Spring Equinox marks the mid-point of the Waxing Year, the nights and days are balanced once again; the time when Kore, (Persephone) was believed to have returned from the Underworld where she had ruled throughout the Winter. The spark of light, born at Winter Solstice has reached maturity, and from here onwards, the days progressively grow longer than the nights. Western culture proclaims this the first day of Spring.
Older traditions called the Spring Equinox, Ostara; the time of the festivals of the Grecian Goddess, Eostre, and the Germanic Ostara, both fertility Goddesses of Dawn. These influenced the naming of the modern-day Easter Holiday. New greenery bursts forth from sleeping seeds in the countryside, as metaphorically, pagans also plant their own seeds for future goals, future projects and growth at this time.
Decorated eggs, being symbols of fertility are symbolic of Ostara. In days gone, Europeans gave gifts of decorated eggs to new brides, in the hope that they would bear many children. Similarly, bowls filled with eggs were given to farm workers by the farmer’s wife, to ensure a rich harvest. Most all cultures see the egg as a symbol of Life; the actual home of the Soul. In Russia, decorated eggs are still given as gifts to loved ones and buried in graves to ensure rebirth.
The women gathered the eggs only from hens which were around a rooster and decorated them, allowing no one to watch them work as they transferred the goodness of the household to the designs on the eggs, thus keeping evil away. Dyes were mixed to secret family recipes and special blessings placed on each egg.
The Spring Equinox defines the season where Spring reaches it’s peak, with the powers of light increasing. The God of Light, (Llew), now gains victory over his twin, the God of Darkness. Llew was reborn at the Winter Solstice and is now old and strong enough to vanquish his rival twin and mate with his Mother Goddess. The great Mother Goddess, who returned to her Virgin aspect at Imbolc, welcomes the young Sun God’s attentions and conceives a child. The child will be born nine months from now, at the next Winter Solstice, when the cycle closes, only to begin anew.
Here are some of the colours used on Ostara Eggs, and their meanings:
Wisdom, a successful Harvest, or Spirituality
Spring, rebirth, wealth, youth, growth, happiness
Good health, clear skies
Power endurance, ambition,courage
Happiness, hope, passion, nobility, bravery, enthusiasm, love
Enrichment, good harvest, happiness
Faith, trust, power
Success, friendship, love
The custom of eating Hot Cross Buns also has pagan origins. The Saxons ate buns that were marked with a cross in honour of Eostre; ancient Greeks consumed these types of buns in their celebrations of Artemis, Goddess of the hunt, and the Egyptians ate a similar cake in their worship of the Goddess Isis.
There are conflicting ideas as to what the cross symbol represents. One suggestion is that it is a Christianisation of horn symbols that were stamped on cakes to represent an ox, which used to be sacrificed at the time of the Spring Equinox. Another theory relates to Moon worship; the bun representing the full Moon, and the cross, its four quarters. Christianity gave new meanings to the symbolism of the buns, saying the cross represented the Crucifixion Cross. Thus, superstitions arose crediting these buns as being charms against evil, so after Good Friday, people would save one or two of them to hang in their homes as amulets. During the festival season and indeed, for a long time afterwards, fishermen would carry these Easter buns in their boats, for protection.
The Easter Bunny is another symbol which has obvious links to fertility, rebirth, and the abundance of life which is evident in Spring.
According to myth, Eostre was a playful Goddess whose reign over the earth began in Sring when the Sun King journeyed across the sky in his chariot, bringing the end of Wnter. Eostre came down to Earth then, appearing as a beautiful maiden with a basket of bright colorful eggs. Eostre’s magical companion was a rabbit who accompanied her as she brought new life to dying plants and flowers by hiding the eggs in the fields.
Leafy green vegetables, Dairy foods, Nuts such as Pumpkin, Sunflower and Pine. Flower Dishes and Sprouts.
Herbs and Flowers
Daffodil, Jonquils, Woodruff, Violet, Gorse, Olive, Peony, Iris, Narcissus and all spring flowers.
Jasmine, Rose, Strawberry, Floral of any type.
25* Pisces New Moon this month (no moon – the time of dreaming), culminating March 15, 2010. The Pisces new moon is about your connection with others on the deepest and darkest level. Where does fantasy or delusions about family, friends, lovers, or co-workers hamper with your need to be real and attain satisfaction in your every day life. Is there emotional pay offs in your mind. Do you have a deep mental state or are you skimming the surface trying to push away any real emotional attachments. Where do you begin and end, mentally and emotionally. Can you feel happiness anymore or is that a thing of the past. Is stress ruining your appreciation of other people around you. Do you take the “No” word to the extreme now and close off everything that could be a chance of communication with others or taking risks. It’s imperative to have good judgement over your life, especially your finances and safety, but changing gently is important for our growth. To find fulfillment and contentment is good for the soul. Easily we see the faults of others, how about our own faults. Are you receptive, excited and personally available. How have you closed down. Why aren’t you taking the ride of life. Where have you lost being friendly or cordial. Where have you lost romance. Where do lack happiness. You can have them everyday, they are ‘free’ commodities and advantages. No one can take them from you. You use to have the eyes of wonder. Everything around you was stimuli and sensation, why aren’t you experiencing that today. It’s time to open your eyes, ears and feelings once again. Take a deep breath and reactivate the lost parts of yourself. It will be worth it. Remember to not only dream and wish, you are here to LIVE.
Where am I lost in the deep murk of feelings? Did I stop to think that holding back my feelings for the benefit of pleasing others or focusing on others that don’t reciprocate my feelings, would cut off my flow of living a life I deserve to live? Did I trade drama and trauma for rich fulfilling friendships, co-working, family interests and love? Be specific on what you gain and what you feel is lost. What do I ignore in my love relationships? What do I ignore in family relationships? Do I communicate my needs? Do I whine about my needs, hoping that others will hear me? Do I close down and feel pressure to assert myself or my desires? Who makes me feel guilty? What makes me feel guilty? What can I do to bring back my sense of balance? To bring peace into my life? To bring a sense of fun to my life? What do I do for fun? Why don’t I do for fun anymore? If it’s not good for you, how can you modify the fun? Are you addicted to over reaction and drama? Do you not feel loved or wanted if there is not drama? Where have you made painful mistakes? In Love? In Family relationships? In Co working peacefully and easy competitiveness? In friendship? You must come back to what you need in life to create security, real happiness, contentment and fulfillment. It’s not about how others treat or treated you, its how you react when people around you overreact or sometimes underreact. Maybe in your mind you relive what you should’ve said or wanted to act out. Or regret that you freeze, panic, or become outraged in intense situations. Where are you staying stuck in that emotion though deep within and not moving on to a next stage. It’s a part of life to experience ups and downs, learn to communicate openly with yourself. Time to be honest what is a fantasy, what is a delusion. How can I move myself into participating fully in my life. Write down 16 suggestions on how I can recreate my perspective about others. Even if they’ve gone on. Write down what your life looks like in 5 years. Family relationships, Love relationships, friends, job, co-working, how you would serve others, how they would serve you. Where do you live, what does your house look like, what car do you drive, where is your health and self esteem, how much money do you make, what spiritual practice and recreation do you do. The perfect life for you……..