The land awakens - Ostara
“The spell of the sacred dawn rushes to envelop you as you awaken. On the Eastern horizon, the sky rapidly turns from black to a rich midnight blue, then from amber to orange, and finally to a bright azure as the first long legs of the sun step tentatively over the horizon and flood the land with light. The daylight will last exactly twelve hours before the last of the sun’s legs step out of the landscape again, giving way to the night, which will also last exactly twelve hours."
It is the day of the vernal equinox.
Welcome to the Wheel of the Year series, this year on each natural turning point that is celebrated in the Wheel of the Year, I will share with you my thoughts and some history around these specific days.
The March equinox marks the moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator – the imaginary line in the sky above the Earth’s equator – from south to north.
The Spring equinox, often called Ostara, is one of the most earthy and primitive celebrations in the year of the wheel. I have been reading up about the history of Ostara in order to really tune into the energy arounds this celebration. I came across some words in one of the books I was reading and I think it explains the Spring Equinox perfectly.
"Almost nowhere are these impulses toward hedonism more evident than at Ostara. The inner explosion of merrymaking and sexual arousal that rises like tree sap in us each spring is a natural extension of the patterns of life encoded in our collective genetic memory. It is no accident that at the first hint of warm spring weather we move our activities outdoors. We crave the caress of the warm fingers of the sun on our bare flesh, the sensual feeling of cool water soaking our bodies on a hot afternoon, and the companionship of others that has been curtailed throughout winter."
Ostara is linked to the Germanic Goddess Eostre, who’s name means east, shining and glorious. She represents rebirth and new life. The seed of potential and ultimate manifestation.
This equinox used to serve as the point at which the solar year was believed to stop and restart. According to the ancient Roman calendar March was the first month of the new year. A remainder of this “old new year” is still seen in the way the signs of the zodiac are arranged in modern Western astrology. The first sign of the zodiac is Aries, which the sun enters just about the time of the Spring Equinox.
What about the egg?
We all know that the egg symbolizes new life, fertility and potential. But there is another reason why during this time the egg is symbolizing a universe full of new life. The eyes of a laying hen and the amount of light she receives are responsible for her ability to produce eggs. She needs at least twelve hours of sunlight to keep the laying cycle active. Fire, the only source of light for our ancestors, was not strong enough to take the place of sunlight and provide the hen with the light she needs. This means that fresh eggs were only available from the Spring equinox till the Autumnal equinox.
On a personal level we are also entering a new chapter.
There is room to press play on all those plans, projects and ideas that were put on hold during the winter months.
And although we are still recharging our energy and trying to take life day by day, our bodies and minds are following the flow of the seasons and we can feel our souls awakening.