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March 20 Equinox/Spring: rebirth, fertility, eggs—Passover (Jewish), Easter (Christian). Goddess Festivals: Eostare, Ostara, Oestre (German), Astarte (Semite), Persephone (Greek), Flora (Roman).
The seasonal cycle of the year is created by Earth’s annual orbit around the sun. Solstices are the extreme points as Earth’s axis tilts toward or away from the sun—when days and nights are longest or shortest.
On equinoxes, days and nights are equal in all parts of the world. Four cross-quarter days roughly mark the midpoints in between solstices and equinoxes. We commemorate these natural turning points in the Earth’s cycle. Seasonal celebrations of most cultures cluster around these same natural turning points.
Day and night, dark and light are equal in length. The trees hard ‘resting ’buds are pliant again. Whorls, eggs, columns and frogs, motifs of ancient renewal populate our dreams and inscapes. Volumes of light flood the air revealing grime on windows, cobwebs along walls.
As we perform our rituals of spring cleaning, throw off sluggishness and tonify our livers, we can hear birdsong from every room in the house. Ecstatic of heart again we are like haiku writers trying to contain elation in just three lines.
Even though the winds of change and uncertainty gust, when Oestra’s egg of pure potential cracks open we pluck our intentions from our vision boards, woad our brows and stride courageously out. What finds shape and strength now will determine the rest of the year.
We call on our kindreds, human and non-human. The wisdom medicine of the wild geese who fly over us morning and evening, their honking almost singing, offer us the gift of synergy. Close and familial, they've flown infinitely further because they’ve done it together.
—Debra Hall © Mother Tongue Ink 2021
Traveling isn't required to celebrate this wonderful time of year! There are many traditions we can all do at home with our loved ones or alone to celebrate Spring Equinox.
Create an altar: Make a space dedicated to our new intentions for the season. Adorn your space with bright colors, plants, and herbs that promote growth and healing. Place it in the sunshine to warm your hearts and minds after the dark months of winter.
Plant Seeds or Garden: gardening isn't only a seasonal tradition, it's also a ritual to honor this astrological event! Sing songs to your plants while you give them to the earth. Plant food and flowers to brighten up the land!
Wake at Sunrise: Rise early from bed to glimpse the sun peaking over the horizon. Awaken your body and mind to the new day with the sun.
Have a bonfire: All over the world, cultures integrate fire into their celebrations. Go outside and have a fire (safety of course!). This is a great time to gather loved ones, set new intentions for the season and release them to the flames.
Spring cleaning: We all know this one, some look forward to the yearly cleanse while others dread this time. Cleaning on this day can boost your energy, open the windows and play music while the dust and stagnation of winter months is wiped clean.
Create new goals or projects: Spring equinox is a time of balance and beginnings. Start a project with the balance, clear head and an open plane of possibilities.
Go outside: Start hiking, or exploring new parts of your city you haven't seen before. Historically, spring equinox is a great time to travel and explore. Roads once closed from snow are now open with a brand new world of growth awaiting you. Even if the natural world is far from your doorstep, find a new tree in your city to sit under, or a fun part of town you haven't explored.
Ostara: Germanic Goddess of Spring and the dawn.
Astarte: Semite Goddess of War and Sexuality and fertility.
Persephone: Greek, Queen of the Underworld. Goddess of Fertility, her abduction by Hades is often seen as a reason for the seasons. She is allowed up from the underworld to bring to Spring and returns in the Fall.
Flora: Roman Goddess of Flowers and Love.
The return of spring, time of holy equality. The landscape is still winter-rough and wind-blown. Walk outside and feel the raw possibility.
The anxieties hover—climate change, nuclear holocaust, environmental devastation—but let us not stress only existential apocalyptic tales. How do we stop devouring our planet and instead energize stories of plenty and repair.
From the ballast of balance, begin to notice The Commons, that entire life support system that we hold in trust for future beings. Envision a healing, parallel economy producing air, diversity, wilderness, asking only respect in return. Collect bits of wind-blown trash for a day. Gather in community, sharing the common wealth.
Walk in the woods, see that trees aren't isolated individuals. Each one is a Forest, Forest, Forest. I walk in the world, and I'm not even me; I am World.
Gaze through the mirror. World. World. World.
— Oak Chezar © Mother Tongue Ink 2019
Originally published in We'Moon 2020: Wake Up Call now half price!
Featured Image: Susan Bolen (Mariposa, CA) is the artist Manterbolen, Represented by Williams Gallery West, in Oakhurst, CA. Her work can be found on Redbubble, Facebook, and Manterbolen.com She lives in a fortress of semi-solitude with her loving husband and five cats.
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Samhain, also known as Hallowmas or the Witches New Year, is always held on October 31st. A time when the veils thin. It is believed the barriers that normally hold steadfast between our world and other worlds become less stable during this time of year, letting us walk with spirits and ancestors long passed.
The shortest day, the longest night, the stars brought closer by the primordial dark. In this moment the ancient stirs in us, illuminating our heart's deepest chambers, renewing our strength to challenge the injustices we were born into, born to stem.
The triumph of light peaks, slides slowly to dissolve. This is the tipping point for everything: democracy, misogyny, racism, climate, freedom. All are on a cliff edge. We've reached the neon-bright entrance to The Great Turning. Change is the only thing that doesn't change. Are we ready?