Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Autumnal Aspirations

The Equinox approaches ~ one of two annual occasions of true equality, when day and night are of equal length. Intriguingly, Kathleen Jenks, Ph.D., creator of the expansive, sacred traditions site Myth*ing Links, observes that this year, both the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, and the Muslim Ramadhan, began at sundown on Wednesday, 12 September ~ right on the heels of our breakthrough eclipse commemorating the transformative 6th anniversary of 9-1-1.

Jenks entreats, "Both (holy days) are dependent upon the same frail New Moon in balanced Libra. Maybe we could finally find a way to be worthy of the beauty and wonder of the planet we share with so many other remarkable species?"

She notes that the Jewish highest holy day, Yom Kippur (which always follows Rosh Hashanah 10 days later) begins this year at sundown on Friday, September 21, 2007 ~ just prior to the Equinox. Yom Kippur is the Day of Atonement (or, as I like to read it, At-one-ment), where Jews ask forgiveness for those they have wronged and those they feel have wronged them during the prior year.

I'm in the midst of another fascinating and mind-stretching read, Yearnings: Embracing the Sacred Messiness of Life by Irwin Kula. Kula, who is a modern-day Rabbi, public TV show host, husband and dad, speaks eloquently of the profound power of forgiveness across spiritual traditions, using many pithy and often humorous examples from his own life, that show him as human as the rest of us, and how his own stumblings have made him a wiser traveler along life's twisting path.

What I found particularly compelling, apropos of the above, is his emphasis both on the necessity of transgression, and his statement that forgiveness is a process we're always going to have in our lives, as we grow towards wholeness: "There is no ultimate moment of forgiveness." He speaks about the positive role of anger in leading to reconciliation, the final step in the "4 Rs of forgiveness: Recognition, Regret, Resolution, Reconciliation". Sometimes forgiveness is as simple as releasing someone mentally or emotionally who "owes" you an apology, as in "forgiving a debt." Sometimes, of course, the wound goes far deeper.

This is a significant time of year to meditate on how we might step ever more fully into our desire for love in its broadest sense: welcoming back all the renounced aspects of ourselves that look like enemies. I felt this way when 9-1-1 first took place; writing these words tonight, that emotional expansiveness returns. We are all one people. It is a time to return to balance in the broadest possible sense. We can begin by forgiving ourselves for being the perfectly imperfect (yet perfect!) people we have incarnated to be.

As Kula writes, "The more we can allow ourselves to unfold, the less likely we are to unravel."

May you know love, and peace, this sacred season.

Welcome Home.

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