Spiritual Growth Moves Through Cycles just as the Planet Moves Through the Seasons
It is an awe inspiring moment when you recognize how the movement of the seasons mirrors your own spiritual growth. In these instances, where you open to feel the wonder of creation and how graceful it is, you come to love God more and want to know everything you can about the Way into union with Him.
As September approaches, we are reminded of the autumn season which is not far off. The outside world is transitioning and beginning its patient descent towards the pinnacle of winter. Parts of all living things are dying. The fruits on the plants are harvested and we gather up that which we need for the coming months of cold and darkness.
Things in the spiritual realm work inversely to that of the material realm. As the outer world is gradually losing daylight or how we say ‘the days are getting shorter’, the inner world experiences the opposite, the growing of the Light. At this time of the year, in the fall it becomes more evident what in us is ready to be harvested and what is preparing to die. The fruit yield on the plants will be dependent upon how the spring and summer seasons went. If there was a lot of rain as well as sun and warmth, the harvest is plentiful. We can think of these aspects as Light meaning consciousness and water meaning Love. The more Love and Light we cultivated, the greater the harvest will be in us.
If you have ever planted vegetables or fruits, you know that you need to tend to the plants with love and consistent attention. Rare is the weather perfect that they receive the perfect amount of sunlight, rain and protection from animals and pests. Perhaps if we as a race had been more in tune with God and not ravaged the planet, then we might’ve allowed God to do all the work. But more likely, we are meant to be good stewards of the earth given to us since doing so teaches us how we also need to tend to our inner world.
Consider what you are harvesting this fall as a result of the past spring and summer. By September, there isn’t much we can do to influence the growing season. It’s likely too late though we can monitor the plants and note when it will be best to pick what is ripening. As such, think about moving into a positive yet accepting mindset as you reflect upon what has grown in you over the past 6 months. Now isn’t the time to toil and labor over the size of the harvest but to recognize and take ownership as much as you can of the changes in you before the air turns chilly and the ‘fruits’ are damaged.
We really benefit from easing into the autumn with an attitude of gratefulness for what God has grown in us. We will be able to use these new parts of ourselves as we begin a new cycle of self-examination, devotion and love. The amount of daylight steadily diminishes, the mornings and evenings are cooler and the sentiment in our hearts changes. Try not to let your mood drop because of the coming winter. The warm bright seasons have their place but without the cold, dark months, the cycle would not be complete.
Remember and appreciate the cyclical nature of all creation. It begins with the simple act of breathing. Day gives way to night and night is overcome at day break. The tides are constantly moving from high to low, the moon waxes and wanes just as plants shoot up from the earth in spring and wither in the fall. This teaches us that everything moves through phases as it matures and we will find relaxation in accepting that everything is dynamic.
If we get too attached to a particular phase in our life, we risk getting disappointed. Change is constant and natural. Following the journey of Christ in relation to the seasons is also a beautiful thing. Consider that Mother Mary was born under the sign of Virgo on September 8th. She is the eternal Virgin as Virgo is the sign of purity and Service. Many think of Virgos as being overly critical while also being immaculately organized. In fact, Virgo rules discernment and enjoys separating that which is pure from that which is corrupt. Depending on the development of the soul, this can be overly focused in a negative and nitpicky way. But the transformed Virgo has great discernment ability. Their love of purity and patience with details allows them to sift out only the pure parts and see integrity prevail. Seek out and find this discerning aspect in you through the month of Virgo. Connect with Mother Mary and ask Her to help you.
Think of this fall as the birth of a new level of discrimination in you and how you can benefit from your new sight on things. Decide where you will invest your time and energy. As the months of October, November and December come and go, there is less and less sunlight. The plants lose their leaves and wither. Are they dead? By no means. But something in them knows it is time to let go and in fact, the leaves and other matter which they shed becomes food for the soil. God doesn’t miss a beat!
