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Spring equinox

 

This is a happy time, a time to celebrate the return of Spring. The time when our land awakens and hares run crazy races. Cass Carter says of Eostar:

Spring or Vernal Equinox is when night and day are of equal length, but the tides are moving steadily towards the bright light of summer. This is a time to work for balance in your life - while recognizing that any balance is only temporary because She changes everything She touches, and everything She touches, changes. Celebrate the renewal of life in field and flower, and consider what the renewed light shows you in the darker and neglected corners of your psyche.

On this sacred day, those who follow the old ways light new fires at sunrise, rejoice, ring bells and decorate hard boiled eggs - an ancient pagan custom associated with the Goddess of fertility. The seeds of Yule and Imbolc manifest as action and matter. This is the time for the reunion of Persephone and Demeter.

Spring or Vernal Equinox is traditionally celebrated on the dawn of March 22 in the Northern Hemisphere.  As the early morning sun rises we stand within the circle, thinking of the season which has just passed away.  We remember the cold of winter and think of all we learned during the cold times, and how we may use our new knowledge.  We must put theory into practice, for this is the start of our magical working year when we can once again work outside.  It is time to roll up our magical sleeves, get out into the woods and fields, and do some real work.

Just as the Sun rises we say goodbye to the dark time.  At this point two men, representing the Sun and the Dark, fight each other.  It is not a long fight, but shows the long struggle between two opposites.  The Sun must win, if the Earth is to continue.  Once the Dark has been defeated, he leaves the circle to the victorious Sun.  We raise a cry of “Hail, God of Light, Welcome the Lord of the Sun”. We dance and sing the summer to come.  There is wine and a honey cake, and we close our circle with a blessing on our work and a hope for the strength to do it. 

This time was called Alban Eiler by the Druids and roughly corresponds to the Christian Easter in the North.  Coloured eggs are used as a fertility symbol and an appropriate animal for this time is the hare. 

The Englyn for Spring is “Eilir Tydain” which is known in Brittany as the “Prayer of the Breton Fisherman” and is a moving plea for spring to return, after the desolation of winter.  

We celebrate on the eve of Vernal Equinox, which falls in September in the Southern Hemisphere.  This is the time to sow our thought seeds for what we want to grow in ourselves in the seasons to come.


 


 


 

Decorations to welcome Spring include eggs, rabbits (or hares), spring flowers (especially violets), decorated baskets.

Spring foods: eggs and all green and leafy vegetables. Try colcannon if you would like to celebrate with Celtic food. Cass Carter's recipe to make colcannon: fry some rashers of streaky bacon in a little butter. Add cubed, pre-cooked potatoes, saute until golden. Add finely shredded raw cabbage, toss through. Add salt and pepper to taste. Eat piping hot, while the cabbage still has some crunch to it. In Ireland they pile the colcannon in a mound, make a dint in the top, and put a chunk of butter in to melt through the dish. Cholesterol hell, tastebud heaven.