VERNAL EQUINOX                             SPRING | SUMMER | FALL | WINTER  
 

SPRING

 

Date: March 21
Direction: East
Element: Air
Season: Ostara
Sabbat: Beltaine

 


Related Motifs:

Easter
Noruz
Purim
St. Valentine's Day
St. Patrick's Day
Holi

Nawruz
Kawoni
Bacchunalia
Mardi Gras
St. Brigid’s Day
April Fool’s Day
Arbor Day
Earth Day
Mother's Day
Passover
May Day
Thunder Ceremony
Ute Bear Dance
Lupercalia
Hanami
Haru
Shunbun no Hi

 

 

Spring: Vernal Equinox

Summer: Estival Solstice

Fall: Autumnal Equinox

Winter: Hibernal Solstice

 

Description:

Day and night are

of equal length

Zodiac:

Aries the Ram
Taurus the Bull
Gemini the Twins

 

 

Symbols:

Rain, Rainbow, Flowers, Shamrock, Seeds, Eggs,

Birds, Butterflies,

Rabbits (Hares)

Themes:

Creation, Creativity,

Fertility, Renewal, Regeneration, Rebirth

 



Deities/Personas:

Ostara, Gaia, Pan, Cupid, Venus, Aphrodite, Isis,

Osiris, Leprechaun,

Green Man, Bacchus, Dionysus, Demeter,

Brigid, Jarylo,

Virgin Mary, Buddha
 

Science of Seasons
Seasons Explained

Four Seasons

What Causes the Seasons
Seasons of Life
Nat Geo: The Seasons
EarthSky: Summer Solstice
 

Cultural/Ethnic Motifs:

Celtic, Irish, French,

Japanese

Beverages/Drinks:

Irish Cream, White Wine,

Mint Julep, Herbal Teas

 


Foods:

Salads, Leafy Vegetables, Carrots, Peas, Asparagus, Rice, Pasta, Grapes, Honey

Spices/Scents:

Mint, Lavender, Chamomile

 



Flowers:

Crocus, Tulip, Daffodil, Iris, Hyacinth, Azalea, Daisy, Dogwood, Rose, Carnation, Lilac, Cherry Blossoms

Stones:

Aquamarine, Diamond, Emerald

 



Music:

Celtic Folk Music, Irish Jigs, Irish Reels, French Cafe,

New Orleans Jazz

Venue:

Garden, Naked

 

 

Seasons Dates & Times
Year on Planet Earth
EarthSky: Vernal Equinox
Transformation & Change
One Year in Nature
Equinox Explained
Seasons of the Year
 

School of the Seasons

 

“The spring equinox is one of the four great solar festivals of the year. Day and night are equal, poised and balanced, but about to tip over on the side of light. The spring equinox is sacred to dawn, youth, the morning star and the east. The Saxon goddess, Eostre (from whose name we get the direction East and the holiday Easter) is a dawn goddess, like Aurora and Eos. Just as the dawn is the time of new light, so the vernal equinox is the time of new life.

 


In many traditions, this is the start of the new year. The Roman year began on the ides of March (15th). The astrological year begins on the equinox when the moon moves into the first sign of the Zodiac, Aries, the Ram. The Greek God Ares is equivalent to the Roman Mars for whom the month of March is named.

The festival of Nawruz, Persian New Year, falls on the spring equinox.

 



Although we saw the first promise of spring at Candlemas in the swelling buds, there were still nights of frost and darkness ahead. Now spring is manifest. Demeter is reunited with her daughter, Kore (the essence of spring), who has been in the Underworld for six months and the earth once again teems with life. The month of March contains holidays dedicated to all the great mother goddesses: Astarte, Isis, Aprhrodite, Cybele and the Virgin Mary. The goddess shows herself in the blossoms, the leaves on the trees, the sprouting of the crops, the mating of birds, the birth of young animals. In the agricultural cycle, it is time for planting. We are assured that life will continue.

