Spring Equinox is almost upon us, and as always I like to give you the ‘gen’ on what this should and could be about, what’s celestially occurring in the Northern Hemisphere, and enough time to prepare anything you may like to do to mark the occasion…. Other than deprive yourself of chocolate for 40 days, why would anyone want to put themselves through that, then stuff your face silly! For my Southern Hemisphere readers, it is reversed, summer ends and autumn begins. Some may be know this day as the Vernal Equinox or March Equinox.
For Pagans and Wiccans alike, we call this season change from dark winter to brightening spring, Ostara….Which sounds curiously like Easter, wouldn’t you agree? And, is in fact the event the Christo’s re-packaged as the rebirth of Jesus C, now more commonly known as Easter.
And who was Ostara? A Northern European goddess of fertility, no less, who was worshipped in many areas populated by Germanic tribes…. Anthropologically significant, for those with an interest in the migration of earlier human beings. Her name is pronounced ‘OH-star-ah’, and this celebration can also be knows as, Alban Eiler, Rites of Spring, Eostra’s Day, Lady Day or Bacchanalia. And, it symbolises balance, renewal, action, beginnings, hope, new possibilities.
This is the first Equinox of the year, and with it we are marking the moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator, the imaginary line in the sky above the Earth’s equator. This is officially the first day of spring, and in Latin means “equal night,” referring to the roughly 12-hour day and 12-hour night that occurs only on the two equinox days of the year. As is often the case, this year ‘Easter’ will be celebrated on the 20th April, as opposed to the 20th March, when celestially it will actually happen…. At 21:58 to be precise, please take note!
Traditionally, this was a day of equilibrium, being neither harsh winter nor merciless summer, and was a time of childish wonder. Houses were decorated with flowers and painted eggs; painting eggs was a custom among Druids and ancient Eastern European cultures, and the rabbit/hare has always been a symbol of fertility. And being a fertility festival, everyone got their seeds blessed, prior to their planting. Traditional colours being, light green, lemon yellow and pale pink, in harmony with what was available in Nature.
Clearly, some elements of the Old Religion never fully disappeared, just check out the local supermarkets for walls of chocolate eggs and bunnies, bunches of daffodils (FYI, poisonous to cats) and potted hyacinths and primulas. Unsurprisingly, not many of us know what they represent, though some are ‘lenting’ (started on 6th March runs to 18th April )and will gorge on chocolate at Easter, and just feel financially pressured into buying a shed load of chocolate for our kids! 20 chocolate eggs/bunnies = I Love You at Easter in 2019….dontcha know!
On a spiritual plane, which is where I’d like to draw you, not only for a slimmer waist line, but to give your life some spiritual depth, this is a time to free yourself from anything hindering your progress….Aka holding you back; Noxious relationships, demoralising jobs, addictions, a life of crime etc. Thus, this involves creating spells for self-banishing or gaining things we have lost, like our self-esteem, joie de vivre or things we’d like to have, like positive feelings towards our fellow human beings, less road/commuter rage, inner peace.
In mythological terms, the burgeoning daylight and warmth from the sun’s advance, represents his moving from infancy towards maturity and thus the Goddess (aka Mother Nature) coming into her full power. Practical manifestations of these things being, the eruption of buds and blossoms, the return of our invaluable pollinators, the bees. Winter is regarded as truly at an end, spending time outside no longer requires a jumper, we can enjoy the gently kiss of the sun upon our skin. NB. We all know we can get snow in April, Prince committed it to song, but you get the gist! For those of us with sun ‘cancery’ prone skin, like my own ivory tones, enjoying the sun is now possible, before his embrace becomes too passionate and scalding!
So here is what you can do to mark the occasion, in varying levels, to be self-selected dependent on your experience and time available…. This is accessible magic, and after all, who will know what you chose — not that there is any judgement emanating from these parts!
For those seeking elementary spiritual access, a good spring clean of your house is in order. This physical activity, will by its very nature, give your mind the space to focus on mental clarity around how you wish to live and re-affirm your commitments to taking care of your soul. On a purely practical level, it will purify any negative energies and facilitate the getting rid of any unnecessary crap you’ve inadvertently accumulated. It’s in our very nature to perform these spring cleans anyhow, just look at the free ads and number of jumble sales starting up….There is no coincidence.
And if that all proves too physical, why not hand paint an egg, channelling all your intentions whilst you paint….
For those equipped with an altar and or cauldron, honour the energies of this time by decorating the latter with fresh flowers and/or a young small potted plant, or two. Use the flower petals to mark your sacred circle, and fill your cauldron with fresh spring water (obtained from your water butt or local river/stream) to float petals upon. Additionally, you can adorn the altar with images/paintings of hares, or your own hand decorated eggs; it is sooooo therapeutic painting your own eggs. Candles should be in the afore mentioned pastel shades and morsels to eat could include eggs you’ve blown from their shells – cooked of course, sprouts, seasonal young greens or delicious chocolate. Focus spells on balance and renewal, remembering to use only positive words, the Universe can’t discern the difference in the Law of Attraction.
And so, I wish you a felicitous Ostara! x