Over the years, I found two great definitions for mythology. The first was crafted by the man I call my rabbi, the late Joseph Campbell, who said, "Mythology is what we call other people's religion." The second - I'm not sure who wrote it, but he or she was ingenious - said, "Mythology are true stories that never happened." The latter definition asserts that there is a kernel of truth in every mythology and therefore can withstand the challenge of space and time, reverberating throughout the ages, nurturing our souls lifetime after lifetime.
This weekend was a powerful story generator. A great deal of synchronicities and events converged to propel our life narrative forward. On Friday, Jews around the world retold the mythology of Exodus, the same story Jesus recited before he was apprehended by the Roman authorities. On Saturday, a powerful total lunar eclipse in Libra made us look deep into the axis of "I versus Thou" in our lives, pitting "my needs" against "our wants," as trying to find a compromise. And then came Easter Sunday, the resurrection of the goddess Eostre, with her bunnies and painted eggs. Again, as the definitions above explained, these stories of slaves liberated, sons of God resurrected, and goddesses whose feet melt the winter snow, are all true even though they lack archaeological evidence.
Spring's mythology is associated with the premises of these worldwide stories and can be summarized by a few tags - liberation, resurrection, freedom, life, autonomy, call-to-action, and free-will. While winter represents fate, spring brings choice. Our will is free to choose our next course of action.
One of the ways I believe astrology helps people is by presenting them with hope. Time, which astrologers throughout the ages attempted to fold into meaningful cycles, can provide a great deal of help to the hapless. I see it again and again when I chart people's life. Yes, they might have Saturn in the house of death that can manifest as a parting of a parent or a friend, but even those seasons of grief are bound by time and they too pass-over. Astrology is based on the ancient premise that "to everything there is a season under the heaven." (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
לַכֹּל, זְמָן; וְעֵת לְכָל-חֵפֶץ, תַּחַת הַשָּׁמָיִם
What I found myself repeatedly saying to my clients is that they should be careful not to fall in the trap of what I call the "inertia of pain." Inertia, in classical physics, is the tendency of bodies to preserve its current state. It comes from the Latin root iners, best translated as "idle." As above so below, and we too, having bodies, tend to think that our current state would last forever. Therefore, if we are experiencing "the winter of our discontent," we might not see that spring had arrived, thus losing ourselves in the inertia of pain, forcing the cold to last longer. Lord Buddha concurs and said that "Everything is impermanent." He, too, like the biblical author (both part of what is called the Axial Age circa 7-5 century BCE), could see that time, moods, perceptions and life itself flows in a cyclical manner. That is why astrology has been such a powerful tool for so many cultures around the world. It tries to map these changes, helping us take things a little bit less personal. Are you sad? No worries, soon you will be happy. Are you in joy? Don't get attached, you might catch a winter blues soon.
As we move into spring, the time has come to slow the inertia of pain and to reinforce the signs of hope, good fortune, opportunity and success that the season bestows upon us. Spring is about stretching our organs, being physically active, juicing green (associated with the Fool) fruits and vegetables, and connecting to Aries, the sign of "Call to Action."
And for our friends in the Southern Hemisphere, do not be saddened. You get the best of both worlds. You too celebrate the spring festivities of Easter and Passover, yet you do it in your fall, mitigating some of the darker aspects of that season. Then, six months later, you get your spring. What a treat! Two springs in one year, one mythological and the other seasonal.
Happy spring into action!