Many pagans and Wiccans celebrate it as Ostara, so named for Oestre, a Germanic Goddess of Spring. Other Deities associated with spring include Asase Yaa of the Ashanti, the Roman Cybele and Norse Freya. In Japan, people remember their ancestors for Higan (Higan-e or Ohigan), while the Vernal Equinox marks the beginning of the Iranian New Year, Nowruz, in accordance with the Persian astronomical calendar.
Here in Thorne’s World, it’s not so much of a religious celebration as it is a celebration of everything Spring! The first buds are appearing on the trees, the first blossoms that foretell summer’s fruits, and even in the desert there are tiny wildflowers everywhere. The cottontails and jackrabbits are peeking out of their warm winter dens and feeling frisky as they nibble on early greens and chase their future mates in playful flirtation. (You know, they’re “mad as a March hare”.)
Here in California we’re celebrating the first time in seven years that our water tables have filled up. The end of a seven year drought is just one more reason to celebrate this year. The rain this year has also provided us with a state wide super bloom of poppies and other native flowers blooming with wild abandon, and our Painted Lady Butterfly migration is a sight for sore eyes, if a messy spectacle of windshield washing for California commuters.
As a pagan household, we often choose to celebrate our holidays in conjunction with the official federal holiday, which of course are in accordance with the majority religion in this country of Christianity. We also have an open choice policy with the grandgirls, as I did raising my own daughter, and we allow and encourage exploration of other religions and spiritual paths, so they’ll soon be enjoying Easter and all of it’s pagan symbols with their Christian Nana. As we celebrate our nature rites and the turning of the Wheel of the Year, we teach my grandgirls the pagan origins of most of the rites and symbols, such as the fertility of rabbits and eggs and the sweets offered as part of the sacrificial observances and the rebirth of the God form across many cultures that historically predate Christianity as well as being currently celebrated in numerous world religions.
We like to do a little crafting as part of our celebration, so this year we’ll be making paper mâché eggs filled with birdseed to hang with colored ribbons from the trees, as offerings both to the spirits and the wild, flowers shall adorn the altar and seeds shall be sown indoors to await warmer soils, as we welcome spring.
It’s a good time for that Spring Cleaning and cleansing you’ve been putting off. Clean and decorate your altar and your home before you head out to the garden! And it’s a really good time of year to do love spells, to do spells to increase or strengthen love and friendships, to make love and work fertility magick if you want to have a baby, to do prosperity and money magick, (why not start a Prosperity Witches’ Bottle? Instructions here) or really just anything you wish to increase or multiply. It’s a Full Moon tonight, and a Super Moon, at that, so that beautiful pregnant moon will only add its power to your desires.
How do you mark the Spring Equinox? I’d love to hear about your traditions and celebrations.
In Light and Shadow,
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