Earth is home to a web of living things that are connected to each other through a kaleidoscope of relationships. Picking a leaf off the ground and contemplating it as an object in and of itself is very inspiring. Its shape and color, the way it feels in your hand, its delicate veins and the stem that once held it fast to the branch of a tree—all of these qualities reveal a leaf to be a miniature work of natural art. As we contemplate this small object more deeply and consider where it came from and what purpose it has served, we find that the leaf is one small but essential part of a system that harnesses the energy of the sun, plumbs the depths of the earth, and in the process brings into being the oxygen many living things rely on to live.
A leaf transforms the elements of its environment—sunlight, carbon dioxide, rain—into nourishment for its tree. This beautiful, nearly weightless, ephemeral piece of nature is a vital conduit to the branch that is a conduit to the trunk that is a conduit to the roots of the tree. The roots, in turn, draw nourishment from the earth to feed the trunk, the branches, and the leaves. The living beings that inhale the oxygen that comes from this process exhale the carbon dioxide that feeds the leaves through which the tree is fed. It is difficult to know where one cycle ends and another one begins.
One of the many gifts that nature offers us is a clear demonstration of the interdependence between all living things. The person who exhales the carbon dioxide, the clouds that produce the rain, the sun that gives light, the leaf that transforms all these things into sustenance for a tree—not one of these could survive without being part of this cycle.
Each living being is dependent upon other living things for its survival. When we look at the world, we see that this is not a place where different beings survive independently of one another. Earth is home to a web of living things that are connected to each other through a spinning kaleidoscope of relationships. We need each other to survive and thrive.
Change can enter our lives silently and this change can be just as important as change we have worked hard for. We all see things about ourselves, our relationships, and our world that we want to change. Often, this desire leads us to take action toward inner work that we need to do or toward some external goal. Sometimes, without any big announcement or momentous shift, we wake up to find that change has happened, seemingly without us. This can feel like a miracle as we suddenly see that our self-esteem really does seem to be intact, or our partner actually is helping out around the house more. We may even wonder whether all of our hard work had anything to do with it, or if it just happened by way of grace.
As humans, sometimes we have relatively short attention spans, and we can easily lose track of time. We may worry about a seedling in a pot with our constant attention and watering for several weeks only to find ourselves enjoying the blooms it offers and wondering when that happened, and how we didn’t notice it. Nature, on the other hand, has infinite patience and stays with a thing all the way through its life. This doesn’t mean that our efforts play no part in the miracle of change—they do. It’s just that they are one small part of the picture that finally results in the flowering of a plant, the shifting of a relationship, the softening of our hearts.
The same laws that govern the growth of plants oversee our own internal and external changes. We observe, consider, work, and wonder, tilling the soil of our lives, planting seeds, and tending them. Sometimes the hard part is knowing when to stop and let go, handing it over to the universe. Usually this happens by way of distraction or disruption, our attention being called away to other more pressing concerns. And it is often at these times, when we are not looking, in the silence of nature’s embrace, that the miracle of change happens.
This week’s card (drawn today) is one of the Fairy Festival cards (of which there are eight following the Celtic Wheel of the Year) – OSTARA. Ostara (Spring Equinox) there is a balance and night and day are of equal length, the festival that heralds the Spring and new growth and fertility. I wouldn’t equate this card with new beginnings as such (I associate Imbolc with that) but definitely new growth and blossoming forth. Birds begin to find mates and make nests and often have their first clutch of young ones, buds on trees burst forth with a fresh new greenness, spring flowers blossom and young animals are born. There is definitely a vivaciousness about nature at this time of the year; a new creativity and fertility. The momentum is forward and outward looking.
In this card, which is predominantly fresh shades of green, you can see a Fairy Isle, a magical place that appears and disappears in less than a blink of an eye. Humans who are taken to a fairy isle have the fortune or misfortune of never coming back to normal reality again – they stay forever in the fair isle with the Fae. You can also see a group of the Fae (who are actually characters from other cards – the Changeling, Woodwose, the Lady Tryamour amongst others. You can also see those quintessential harbingers of spring – daffodils, with their bright yellow trumpets heralding a new phase of the wheel of the year.
I drew this card upright so I haven’t included reversed information here.
When the festival card of Ostara appears it heralds dawning creativity, emergence, an inpouring of energy and ideas, versatility, dexterity, idealism and individuality. An idea or situation begins to crystallise and take form.
Well, this is an appropriate card for me this week seeing as I am moving out of slump city hopefully. I wouldn’t say I feel an inpouring of energy but I am starting to feel more inspired to ‘do’ creative things. I also feel I am emerging but slowly – that’s ok. Emerging slowly from whatever is holding you back is ok; I always remember the story of the tortoise and the hare…slowly does it! Although it doesn’t feel like springtime to me I do feel a little more get up and go, despite having a most awful tooth infection and being in a great deal of pain. I can either wallow or move through this and I choose to do the latter. This card reminds me that I’m not alone in doing this, I do have support from unseen forces that are all around me – just look at that card, the Fae abound.