Is it really Spring Equinox?

 

Yesterday it was snowing, today, a bank holiday, we have icicles outside the conservatory, the water in the water feature is frozen and we were going to go and have a walk on the beach but it’s sooooo cold brrrr. It really doesn’t feel like tomorrow is Spring Equinox.

As at Autumn Equinox tomorrow the light and dark will be in equal balance. Unlike at Autumn Equinox when the dark begins to take over, tomorrow it is the light that begins to return. I am hoping that along with the the light comes some much needed warmth.

It is not just me that is feeling the cold, the birds are eating us out of house and home having devoured a large drum of bird food in three days instead of the week to ten days it usually lasts. They have two bird feeders, a bird table and a feeder full of fat balls yet it still seems barely enough. Our daffodils are struggling, the furry shoots on the pussy willow seem to have gone into suspended animation and spring bulbs that would normally be showing signs of life are nowhere to be seen.

It is though much lighter than even a couple of weeks ago. There is a definite stretch in the day and on days when the sun appears there is beginning to be some warmth in it.

One of the things that it can be nice to do at Spring Equinox is to plant some seeds, often having spent time breathing plans and ideas for the months ahead into them with the idea that as they germinate and grow they will act as a reminder and a focus for your own plans. This year though if I am to do that I will need to plant them in a pot to be kept inside or in the greenhouse, as the ground is too hard and lacking in the warmth needed to germinate them.

For me, what is more important than doing anything specific, holding a ritual or ceremony, is to be aware of the turn of the wheel, the passing of time and the shift into a new part of the year. It may not feel like spring, nature may not be showing me it is, but the balance of light and dark will still be there tomorrow and this also gives me chance to stop and find the balance within myself if I give myself the time to do so.

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20th March 2015

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Supermoon, Solar Eclipse and Spring Equinox Alban Eilir all in one day. Let’s hope the clouds are kind and stay away so we all get chance to experience it in this reality and not just energetically.

Spring Equinox is a great time to be sowing seeds ready for the months ahead. These can be the seeds of a project you have in mind, or of something you would like to bring in for example.

As the influence of this powerful day has already been building for some weeks and will continue for some weeks after the 20th you still have time to sow your metaphorical seeds if you miss the day itself. Me, I held an Alban Eilir ceremony today to sow mine as I am sure I will be too caught up in the eclipse tomorrow to think of it then.

But why is it New Year today?

It’s New Year’s Day and I was going to draw a Web of Life Connections Card for the day that’s in it but realised after I picked up the bag that I’m way too tired. Anything I drew would be inaccurate and I wouldn’t be able to connect and listen anyway. Sometimes we just need to know our limits and when we do, give in gracefully, which is what I’m doing today.

Instead I’m sat here thinking about what a strange time it is to have the end of one calendar year and the start of another. I know it’s based on ancient Pagan festivals but it’s so close yet so far that it feels, to me today anyway, completely wrong.

Yesterday when browsing online I came across a Druid wheel which shows the end of the old year and the start of the new year at Samhain on November 31st. I think it was seeing this that got me thinking and if your like to see this week for yourself you can find it here

This then brought me forward to Winter Solstice usually taken as 21st December, the longest night and shortest day in the Northern Hemisphere and said to be the start of the season of winter which continues until Spring Equinox. This day, for many Pagans is the time for reflection and looking forward, things that others so at New Year in the form of resolutions.

So here we have New Year, a time that coincides with neither Samhain nor Winter Solstice. It is not the end of, nor beginning of a season, it is just in the middle of things.

I seem to spend a lot of time speaking with my students about how time is a man made concept and doesn’t actually exist, I’m just wondering today why, when man came up with the Gregorian Calendar, the decision was made to have the end of one year and the start of another here.

The Unpredictability of Spring

imageIn my mind Spring is sunshine, green grass, snowdrops, primroses, crocuses, daffodils, tulips, bluebells, walks on the beach or through the bluebell and wild garlic woods, newly formed buds on the trees and baby lambs gambolling in the fields…….in reality though it could be anything.

Yesterday, for example, in the space of a few hours we had sunshine, rain, heavy hail storm, more sunshine and then something that looked like it was trying very hard to be sleety snow.

Of course if I am honest with myself Spring is always like this. It’s nothing unusual this year. All too often the bulbs come up, flowers open themselves to bask in the sun only to be battered by winds, rain and sometimes real snow. But there is nothing like being optimistic 🙂

And isn’t that what Spring is about? As the wheel of the year turns, Spring Equinox passes and the seasons move on, we optimistically look forward to what is ahead of us even if it doesn’t turn out quite like we imagine it might.

This is the time of year where we allow ourselves to dream and as nature awakens and slips off its Winter cloak so do we. We too change our appearance, wear brighter colours, smile more, spend more time outside and breathe more deeply. We might open the windows to let in fresh air and in doing so clear the stagnant energy that has been building up. We might open our wardrobe doors and clear out clothes, making space for new ones perhaps but at the same time clearing out the old energy. This is a time of year where we may reinvent ourselves in a million tiny ways or even big ones just as nature does. Just as nature needs time to find who it is at this time of year, who it will be this year, so do we.

Many of us consciously live in close connection with nature and the wheel of the year. We recognise the shifts and changes and know that when we roll with them it is healthier and more productive than fighting against them. Others that do not necessarily have this close connection do this too, although perhaps not consciously, for somewhere deep inside all of us is that spark that keeps alive the connection with the Earth, with nature, and with all that exists, the spark that knows who we are and where we come from.

So Spring……whatever form you are in this year…..bring it on!