We trundled onto the beach in the pre-dawn light, wrapped in many layers of clothing, hats and scarves and mittens, carrying our drums. There was not a soul out, and the sea was fairly calm with little wind (for a change). As we made out way to the spit, the sound of waves rolling shingle onto the shore grew louder. We could see that the tide was out, further out than I had seen it for a long time. We were nearing the full moon and the Spring Tides, and it showed.
We stood at that liminal place, where the water meets the shore, in that liminal time of twilight. We were between the worlds. We inhaled the sea air and let the sounds of the water fill our souls with its song, its current of intention.
After a few minutes, I lit a candle and some charcoal in a small burner. As the charcoal heated up, I brought the candle in its lantern down to the water’s edge, touching the incoming waves with the base of the lantern. Where water meets fire there is the greatest power.
As I returned the lantern to a safe distance away, I then put a large pinch of that sacred Druid herb, vervain, onto the charcoal in the censer and carried it to the shoreline, offering it to the spirits of place and the ancestors. We spoke our prayers to the spirits of place and the ancestors, and honoured the goddess of this particular sea: Nehalennia. We then picked up our drums, and drummed up the sun in the growing light.
As the drumming faded into the dawn’s light, we decided to chant our delight at the turning of the season, of the growing light and the coming months of Spring and Summer. We created a chant there and then, on the spot, to a heart/drum beat:
“The sun is rising – rising over the sea
The light is growing – growing within me”
Though we couldn’t see the sun behind the clouds, we could feel its presence, not only in the growing light on the beach but also within our hearts. We finished our chant, and then took a few moments to pray quietly, saying our personal prayers. I prayed for the health of a friend of mine who was in hospital, as well as another friend who was in the same hospital giving birth. Strength to them, healing to them, by the powers of the growing light, may they endure…
Suddenly Lisa called out. I looked over to where she stood on the high shingle bank, and she was waving me over. I finished my prayer and rose to see what she was calling about. As I crested the rise, I looked down into the bay created by the spit of shingle and, to my delight, saw a seal swimming in the water.
The seal was curious, looking at us, wondering what we were about. I made my way slowly to the shore and sat down quietly, waving my mittened hands to the seal every time it popped its head out of the water. When it saw me sitting on the shore it swam straight over, and we shared many beautiful moments together. Eventually it tired of swimming in the bay, and came out onto the shingle beach with us, resting on the stones about fifteen metres away. It was nice to have company.
We finally ended our ritual, growing cold and needing some food to refuel our bodies after our morning. We bid goodbye to the seal and walked back across the spit to solid land. Lisa turned to me and said “You know what – I bet the baby’s been born.” I could only agree.
Spring Equinox brings new light and new life into the world, full of magical experiences if we are open the to wonder and awe of existence. May you be blessed in the light half of the year as we move towards summer, may your crops be strong and healthy, may Brighid bless you in all your endeavours. May the ancestors be at your back and the sun shine upon your face. Blessings of the Spring Equinox to all!