In us, as beings wanting to progress spiritually, we need to let those things die that are finished. This can pose challenges if we have been identified as a certain type of person and have always done things a certain way. God is trying to rid you of those ways. Do your best to not resist but simply let them fall away and be carried from you by the autumn winds.
From Thanksgiving and for about 4 weeks we begin an adventure with Mother Mary called Advent. This is a time of reflection of our wrongs against others and where we have felt wronged so we might let go even more and make room for something greater to dwell in us. We open in our meditation to the Supreme Mother who loves us as we reveal our errors and share our remorse.
At the pinnacle of the greatest outer darkness, right around the winter solstice, Christ was born. Each year, the soul on the Way seeks to prepare their temple for this experience. It will be dependent upon what the prior year has been like and where your focus has been. It is possible at this time to make a significant leap in your growth because the forces of nature are conspiring to assist you in coming to see Christ in you anew. Christ is born in the disciple each year allowing you a deeper and fuller expression of your Christ nature, if this is your desire.
Through the winter months, we might not remember that the Light begins increasing outwardly. The surface of the Earth is cold and bleak. If you are in a region that is often cloudy, that bleakness can tempt you to depression. Be strong in the Lord and seek solace within.
We prefer to be indoors much of the time and the short days allow more introspection. Keep in mind that as you review and refine, you are actually preparing for the wonderful surprises that spring will bring. The work you do upon yourself in the winter is going on out of sight just as there is activity under the ground where the roots of the plants are that we can’t see. The outer surface of the Earth in these winter months looks absolutely dead, covered in snow and ice. But the roots of the plants, while dormant are very much alive.
Isn’t it miraculous how the shoots poke out from the ground as the heat comes in late March/ early April? There is a tenderness to the early growth, so fresh and new. This will happen in you each spring if you have made it a priority to grow in love and devotion to Jesus and Mary and God over the winter. Now the mystery begins to reveal what new life comes bursting forth. As you see who you are emerging from this cold, dark period, you must nurture the new growth and protect it. The shoots are not strong yet. This is the time to be patient and discrete. Rather than promise a bountiful harvest, be humble and be in awe at what new growth appears.
The late winter and arrival of spring coincides with Lent, culminating to Easter and the Resurrection of Christ. This too is no coincidence. Jesus the man was killed in order that a higher expression of Jesus, the Christ could rise. We spend a concerted effort in Lent to wean ourselves from self-destructive or indulgent behaviors in order that we may be resurrected as a higher expression of ourselves. While many churches use a tie to the lunar calendar which sometimes has Easter coming in the season of Taurus, the mystics celebrate Easter closely after the Spring Equinox so it is always experienced in Aries. Aries is the sign of new beginnings, a fire sign of urgent activity and a love of all things new.
When spring hits, we are resurrected. Everyone begins to step outside and breathe a sigh of relief after the hard winter. We emerge from the intense inner focus and attend to the new life. As the months of spring give way to summer, all nature reveals its pageantry meaning its beauty and fullness. Summer is the time when we greatly reduce our focus on our own process and look for ways to be in service.
The plants are full and strong symbolic of those things which have matured in us and can now be of use to others. Think of Leo, which occurs from late July to Late August. Leo is radiant generous Love. It is the lion’s heart of courage where we valiantly push ourselves to give more than we thought was possible. If we take on this work, we will be blessed and given graces to support our service work.
Through diligent effort and relentless faith, your serve the Christ within which guides you to where you can be of use. You serve the Christ by losing the old ways of reacting emotionally and closing your heart to the more difficult people. Keep the faith and give without worry for what will be given to you. Remember the scripture that says, “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto thee.” Serving God through Christ is one way that you seek the Kingdom because you strive to live in the nature of a heavenly being.
Pray to Jesus and Mary frequently for the things you need as the seasons progress. Relax and give yourself over to the cycles of nature. Moving in accord with Creation will ensure a smoother Path.