Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Happy Equinox!

Okay, I'm a bit late. The equinox was a little more than 12 hours ago, as I write this.

But I've been thinking about this post all day, even if I didn't start writing it down until now.

Reflections are like that.

Today is the Equinox; one of the two balance points of the year. Today, the Earth presents herself to the sun as if she didn't have a tilt in her axis, and the hours of light and dark are equal, all over the planet.

Tomorrow, the night will be longer than the day, here in the Northern Hemisphere, but tonight, we stand on the balance point.

It got me thinking about the whole concept of balance.

We hear about it a lot, as if the Universe were a giant set of pan scales, with evil, hunger, darkness, ignorance, pain and despair on one side, and good, plenty, light, wisdom, ease and joy on the other.

We hear about it as if it were necessary to have equal amounts of these things, to "balance each other out," as if the goal were to wind up with total neutrality; a sort of twilight, luke-warm, semi-taught, stasis kind of nothing.

Which really makes me wonder.

Especially when you consider that most of the things on the "negative" side of that list aren't actually things at all; they're just the absence of things.

For example, there is no such thing as darkness. That's just what we call it, when there's no visible light. But light can't "fight" with darkness, any more than gravity can fight with weightlessness.

As a concept, it simply doesn't make sense.

We can make a light, and the darkness ceases to exist in that spot, because it was only an illusion in the first place. We can't make a darkness, and have it overcome the light. All we can do is extinguish the light, and then we don't have it, and we call the lack of it darkness.

So why do people talk about the struggle between Light and Dark?

If there is such a struggle, Light wins. No contest. As soon as there's Light, Dark is a no-show, and forfeits.

Ah, you say, but they don't mean actual physical Light and Dark. They mean people who want to help others, and those who want to harm. They mean nice and nasty, generous and selfish, good and evil.

Then why don't they say so?

Could it be because "I'm on the left-hand path, and walk in Darkness" sounds kind of mysterious and appealing, while "I'm a selfish pig, and I'm getting what I want no matter what happens to you in the process" doesn't?

Well, people, let's call a Spade a Spade, and a person who is dedicated to self-aggrandizement and fulfilling their own whims no matter the cost to others what he (or she) is, too.

Allowing them to hide behind words that should mean following the path of intuition and the unknown just lets them hide.

I think we should expose them. I think it would do them good, and I know it would help the rest of us.

We don't need behavior like that for anything.

We certainly don't need it for Balance.

Because it's just not true that we can only experience something through knowledge of its opposite.

You've probably never been in total silence unless you are deaf. And yet, you know when you hear something. You've probably not been in total darkness, unless you've been in a cave with the lights out. And yet you know when you see things. You've problably never been weightless, and yet you are very familiar with gravity. The list could go on and on.

You don't have to experience evil to know and appreciate good.

I'm not sure how this particular "truism" started; but it's clearly, obviously, patently not true.

No one needs to experience evil to know that good is good.

Good feels ... good! That's how we know it.

It feels good to have someone do nice things for you, and it feels good to do them for others. We're hardwired to recognize good; we don't need to contrast it with anything to feel it, and recognize it.

Besides, that's not what is meant by "balance" anyway, I think.

The Balance in the Universe isn't balance like the pans of a scale. It's balance like a bicycle, or a tightrope walker, or a dancer.

It's the kind of balance that swings the planets in their orbits, and spins them like tops.

It's the kind of balance that lets the dolphins leap, and the eagles soar.

It's an internal balance, that lets each of us find the still place in the middle of things.

We don't need evil to balance good; because good, to a large extent, is the direct effect of being balanced within yourself.

Internal balance is that sweet spot, where you find your Joy, and realize that you have all you want or need, and that you are immeasurably strong. It's a resilient stability, inside yourself, that doesn't depend on anything outside of you for validation or existence.

Some of us only have that feeling briefly, every now and then. Some of us have it more often. Some of us have learned how to live there.

When we are there, good flows naturally from us, and around us.

Like darkness is really nothing more than the absence of light, evil (selfishness, hatred, malice, greed, etc.) is, I think, nothing more than the lack of balance.

So... stuff to think about, on this equinox night.

Friday, September 19, 2008


I've been thinking about making a blog just to post reflections for some time.

Things that I've been thinking about. Insights and epiphanies. Things that I'd like to put out there, to share with whoever wants to take a look at them.

Mostly, this blog will be my musings about life, the universe, and everything.

Who knows, someone else out there might be thinking about the same things, and we might even start a dialog.

Or these thoughts might spark some thoughts of your own. Some things that you, too, would like to mull over for a while, even if you never share them with me.

Or you might find them just the meanderings of a fifty-something woman, and not worth the electrons they're printed with. (In which case, please just go read something else. :D )

So who am I?

I'm a Wiccan Priestess, serving the Lady for these last 30 years and more. I'm an artist, doing what I can to create beauty and harmony everywhere I go. I'm a writer, which mostly means that I talk too much. I'm a philosopher, which mostly means that I think too much. I'm a teacher, which mostly means that I want to get you to think and talk too much, too. :D

Politically, I'm a liberal, which mostly means that I think that the government should regulate large corporations, and leave individual people pretty much alone to make their own decisions. It also means that I believe in conserving nature, in living within our means, and in treating adults like adults. And it means that I think that trying to legislate morality is not only pointless but dangerous.

I value freedom, including free choice and free thought, and I think that it's the responsibility of the individual to question everything, cherish that which is valuable, and take nothing for granted. I also think that it's just plain silly to expect everyone to find the same things valuable, and feel that we should be allowed to cherish that which we choose to cherish, without interference, as long as we harm no one.

I think that each one of us is wholly responsible for our own actions; everything we do or say, everything we dwell on or dismiss, everything we treasure or discard. These are all choices we make, and lessons we can learn.

Who am I?

I'm a part of the Universe, who happens, at the moment, to be living in the body of a woman, on a planet we call Earth, in a country called the United States, in a State called Michigan. But all of that is just happenstance, and not terribly important.

I'm a creator, making things up as I go along, weaving dreams into reality and thought into speech. Helping to form the Consensual Universe that we inhabit, on an ongoing basis, moment to moment, and day to day.

Just like you.