Easter weekend I had the pleasure to return once again to the Spring Mysteries Festival that the Aquarian Tabernacle Church has organized for the past 23 years. This is the third time I have gone, and each experience has been different, though the theme is always the same.
The ATC Spring Mysteries Festival is modelled on the Eleusinian Mysteries, initiation ceremonies held every year for the cult of Demeter and Persephone based at Eleusis in ancient Greece. I can’t tell you much more, because the Mysteries have to be experienced to be understood.
I wasn’t sure I was going to make it this year. It was very important to me that I go, as I had prearranged for my parents to look after my children so my husband and I could get the full experience. We were also to be initiated as clergy with the Aquarian Tabernacle Church of Canada. It was all set well before Christmas.
But three weeks before the event, I was challenged. Both of my grandmothers were quite ill—one needed heart surgery, and the other was slowly dying. My parents could not decide whether to stay in Minnesota and care for their mothers, or come to Vancouver Island to care for their grandchildren.
To make a long story short, they came, and I returned from the Mysteries sleep deprived but exhilarated!
One week later, my grandmother died. Upon hearing the news, my first feelings were of relief and happiness for her. I know that my grandmother is happier now—she is young again, and healthy, and reunited with her husband, son and many siblings that preceded her to the Creator’s arms. I am tinged with sadness, because I will miss her very much, but I do not really grieve.
I am returning to Minnesota not only for her funeral, but also to care for my family. My husband and children remain here, so I will be free to lend my hands wherever they are needed. I will also be there as a shoulder to cry on. I know I will shed my own tears when I am there, and I will probably shed a few for those who are not able to express their grief. But I will do so joyfully, in the knowledge that I am serving others.
One lesson I brought home from the Mysteries that I can share is that if you’re not having fun, why are you doing it? I don’t mean that we should stop working, or cleaning the house because these things are not fun. The lesson I learned is to have fun in whatever it is you are doing, even if it is cleaning someone else’s dishes! When you come from a place of love and service to others, even the most daunting tasks can be fun. And that includes grief.
Mary is a Priestess with the Circle of the Sacred Muse, an affiliate of the Aquarian Tabernacle Church of Canada. For more information, you can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org .