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  • Writer's pictureSara McFarland

Equinox: Liminal threshold between Dark and Light

This morning dawns grey and rainy and I feel the liminality that is equinox- one foot in each world of dark and light. As I am invited ever more deeply into being the Death Doula for the Great Dying, I remember hearing this phrase 3 years ago from Earth; a job description I did not know how to fill and did not want… here is a whiff of what I have been coming to understand...which still stupefies me, sometimes terrifies me, but feels in my body like the deepest kind of knowing I am blessed to receive. I will try to put into words what I am coming to understand

Image credit: Clement M from Unsplash


I track the larger cycles of the life-death-life journey that is Earth. Practicing rituals that align me with the more than human energies continues to have me crossing thresholds and entering portals I would otherwise avoid. Well, the comfortable small part of me would avoid. But there is actually no choice in the matter, is there? 

As well as the pattern, I am also tracking the pattern disruption, the third thing, the unseen. The way transformation happens, the way rupture leads to the gift of adaptation through repair. Light pierces dark, darkness swallows light. How my own birth was a pattern disruption and the golden thread of death and life has been something I have tracked my whole life. My first Story as an interdisciplinary performance artist was Persephone. Not at all a surprise, given my calling as Soul Guide and Death Doula. 

And, I am tracking scale. I wonder this morning how a human’s death, personal and intimate, within a very real circle of care and grief and loss can resonate with the hugeness of the Great Dying, by which I mean the 6th Mass Extinction that is underway. Is this even possible? What are you up to Earth and what are you asking of me? How do you want me to be Death Doula for these times of collapse, crisis, transformation? How is Death Doula for the Great Dying also tending to the beauty and grief and loss of the species who die every day, as well as the wars and genocide and horror of both humans and other than humans? How to bridge in this human body, along side the Story-beings and the ancestors and the future ones and Earth themselves, the disruption of ancient patters of weather and spawn and migration and hibernation? 

To trust in the repair that is transformation, to love and guide over the threshold this power-over culture as it dies, to return to Earth in life, as each of our bodies will do in death, to listen, to sing, to tell the stories of my people, to remember, to not know, to love.

In these times, mine is not in actively changing things, in making things better or working to save things. It is not where I am to put my energy. Mine is to call in a ritual circle and invite those to enter who long for change within their own hearts. To support human people and places to transform and participate reciprocally in the ritual that is the life-death-life cycle, embodying life and death with beauty and the depth of relationship called love.

Earth is speaking through me- that loving all beings, the vow I made so many years ago, is still the path. That the collapse IS the response to the Crisis and the crisis IS the response to our forgetting sacred law. That we need to love and make beauty because it is worth doing and is the being of human being. Not because it will change anyone, trying to save folks is part of the drama triangle, which is control, not Love.  

The Earth shows me, they go through phases of collapse and renewal and rupture and repair and some survive but most do not, which means not all of us will and we don’t get to decide who and it isn’t fair. That the work is to change ourselves to being in relationship with each other  (human and other than human) from the heart, the emotions and body, the senses and imagination because it is the honourable thing to do so. That kindness is what makes sense because it feels good for everyone. That blaming feels like shit for everyone and war is absolutely nonsense. 

What if there was nothing to do, but so much to be? What if being who we are here to be were the answer to all the questions we carry in our hearts and how we each give life to life. Death will come for ALL OF US NO EXCEPTIONS. Even stars, the sun, the moon, the earth, all beings. Only love, fierce, wild and kind, makes any sense... 

thank you for listening to my humble attempts to speak these words Earth has given me

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