Creative Tensions and Spring

There is a certain beauty to be found in the Spring. It is the time of return for birds and the growth and blossom of the first flowers of the warm season. As the days grow warmer, the anticipation of sunny revelry and plentiful harvests also begins to blossom. There is no wonder that this season is viewed as a time of fertility and new beginnings.

While I do not disagree with this notion, I am compelled to suggest that this picture is but incomplete. In order to complete it, we must also consider these new beginnings as the result of the nature of Spring as a "twilight" between the bitter coldness of Winter and the often oppressive heat of Summer. In either of these climate, young plants just starting to take root would find it difficult - if not impossible - to grow. It is the balance of this twilight from which the new growth of the season stems.

This concept is symbolically expressed in the Icelandic creation myth that Snorri Sturluson describes in his Prose Edda. In this myth, the fire of Muspell and the ice of Niflheim both flow into Ginnungagap. Through the tension created by the mingling of these two great forces, the primal beings come into existence. And through these beings, all creation eventually is formed or brought into existence.

Both this myth and the ritual observance of the spring equinox express the importance of tension between two forces in the creative process within Paganism. However, the magnitude and significance of this truth is not fully realized until we apply it to ourselves on an individual level. Our own growth stems from the creative tension between "opposing" forces - both those within ourselves and those that originate from external sources.

This is a truth that writers and storytellers have understood since the advent of story telling. We know that a good story stems from both a plot and characters that develop and grow due to difficulties and interpersonal and inner conflicts. As these creative tensions unfold, the story is born and matures.

In the process of observing the passage of Spring - and most notably the equinox - Pagans seek to knowingly apply that same principle to our own lives. We actively seek the tensions within ourselves and our lives that carry creative potential. We then determine manners in which we might harness that potential to foster our own personal growth as well as the betterment of our lives.