The Triple Spiral - a PaGaian Heritage for Our
A PaGaian Breath Meditation
Going within for the moment and becoming
aware of your breath,
feeling this cycle within.
With your imagination, remember all
the breathing happening right now on the planet feel/sense
it with each breath.
The entire planet is breathing.
Remember the constant dawning and
setting of the Sun happening right now,
as Earth turns
the constant dawn and dusk.
Remember the constant facing into
the light of the Sun our Star,
and the constant facing into the dark of the Cosmos,
happening right now,
as She turns
the constant moving fullness of light and dark on opposite sides
of the planet.
Remember the constant coming into
being and passing away happening right now,
as She turns.
The entire Wheel as we celebrate it is happening right now
all at once.
We are at the Center of the Wheel.
She waxes into fullness, and wanes into darkness She
grows into form, and dissolves back into that great Plenum from
which all emerges.
There is in every moment:
constant novelty infinite particularity Virgin,
constant communion infinite relationship Mother,
constant dissolution transformation
making way for
the new Crone.
Feel this breath, your breath. We
in Her constant Creativity,
from this Center.
Reflective Seasonal Rhythms of Gaia's Hemispheres
In the Southern Hemisphere, those who follow Earth-based religious traditions
have passed Samhain and Winter Solstice, and are celebrating Imbolc. The
of these three seasons may be expressed as syntropy, the waxing toward
manifest form. In the fullness of darkness the new is born: the Dark Womb
ripens to birth, and origins are celebrated. Imbolc carries this through
with its themes of dedication to being, nourishing and attending of the
young. This creatively connected flow may be identified poetically with
the three aspects of Goddess Crone, Mother and Virgin, respectively.
In the Northern Hemisphere, the concurrent Seasonal Moment
is Lammas. The Poetry of the seasons as they flow from Beltane to Summer
Solstice to Lammas may be expressed as entropy, the waxing towards dissolution
of form. In the peaking of light, being is poured forth, consumed/consummated.
The fullness of radiant form ripens to harvest, and fulfillment of purpose
is celebrated: all is given over. Lammas carries this through with its
themes of "making sacred", transformation and opening to Larger
Self to the dark sentience within. This creatively connected flow
may be identified poetically with Virgin, Mother and Crone, respectively.
I understand the Poetry of both Solstices as celebrations of the Mother
aspect of the Triple Goddess, for both are Gateways, Entrances, Places
of Interchange between manifest and manifesting, places of Communion.
One is birth to small, particular self, which eventuates in the power
of being; the other is birth to larger undifferentiated self, immersion
in cosmic sentience, which eventuates in the power of loss. One is the
"Om", the Alpha; the other is the Omega. The new being emerges
within the Winter, pours forth fulfilled within the Summer. At Winter
Solstice the lighting of candles may represent the new being, the return
of the light and graciousness for Sun's regenerative powers. At Summer
Solstice, the rose, a full flower or ripe food may represent the fulfilled
being, the return of the dark and graciousness for consummation.
Our Ecological Moment
Summer Solstice may be understood as a closing as much as it is an opening.
Our Ecological Moment is a kind of Summer: We are peaking in the use of
much of Earth's resources built up over millennia. Most of us who read
this are reaping the harvest of Earth's ancient minerals and oil. From
this moment of flowering and withering, the Earth may return to the very
conditions that created the resources.
Or are we facing a kind of Winter a full Darkness? There may be
a sense of confusion, as we begin to sense a whole planet and witness
a scale of planetary changes unprecedented in human memory. And it all
seems to be happening so quickly: There is a kind of chaos as we leave
the known tracks.
We as Earth have found ways to plumb our depths, and until now our desire
and curiosity have not met sufficient resistance to slow us down, to make
us pause. It's as if we are globally at Beltane. In a froth of passion
and desire, the humans will go for it until it "ends," until
we are returned to a space for transformation.
Is it already a Samhain Moment? Gaia-Earth is in meltdown, She is a global
chrysalis perhaps will the butterfly emerge? We are the transformations
of the ages, and we receive the transformations of the ages. We are both
the end and the beginning: Old One ever-transfomed, Virgin ever-new. We
may feel it in our times: we witness the Planet being consumed, we are
consuming the Planet.
After the consuming there is the "wake," Lammas. How do we
come to terms with a global Lammas Moment? How do we manage immersion
into Larger Self letting go of the Beauty of so much form? Can
we bear witness to the Not-Yet, the New Young One of the Imbolc Moment,
which is as seamlessly connected to Lammas as the foetus is to the womb,
the necessary Darkness?
Gaia's timeframe is different from ours.
Gaia's timeframe is different from ours. It may well be beyond our imagination,
well into the future a long haul, but the Not-Yet will surely come
into being, as surely as the chlorophyll molecule was co-created by Earth
and Sun, as Earth reached for nourishment; as surely as the ear was co-created
by subject and sound, as the subject reached for an unknown signal; as
surely as the prokaryotes became eukaryotes in Earth's earlier times.
