8:24am, 21 March, 2023.
I didn’t know the equinoxes had a time. But learning something new every day is a wonderful thing.
Energetically, the Autumn Equinox is a time of balance and pause, a transitional moment between the bright half of the year and the dark half of the year.
After spending months in Bali, “Island of the Gods”, I was so moved by the small rituals and symbolism in the cenang sari. A daily offering of small items of beauty and meaning – flower petals, food, a coin, mosses, incense – and a prayer to Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa, The Divine Oneness. Sari means ‘essence’, and cenang (pronounced chenang) is two syllables in Kawi language: ca (beautiful) and nang (purpose).
In my western life, there’s been a distinct lack of ritual where I stop and pull away from the busy-ness and business of capitalist needs and the fine web of responsibilities, obligations and sensible pragmatism.
I’ve yearned for quiet moments of prayer and that feeling of oneness, of smallness, part of the planet and universe, grateful for it and yielding to it.
I don’t want to pray to gods in books, or those believed in by men in power because believing in those stories has helped them stay in powerful positions throughout history.
I want to leapfrog past this naked ape’s conception, into the Source itself – something we can’t pin down in words. The universe and the inconceivable. I’m ok with not labelling it.
I see it in landscapes.
In a fish under the sea.
In my hands moving, my eyes blinking, my heart pumping.
In clever inventions, hot coffee, chatting with friends, in the hugs of my family.
You get the idea…
I also don’t want to appropriate. The cenang sari for Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa is not mine to know anything about. Buddha is a Buddhist idea, and I am not Buddhist. ‘Sacred Cacao Ceremony’ makes me cringe when it’s advertised (!), by people who have no place dabbling in cultures that are not their own (do they even know about it being the custom precursor for sacrificing a soul to the Gods?). The Dreamtime of First Nations people is something I revere and respect and have a intense interest in, but again, they are not mine to share in.
So, with a great reverence for these cultural stories and rituals, but respecting their wisdom and provenance, I formed my own ritual.
My cenang sari
I created this offering this morning:
Hot pink hibiscus: a prayer for colour and brightness in life
A feather: for many, safe travels
Pumpkin: for nourishment and feeling happy and full
A yellow flower: for happiness and joy
Peppercorns: for heat, comfort, and passion in my nights
A spray of Seawater: for life, clarity and energy
Incense: regeneration through allowing some things to burn away
One thought on “Autumn Equinox”
Yes! More of your beautiful, thoughtful words