(School of the Seasons)

 

Beautiful Nature: Seasons
EarthSky: Autumnal Equinox
Seasons of Change
Solstice Explained
Celebrating the Seasons
Animation: Four Seasons
EarthSky: Winter Solstice

 

True Spring

 

Spring Equinox, or Ostara, marks the first day of true spring. The Goddess blankets the Earth with fertility, bursting forth from Her sleep, as the God stretches and grows to maturity. He walks the greening fields and delights in the abundance of Nature. This is a time of beginnings, of action, of planting spells for future gains, and of tending ritual gardens. Eggs are colored and placed on the altar as magickal talismans. The familiar Easter Bunny is a Pagan derivative, as are baskets of flowers. The colors light green, lemon yellow and pale pink are traditional for this holiday.


(Wheel of the Year)

 

 

Beltane

 

Beltane, or Mayday, celebrates the union of the Goddess and God, and thus is also a fertility festival. Also celebrates the returning sun (or Sun God). The traditional colors for Mayday are red and white. Flower petals can be strewn about the circle and later swept into a pole and distributed around the perimeter of the house for protection.


(Wheel of the Year)

 

 

Seasons & Sabbats

Auld Lang Syne

Seasonal Traditions

Months and Weeks

Astronomical Perspective

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring: Vernal Equinox

Summer: Estival Solstice

Fall: Autumnal Equinox

Winter: Hibernal Solstice

 

“The sun does arise,

And make happy the skies;

The merry bells ring

To welcome the spring.”
WILLIAM BLAKE

 

“I rise today through the strength of heaven, light of sun, radiance of moon, splendor of fire, speed of lightning, swiftness of wind, depth of sea, stability of earth, firmness of rock.”
(St. Patrick)

“Just as Spring is celebrated as the point of fertility, as a time when nature displays its beauty to bring about the conception of new life, so too our own life has its birthing season.”
(Elizabeth Roberts & Elias Amidon)

“When daffodils begin to peer, With heigh the doxy over the dale, Why, then comes in the sweet o' the year, For the red blood reigns in the winter's pale. The white sheet bleaching on the hedge, With heigh the sweet birds, O how they sing!”
(William Shakespeare / The Winter's Tale)

 



“Here comes the sun. Here comes the sun. And I say it's alright... Little darling, it's been a long cold lonely winter. Little darling, it feels like years since it's been here. Little darling, the smiles are returning to their faces... Here comes the sun. Here comes the sun. And I say it's alright... Sun, sun, sun, here it comes.”
(George Harrison)


“Lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land. The desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.”
(Isaiah 35:1)


“Spring (or Vernal) Equinox happens about March 21, and I pass from one time into the other, yet am between one time and another. I completely shed winter's sleep. As a time of passing, transition, it is powerful - a time of balance - equal day and equal night - so a time of magic. I am poised between being bound, and the movement of Spring. Bound like sleeping beauty who is released by love's kiss into the violent passion of Spring. Bound as in the cosmic egg, which exploded when the cosmos was hatched. Explosive moment of creation - moving dynamically chaotically.”
(Francesca De Grandis)


“May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
May the clarity of light be yours,
May the fluency of the ocean be yours,
May the protection of the ancestors be yours.”
(John O’Donohue)

 

Seasons: Meteorological & Astronomical
Wikipedia: Seasons Explained

Autumn Winter Spring Summer

Live Science: What Causes the Seasons
Seasons of Life
National Geographic: The Seasons
Earth & Sky: Summer Solstice
 

 

WELCOME SPRINGTIME


“The sun entered Aries, the first sign of the zodiac, initiating an astrological new year and the Vernal Equinox. Aries is the beginning, and we can allow this new beginning to be personally significant by aligning with the energies of Nature at this time.

Equinox is a time of year when day and night are equal and light and dark are balanced; the sun rises and sets due east and west and crosses the Celestial Equator. This is the perfect time to honor and invoke and implement balance as a practice in life. We can reflect on the ways we spend our time and energy and whether they are in alignment with what we truly value. We can then renew our commitment to make changes when needed, to seek the midline of life when we feel uncertain or uninspired. Balancing effort and ease is a valuable practice to remember.

Vernal Equinox is also Ostara, a holy day in the Celtic Pagan Wheel of the Year named for the Goddess Ostara (Eostre), the Spring Goddess, whose sacred attendant is the magical hare. It is a time to bless spring seeds and place them in your heart and into the ground. Signs of spring announce that the Light will now begin to reign. The sky pours rain to soak the earth, to resurrect nature from the frozen sleep of winter. The Cosmic Egg of Nature hatches and life emerges enthusiastically from within.

