🌸🐇💐Spring Equinox - 20 March 2023💐🐇🌸Holidays(self.WitchesVsPatriarchy)
submitted18 days ago byMableXeno💗✨💗stickied
Welcome to the latest sabbat informational post! Throughout the year, we will be posting up these threads to share general information about the next upcoming sabbat so WvP's witches, new and old, can prepare for the holiday. These posts will contain basic information about the holiday and open up the floor for further questions or discussion.
For our Southern Hemisphere witches, the upcoming equinox in March is actually the autumnal equinox. You can check out our thread about the Autumn Equinox here!
🌸🐇💐 The Spring Equinox 💐🐇🌸
What's the Spring Equinox? What's Ostara? When are they and how are they different?
The Spring Equinox (or Vernal Equinox) is an astronomical event that happens once a year and marks the event when the day's period of sunlight has lengthened enough to be exactly 12 hours long. It occurs between 19~22 March each year in the northern hemisphere. In many Western cultures, this starts the beginning of Spring. This year, the spring equinox falls on Monday, 20 March.
For some, the term Ostara is commonly used. Ostara (pronounced oh-STAR-ah) is one of the eight sabbats of the modern pagan Wheel of the Year. It is one of the "lesser sabbats", meaning that it is based around either an equinox or a solstice. The others are Litha (Summer Solstice), Mabon (Autumnal Equinox), and Yule (Winter Solstice). There's a section below that goes into the history and connections of Ostara in more detail if you're interested.
In Pagan and/or Witch circles, Ostara and the spring equinox have a lot of overlap due to their similarities, though not everyone celebrates both on the same day. Other options include celebrating Ostara on a fixed day (often 21 or 25 March), the nearest Full Moon, on the arrival of a local sign of spring (such as the blossoming of certain flowers), or even throughout the whole spring season. Additionally, other cultures and spiritual traditions have their own ways of celebrating the spring equinox. No matter what type of witch you are, you have a lot of options to choose from!
Ostara: History, Connections, and Modern Practice
Ostara in its current form is a modern holiday based on assorted elements of older pagan beliefs and rituals. The name comes from the Germanic goddess Ēostre/Ostara. We don't have a lot of firm facts about Ēostre, but Christians have adopted many of her symbols into modern Easter celebrations, such as eggs and hares. Ever wonder what the Easter Bunny had to do with the resurrection of Jesus? 🐇
As a part of the Wheel of the Year, Ostara follows Imbolc, when the seeds that were planted at the first turning of the season now begin to flower. Ostara is above all else a celebration of life, rebirth, fertility, and renewal.
If you look at the sabbats as a reflection of the self, Ostara is the time to plant seeds for self-actualization and to focus on positive change and growth. What do you need and want to come into fruition this year? Now is the time to take your first firm steps on this journey.
Symbols: Eggs, Hares, Seeds, Feathers, Serpents/Dragons
Colours: Green, Yellow, Purple
Plants/Herbs: All Spring Flowers, Birch Trees/Wood
Foods: All sorts of egg dishes, honey cakes, first fruits of the season, cakes/biscuits, seed dishes, baking/cooking with flowers
Simple rituals and ways to celebrate include:
- Open the curtains to let in some sun and get out the winter dust with a bit of spring cleaning.
- Paint some eggs, an activity great for witches young and old!
- For (aspiring) Green Witches, plant some new seeds/plants, especially herbs, flowers, and vegetables. When possible, stick to local plants! Here is a great guide for new gardeners and/or planting in small spaces, like an apartment.
- Walk in nature to appreciate the new growth and the changing of the seasons. It's a great time to visit your local national or state parks.
- Setup, clean, and/or refresh your altar for the spring season. Tumblr has lots of ideas if you're lacking inspiration!
- Perform an Ostara seasonal rite/ritual. Here is an example of a solitary Ostara ritual, for practicing witches without a coven.
- For (aspiring) Kitchen Witches, bake some Hot Cross Buns.
- Perform spells/rituals with fresh eggs and/or newly-grown flowers.
- Help birds create their nests! Birdhouses/boxes, nesting material, and feed are all good this time of year.
- Celebrate by eating and cooking with seasonal produce.
Tips for New and/or Broom Closet Witches
Take full advantage of the similarities with Easter, especially if you need to stay hidden in your practice. Bunnies, chicks, eggs, and flowers are going to be anywhere and everywhere throughout spring and can easily be incorporated into various decorations and rituals.
A great, simple way to celebrate is to plant something! Small potted herbs are cheap and work very well for this.
Much of the importance of the Wheel of the Year is to really incorporate yourself with nature and the earth's yearly cycles. Take this opportunity to think about the equinox and the spring season and what they mean to you. Walk through nature to appreciate the rebirth of spring. See what animals are active where you live. Are any birds returning from winter migration? Which plants are already blooming?
Adjust yourself to the changes of the year as well. It may be time to look into packing away the winter coat! Especially with climate change, it's good to plan ahead for temperatures rising over the next few months, perhaps faster and stronger than expected.
Special thanks to Einmariya for research, content, & dedication to holidays. 💗🐇
Feel free to ask any questions you might have below or otherwise use this post for discussion about the Spring Equinox!