Saturday, September 5, 2009

A Time of Change

With nights dipping to the 50's and the shadows closing in at half past seven, I'm inclined to think that changes are afoot.  This time of year makes me a little wistful.  Being a child of the summer, I've always felt that the world was most right when the Solar Lion was roaring in the land.  True, Mid-Atlantic summers can be beastly, but man! the woods and fields are so lush and abundant and a cold beer at the end of the day can be a gift from the Gods.  Still, change comes and I'd be foolish not to acknowledge it.

In the world of Western Magick there is a principle known as, "as above, so below", credited to the semi-mythical figure, Hermes Trismegistus (contained in something called the "Emerald Tablet").  This is most often expressed: "as above, so below, but after a different fashion", and taken to mean that any principle that we can observe in the physical world has its echos in both broader and narrower realms -- though it might require some pondering to see exactly how they correlate.  Thus, the yearly cycle of seasons is reflected in the longer cycle of climate, in the longer still turning of the Zodiacal ages and also in the smaller cycles of day/night, full/dark moon.  Some quality of "ebb" or lack is present in all cycles and some quality of "flow" or fullness is present at the opposite extreme.  These cycles have their resonances in the more subtle realms of spirit but I'll leave that discussion for another time.

No matter where we are in life, it's possible to look up for a moment and see the larger picture.  Imagine that you are walking down a city street and chance to look off to one side at some precise instant. You see a blade of grass aligned with a sapling aligned with a phone pole aligned with a water tower aligned with a sky scraper aligned with a mile-high column of clouds.  Beyond this is perhaps a constellation aligned with the spiral arm of the Milky Way and who knows what in larger and larger scales.  And it need not even be something directly observed.  We might be reading a book or watching something on TV when we encounter a kernel of information that aligns our understanding of some small thing with the larger principle it represents.  Sometimes these insights are so profound that we remember them years later and know that our life changed at that moment.

Change is occurring around and within us continually.  That things will change is one of the few truths we can depend on utterly -- nothing, truly nothing lasts forever.  Even still, there seem to be long periods of relative changeless-ness interspersed with great bursts of tumultuous change.  It is during those times of noticeable change that it's of greatest value to look around us and see how the changes in the microcosm of our lives is reflected in the world around us.  When the seasons are changing, we can pause and say, "What is changing in the broader world, and what is changing in me?"  We might even ask, "Since change is going on all around me, do I need to change as well?"

I draw the blanket closer around me and the cat snuggles in behind my legs.  Perhaps tomorrow evening we'll put the first fire of the season in the wood stove.  I know that my days of outdoor grilling are numbered but I see that a nice butternut squash came with this week's bundle of vegetables so pretty soon I'll be thinking about soup.  Maybe change isn't so bad after all.

Blessings to you,


For a great illustration of "as above, so below", watch this wonderful video, "Powers of Ten", created by Charles and Ray Eames.


  1. Now this is what I'm talking about! Good reading...yes indeedy...

  2. Can we use this as our yesod pathworking instead?