The hare, long associated with the moon, is the embodiment of fertility and an ancient symbol of magic, sacred to Ostara and the Faerie Queen. The egg is the primordial symbol of birth and beginnings. The Aries sun calls us to feel a renewed energy, new inner fire and spark, an awakening of dormant creativity or slumbering passion. May we break out of our shells with ignited inspiration and exclaim with lives lived artfully that we align with a radical and wild Nature.”

(K.K. Ledford)

 


 

Farmer's Almanac: Seasons Dates & Times
A Year on Planet Earth: Four Seasons
Earth & Sky: Vernal Equinox
Seasons: Transformation & Change
One Year in Nature
Wikipedia: Equinox Explained
Celebrating the Seasons of the Year
 

SPIRIT OF THE EAST


“Oh Great Spirit of the East, we turn to you where the sun comes up, from where the power of light and refreshment come. Everything that is born comes up in this direction -- the birth of babies, the birth of puppies, the birth of ideas, the birth of friendship. Let there be light. Oh Spirit of the East, let the color of fresh rising in our life be glory to you.”
(Diann Neu)

“Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land; The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.”
(The Song of Solomon' 2:10-13)

“We've plodded through a weird and weary time called winter by the calendar alone. We have beheld an earth pool-deep in slime. Image a heaven of stone. We've found life hid between the folds of mire, sensed life in every place, heard life in tune. The earth shell cracks with underneath desire. Spring crawls from the cocoon. Her puny wings vibrate with will to grow. She clings, expanding like an opening eye, more large, more able, more developed. Lo, the perfect butterfly.”
(E.E. Cummings)

“Singing liquid notes in the green bud tree, a willow warbler welcomes the sun on the old wall. Its song melts away the long grey winter. Sing of sweet hope. Let no late frost stop its trilling throat.”
(Author Unknown)

“O Great Spirit of the East, Radiance of the rising Sun, Spirit of new beginnings, O Grandfather Fire, great nuclear fire -- of the Sun. Power of life energy, vital spark, Power to see far, and to imagine with boldness. Power to purify our senses, Our hearts and our minds. We pray that we may be aligned with you, So that your powers may flow through us, And be expressed by us, For the good of the Earth, And all living beings upon it.”
(Ralph Metzner)

 

Spring: Vernal Equinox

Summer: Estival Solstice

Fall: Autumnal Equinox

Winter: Hibernal Solstice

 



“Sun, moon, stars, and all that move in the heavens, I bid you hear me! Into your midst has come a new life! Make smooth its path that it may reach the brow of the first hill! Wind, clouds, rain, mist, and all that move in the air, I bid you hear me! Into your midst has come a new life! Make smooth its path that it may reach the brow of the second hill! Hills, valleys, rivers, lakes, trees, grasses, and all that is of the earth, I bid you hear me! Into your midst has come a new life! Make smooth its path that it may reach the brow of the third hill! Birds great and small that fly in the air, animals great and small that dwell in the forest, and insects that creep among the grasses and burrow in the ground, I bid you hear me! Into your midst has come a new life! Make smooth its path that it may reach the brow of the fourth hill! All ye of the heavens, all ye of the air, and all ye of the earth, I bid you all to hear me! Into your midst has come a new life! Make smooth its path, then it shall travel beyond the four hills!”
(Omaha Tribe)

“Now do a choir of chirping minstrels bring, in triumph to the world, the youthful spring.”
(Thomas Nashe)

“Spring is like a perhaps hand, which comes carefully out of nowhere, arranging a window into which people look, while people stare, arranging and changing, placing carefully there a strange thing, and a known thing here, and changing everything carefully. Spring is like a perhaps hand in a window, carefully to and fro, moving new and old things, while people stare carefully, moving a perhaps fraction of a flower here, placing an inch of air there, and without breaking anything.”
(E.E. Cummings)

“May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind blow at your back. May the sun shine warmly on your face. May the rains fall softly on your fields. And until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand.”
(Traditional Irish Blessing)

 

Spring: Vernal Equinox

Summer: Estival Solstice

Fall: Autumnal Equinox

Winter: Hibernal Solstice

 



“Thank you for this precious day, these gifts you give to me. My heart's so full of love for you, sings praise for all I see... If I could have one wish on earth, of all I can conceive, T'would be to see another spring and bless the falling leaves.”
(John Denver)

