Light and dark, young and old, aggressive and receptive, motion and stillness, male and female, life and death: there is a powerful dynamic to our existence that is created by the interplay - the dance - of opposites. In some philosophies it is seen as dualities with judgmental connotations of good and bad: the light is divine; the dark is evil. The reality is that both are necessary. They are polarities and they require balance within the world and us. Is that not the basic nature of the sacred dance -- an ever-dynamic union of opposites? 

There is a cyclic quality to this dance that is mirrored in the seasons of the year, of birth-death-rebirth. At the points in the cycle where light and dark are equal we find ancient festivals that celebrated the polarities of life. At the spring equinox Persephone returns to Demeter; youth and age, the child within and the wise one are reunited. At the autumn equinox the sacred marriage, the union of male and female, is celebrated.
For the ancient Sumerians, summer was a time of death. Heat and drought killed much of the vegetation. This was the time that Dumuzi, the eternal dying and reborn vegetation god, spent in the underworld. At autumn, when cool winds returned and rains came, Dumuzi was reborn and returned to the bed of the Goddess of Love and the Earth's fertility, Inanna, which caused the land to flourish once again. The union of male and female in the hieros gamos  (sacred marriage) is symbolic of the union of all opposites, the balance of all polarities and ultimately the mating of life and death.
As with all mythology, the heroes and heroines represent parts of our own psyches. In this month's workshop, using the myth of Inanna as she travels to the underworld to reunite with her sister Ereshkigal, we will explore how we each created our persona and shadow selves. In gaining this awareness we are able to respond consciously to the traits  found in each.
With much love,
Rev. Carla