The full moon Saturday was amazing. I went to the beach and, although it was cold, the view was beautiful. I love the beach at night. The way the moon sparkled over the water. The sand cold beneath my toes. I barely even needed my keychain flashlight. It filled me with energy. Later that night, I performed a spell to aid my efforts in obtaining an internship for the next school year - I've been having some difficulties narrowing down my options, and further in getting in touch with the organizations in order to set up interviews (my school's procedures for getting an internship are basically the same as for getting a job - call the place, set up an interview, they say "yes" or "no). I don't do spellwork very often; I've noticed that when I try to force it, the words just won't come to me, kind of a spiritual writer's block, so to speak. But when the timing is right, I have no trouble coming up with the right words, materials to use, etc. It's like the Universe's way of telling me that the time, the energies, are just right. And, typically, the full moon is, after all, thought to be a very powerful time for those on the mystical spiritual paths.
Sunday was Ostara. The Spring Equinox. It seemed fitting that I was the churchmember scheduled to provide the Scripture reading for the day - my church, a member of the United Church of Christ denomination, places heavy emphasis on lay involvement, and not simply following the minister. The scripture for today likewise included one of my favorite Psalms - Psalms 121:
1I lift up my eyes to the hills— from where will my help come?
2My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
3He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.
4He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
5The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade at your right hand.
6The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.
7The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.
8The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time on and forevermore.
This, to me, is not saying we don't have bad things that happen to us. God knows I've been through a fair amount of hell in my 28 years of living. But Pleroma will not leave me. The Divine Spark that is within me, that is within every living creature, every rock, every drop of water, is still there. Bad things happen to good people (and innocent animals, and so forth), and when that happens, I remember that I'm part of Something bigger than myself, and that I will come out of the situation a stronger person having survived it.
For Lent, the Celtic Spirituality group at church, of which I am a part, is holding a meditation service on Sundays before Conversations in Faith. The meditation service is a short time of responsive readings, singing, Irish meditation music (a woman playing a harp), with the leader reading a passage on a chosen topic. The theme for today was "New Beginnings". It brought to mind not only the new beginnings symbolized by the holiday - the first day of Spring - but also the preparations I am making for a new school year that is to come soon. The theme for today's Conversations in Faith discussion was compassion, and how can we have compassion for others, as well as ourselves? The teaching in church was, likewise, on love. Love your neighbor as yourself. Who is your neighbor? Everyone. Everything.
After church I went to a local park and read a chapter out of the book we are reading in the Celtic Spirituality group, before going and buying an amazing (so far) new digital camera. Tonight, to finish off the day's activities, I held a solitary Ostara/Spring Equinox ritual that I found from a Pagan About.com newsletter I subscribe to. It was very calming, and focused on the balance between light and dark, winter and summer, old and new. Ostara is a time of balance, so such things should be the focus on this holiday. I thought of all the things I want to do, but don't seem to know how or where to start. I want to recycle, but the county I live in has virtually no recycling program - if we want to recycle, we have to take it to the recycling plant ourselves, there is no curbside pickup like with trash. I want to eat healthier and buy more local, but the only places I am aware of are our local grocery stores, which, while they do have good local/organic options, I just don't know recipes or how to actually go about cooking the food, nor do I have time to learn very much right now, between work, class, and internship, all three consisting of separate schedules. I want to experiment with an indoor/windowsill garden, similar to what many people who live in more urban areas do, but I'm lucky if I remember to adequately and consistently remember to water the one houseplant that I do have. I know I have the potential, and am getting better at the self-discipline. I just also know I have a tendency to take too much on, and end up not doing any of it as well as I could have. So I think these things are goals I'm going to try to keep in mind for "after graduation", to bring greater focus on these spiritual growth practices, once I have achieved my academic goals. Things seemed to be falling into place intellectually/emotionally this weekend; maybe someday things will fall into place for me to put it all into practice.