Spring is in BloomBy LaVonne (LaVonne) on March 18, 2011
|The first official day of Spring is just around the corner. With that in mind I thought I would write a bit about the Vernal Equinox.|
The First Day of Spring
Say goodbye to winter and say hello to spring with temperatures slowly rising to greet the vernal equinox on Sunday March 20, 2011 at 7:21PM EDT or 11:21PM Universal Time - kicking off the first official day of spring.
For this year’s garden we have begun starting our seeds, plowing our planting beds, planning the layout of our garden, amending our soil where needed with nutrients and anxiously awaiting the warmer days of Spring that arrives with the first day of Spring. This year 2011, here in the Northern Hemisphere the date falls on March 20 at 18:21.
Down through the ages, many names have been attached to this day of celebration. It is sometimes known as the Festival of the Trees, is better known as the feast of (the German fertility goddess) Eostara (Ostara or Astarte), and (the Babylonian goddess) Ishtar or "Easter." It is also known as the Vernal Equinox, St. Patrick’s Day, Lady Day, Alban Eiler, and Feast of the Annunciation.
Ostara takes place on the Spring Equinox and is the second spring festival. It is a celebration of rebirth, renewal and fertility as the Mother Goddess has returned to her maiden status and reunites with the young God; together they plant the seeds of the coming year in her womb. Although this festival doesn't have a strong historical connection, it is traditionally the time the ground is prepared and the early, harder crops are planted. In modern times is a time when projects are organized and set into motion.
This is a time of perfect balance between light and darkness with the days and nights of almost equal length. It brings the first day of spring and a time of great fertility and growth. It is a celebration of the returning of life to the Earth. Bunnies, eggs and children are sacred at this feast and pagans in need of fertility talismans (charms) now color hollow eggs and (quickly) pass them through the ceremonial fires to take home and hang over their beds and in their barns. A fascinating source of almost forgotten Paleo-pagan symbols can be found by examining carefully the fantastically decorated eggs produced by folk artists from Europe (especially Eastern Europe and Russia), Mexico and South America. As a Minor High Day, it usually takes place around March 21st or so. Among some Paleopagan cultures in Southern Europe, the Spring Equinox was the date of the New Year (instead of Samhain), and indeed, some Druids refer to this holiday as "the New Year for Trees."
This is a sacred day, where people often light new fires at sunrise, and spend the day rejoicing, ringing bells and continuing to follow the ancient Pagan custom of decorating hard-boiled eggs as a symbol of the Goddess of Fertility.
Eggs are used because they are obviously representative of fertility and reproduction, and have been used since ancient times in fertility rites. People paint them with magickal symbols, and then either caste them into the fires or bury them in the Earth as offerings to the Goddess.
Seasonal Importance: Planting and sowing time. The world greens again. Day and night are equal. Rebirth is actualized rather than simply a hope.
Activities: Planting seeds. Spring cleaning. Birthing. Celebration of fertility through sympathetic magick involving Eostre baskets with fertility symbols (eggs, bunnies, chicks, ducklings, etc.); decoration of Eostre eggs, egg hunts, Eostre egg trees, hot cross buns (symbolizing the sun wheel). Rituals center around that of equilibrium and balance.
Our feasts at this time are centered around leafy green vegetables, spiced or flower cupcakes, hard boiled and deviled eggs, nuts, fish and ham, and fruit.
In the farmer’s markets we see the return of fresh sweet strawberries and our thoughts turn to strawberry short cakes, fruit cups, chard, kale, watercress, carrots, radishes, peas and others are excellent spring vegetables.
We begin cleaning and refreshing our homes. We rearrange our furniture, change covers to more bright ones, add spring flowers to our tables, planning new activities perhaps in the areas of painting, sewing, or other crafty interests.
I hope that you found this article informative. That it may have answered some of your questions and formed others.
Welcome to Spring
|beginning of spring, Spring, vernal equinox|
|I am still learning who LaVonne/Dorothy is.|
Statistically I am a 65 y/young mother of 3, grandmother of 9, and great-grandmother of 3. I am a High Priestess and founder of the College of the Boundless Truth, am an Ordained Minister and perform Handfastings, marriages during the Spring and Summer season. I am enjoying my Crone years.
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|Thank You!||vic||Apr 4, 2011 7:25 PM||6|