Looking into the Christian Calendar, we find that March 24th is the Feast of the Archangel Gabriel, the overseeing divinity at the time of the incarnation of the Christ. March 25th, then, is honored as the Feast of Gabriel’s Annunciation to Mary that, should she accept, she will be the bearer of the Christ Child, who is then born nine months later, on December 25th.
This mystery of “spiritual annunciation” is not confined to Christianity, and it’s also not a coincidence that it’s observed at this time of year. We’re close to Spring Equinox in the northern hemisphere right now, and this point in the yearly cycle was long-held to be the spiritual new year, if not the actual beginning of the year in the calendar. In fact, the time of equinox marked the beginning of the new year until the 1st century BC, when Julius Caesar adjusted the calendar and established January 1st as new year’s day.
Then there’s Dante, and his masterwork The Divine Comedy. Dante’s epic journey occurred over the course of one week that began on March 25th. So this year in Italy, exactly 700 years after the Comedy was completed, March 25 is being celebrated as Dante Day!
In perfect poetic harmony, on March 25th the planet Venus will meet the Sun in superior conjunction, gathering up all the cosmic love and beauty for bearing earthward when Venus becomes our evening star in a few weeks. I’m imagining that Venus is like Dante’s Beatrice, the divine feminine who summons Virgil to escort Dante, until she comes for him in the paradise.
So be on the look out for love and beauty this week, and for the annunciation it’s making in your life right now. The planets are gesturing, the year is opening, and great works of art are sounding out a timeless rhythm, if we can hear it.
For the love that moves the sun and all the stars,
Mary Stewart Adams
Image above of Beatrice in her chariot, by William Blake (1757-1827)