This week the Earth is restored to the center again, when the Sun sets on Saturday, March 31st and the Vernal Full Moon rises about 20 minutes later.
The center is usually described as a point in space, and in terms of our planetary system, we regard the Sun as standing at the center.
But if we consider the center as a moment in time instead, then we can have lots of fun figuring out when the Earth’s central moment occurs!
Every year at this time, when the Sun is setting as the Vernal Full Moon rises, we come to the celestial configuration that triggers the Spring festivals of renewal, which supports the idea that what’s happening on Earth is of central importance to a living cosmos.
There’s a beautiful Norwegian fairy tale that touches this mystery of being central in time called East of the Sun and West of the Moon. It’s a lovely tale about a large family that is terribly poor, until one evening when a white bear knocks at the door and promises them untold riches if they will just hand over their youngest daughter as his companion. Of course, the bear is an enchanted prince, sent through the world seeking the one who is true enough to break the spell cast on him by the evil ogress with the nose that’s nine ells long.
The usual challenges fall out, and the youngest daughter nearly loses all hope of ever freeing him from the spell because, once she breaks her vow to the bear/prince, he must leave her to marry the daughter of the ogress, unless she can find him in time at the castle that is East of the Sun and West of the Moon.
Every year in the Spring, when the Sun sets after returning north of the celestial equator and the Full Moon rises opposite, the stage is set for the Earth to retake its central role as the castle that is East of the Sun and West of the Moon ~ and we can all find our happily ever after.