The Spring Equinox has arrived. The Wheel turns and we pause in the moment before we shift completely to the lighter time of year here in the Northern Hemisphere. Like Autumn Equinox this is a time of balance, when light and dark hold equal amounts of time during this day. In the Autumn we are preparing to go into the darkness of the year and we often find ourselves beginning to slow down and turn our attention inward. In the Spring we are preparing to move into the light, feel ourselves awaken, quicken and ready to begin to move outward into the world.
Spring belongs to the Maiden to dawn and to new beginnings. The Maiden is youth, playfulness, promise of fertility, and creativity. This is the time when the goddess Persephone ascends from her place in the underworld and the earth responds to her return by awakening. Growth and greenery making its way across the land, the rebirth and new life coming into being.
The Spring Equinox is the first day of Spring. This day is also celebrated as Ostara (or Oestara, or Eostra) who is the Germanic Goddess of the fertility of the earth.
There are many ways you can celebrate this holiday or create simple traditions that you can come back to year after year.
Although we discussed possibly getting started with this at Brigid, now is the time! Clear the clutter, open the windows clean behind the furniture and under the bed! Take your broom and sweep (literally and energetically) the stale energy of Winter out the doors and windows and make way for the newness of Spring! Clear the space further with the use of smoke from incense or dried herbs, or sprinkle salt water around the perimeter inside and out.
This is also a lovely time to “plant” blessings and protection throughout your home. A simple way to do this is to take rocks or crystals of your choice and hold them while saying a prayer or blessing for your home and those that reside there. When your house feels clear and clean place these near entrances and on windowsills.
Create a Spring Altar
Think blossoms, and rabbits and eggs and bright Spring colors. This is a space to honor all that is new and growing and all you would like to welcome in as new and growing. Eggs are a powerful symbol of Spring. As the days lengthen Chickens begin to lay again and birds begin their mating rituals ready to lay their own eggs. In addition the yolk of the egg can represent the sun while the white can be seen as a symbol of the maiden. Rabbits are excellent at reproduction and in this way have become symbols of the fertility that spring holds. As the earth awakens and bulbs and blossoms burst forth we see an array of color dotting the landscape. Invite these colors (and blooms too) into your space by including them on your altar.
What have you been feeling a pull to create? Perhaps its art, music, poetry or prose. Or perhaps you have been contemplating rearranging furniture or redecorating a room, or even building something (a couple years ago I built a compost box out of old fence boards, pallets and nails as my equinox project). Make some space to create! And remember this is about the process not the outcome.
You can do this as a ritual, planting literal seeds in pots, giving each seed the intention of what it is you want to grow and cultivate in your own life. This can be particularly fun with kiddos. You can use paint to color and adorn the pots before planting and share about things you want to “grow” then reiterate these as you plant the seeds. Tending these seeds can be a family affair.
You can also use this time to plan (and depending on where you live) begin to plant your garden.
Remember that a seed will remain dormant until planted in the earth. Awaken!
Meditate with Water
This element is often making an appearance during this time of year and is both nourishing and cleansing. Take some time to meditate either in the bath or shower, or by body of water. See what messages about what you might nourish and grow in your own life come as you take this intentional time to connect with the energies of this element.
You can also use the energy of this time and the symbol of an actual egg to guide you. Hard boil an egg and draw lines from top to bottom effectively dividing the egg into 4 sections. In each section write down something you might be wanting to manifest, or have a question about (for example if you are trying to decide about starting a new career perhaps you write the options on each side.) If you have a grassy knoll or hill available roll this down it and see which side it lands on for your answer. You can also do this indoors by creating a slight ramp with blankets and pillow or a board from chair or couch to floor with a pillow for the egg to land on. This is a fun one for kids too!
Use Fresh spring veggies to create a seasonal feast. Roasted asparagus, spring veggie soup and a salad made of sprouts are just a few things you can make. Use your imagination. What food items speak to you of Spring?
Bake A CakeVernal Equinox Cake
Spring tides are rising high
Life cycles turning
Bursts of energy make magic fly
Rebirth is the learning.
Spring and moon magic and the mad March hare, mating and matching, birthing and hatching and all of the energy is there. This cake is the richness of spring, of the vernal equinox brought forth from the rich darkness of winter. It is a light cake of eggs and rises high in its tin, it's whiteness echoes the whiteness of the first blossoms of the thorn in the spring and the reflected light from the moon. It is best decorated simply with a light white icing dressed with blossom petals of primrose and cowslip.
4 eggs, separated
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
3 tablespoons cold water
12 oz - caster sugar - 375gms
smidgen under 1/4 pint - boiling water - 125mls
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
8 oz - sieved plain flour - 450gms
few drops vanilla essence
the grated rind of 1/2 a lemon
Grease and line a DEEP 8 inch cake tin and importantly preheat the oven to gas mark two, 300F/150C.
To start beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until they are stiff and then put them to one side.
In your cauldron, or large bowl, beat the egg yolks and cold water for at least five minutes.
Think and talk of all the things that Spring and the Vernal Equinox mean to you, gradually beat in the sugar and then the boiling water, your yolks should be getting whiter and whiter.
Now beat in the salt, baking powder and flour beating and concentrating all the time, stir in the lemon and vanilla and gradually slow down until you are able to gently fold in the egg whites and turn the mixture directly into its tin.
Bake the cake for one and a half hours; do not peek for at least 45 minutes.
This cake rises high in its tin and should be very light and white, a breath of fresh spring air.
Recipe donated by M Saille from her wonderful book The Kitchen Cauldron.
(I got this cake recipe from this site https://www.goddessandgreenman.co.uk/ostara/)
May you find comfort in the rhythm of nature and joy in celebrating and tuning in to Springs return.
Emily Morrison MA, MFT