On the sixth day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me
six geese a-laying
The six days of creation before God rested on the Sabbath.
Eggs are of course a well-worn flag of new beginnings, featuring prominently in Easter and other pagan-inspired spring rites of renewal. Cherished and adorned by Tsarist Russia, dismissed for possessing more than a reasonable share of cholesterol, the humble egg is still my favorite lunch-on-the-go (hardboiled and eaten out of the shell at room temp, in the style of those wire trees perched on the counters old French cafes).
Raising chickens is newly hip, and I've had the pleasure of watching my brother's flock drop their daily quota. The beauty lies in the diversity: some are pale green and oblong, others peach and round. Each day a new gift. Each perfect in its own way.
The yoga tradition pictures the universe as a cracked egg, its
perfect beauty marred by a fissure that in turn allows the universe to grow and to evolve. Awakening ones trace their way along the seam, for it is through the cracks that the light of the Divine also shines.
Baby chicks must tap tap tap their way out of the hard shell protecting them. We too must continually push out against the boundaries we set for ourselves, caterpillars breaking through the chrysalis. To do so means leaving our old selves behind. Step Six announces that we are willing to have God remove all the defects of character that emerged in our moral inventory (see Day Four). Yoga is the power of transformation, and God knows we could all do with change.
The Hindu pantheon features sets of three gods and three goddesses (total: six) who encompass the cycle of creation-sustenance-dissolution:
(Though later Tantra switches the order of the goddesses, seeing Kali as the innate potential that spurs creation.)
The ghostly trio of the Three Fates provide a vastly underrated backdrop to the Greek myths: no matter what antics the gods and goddesses may enact, the final outcome always lies in the hands of the three ladies:
one who spins the thread of life
one who doles it out
one who cuts it short.
Who's pulling on your string? How are you making use of what's being doled out?
A fond farewell to 2011!