“My heart warms under snow; flowers with forsythia, japonica blooms, flowering quince, bridal wreath, bloodroot and violet; yellow running jasmine vine, cape jessamine and saucer magnolias; tulip-shaped, scenting lemon musk upon the air... My spring... My warm loving heart afire with early greening leaves, dogwood branches laced against the sky; wild forest nature paths heralding resurrection over and over again... Easter morning of our living... Every spring.”
(Margaret Walker)

“O sweet spontaneous earth, how often have the doting fingers of prurient philosophers pinched and poked thee, how has the naughty thumb of science prodded thy beauty, how often have religions taken thee upon their scraggy knees squeezing and buffeting thee that thou mightiest conceive gods. But true to the incomparable couch of death, thy rhythmic lover, thou answerest them only with spring.”
(E.E. Cummings)

“Chrysalis crushed, the veil is rent, the long cold lonely winter spent. Emerging from the torn cocoon, the butterfly unfolds its wings. Like renaissance after a Van Winkle sleep, the liberated heart then sings. Cracked is the egg, shed are the shackles, flung open is the dusty door. Like breaking free and taking flight, sprung, released, alive once more. Fertile ground, seeds gestate, new beginnings, recreate. Easter sunrise, brand new day, resurrection, morning dew. Phoenix rises from the ash, upward looming, born anew.”
(Michael Lebeau)

“The festival of Spring has come. The birds salute it with cheerful song, and the streams caressed by zephyr's breath flow swiftly with sweet murmuring. But now the sky is cloaked in black, announced by lightning and thunder. Then when the storms are silent, the little birds begin again their joyous song. On the pleasant wildflower meadow, to the gentle rustle of the leaves and branches, the goatherd rests, his faithful dog at his side. To the pastoral bagpipe's festive sound, nymph and shepherd dance beneath the bright Spring sky they love.”
(Antonio Vivaldi)

“Time to welcome spring and the recovery of the Goddess after giving birth to the God. A festival of light and of fertility. A good time for self-dedication rituals (performed or renewed). Represents new beginnings and spiritual growth, and the sweeping out of the old."
(Wheel of the Year)

“In just spring, when the world is mudluscious, the little lame balloon man whistles far and wee, and eddie and bill come running from marbles and piracies, and it's spring. When the world is puddle wonderful, the queer old balloon man whistles far and wee, and betty and isbel come dancing from hopscotch and jumprope, and it's spring. And the goat footed balloon man whistles far and wee.”
(E.E. Cummings)

 

Beautiful Nature: Four Seasons
Earth & Sky: Autumnal Equinox
Seasons of Change: Transition Map
Wikipedia: Solstice Explained
Circle Sanctuary: Celebrating the Seasons
Animation: Four Seasons
Earth & Sky: Winter Solstice

 

 

SPRING FESTIVAL


“At this time of lengthening light, I give thanks for Spring's new life: snow melting, icy lakes unlocking, rising rivers and rivulets running, rainy days, and days of sunshine, soil warming, soil softening, animal life awakening, returning birds and birdsong, buds bursting forth, sprouting seeds and bulbs, the greening, quickening earth. And as it is in the wide, green world, so may it be for all of us: vital, potent, vivacious Life!”
(Tanina Renee)

“Come and awaken me, Spirit of the New, who makes all things supple and life giving, and grace me with the gift of elasticity. For high are the walls that guard the old, the tired and secure ways of yesterday that protect me from the dreaded plague, the feared heresy of change.”
(Edward Hays)

“Daughter of light! thy fairy step
Steals softly over vale and plain,
And with thy bright and joyous smile,
Beauty and life awake again.”
(Mary Ann H. Dodd Shutts, Spring)

“Now every field is clothed with grass, and every tree with leaves; now the woods put forth their blossoms, and the year assumes its gay attire.”
(Virgil)

“Spring is the time of year when it is summer in the sun and winter in the shade.”
(Charles Dickens, Great Expectations)

“How can an everlastingly new covenant retain its freshness and vitality without injections of the new, the daring and the untried? O come you who are ever-new, wrap my heart in new skin, ever flexible to be reformed by your spirit.”
(Edward Hays)

 

Spring: Vernal Equinox

Summer: Estival Solstice

Fall: Autumnal Equinox

Winter: Hibernal Solstice

 



