Are you cyclically confused? In a ceremonial quandary? Completely clueless? Wonder no more.
Ask Your Mama, The What, When, Where, Why, How, and Who of Ceremony & Spirituality
by Mama Donna Henes, Urban Shaman
Dear Mama Donna,
First let me say that I have great respect and gratitude for the work that you do. As a long time organizer in the neo-pagan community I have followed your activities with pleasure in the media through the years. But there’s one thing that really irks me; this spring equinox egg balancing hoax.
The fact is that it is no easier or harder to balance an egg on its end on any day of the year, and your promotion of such a vacuous myth is impossible for me to understand. This pseudo-science ‘eggsperiment’ is now regularly dis-proven by grade school students to show them the difference between delusion and knowledge. Why is a smart, strong, adult woman doing this?
Please don’t take this as an attack, but seeing you promote such a blatantly untrue and irrational belief as the egg hoax is baffling to me. It robs you and those of us with similar spiritual leanings of credibility.
Practicing Pagan in New York
Well, we could argue about whether or not you can stand an egg up at any time of the day, week, month, year, but this is beside the point of my egg events. What is truly important to me is that thousands of people make it their business year after year to attend to the shift of a season, to actively participate in a planetary rite of passage and to share this cosmic experience in sincere communion.
Standing an egg at other times may work mechanistically, but stood at the first moment of spring, the egg becomes the clear, rightful, recognizable symbol of a new season, the birth of new life. Eggs On End: Standing On Ceremony is every bit a traditional vernal fertility rite. A popular, contemporary celebration of the return of green and growth and light after the dark winter.
The event itself is astonishingly simple. An orange laundry basket that contains 360 eggs is passed among the crowd. We all hold them up in the air together, pledging to walk on the earth as if we were walking on eggs. Promising anew, in honor of the season, to protect our fragile yet resilient planet home. We count down the minutes to the equinox. And when the time is right, we stand our eggs in unison in salute to spring. No matter how many people attend, the real event is always each single person feeling for themselves what gravity and balance and equilibrium might mean.
Standing an egg on its end, feeling it as the yolk shifts inside to find its perfect point of balance, is like holding the entire universe in the palm of your hand. The excitement is profound and never, it seems, forgotten. I receive notes, clippings, testimonials, feedback and photos from folks from all over, who have attempted to stand up eggs either as a participant at one of my events, or alone, with friends, family, or with the entire television viewing audience. They send pictures of eggs standing on book shelves, kitchen tables, school rooms, driveways, even on a boat in the Caribbean. Eggs with kids, with astronomers, with physicists, with news anchors, with pet cats. This widespread celebration of the equinox, of the earth, of the universe and each other is what really counts.
By noting the especially energetic times of the equinoxes, solstices and other Celestially Auspicious Occasions, we associate ourselves as participants in the planetary cycles of our solar system – the seasons of the year and the seasons of our lives. It is immaterial whether or not the egg can stand at any other time. The important thing is to recognize the symbol, the season, the sky, and the kindred souls who surround us.
Yours in the spirit of balance,
*Are you cyclically confused? In a ceremonial quandary? Completely clueless? Wonder no more. *Send your questions about seasons, cycles, celebrations, ceremonies and spirit to Mama Donna at: CityShaman@aol.com
Donna Henes is an internationally renowned urban shaman, ritual expert, award-winning author, popular speaker and workshop leader whose joyful celebrations of celestial events have introduced ancient traditional rituals and contemporary ceremonies to millions of people in more than 100 cities since 1972. She has published four books, a CD, an acclaimed Ezine and writes for The Huffington Post and UPI Religion and Spirituality Forum. Mama Donna, as she is affectionately called, maintains a ceremonial center, spirit shop, ritual practice and consultancy in Exotic Brooklyn, NY where she works with individuals, groups, institutions, municipalities and corporations to create meaningful ceremonies for every imaginable occasion.
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