Spring Equinox: Celebrating Equal Night and Day
Spring Equinox, which usually falls on 20th or 21st March in the UK, is the exact midpoint between the winter and summer solstices. There is exactly 12 hours of night and 12 hours of daylight.
This is a time of huge energy and immense forward motion. Nature is waking up after a long winter sleep and everywhere you look there is evidence of life’s ability to regenerate. Trees are in bud, seeds are germinating and animals are preparing to bear their young.
Celebrating new life
In Wiccan lore, the Oak king, the god of light, has now won a victory over the Holly King, the god of darkness. As light conquers darkness, the great Mother Goddess welcomes the young Sun god in the sacred marriage and conceives a child. Nine months later, at winter solstice, the child will be born and the cycle will begin all over again.
Easter: Spring Equinox in the world
The Easter festival we think of as a Christian celebration is the church’s appropriation of this traditional Pagan festival. The resurrection is a tale of new life, but where do the Easter eggs and rabbits feature in the bible?
Even the name Easter, had Pagan roots – Eoestre is the goddess of light, who brings the spring. The root of the word comes from ‘Oestrus’ – the time in an animals sexual cycle when it is fertile. Eoestre’s festival was held on the Spring Equinox full Moon. Thus Easter is on the first Sunday after the first full Moon following the Spring Equinox.
Fertility and birth
The Spring Equinox is often represented by a spring maiden carrying a basket of eggs, the symbol of rebirth. The maiden is accompanied by a hare or rabbit, representing abundant fertility, from which comes our modern British symbol, the Easter bunny.
Celebrating the Spring Equinox
There are many simple ways to celebrate the season of rebirth – from spring cleaning your body and home to cooking up traditional Easter treats for family and friends.
Spring clean your home
In springtime, gardeners clear away the debris of winter from the base of plants, allowing room for new growth. So we, too, can make space in our homes for fresh ideas and projects to emerge.
Renew you home
As the growing light shows up the accumulated dirt of winter, remove it.
- Go into those hidden places, under the sofa and behind the fridge, letting in the light and leaving everything fresh and new.
- Clear out any clothes you no longer wear from in your wardrobe.
- Wear green to symbolise the shoots of spring. This will remind you of the new beginnings spring represents.
Special spring food and drink
Make a celebratory meal to share with your friends – perhaps a picnic outdoors, or inside, if the weather is bad.
Dishes for spring
Create the following dishes for a symbolic spring meal.
- Nettle tea – the first edible green leaves of spring, nettles are rich in minerals such as iron.
- Quiche, the eggs in which are reminiscent of new life.
- Hot cross buns are reminiscent of the Sacred Marriage. The arms of the cross are of equal length, which in some cosmologies represents the union of male and female.
Make your own Easter egg
Traditionally, eggs were painted bright colours to represent the sunlight of spring, or coloured scarlet, to represent life-blood.
As part of your ceremonies, you can paint an egg.
- Decorate a hard-boiled egg with bright colours, symbols, or affirmations.
- Write about a new project on the shell. If you are with friends, you can take turns to talk about what your eggs symbolise. Passing the eggs around the group will help to energise them and fill them with positive intent.
- Absorb the energy you have invested in the egg by ceremonially shelling it and eating the contents.
- Crush the painted eggshell and bury it – to sow your new hopes into the earth.
Spring clean your body
After you have spring cleaned your home and it is clear of the previous season’s old, stale energies, you can then cleanse yourself. Spring clean your body’s systems by drinking a purifying tea of dandelion leaves and nettle tops.
Then make a spring space, preferably in your garden to fully benefit from the new air of the season. In it, place spring flowers and fresh greens. Prepare an incense of purification herbs and spices, such as hyssop and juniper. As these offerings burn, meditate on the new projects you are ready to start – the seeds of new plans you wish to sow.