. I believe the reason it has appeared is it represents the opportunity for a divine awakening at the highest level, the crown chakra. Through this awakening, humans are being forced to reevaluate our lives and our behaviors in the world.
The word oestrus (referring to an animal in heat) is derived from Oestara which also means East and shining. We have very little remaining information about the Northern European Goddess “Oestara.” We know that she was a fertility Goddess whose springtime rites were adopted by the newly Christianized Roman invaders into Easter and the legend of Christ’s resurrection. The timing of the Christian Easter is still determined by the Moon. Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday after the first Full Moon after the Vernal Equinox Oestara was the maiden Goddess of the growing light of spring. She was often associated with her totem animal, the white Hare of the Moon. Her symbols also include butterflies for rebirth and eggs. These are some of the same symbols that are still used in secular culture in the United States in celebration of Easter. Rabbits are not only fertile creatures, but they have historically represented totemic animals of magic and sacred journeying. In Wicca, the Spring Goddess is joined by the young Green Man of the Wood. While the Winter crone has shed her cloak and is reborn as the Maiden, the God is now a young and passionate Green Man. Spring with its growth, budding, flowering and pollinating is their divine courtship, a rebirth of all of creation. This reborn God was so potent a symbol that it’s echoes were easily absorbed by the story of the Resurrection of Jesus, reborn after a ritual sacrificial death, shining with the hope of Resurrection for those who believe. All religious ideas build on the beliefs of prior generations.
Yet this year, we are at a point around the whole world of a Divine reset. We are literally and figuratively in the chrysalis, in the womb, in the dark. Spring has only started, the air is still cold and damp here in the Northeast, the trees are still mostly bare, and we are in wait to see what happens after this virus has passed through the planet. We are being asked to pause and take stock of our lifestyle as of now. In fact, most of us are not able to continue our accustomed lifestyle. Before the summer blooms, we are experiencing a unique spring, a dark spring, a time of cleansing, of self-evaluation and a deep journey within. I don’t believe we are being asked to abandon all hope. I do believe we are being pushed to abandon the idea the way of life we were living was sustainable and ignoring Nature as much as we did was something we could continue forever. Nature is showing us that She is in charge, we are so vulnerable, our whole planet was vulnerable to this disruption. It was a delusion to believe that awakening would always happen with ecstatic flow, it came through great suffering and shock this time. We must realize that we need to make this pause a sacred time.
One unfortunate result of the Coronovirus around the planet, besides widespread sickness and death, has been a severe shock to the global economy. Here in the United States, unemployment is expected at levels seen not since the Great Depression of 100 years ago. This severe impact to our livelihood and way of life will have consequences that will outlast the virus and cause widespread poverty, illness and suffering. Politically, leaders are and will have to continue to come up with ways to help people at the federal and state level financially with government programs and hardship benefits. However, I believe we will have to adjust on the individual level. All answers to this will not be and cannot be political.
In what ways can we adjust? Firstly, I think we have to abandon the global supply chain, the dependence on large business, global trade networks and corporate monopolies. We now see how vulnerable these systems were to just one threat like the virus. What’s called for is a return to the local level. Beginning with the food chain, an embrace of permaculture and sustainable food cultivation at home and in community, as well as supporting local businesses and farmers and community markets. I also think this is opportunity for more people to embrace creating conscious, self-supporting intentional communities to support local business and bring back local manufacturing. We have seen that when the nation was threatened, the federal response was absent and completely failed. That can never happen again. Local cities and states should begin to take charge in creating incentives for businesses to create and manufacture goods and services. Green jobs that optimize and maximize our talent for scientific advancement and innovation should be geared towards green energy production and green, sustainable goods. Prior to Coronavirus, companies like Amazon and Walmart combined to deliver us goods through their network that could be delivered to your doorstep on the same day, but the price of that was to lose access when the system was threatened and eliminate local businesses. No more, a return to local economy, local goods and local cooperative communities and government are the right economic approach.
In addition, we must reconsider all of the ways that the consumer culture has contributed to our wasteful and destructive way of life. Why do we need a disposable everything? It’s time for a return to creating items to last, to reusing and repurposing everything from clothing to furniture. The constant need to acquire more stuff created nothing but paycheck slavery and most people are now waking up to the fact that material goods do not translate to happiness and well-being. We are keenly aware that we would rather have more free time than more stuff and the debt that went with it!
Regarding time, I believe the Earth is also showing us that our need for speed and our addiction to life 24/7 is unnatural, exhausting and unsustainable. We evolved for centuries in seasonal time, not clock time. We are being given this unique opportunity now to slow down, be quiet, be with our families, and create our days in a more natural rhythm to bear witness to the rhythms of Nature and her Seasons.
Finally, one thing for certain is that the Earth is rapidly resetting and cleaning herself with the sudden stop of human activity. All over the planet smog is lifting rapidly and wild animals like swans and sea turtles are returning to swim and appear in places they have been absent from for centuries. This can finally put to bed the idea that cars and commerce are not contributing to global pollution and climate change damage. Many who formally drove to work are discovering they are perfectly capable of performing their work functions at home, driving less. Perhaps corporate America and the rest of the world will now see the value in having a virtual workforce.
Unless we have a continued breakdown of all modern technology, our world hopefully will not be reduced to a dystopian vision of the Apocalypse. I am not naïve enough to believe that the powers that be will not fight like hell to keep the systems and paradigm in place that has allowed them to enrich themselves while keeping millions enslaved. However, we have to use this opportunity for an evolutionary shift, and the shift must come from within. I do believe Nature is requiring us to no longer delay changing our ways in order to live more harmoniously with all living beings and with one another. We have to each make the effort during this Sacred Pause to commit to living more in harmony with Her with practices and lifestyle changes that we know are only glimpsing a beginning of positive results. By doing so, we can aspire to creating a New Earth, a new paradigm out of the rubble of the old; one that rejects the idea that materialism and greed are indicators of success, and real success can be found in simpler and more creative use of our talents and time.
In fact, if I was a being from the future, visiting us from another planet as a descendent of the Earthlings that survived this ending timeline, my message would be quite simple, we must change from within. Observe this Sacred Pause, the way forward to save the planet from human selfishness and greedy destruction is to plant the seeds of tomorrow today. These seeds include building cooperative helping communities, group gardens, shared work, creating what we need and cultivating this carefully. We must cherish craftsmanship and utility over quantity and novelty. We must shift our values to altruism, compassion and cooperation over individual hoarding and greed, valuing empathy over competition. We should be creating lifestyles that require less work for all and more time for creativity and play. One that creates less material needs and less needy people. One which places higher value on the arts, for song and dance and love and quality time together. The only people who will remain lonely are those who choose to be and set themselves in opposition to the whole. I am here to tell you that the only way to overcome the old paradigm is to make it obsolete. Start within at this special sacred time, let us pause and reevaluate what matters and consider what we wish to become.