Satanists, practitioners of our carnal religion, may embrace and mark today’s seasonal pivot point, for we feel at one with the Earth and its continuing cycles. In the Northern Hemisphere, Spring arrives, replacing Winter’s stasis with life surging in triumphant burgeoning. In the Southern Hemisphere, Autumn shall soon cast its soothing spell after the retreating blaze of Summer, presaging the coming harvest with all of its fertile abundance.
Here in the haunted Hudson Valley, the plants have begun peeking up from the ground, though the overnight low temperatures have held them back, somewhat. The shoots inexorably bask in the extending daily period of sunlight, delighting us with their vitality. Soon, the snowdrops and squill will proliferate.
Music always enhances my sense of the seasonal change. On this day I typically enjoy listening to Stravinsky’s masterpiece The Rite of Spring, as it conjures with evocative timbres and aggressive rhythms the shattering of the frigid season’s strictures via the violent renewal of growth. Antonio Vivaldi captured the energy of Spring in his charming Concerto No. 1 in E major, Op. 8, RV 269, “Spring”—and his depiction of the other three seasons are also worthy of your hearing. I also suggest that one partake of Robert Schumann’s vigorous Symphony No. 1, called the “Spring Symphony,” and this excellent essay by Maestro Kenneth Woods will assist you to appreciate the intricacies of this ebullient work. Also worthy of your attention, Debussy’s early composition Printemps is a gentle celebration of human resurgence. As he said: “I should like to express the slow and labored birth of beings and things in nature, their gradual blossoming, and finally the joy of being born into some new life.”
So, after a year of “social distancing” and wise self-imposed isolation, we survivors reflect upon the losses many suffered during the pandemic. This year, I suspect many feel ever more enthusiastic in celebrating the splendors of Nature for we are part of its boundless mysteries.
—Magus Peter H. Gilmore