March 19, 2022

Gifts from the Spring Equinox

“Within the grip of winter, it is almost impossible to imagine the spring. The gray perished landscape is shorn of color. Only bleakness meets the eye; everything seems severe and edged. Winter is the oldest season; it has some quality of the absolute. Yet beneath the surface of winter, the miracle of spring is already in preparation; the cold is relenting; seeds are wakening up. Colors are beginning to imagine how they will return. Then, imperceptibly, somewhere one bug opens and the symphony of renewal is no longer reversible. From the black heart of winter a miraculous, breathing plenitude of color emerges.
The beauty of nature insists on taking its time. Everything is prepared. Nothing is rushed. The rhythm of emergence is a gradual slow beat always inching its way forward; change remains faithful to itself until the new unfolds in the full confidence of true arrival. Because nothing is abrupt, the beginning of spring nearly always catches us unawares. It is there before we see it; and then we can look nowhere without seeing it.”
John O'Donohue, To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings

Tomorrow, Sunday March 20, 2022 at 15.33 GMT, the Northern Hemisphere will welcome spring with the arrival of the vernal equinox. The Spring Equinox is a joyful holiday centred around rebirth & growth. It is the arrival of spring!

As your spirit awakens with new ideas and possibilities  Spring represents a new day; it’s dawn in the wheel of the year. A new sun is rising. Life is waking up in the warm sunlight & your spirit feels ready to make a fresh start.

Spring by Christina Rossetti

There is no time like Spring,

When life’s alive in everything,

Before new nestlings sing,

Before cleft swallows speed their journey back

Along the trackless track –

God guides their wing,

He spreads their table that they nothing lack, –

Before the daisy grows a common flower

Before the sun has power

To scorch the world up in his noontide hour…

The Spiritual Significance of the Spring Equinox

From our desire to spring clean our homes, to clearing out mental clutter – now is the perfect time to go within. To experience the spiritual significance of this time of year and the fresh energies of emergence and renewal.

As the darkness diminishes and the light increases you may feel more imaginative and creative energy, perhaps a lifting of the fog and a dropping of the sleepy blanket that you have been curled up in for the past few months of winter. In the darkest months of the year we are encouraged by the energies to go within and be in the quiet of inner darkness knowing that as the world spins on its axis and brings about the return of the light, we can rely on the return of our own light and emergence.

Sometimes it’s difficult to trust that your life has purpose and meaning especially when you don’t feel productive. And yet it is the rhythms and cycles of the Earth that show and encourage us to rest and gently explore the nature of darkness - like the seed in the soil - as we also allow the light to help us trust and blossom without feeling the need to force things tohappen.

You may have been feeling confused, restless, stuck, or even powerless to change your mindset and state of being. The return of the light presents us with an opportunity to release our fears and surrender into our new intentions.

To change is one of the great dreams of every heart – to change the limitations, the sameness, the banality, or the pain. So often we look back on patterns of behavior, the kind of decisions we make repeatedly and that have failed to serve us well, and we aim for a new and more successful path or way of living. But change is difficult for us. So often we opt to continue the old pattern, rather than risking the danger of difference. We are also often surprised by change that seems to arrive out of nowhere.

We find ourselves crossing some new threshold we had never anticipated. Like spring secretly at work within the heart of winter, below the surface of our lives huge changes are in fermentation. We never suspect a thing. Then when the grip of some long-enduring winter mentality begins to loosen, we find ourselves vulnerable to a flourish of possibility and we are suddenly negotiating the challenge of a threshold.

Your Way by Olav Hauge

No-one has marked out the road

you are to take out in the unknown

out in the blue.

This is your road.

Only you

will take it. And there's no

turning back.

And you haven't marked your road

either.

And the wind smooths out your tracks

on desolate hills.

As spring energy fires up, and since the voice inside has been muffled for so long, the feeling that arises may feel more like a life crisis than an emergence into something more beautiful.

Now is the time to trust Life! A time to celebrate the freshness of renewal, to raise our energy, regenerate abundance and manifest our dreams. Our ancestors have marked this period with ritual and celebration for millenia. As you know, there are thousands of ancient sites created around solstices and equinoxes that were built to honour our unique ever evolving consciousness and connection to the Sun - the source of our light and life force.

