Spring Equinox is the time for birth or rebirth, it also represents the element of Air. This is the best time of the year to start new projects, focus your goals for the year, and plant the seeds for what you want to achieve. Don’t expect rapid movement, though, since things have to get going at their own pace (which could be fast, since many plants in spring seem to just appear from nowhere, but could also be slow, like a tulip poking its head gradually from the ground.)
Spring Equinox, also known as Ostara or Vernal Equinox is a point of perfect balance on the journey through the Wheel of the Year. Night and day are of equal length and in perfect equilibrium – dark and light, masculine and feminine, inner and outer, in balance. But the year is now waxing and at this moment light defeats the dark. The natural world is coming alive, the Sun is gaining in strength and the days are becoming longer and warmer. It is the first day of Spring! Ostara takes its name after the Germanic goddess, Eostre/Ostara, who was traditionally honoured in the month of April with festivals to celebrate fertility, renewal and re-birth. It was from Eostre that the Christian celebration of Easter evolved, and indeed the naming of the hormone Estrogen, essential to women’s fertility. The Goddess Ostara has the shoulders and head of a hare.
This is a time when the goddess is the Maiden in all her youthful glory, the god is reaching manhood, and energy abounds. So why not tap into that energy to bring the light into your own darkness, if you have any? For example spring cleaning is not just about your home, it’s about removing old or negative energies accumulated over the dark winter months to prepare you for glorious growth. It’s about planting seeds of intention, seeds of growth, seeds of food – it’s about shedding that heavy winter coat and picking up something a tad lighter and a bit more fun.
If we were to look through multiple cultures, Spring Equinox has, and is, a glorious time of welcoming in the light, celebrating the rebirth or creation of new things, planting seeds and releasing the old, worn and tired. For example, there is the story of the Roman god Mithras, which is similar to the tale of Jesus Christ and his resurrection.
“ Born at the winter solstice and resurrected in the spring, Mithras helped his followers ascend to the realm of light after death. In one legend, Mithras, who was popular amongst members of the Roman military, was ordered by the Sun to sacrifice a white bull. He reluctantly obeyed, but at the moment when his knife entered the creature’s body, a miracle took place. The bull turned into the moon, and Mithras’ cloak became the night sky. Where the bull’s blood fell flowers grew, and stalks of grain sprouted from its tail.”
In the Mayan culture, at Chichen Itza, spring equinox is most certainly celebrated (I have been there for this, very cool!) It’s called – The Snake of Sunlight Last but not least let’s look at the Iranian New Year, which is called No-Rooz, and happens at exactly the same time. Again, spring cleaning occurs and an altar is set up.
So in my world, no matter where you are on this planet – equinox time is about balance & harmony. Also, celebration! So whether you just take a moment to light a candle and say thanks, go kite flying, gift a friend with a crystal (I highly recommend Aventurine, Carnelian, Peridot or Sunstone), buy yourself some spring flowers and pop them where you can see them, light a fire and have friends over for a celebration, it doesn’t matter. But I do invite you to do something, even if it is just writing with a Sharpie on an egg!
But why an egg? The egg (and all seeds) contains ‘all potential’, full of promise and new life. It symbolises the rebirth of nature, the fertility of the Earth and all creation. In many traditions the egg is a symbol for the whole universe. The ‘cosmic’ egg contains a balance of male and female, light and dark, in the egg yolk and egg white. The golden orb of the yolk represents the Sun God enfolded by the White Goddess, perfect balance, so it is particularly appropriate to Ostara and the Spring Equinox when all is in balance for just a moment, although the underlying energy is one of growth and expansion.
Grab a cuppa tea and let’s share a story, about the hare and the egg, courtesy of The Goddess and The Greenman.
Once upon a time the Animal Kingdom gathered together for a meeting in a flurry of great excitement. There was to be a Very Special Party and a Very Special Guest was coming to visit them. The Very Special Guest was none other than the Goddess herself, and every creature wanted to give her a Very Special Gift.
Now some of the animals were very rich and some were very poor but off they went to prepare their gifts, for only the very very best would do for the Goddess. Hare was very very excited, he dearly loved the Goddess and although he was very poor he had a big generous heart – he was going to give her the very finest gift he could find!
Hare rushed home to see what he could find to give to the Goddess – he looked everywhere, in the cupboards and under the bed but there was nothing, even the larder was empty, he had absolutely nothing to give Her. Except for one thing. On the shelf in the larder was a single egg. And that was it. It was the only thing he had left. Hare gently took the egg out of the larder and lovingly decorated it and took it to the party.
Hare was very worried, all the other animals gave their gifts of gold and silver and precious jewels and all Hare had was the egg. Eventually all the gifts had been given and Hare was the very very last. Hare very shyly presented the Goddess with the egg. She took it and looked at him and saw the true spirit of Hare. And there and then the Goddess appointed Hare as her Very Special Animal – because Hare had given away everything he had…….
I’ve created a grounding recording as before I do any type of ritual (or when I feel tweaky), I ground. I send my roots down into the earth (as seeds do in Spring) and pull up the glorious supportive, nourishing energy.
So what are some easy and inexpensive rituals to really embrace the energy of Ostara?
Okay, I have so many! However, let me share with you a few of my favourites.
Seeds of Intention
Buy a few bulbs or a packet of seeds. Anything colorful and exuberant will do. Write on slips of paper all the things you would like to blossom and grow over the coming season. (Love? Prosperity? A new job? All of the above? It’s up to you. These are your wishes after all.) Then take those slips and pop them in the bottom of a pot, pop the dirt on top and plant your seeds. Be sure to give them lots of good energy, light and love to help them grow!
Light a Candle and Blow it Out
What? You may be thinking – Jenny it’s not my birthday, what??? The element of Spring is Air, and what better way to play with Air than with your breath. Thus, light a candle (green or yellow would be great), but if you don’t have one of those, use what you have or smear it with a Sharpie! Grab a candle. Light it. Then breathe, breathe deep into your roots and before you exhale allow the “blaugh” (as I call it) to come to mind. Anything that is not serving you or your highest good. As you exhale let that flood out on your breathe and blow the candle out. Light it again and repeat for however long you need to. Know you are connecting with the element of Air, releasing the heavy thoughts and coat of winter and bringing the light back. (So much fun to do with kids).
So there we go gorgeous one, have a fabulous Ostara and for those of you who have been asking, there is a Equinox reading special for just 4 more days. You can find it here.