SPRING __ EQUINOX __ EASTER __ ARIES
Waking from the dreamy slumbers of Pisces into the impatient zest of Aries, we find that Spring Has Sprung upon us.
With Equinox, (exact March 19) the Earth exists in balance between equal night and day for a short period before launching into the longer hours of daylight that bring summer to the Northern Hemisphere. (Meanwhile, of course, Folk ‘Down Under’ in the Southern Hemisphere have the reverse experience.)
In central Minnesota this winter, after the oddly altered weather patterns that brought unseasonably warm temps and very little clean white snow, we have seen lakes opening free of ice, birds flocking back from their forays South, and frogs awaking in the ponds already in late February and early March.
But I, for one, am sick of the depressingly drab dead-brown scenery and gray skies of this virtually snowless winter. Soon I anticipate a joyous sense of liberation to see Color return to the landscape.
As trees, grasses, and wildflowers push themselves forth from winter’s womb, our own heart’s vigor shakes us to life. Sunshine and birdsong nourish our starved spirits and we are ready to annihilate winter’s doldrums in the fiery passion of ARIES head-butting energy. It’s time to break out and break free!
The modern Christian holiday of Easter celebrates the same theme of rebirth and renewal signified by the season. Easter is a “movable feast” in that the date is determined each year by the Lunar calendar. It is on the first Sunday after the first Full Moon following the Spring Equinox. This is another holiday with strong connections to old Pagan traditions.
In the Old Religion, the goddess, Eostar, was the ancient Germanic Deity of Spring. Colored eggs were stained with natural tints of plants, and some were painted red with menstrual or animal blood. These were then hidden or buried as a symbol of fertility and new birth. The hares of the fields were Eoster’s sacred animal, also signifying renewed and abundant life.
In mythology, Spring is the season when Persephone returns from the underworld to reunite with her mother, Demeter. Joyously together, they then oversee the fruition and ripening of all growing things on earth.
Regardless what tradition we follow, or even if none, the seasons will turn in their time and the cycles of the sun, moon and stars follow their paths. We can draw comfort from them, and find reassurance of a Larger (and older) Purpose as we struggle with our own uncertainties amid radical changes in the world.