Honouring the Spring Equinox and your Self

I invite you to do something symbolic to honour your light - your life in the next few days. Perhaps, light a candle and say a blessing for your life and the life force living in your body. Or make a commitment to go within, to meditate and be silent each day to let your internal guidance know that you are listening and intend to have open lines of communication with your Higher Self.

When we shift into wonder and inhabit the curiosity we had as children, there is an opening to a deeper wisdom. Our power, is a shift from the perspective where we’ve believed not knowing is a weakness or sense of powerlessness, to a new way of being, where wonder and curiosity are the ultimate source of possibility and power.

Connecting with our deeper desires, does not involve knowing the answers to all of our questions, because it's only in not knowing that we can be truly receptive and it's only in being receptive that we can truly discover, learn, and evolve.

In becoming truly honest with ourselves, and learning the practice of unknowing and non-attachment to the outcome we are inviting new possibility and natural flow into our lives.

Some Spring symbols and celebrations from around the world
Stonehenge, Wiltshire, UK
Stonehenge

Pagans from across the land are familiar with the cultural and astronomical significance of the March equinox. Every year, crowds flock to Stonehenge, the ancient monument in Wiltshire, to watch the sun rise.

Gatherings like these occur all over the world and bring people closer to our roots when we were guided by the sun, moon, planets and stars.

Fairies

The vernal equinox is also a great time to ally yourself with a fairy. According to legend, fairies exist all over the world, but they are more easily accessibly during the equinox because of their passion for liminal, in-between spaces, like the moment where night meets day or where shore meets water.

Hares and the Easter Bunny

Rabbits and hares have been associated with spring since ancient times.

It is thought that the Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring, Eostre, had a hare as her companion, which symbolised fertility and rebirth. It has been said by some that Easter takes its name from this goddess as mentioned by the English monk Bede in his work ‘The Reckoning of Time’ written in 725AD.

The legend of the Easter Bunny is thought to have originated among German Lutherans, where the ‘Easter Hare’ judged whether children had been good or bad in the run-up to Easter. Over time it has become incorporated into Christian celebrations and became popular in Britain during the 19th century.

Japan's Cherry Blossom
Japan's cherry blossom

As spring approaches in Japan, the arrival of cherry blossom (sakura) is hotly anticipated as the nation turns a shade of pink.

Nowruz

Nowruz is the name of the Iranian New Year, also known as the Persian New Year, which is celebrated worldwide, along with some other ethno-linguistic groups, as the beginning of the New Year.

In Farsi, Nowruz means "New Day". It is a festival that has roots in Zoroastrianism and has been celebrated for over 3,000 years in Western Asia, Central Asia, the Caucasus, the Black Sea Basin and the Balkans.

Nowruz marks the first day of the first month (Farvardin) in the Iranian calendar and is often celebrated at the exact moment of the vernal equinox, when the days start getting longer, and the celebrations can continue for up to two weeks.

Perhaps the most enduring image of Nowruz is gathering around a bonfire with family and friends.

Holi Festival

The colourful Hindu festival of Holi is also celebrated around the time of the vernal equinox. In 2022, this took place yesterday on

The celebrations begin with a bonfire the previous evening where revellers sing and dance. Holi celebrations then become colourful as participants throw coloured powder over each other.

The festival signifies the victory of good over evil with the onset of spring and the end of winter.

Defining the Vernal Equinox

Vernal meaning “of the spring”, “new” and “fresh,” and equinox derived from the Latin aequus meaning equal and nox meaning night. On the Vernal Equinox we experience a balance of the day and the night, equal amounts of light and dark on the same day. Essentially, the hours of daylight — the period of time each day between sunrise and sunset — have been growing slightly longer each day since the Winter Solstice in December, which is the shortest day of the year, in terms of light experienced. Even after three months of lengthening days, we still see less light than darkness over the course of a day. The vernal equinox marks the turning point when daylight begins to over take the darkness and the North Pole begins to lean toward the sun again.