We live in a Cosmos that has ever changed nothing stays the same.
We humans as a species are part of that change, both as agent and recipient,
creator and created.
Perhaps what we are witnessing is the whole "Wheel of the Year"
happening at once. It is a Mabon too; more than ever, it seems, we live
in times of deep grief for all that is being lost, and yet we might hold
hope for the re-emergence, an Eostar. Many people do feel that we are
witnessing the re-emergence of much lost wisdom.
The "Wheel" may be understood as a Cosmic one the Pagan
becomes Gaian, or perhaps Gaian has returned to Herself as Cosmic. We
Gaian inhabitants have our indigenous sense of Place/Land extended to
a sense of Earth-Gaia as a whole, seamlessly connected to Herself as Universe-Gaia:
a unity of Being.
As we witness the reciprocal Seasonal Moments at once on the planet, held
within each other, even blurring, into a fuzziness of perception, we may
pull to Center perhaps. The Seasonal Moments may truly be thresholds to
the Center, which is omnipresent Creativity. What may essentially be celebrated
in the seasonal moments of transition are the Cosmic processes of Creativity
Cosmogenesis, the unfolding Cosmos, present in Earth-Gaia, and
within each being, in every moment. It is an eternal process in which
we participate. She has a track record of some 13.7 billion years as far
as we can tell, but in any case it is an eternity for the purposes of
I have come to identify this Cosmogenesis the "Creative Unfolding
of the Cosmos"
as represented by the Triple Spiral of Bru na Boinne (Newgrange,
as it is commonly known). With the insights of archaeologist Marija Gimbutas
into the repetition of the threes in early human art,
the work of Martin Brennan who spent long periods of time on site at Newgrange,
and the work of cultural historian Thomas Berry who also identifies "three
basic tendencies of the universe at all levels of reality",
integrated with organic research and ritual practice, I have come to understand
the Triple Spiral as a multivalent representation of the Creative Dynamic
unfolding the Cosmos. This motif may represent Earth, Moon and Sun in
their creative dance; it may represent three aspects of Goddess as She
was known in that local place; it may be originally lunar; it may represent
the waxing, peaking, and waning of all being; and many other layers of
poetic expressions relating to "becoming."
The Triple Spiral holds the dualities in creative balance: the light
and the dark, joy and sorrow, birth and death, manifest and manifesting.
All are expressed in the reciprocal seasons, the polar opposites that
are always One a Wholeness, a Gestalt just as the Moon holds
all three phases in constant flux on her One surface, where dark
and light interact in the one sphere.
Each Seasonal threshold contains its mirror image. One cannot be without
Other at the very same time. And every breath repeats this triplicity
this pattern of Cosmic Creativity.
We are integral with our Place "PaGaian"
is how I describe it, and our Place is as much within our own skins as
We are integral with our Place "PaGaian" is how I describe
it, and our Place is as much within our own skins as anywhere. Women particularly
have learned this over the last decades as we have consciously found the
cosmic dynamics alive within ourselves. Each being is a Creative Place
of Cosmological Unfolding, a sacred Center. She is threefold, and may
be celebrated in Earth's holy annual pilgrimage around Sun.
- I capitalize this term,
as I use it in the sense of a language - a Gaian or Cosmic language
- much as one would capitalize "English" or "French".
"English" or "French" are not generally thought
of consciously as "sacred" media, although the terms are
frequently treated as such. "Poetry" is definitely being
used to refer to a sacred medium. For more discussion of my choice
to capitalize certain terms, see PaGaian Cosmology, iUniverse 2005,
p.xii (Preface) which is freely available at http://pagaian.org
- I capitalize this term
as it is my name for "Sabbat" - a holy day.
- See Elisabet Sahtouris,
EarthDance: Living Systems in Evolution, Lincoln NE: iUniverse
2000, for the full story on prokaryotes, eukaryotes, and their place
in the history of earth life from the perspective of geobiology.
- This term is capitalized
because I mean it as a name for the Sacred.
- See Marija Gimbutas, The
Language of the Goddess, NY: HarperCollins, 1991.p.89-97.
- See Martin Brennan, The
Stones of Time:Calendars, Sundials, and Stone Chambers of Ancient
Ireland. Rochester Vermont: Inner Traditions International, 1994.
- See Thomas Berry, Evening
Thoughts, SF: Sierra Club Books, 2006, p. 145. Also Brian Swimme
and Thomas Berry, The Universe Story, NY: HarperCollins, 1992,
- Joseph Campbell, The
Masks of God: Occidental Mythology, NY: Arkana Books 1991, p.27.
- Newgrange triple spiral, courtesy
of the author