Sweet & Sour of Holy Ground

When the ‘moveable feasts’ of Passover and Easter tango together, religious rituals fill the air, and tastes of childhood linger on the tongue through matzo, or peeps. The sour and sweet of holy ground offers both guilt and redemption. It can open the numinous, or close down possibility by orthodoxy. Religious roots can send us on trajectories into unknown spiritual quests, as well as the crazies.

Passover and Easter are called ‘moveable feasts,’ not because we go from meal to meal visiting family, but because they were created by the timing and turning of earth in relation to the heavens. This was not a precise science. Planetary orbits change, and we set calendars by this heavenly movement, revealed year by year, much as religious bias has grown, slowly, layer on layer.

Pesach, or Passover, originated on the first full moon after the Vernal Equinox. Easter took its timing from Passover, setting itself on the first Sunday after the Paschal full moon, after the vernal equinox. Easter, based on the Gregorian calendar, not on the actual astronomical full moon or equinox, was set by the Catholic Church, mandating an automatic equinox on March 21. Religion superseded God to dictate when and how.

More tied to ancient roots is the Orthodox Church, which uses the same formula, but bases its timing on the Julian calendar, instead of the Gregorian. This sets Easter on the actual astronomical full moon and equinox for Jerusalem, instead of the Gregorian auto-pilot of the western calendar. Eastern Orthodox celebrate the death and resurrection of Easter after Jesus entered Jerusalem and held Passover.

However we celebrate our moveable feasts, may religion free us, rather than enslave. May our beliefs rise and twine from heart and mind. May we return to what is ancient and powerful within, connecting us to Gaia and her heavenly firmament. Let us hold hands and dance under; the ‘full pink moon,’ ‘the sprouting grass moon,’ ‘the egg moon,’ ‘the fish moon’… all names for this celebratory time. No matter what we name it, break bread and matzo, drink wine, and sit with possibilities for rebirth.

Asana/Pose: Mandalasana/Circling Headstand. If you can do a backbend, you can do this pose. Move into Sirsasana/Headsand, back of head nested in clasped hands, and walk the feet all the way around clockwise. Reverse the direction, creating a mandala or circle around the head, which remains in the center. To accomplish this, move the feet sideways, and when coming to the difficult 3 and 9 O’clock positions, lift opposite shoulder a bit, move chest forward and up, rotating trunk. This rotates the spine 360 degrees. Make sure spine, especially neck and lower back area are fully warm before moving into the circling.

Health Notes: Just as practicing Sirsasana/Headstands promotes longevity and peacefulness, so does Mandalasana, plus it stretches trunk and abdomen. As you walk around, pretend your feet are a planet orbiting the earth/your head. Feel the earth’s changes as it moves through the uneven relationship/orbiting.

Ayurvedic Notes: Just as the ancient books called Sirsasana the king of all Asanas, spring is the king of the seasons. In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna wrote, “I am the Soul in the body, the Mind in the senses, the Eagle among birds, the Lion among animals. Among all the trees I am the sacred Bodhi tree, and of the seasons, I am spring.”
It is the season of celebration, and new life, with flowers emitting pollen. This is often when Kapha bodies get allergies. Upon waking do Sun Salutations, and other kapha-reducing Asanas such as: Bow, Lion, Camel, Boat, or Headstand.

Astrology Notes: Aires energy calls for new life, new experience, and re-birth. Its inspirational fire activates outwardly. Aires is the sign ruling the head, and the adjective ‘headstrong’ is often appropriate. Because of the Aires desire to sow seeds and stimulate others to ardent action, taking a cooling moment to move into Headstands, or Shoulder Stand is a wonderful balance.

One Comment


WOW! “Sweet and Sour” is just beautiful. I loved it. What a gift you have.
Happy Holidays to you,



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