March 4th 2018
Spring Equinox, on March 21st brings out all that lovely symbolism we have come to associate with the Pagan paths, and as ever, the symbolism reflects what is happening in nature at this time. In our more rural spaces, farmers everywhere are related to many a sleepless night as the ewes are now lambing; hares start to emerge from their nests and become very active, following a quiet winter; and little green shoots are starting to appear. But what about the urban landscape? How is Spring reflected away from the wider rural spaces.
In London my garden of cold clay has started to erupt into the colours of Spring, in spite of the recent snow fall – White snowdrops, yellow daffodils, and the pale lilacs and yellows of the crocus. The blackthorn has burst into blossom, even though the trees have not yet shown signs of the leaves that will follow in the next month or so. The signs of colour are blooming in every window box, and every city park. The skies are also beginning to show signs of blue peaking between the gaps in the heavy grey cloud.
So what is happening magically at this time? In circle we celebrate the awakening of the world. The candle that we kindled at Imbolc has burst into flame. The Great God Pan is on the move again, his shaggy-limbed antics becoming gleeful, full of trouble, and impulsive. Pan, like that other symbol of Spring Equinox the hare, is seen as the trickster. Hares have now emerged from their winter nests and are beginning to become active again. The Mad March Hare of Alice in Wonderland, or Brer Rabbit are good examples of this march madness – the males are boxing each other, competing in a show of masculine prowess, but they are also a symbol of the moon, of femininity, and fertility.
This is a time of continued planting, and of tending the seedlings of the work you began at Imbolc, and are hoping to achieve in this cycle of the Wheel of the Year. This is the time to ensure we are taking concrete steps towards our magical goals, since magic will only take you so far – you still need to put in the physical real-world work as well. If you want to be a writer, this is the time to sign up for a Creative Writing class. If you want to be a photographer, start putting a plan in place for how you might exhibit your work somewhere. Write those letters, and start emerging from your own winter nest to start making e contacts with people who can help you. Magic might grease the wheels of the work, but you still need to put your back behind the machine and give it a good shove.
The Spring Equinox is also another point of balance in the year – between masculine and feminine, dark and light. For just a fleeting moment, we reach that point of equilibrium again. There are things to consider when we contemplate the juggling of balance in our lives:
Where do you need more balance in your life?
Where might the scales have been tipped too far to one side?
Ways to Celebrate Spring Equinox
Spring Equinox is all celebrating the signs of new life returning to the land. If you can, get out in nature. Go for a walk in a green space, even if it is one of the city's many clipped and manicured parks. You will still see signs of Spring all around you - birds are busy building their nests, golden daffodills are bursting into life, and the earth is starting to thaw.
We are coming out of the dark months of winter, so its good to start ushering in the spring with a few witchy activities.
The good news is, if you have recently embarked on the witches path and you are not sure what to bring with you, you don't have to leave your beloved chocolate eggs and bunny themed items behind. They were pagan symbols for the emerging fertility of Spring that were later absorbed by the Christian Church. (And in any case, Pagan's embrace all spritual paths as being different routes to reach the same goal, so things are not 'forbidden' if you are attached to them.)
If you want to mark the equinox with a ceremony at home, think about the areas of your life that need more balance, and the goals you want to achieve in the coming year. They don't have to be complicated, but they do need to be as specific as possible. Perhaps inscribe a candle of the appropriate colour with your intention, and then take concrete action. Magic may oil the wheels, but you still need to help it along. Other ideas include:
Create and burn a spring incense
Make yourself some sacred bath salts using sea salt and essential oils
Create a 'vision board' of your goals for the year - collect pictures that represent the things you want to achieve and make a collage
Get planting! Now is the time to start planting your garden for the year (metaphorically and otherwise) so if you have green fingers and have a square inch of growing space (window box, window sill, balcony, garden or just space for one pot on your desk) start planting your seeds.
Prepare a celebratory meal for your friends or family
Get crafting - remember this is Witch-crafting, and we get crafty as often as possible - bake bread, paint a canvas, start sewing a new outfit, make jewellery whatever floats your crafting boat. It doesn't have to be expensive, and it doesn't have to be perfect.
Establish your daily spiritual practice for the year - taking just a short time each day for a spriritual practice will work wonders for your self care and wellbeing, as well as your relationship with the Divine. You might choose to spend a few minutes each morning reading your favourite poems, or singing you heart out, or pulling a daily Tarot or oracle card, or twenty minutes of yoga. Find what works for you.
Image: Spring Equinox by Amanda Clark