contributed by Jacqueline Greer
The room is dark and silent. You sit in the darkness, cold and alone, wondering if winter will ever end. You are restless, anxious, feeling something undefined stirring within you.
The stirring within you builds as you hear a gentle chime and feel a breeze brush your face. A young woman in a sky blue gown, blonde hair flowing over her shoulders, glides gracefully toward you. She holds a candle, its flame creating a chioscuro of blackest darkness and warm white light.
You search her face as she glides toward you with graceful steps. It is warm as morning sunlight. Her blue eyes twinkle as a smile lights her pale face.
“I see you have been waiting for me. I am Oestre, Goddess of the Greening Earth. I am the Maiden. I am childhood. I am Spring. I am the pink and yellow of blossoms and the bright green of Spring Grass. I am hope reborn.”
She sets down the candle, its flame continuing to pierce the darkness along with the soft glow from Oestre’s face and gown.
“I have a gift for you,” she says.
In her extended right hand appears an egg, glowing milky white, translucent alabaster. You peer into its depths and see children playing in the sunshine, soft spring rain falling on fields of wildflowers, lambs running through spring grass, pine forests exuberant as the trees show off their fresh soft green needles to one another. You see a waxing crescent moon pale but still visible in the morning sky.
“This is the joy of new life, the Maiden’s gift of youth and possibility,” Oestre says.
In her extended left hand appears another egg, shiny black. In its glassy obsidian depths you see the deepest night lit by stars and a waning crescent moon. You see shadows as owls hoot in the midnight forest. You see stillness, the void before creation, the womb before it embraces a child. You see black velvet upon a midnight altar. You see a solitary old woman reflecting at midnight in darkness, a black cat resting on her lap.
“This is darkness, stillness, the void, nothingness. This is the Crone’s gift of rest and quiet after the struggles of planting, growing and harvesting. It is the sleep of night and the sleep of death as a soul leaves one incarnation and rests to prepare for the next.”
Two eggs, one white and glowing, one black and still.
“So many seek only light, joy, youth and beauty. But they cannot fully exist except by contrast with darkness, and yes, pain and death. The Maiden must become the Crone if she is to fulfill her destiny and gain the Wisdom the Universe has for her. So it is with your spirit. Times of pain, tears and darkness bring reflection, then change, then rebirth. You must rest if you are to know the explosion of new life that is Spring. The womb must be empty and dark for the spark of life to light within it. The candle flame does not glow except in darkness.”
With that Oestre slowly departs, leaving the candle and the two eggs as tokens of her presence.
To symbolize Her wisdom today, I offer these two candles, one black and one white. Please light them together in your time of personal reflection, and meditate upon this time of balance between dark and light, day and night, life and death.