Spring Equinox

People stand on top the Pyramid of the Sun at sunrise during the spring equinox in Teotihuacan, Mexico, 2009. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

In the Northern Hemisphere, the Vernal Equinox is celebrated by Neo-Pagans as Ostara (also spelled Eostar or Eostre), deriving from the name of a Germanic goddess to whom the month of the same name was holy.  It is the same word from which we get Easter.  This time of year is a moment of bursting forth, of life emerging from darkness out into the light. Pagans in the Southern Hemisphere celebrate the autumnal equinox, Mabon, at this time.

Nature333 by Annika Garratt

Nature333 by Annika Garratt

Glenys Livingstone of PaGaian Cosmology recommends discovering the balance of light and dark in your own breath:

“Feel the balance in this moment – Earth as She is poised in relationship with the Sun.  Feel for your own balance of light and dark within – this fertile balance of tensions.  Breathe into it.  Breathe in the light, swell with it, let your breath go into the dark, stay with it.  Shift on your feet, from left to right, feel your centre…breathe it in.

“In our part of the Earth, the balance is about to tip into the light.  Feel the shift within you, see in your mind’s eye the energy ahead, the light expanding.  Feel the warmth of it.  Breathe it in.”

She also suggests representing the Spring Equinox with a daffodil with bulb and roots exposed, “signifying the full story of Spring Equinox, which is, emergence from the dark: the joy of this blossoming is rooted in the journey through the dark.”

As part of his spring equinox celebration, NaturalPantheist offers the following exposition:

“As I stand here on this celebration of Ostara, the vernal equinox, the sacred wheel of the year continues to turn. As my ancestors did in times before and my descendants may do in time to come, I honour the old ways. As the dark half of the year comes to a close at this time and nature shifts, the day and night are of equal length and balanced. From now on the sun triumphs over the darkness, bringing warmth and energy as we head towards summer. This is the time of Alban Eiler, the Light of the Earth, a feast to celebrate the renewal of life. The birds return from the southern lands bearing spring time beneath their wings. Nature has awoken, seeds are sprouting, tree buds are bursting, daffodils and flowers are blossoming, and birds and animals are preparing to have their young. I rejoice in the renewal of life.”

For Jon Cleland Host, the spring equinox “corresponds to the energy and happiness of young children, when lives begin to take visible shape.” On the Naturalistic Paganism discussion group, Host provides a method for coloring eggs with natural dyes, and suggests making equinox cookies – half dark, half light. (See the group’s files section for details.)

John Halstead’s Spring Equinox ritual script, which is especially useful for those with children.

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