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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.
Spring is ripe with new beginnings and coiled possibilities. We hear strains of magic and strands of mystery, calling us to set forth, paying attention to the small, soft mysteries and wild magics of just where we are.
Streams one tamed now leap their banks, charge with fury across colonized lands, charting new routes and refusing to stay inside boundaries. Our tears flood and join the rushing water, striking out to sea; inexorable is the call, fathomless is the need.
May we quench this thirst with tinctures of patience, action, reverence, and justice. We dip our hands into the cool current and anoint our bellies. As we touch wet fingers to our bodies, we hear distant whale songs, this waterway connected to the next to the next to the next, each future of each being entwined in ripples, bubbles, and waves.
—Molly Remer © Mother Tongue Ink 2022
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.
Highlights of our desk top date book include information for every day:
"Here we are in seed time, dream time, looking for the cracks of light that tell us to stretch out and grow. We are invited to consider this possibility: What if there is nothing wrong? What if there is no "too slow"? What if we live a miracle every single day, and we don’t have to earn it?..." Imbolc or Candlemas, February 2nd, is a celebration of light and the first spark of spring.
In simpler times, communities gathered to jump over fires in the fields and participate in the great round of fertility. Listen to the voices of the universe saying YES—the sun shines, the birds sing, the flowers bloom. The purpose of the universe is to celebrate the delight of its existence. May that inspiration hot-wire us into the living voltage of the Mother. Renew your life with others.
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?