Spring Equinox 2020
The equinox - a time of balance when the days and nights are of equal length - will occur tomorrow 19 March, 2020 and it’s a special one.
For a brief moment, the Earth’s axis will be oriented perpendicular to the Sun’s rays, marking the instant where we transition from one season to the next (spring in the northern hemisphere, autumn in the southern hemisphere). This marks the first year since 1896 where the equinox occurs on the 19th instead of the 20th or 21st of March.
Ostara or the Spring Equinox is named after Eastre, the Anglo-Saxon goddess of Spring. We took the name “Easter” from her. Legend has it that one day Eostre found a bird, wounded on the ground. To save its life she transformed it into a hare, but the transformation was not a complete one, and the hare retained the ability to lay eggs. The hare is a symbol of the Goddess and the egg a symbol of fertility and new life.
The Spring Equinox heralds the start of the astrological New Year. Unlike 1 January, it’s cosmically ordained and not a man-made construct. It’s the only new year celebration I personally take seriously.
Considering what’s going on, you may be reading this and thinking “the last thing I feel like doing is celebrating” but please know we are - all of us - in this situation because of our irreverence for our Mother Earth and all her creatures. Our rampant consumerism continues to burn holes in the atmosphere, pollute bodies of water, desecrate rainforests and annihilate entire species. She is fighting back but also doing her best to enlighten us. We CAN live in harmony with nature but radical changes have to be made.
Consider how greenhouse gases continue to plummet because of isolation and Venice’s murky waters have cleared up and swans - symbols of beauty, balance, and grace - have returned to the canals.
Remember where beauty comes from? From nature. We all need more beauty in our lives, not less. But, if we continue as we did before this virus, we best prepare ourselves for another crisis.
Tomorrow or in the days to come, take time to reflect on your personal relationship with our Mother.
Spring is the time of seeding (making plans) and new beginnings. In the southern hemisphere, Autumn is the time to light the first fire and focus on the inner life.
The world changes, our lives change but we are reassured by the re-appearance of drooping snowdrops, bright crocuses, and cheery daffodils. Even if the snow of winter has not yet left, you can fill your home with the joy of Spring by planting fast-growing zinnia and marigold seeds and sweeping Spring energy into your house.
Bless every corner of your home as you sweep and fill rooms or your altar with fresh flowers and chocolate eggs (chocolate is always a good idea). Even now during uncertain times follow John O’Donohue’s advise:
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life’s desire. - John O’Donohue
A few additional ideas on how to show reverence to our Mother Earth whether you live in the northern or southern hemisphere:
Spend some time outdoors. Hug a tree, dance in an orchard, walk in the woods, sit beside a row of daffodils and tell them you love them, buy a plant, have a long conversation with your pet/s, pick up litter, sing to your pot plants, kneel on a riverbank, give thanks to all the elements: Air, Fire, Earth, and Water.