“Come O god of endless creativity, and teach us to dance with delight whenever you send a new melody my way.”
(Edward Hays)

“For winter's rains and ruins are over, And all the season of snows and sins; The days dividing lover and lover, The light that loses, the night that wins; And time remembered is grief forgotten, And frosts are slain and flowers begotten, And in green underwood and cover, Blossom by blossom the spring begins.”
(Algernon Charles Swinburne)

“And Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth’s dark breast
rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.”
(Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Sensitive Plant)

“April hath put a spirit of youth in everything.”
(William Shakespeare)

“Awake, thou wintry earth,
Fling off thy sadness!
Fair vernal flowers, laugh forth
Your ancient gladness!”
(Thomas Blackburn, An Easter Hymn)

“April is the cruelest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land, mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain.”
(T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land)

“However March manifests, it’s one of my favorite months of the year. The Earth feels like she is taking a long, languid stretch after the cold winter. Life begins to stir. It’s time to till the soil, to plant seeds, to make ready for the growing season.”
(Susan Harper)

“May the blessing of light be on you. May the blessed sunshine shine on you and warm your heart till it glows like a great fire. May the blessings of rain be on you. May the soft sweet rain fall upon your spirit so that flowers may spring up and shed their sweetness on the air. May the blessings of the rain be on you that they may beat upon your spirit and wash it fair and clean. May the blessings of the earth be on you. May the earth be soft under you when you rest upon it.”
(Traditional Irish Blessing)

 

“Here, in this moment of balance, I honor and recognize the sacred mystery of existence. I am a part of a cosmic dance. A holy and blessed music fills the world. The light and the darkness shift from this moment onward. As it is on the land, so it is in my being. I follow the movement of the Mother, and She works a transformation in me. Be it new beginnings or resolution, the Equinox is a point of transition; of change. I embrace the change.”
(Teo Bishop)

“Every spring is the only spring, a perpetual astonishment.”
(Ellis Peters)

“When all the world appears to be in a tumult, and nature itself is feeling the assault of climate change, the seasons retain their essential rhythm. Yes, fall gives us a premonition of winter, but then, winter, will be forced to relent, once again, to the new beginnings of soft greens, longer light, and the sweet air of spring.”
(Madeleine M. Kunin)

 

Spring: Vernal Equinox

Summer: Estival Solstice

Fall: Autumnal Equinox

Winter: Hibernal Solstice

 

 

SEASON OF REBIRTH


“Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems.”
(Rainer Maria Rilke)

“Earth, teach me regeneration, as the seed which rises in the Spring.”
(Modern Ute Prayer)

 

“A little breath. A green shoot thrusting through the snow. Ice-crusted, part-crushed. But astonishing green. From crouching, dark desolation. Incarcerated. Secret root resistance crept. Radiant defiance. At slightest thaw springs. A forgiveness of melting. One trickling drop of icicle rolls down the prisoner's grey face. Now he will clamor with the dawn chorus and dare to shout out, Reprieve! Reprieve!”
(Author Unknown)

“The month of May has come, when every lusty heart begins to blossom.”
(Sir Thomas Mallory)

“Ostara is the Goddess of Spring and the Dawn, whose worship goes back to ancient Pagan Teutonic/Saxon cultures. Contemporary Pagans of many paths honor Her at Spring Equinox time. Also known as Eostre, the Christian festival of Easter was named for Her, and the Easter Bunny, baskets, and colored eggs that are part of Springtime and Easter celebrations in America, Europe, and other parts of the world are rooted in Her lore and symbology.”
(Selena Fox)

"Come, gentle Spring! Ethereal Mildness! Come."
(James Thomson)

“The festival of the spring equinox speaks of freshness and youth, of excitement and endless possibilities. Nature begins to quicken and early flowers open to the warmth of the strengthening sun, bringing the colours of lemon and yellow into our lives on the wings of a March wind.”
(Carole Carl)

“In Chinese thought, spring is associated with the color green, the sound of shouting, the wood element, the climate of wind, things sprouting, your eyes, your liver, your anger, patience and altruism. And a green dragon. Not surprisingly, spring is also associated with the direction east, the sunrise direction as Earth spins us toward the beginning of each new day.”
(Deborah Byrd)