Spring Equinox Project

March 20, 2009

Happy Spring Equinox! Here is the project I created for this celestial event. All pictures link to the Flickr website and are sized at 1024×768 and under the Creative Commons license so you can download and use as wall paper if you want.

About four months ago I made four concentric circles out of rocks on the hill up where we live. The largest is about 12 feet across. Here is a picture of it.

Also here is a photo manipulation of the first circle.

One of my good friends suggested to look up Native American Medicine Wheels. Here is the Wikipedia article if you want to read more about them.

Wikipedia – Medicine Wheel

Essentially they are constructed with intentions of healing. Often there is a ceremony surrounding their purpose. Initially I was not interested. But something inside told me it might be a good learning experience to try a little spiritual experiment. I am quite a minimalist when it comes to spirituality and tend to look at things from a more scientific perspective. However I do believe in the power of art. So regardless of my personal intentions, or your perception of the piece, creations often foster something interesting within the nature of our reality.

On the morning of March 20th I woke up before the sun rose and set out to the circle with provisions, camera and a cup of coffee.  The Equinox is marked by the day when the Earth’s axis is inclined neither away from nor towards the Sun, the Sun being vertically above a point on the Equator. Thus the sunrise and set are the most directly East and West then any other day. I used this to set the four directions by eye. Here is a video of me setting the Eastern  direction as  the Sun comes up.

We have been hearing frogs in the forest lately. Surprisingly I found some correlations in my Medicine Wheel research to this amphibian. For one the frog can represent the East. Also there are 12 rocks that represent times of the year, like the zodiac, and the one for March 20th is the Frog Clan. Furthermore, where I live is the location of Mark Twain’s famous short story, ‘The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.’ Coincidence? I will let you decide.

Here is a picture I drew of a frog.

I wanted to share some frog characteristics and musings from the Frog Clan mythology.

-Frogs go through a metamorphosis changing from a tadpole to an adult frog.
-The medicine of a frog is associated with healing by means of changing. It can be seen as the wisdom to know when to rest from the negativity of life and emerge into a new life, a rebirth.
-Frogs do not drink much water. Instead they absorb water through their skin by means of osmosis.
-A frog represents water and cleansing. Often water is used to wash away the mud and replace with clear energy.
-Frogs are the best jumpers of all vertebrates.
-Some shamans believe that frog medicine represents a quick change from one state to the next, a leap to a new life.

It took me about three hours to make the transformation of the wheel. The last center piece was ritualistically placed by my housemates shown here.

From left to right. Larry, my mother Valerie, her husband Doug, and Me.

And here is the final version of the circle

The frog represents change of the self. The ability to know when to take time for yourself and let the rains clear away things like frustration, guilt, nervousness, emptiness, a weakened state and negativity from outside forces. If you are into meditation, here is a little exercise. This weekend if it rains in your area, or next time you take a bath, or even drink a glass of water, think about your body, mind, and soul being purified of all the negative aspects of your life. Intend for self rejuvenation and a clearer path ahead of you.

We have passed into the time when the sun shines down upon us at greater lengths then when it is hidden. I hope you all have a wonderful transition into the spring and summer of 2009.

Here is another photo manipulation called Frog Wheel.

-Jack Heart