A solar festival celebrating the return to the light. It marks the beginning of the astronomical year, when both day and night are equal, the exact midpoint between the summer and winter solstices and when nature is in perfect balance. The Spring Equinox is also known as The Vernal Equinox, Ostara, Oestara or Eostre and represents rebirth and renewal. The spring equinox usually falls on the 20th or 21st March in the northern hemisphere. In the southern hemisphere, the opposite occurs, as autumn begins at the same time.
During this festival we celebrate the return of the sun in strength and warmth, as the light masters the darkness and the days now grow ever longer until midsummer. The earth is reawakening and signs of new life are everywhere. Natures energies are shifting from winter to spring. The birds have started their morning chorus, the animals are getting ready to bear their young, early flowers are pushing up to find the sun and the trees are in bud.
Ostara is the Goddess of Spring and the Dawn. Worshiping Ostara is believed to go back to ancient Pagan cultures. Contemporary Pagans of many paths still honour her during the time of the Spring Equinox. Ostara is often represented by a maiden carrying a basket of eggs and accompanied by a hare, representing new life and fertility. This later developed into our modern day Easter bunny and chocolate eggs.
Nowadays, we often struggle to find the time for rituals and activities and sadly some are unable to be as open as they would like. Celebrations are personal, don’t feel guilty if you do not have time or are unable to perform elaborate rituals. Here are a few simple activities that you can incorporate into your day or evening to celebrate the Spring equinox.
- Go outside. A park, a garden, a church yard, the street you live in or just outside your own back door. Take time out to notice and celebrate all the new life around you in nature.
- Bring spring into your home. Pick some flowers and put them in a vase.
- Spring clean a room or area in your home.
- Light a bonfire or hearth fire.
- Bless a dish of chocolate eggs with the energy of new beginnings and place on a table for others to help themselves.
- Have a family feast.
- Plant new life. Sow some seeds or pot up some new plants.
- Wash your front door with warm water and a little peppermint oil, to welcome in good vibes and wealth.
- Do some spring crafts, such as egg decorating.
This is a good time to regain your own focus and balance. Spring is a season associated with change, cleansing, and new beginnings. Discard the old and embrace the new. We are all different and what rituals suit one person may not suit another. You can just adapt an activity or ritual to what feels right and resonates with you. It can be as long or as simple as you wish. Here are a few ideas.
- Decorate your altar in early spring colours, look outside for inspiration, you will probably see many yellows, greens, blues and reds. Add items such as eggs, butterflies, rabbits, chicks, fresh picked flowers, new plants or seedlings. Or you can simply add a coloured candle of your choice. Once you have your altar decorated as you wish, sit quietly and meditate. Reflect on how better you can balance your life and think about these new beginnings.
- Find a quiet place and sit and reflect on life and what you would like to change. Write this down on a piece of paper. Take the piece of paper outside and find a tree (Oak if you can but any tree will work just as well). Sit under the tree visualising what you want to change and then bury the paper beneath the tree. Ask permission and then take a leaf from your chosen tree, keep the leaf with you to keep your intention on the change you desire and then watch it manifest in your life.
- If you have a little more time and the weather permits, why not get out into nature. A walk out in nature has been proven to ease depression, lift your mood and heal in all sorts of ways. Find a local park, a nature trail, a walk along the beach or just take the long way home. Notice all the new life reaching up from the earth.
Whatever you choose to do, rejoice in all the new life and new beginnings around you. Be positive, start something new. Live life!