The Wisdom of OppositesMar 24, 2022
ANCIENT WISDOM OF OPPOSITES FOR A WORLD IN FLUX
The Wisdom that the Spring Equinox offers us is the wisdom in the dance of the opposites as we
move from darkness into light, from death to rebirth in nature.
In the Earth based cosmology of our ancestors we see a beautiful honouring of the dance of
polarities in the marking and celebration of the shifting seasons.
They knew this because they lived so closely aligned with nature. The tension of opposites is
nature’s creative tension from which everything new is born - the third thing.
They knew like the great scientist and philosopher CS Pierce, that “existence lies in opposition”.
In the Celtic mind three is sacred. We see it represented in the triple aspect of the goddess
symbolising the wisdom of cycles and in the triplespiralor ~ triskele, the symbol of continuous
In Taoism, one begets two(yin and yang), two begets three and three begets all things. This again
is echoed in sacred geometry in the shape of the vesica piscis.
Everything has its opposite—light and dark, up and down, feminine and masculine, day and night,
perfect and flawed, birth and death, sadness and joy and on and on.
They converge as part of a rhythmic dynamic dance.
In the rational linear mind of modernity we tend to think of opposites as always being in
opposition to each other, like two ends of a straight line.
e.g Success <> Failure
More often than not we privilege one pole over the other. One is seen as good, the other pole is
bad. For instance all things light are “good” and all things dark are “bad”.
Happiness, success, growth, sameness, peace, effort is “good”. That’s the side of the street we
strive constantly to be walking on. Meanwhile on the “bad” side of the street we find darkness,
depression, death, destruction, failure, conflict and difference. We don’t want to step onto or be
seen on that side of the street.
This is the heart of Patriarchy that privileges one person, state, way of being over another.
In this either /or system the good is aspired to and the “bad” or “wrong” pole goes into the
shadow. We don’t want to “own it”, be seen doing it, and we definitely don’t want to experience it.
Look at the polarisation of the world right now.
Victim versus oppressor
Individual freedom versus collective good
Helpless versus powerful
Men versus women
Black versus white
Us versus them
My ideology versus your ideology
I’m right versus you are wrong
It’s all EITHER /OR thinking.
What we get is a fragmented, polarised and separated world at war with itself.
What the Spring Equinox invites us into is the lost wisdom of BOTH/AND.
The Spring and Autumn Equinoxes are the two points on the Celtic Wheel when the light and the
dark, night and day, the feminine and masculine principles converge in that dance.
Ancient, Indigenous and esoteric traditions and philosophers understood that nothing is
inherently “good” or “bad” in the dance. At the deepest level, they are two faces of the same
thing, both opposites and co-arising. Always in relationship. There is no light without darkness,
there is no day without night.
When we learn to work with polarities as a dynamic dance of opposing forces we see it not as a
straight line but as the infinity symbol. Flowing, fluctuating, oscillating and alive. The movement of
When we include the polarities we become creation, change and evolution – the third thing arises
from two opposites. We both transcend beyond the two poles and include them. This creates the
spiral of evolution.
In a world now so intensely divided, when we reweave the wisdom of polarity in our own lives we
accelerate the collective evolution, and our return to wholeness. We move out of victim
consciousness into sovereign consciousness. We heal the split between so many opposites in our
How do we do that?
Take time to pause and reflect on the opposites in our own lives. Consider some of these
1. Where are we noticing the war of opposites happening within us and in our
relationships? These are the evolved peace lines we would do well to step up to now.
2. Where are we inhabiting one side of any polarity while the other goes into shadow? Are
we acting out of fear, vulnerability, panic? Can we kindly meet that fear, vulnerability, panic
and then consciously bring ourselves into the soothing, calm, connected states. Can we
include both in our awareness, acknowledging this is what it is to be human?
3. Are we attached to an ideology that we think is right and shut down to all other
perspectives? Can we stay open to other perspectives while being clear in what we stand
for without rigidity?
May you find fluidity, ease and power in the dance of light and dark this Equinox.