Today is the vernal (spring) equinox. It is the astronomical beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. Wiccans, Heathens, Polytheists and various modern Pagans celebrate this day as Ostara, Lady Day, Shubun-sai, or simply the spring equinox (autumnal equinox for our friends in the Southern Hemisphere.) Other Spring festivals and holidays, include Holi or the Hindu festival of color, Higan in Japan, Nowruz or New Year on the Persian calendar, the Christian Easter and Jewish Passover. And there are many others.This year’s vernal equinox, which will occur today at 6:45 pm (EDT), will coincide with two other astronomical events: a solar eclipse and a supermoon.
According to Accuweather, the early morning eclipse was most visible in northern regions around the Atlantic seaboards.For example, “those living in northern Scotland can expect approximately 95 percent of the sun to be blocked during the eclipse, while those as far south as Rome, Italy, can expect more than 50 percent.” The Guardian did live updates, including video and photos, saying it was the best eclipse viewing in the U.K. since 1999.
Additionally, there will be a supermoon tonight. This happens when “a full moon or a new moon … occurs during the moon’s closest approach to Earth on its elliptical orbit.” Spring is certainly arriving in style this year.
Here are some quotes celebrating the seasonal holiday….
This Spring Equinox is a resurrection of all things Maiden for me. The Spring Equinox, is a time of rebirth and my work as a Priestess is to allow the energy of the wheel of the year and the medicine that it holds to mould me and to guide me, and so, this year as I prepare for ceremony I prepare to rebirth my Maiden self. Though I am walking in my Mother years I still have access to that Maiden self, each waxing moon honours the Maiden within me and each Spring that is sprung is a season to pull her up from the recesses of my unconscious… – Candise, From “Spring Equinox Resurrection”
In the great Neo-Pagan Wheel of the Year drama of the Goddess and God, Ostara is a time to celebrate the Lady in her guise as the Maiden and the Horned God in his role as the young horned god (we call him “Goatboy” at our house). Since it’s a celebration of younger deities the energies in the circle are often younger too. There’s something about Ostara that has always made me feel young inside, like a kid, and I think that’s something to celebrate. – Jason Mankey, From “8 Ways to Celebrate Ostara”
The Autumnal equinox is just around the corner for us in the Southern Hemisphere. It is the mid harvest festival on the Pagan seasonal wheel and this year for me, it is about Foundations. For I am starting a new business, one that I hope will grow into a strong creative path and living, but for that to happen I need to create strong foundations, both magically and physically and find the balanced between both. – Mistress Polly, From “The Autumnal Equinox,”
And from The Huffington Post:
This is a very powerful time to do magic, not only because of the balancing of the earth’s energies, but because of the way our own beings echo the earth’s changes. We are literally reborn as we emerge from our winter sleep, ready to partake of all the pleasures of the earth, and to meet the challenges we will face as the world changes around us daily. – Peg Aloi, From “You call it Easter. I call it Ostara.”
“Spring equinox is a time of new life, new growth, and renewal,” [Rev Selena] Fox told The Huffington Post. “It is a wonderful time to get outdoors and commune with nature, watching migrating birds, the greening of the landscape and budding of trees.”
…Those who are city-bound and surrounded by concrete sidewalks and skyscrapers may be crying a bit on the inside after reading that. We feel your pain. But Fox says there are actually many ways for urban-dwellers to connect with nature on Ostara. The priestess shared seven tips for celebrating the new season — even without access to streams and meadows.
May you all enjoy a fruitful and blessed spring!