A blessed spring

TWH –  While for many today marks the festive celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, this coming week brings the vernal (spring) equinox and the astronomical beginning of spring in the northern hemisphere. The actual equinox occurs Mar. 20 at 6:29 am EDT (16:15 UTC). At the same time in the southern hemisphere, it will be the autumnal equinox, and the beginning of the fall season.

Column: Six Heathens Speak of Fall

The fall equinox is celebrated in many different ways by practitioners of Ásatrú and Heathenry. Those who practice modern forms of polytheistic religions rooted in Northern Europe have revived, reconstructed, and reimagined a variety of practices and rituals to mark the turning of the year from summer to autumn. Haustblót (autumn sacrifice) is mentioned by name in the saga of the Icelandic warrior-poet Egill Skallagrímsson. The Ynglinga Saga of Snorri Sturluson tells of laws established by the god Odin, including the timing of the main annual sacrifices:
Þá skyldi blóta í móti vetri til árs, en at miðjum vetri blóta til gróðrar, hit þriðja at sumri, þat var sigrblót. There should be sacrifice toward winter for a good year, and in the middle of winter sacrifice for a good crop, a third in summer, that was victory sacrifice.

Happy Autumnal Equinox

“There is a harmony in autumn, and a luster in its sky, which through the summer is not heard or seen, as if it could not be, as if it had not been!” – Percy Bysshe Shelley

This year, the Autumnal Equinox falls on Sept. 23 at 08:20 UTC in the Northern Hemisphere. It is the moment that officially signals the start of Fall. At this time, there will be an equal amount of light and dark, after which the nights slowly grow longer as we head toward winter.