Danu Forest delves into Celtic spirituality, folklore and traditions, offering practical tips to transform the season and celebrate the spring equinox.
The spring equinox this year falls on the 20th of March. This is a time of youthful exuberance in nature, when all of the green world seems to be springing back into life. March wind and rain may still keep many of us indoors on some days, but if we venture out into the wild we will be surprised by what we encounter. Blossom will be erupted from every tree and hedgerow, and the forest floor begins to be carpeted with primroses and anemones, celandine and of course daffodils, which spring up everywhere along verges and gardens as well as the wild with equal ease and sunny glory.
Mad march hares can be seen sprinting across the brown fields, and boxing off unwanted lovers as the mating season gets underway in earnest. One of my favourite places to see the hares is at Uffington White Horse in Oxfordshire, though they can be found all over the UK. Sighting the hares is a regular part of my spring pilgrimage to this exposed but beautiful ancient site.
The spring equinox goes by many names, but one popular title is Eostre, after the Saxon goddess of the spring. Much is debated about her worship, but we know from the Christian Cleric Bede writing in the 8th Century that the Saxons used to honour her at this time. Eostre can be seen as one of many spring goddesses tasked with bringing back life and fertility to the world after the winter. While we have no definitive examples of a goddess from British Celtic tradition, it is likely that there were many versions of this type of goddess in Celtic lore. Surviving examples such as Bloddeuwedd from the Welsh Mabinogion, who was said to be made of flowers, can also be called upon at this time to help us align with the spirit and beauty of the season.
During the spring equinox, the wheel of the year turns from the cold of winter to the ever warming days of spring into summer. Life gathers a pace, and can carry us forward with its own momentum. However, a little time and focus can maximise this time of growth to steer our lives further towards our souls path and potential.
Here are some ways to embrace the transformation of the season and honour the spring equinox in your own way….
1- Bring in the spring. Honour the turn of the season and brighten your home by bringing in some spring flowers…pots of narcissus, daffodils, and irises can be found easily in the shops and really help to fill a home with new fresh energy. When they’re done flowering you can plant them outside and they’ll return to bring a dash of cheer year upon year.
2- Spend some time in nature. There’s nothing like the great outdoors on a spring day to refresh the spirits, and a good walk somewhere wild and beautiful will get your blood pumping and encourage your energy to rise, as well as widen your perspective, putting a ‘spring’ in your step.
3- Set your intentions. Use the freshness of the season to help you gain some clarity about your life and direction. How do you want your year to unfold? Where does your inspiration and passion lie? Make wish lists, but follow them up with step by step plans of action so you can tick them off stage by stage to really get new projects off the ground. For some spring magic whisper your dreams to spring bulbs and seeds before planting and see your dreams come into fruition as they sprout and grow.
4- Shine brightly. Now the life force of the earth is rising up through the soil, envision this increased vitality rising up your spine from the ground and illuminating your heart and your whole being. By aligning ourselves with mother nature, we can share in her power and creativity, living a life true to our spirits, walking in balance and harmony with the rest of creation.
However you choose to honour the spring equinox, remember that this time is about your relationship to nature and your own soul. By seeking to walk in balance with the earth, we acknowledge her rhythms and cycles as sacred and our relationship with her must be sacred too. Try to honour the earth and tread lightly, considering your environmental impact as an integral part of your spiritual practice. Let the beauty of the spring fill you with inspiration and vitality, reflect upon the joy you see in every opening flower, every green leaf glittering with rain, share in Her endless love of creation and remember that we each are a part of that great beauty.
The Magic of the Spring Equinox
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