Spring has Sprung
It’s the first day of Spring in the astronomical calendar, also known as the vernal equinox and is when the sun shines directly on the celestial equator passing from south to north and the length of day and night are almost the same.
Another name for this day is Ostara, believed to originate from the ‘elusive in records’ Teutonic Goddess Eostre, who was mentioned by Bede. Many stories developed particularly in the early 1900’s about this goddess and her connection to spring and Easter. Here is one example that explains her connection of the hare/Easter bunny.
“The story goes, Ēostre had once saved a bird from the winter cold. The bird's wings had frozen and could not fly away. So, she changed the bird into a rabbit, and since the rabbit was once a bird, it could lay eggs.”
In a new incarnation of Ostara many people now see her as the embodiment of Spring and choose to celebrate at this time of the year as we finally leave winter behind.
It’s a time of comings and goings as birds such as the Whooper Swan now making ready to leave our shores, having overwintered here to return to their summer residences in Euro- Siberia. We can now look to the skies for the return of early Martins, and Swallows returning from Africa, together with waiting eagerly to hear the call of the first Cuckoo. Already our resident birds are getting more animated and the distinctive song of the Yellowhammer, “Little bit of bread & cheese pleeese” is beginning to fill the air.
In our moon’s phases she is entering the end of her cycle from full moon to beginning her new phase of New or Dark moon. Our feelings can become heightened at this time, with anticipation leading to reality. We enter a brief period of balance, because it is equinox, but are ready to ‘tip’ towards the light part of our year from which summer will emerge. But for now, it’s a time to initiate beginnings, act, and feel the energy as the sap rises in the trees & Mother Nature truly wakes from her winter slumber.
Blackthorn blossom brings a froth of white that almost looks like snowfall to the roadside verges and hedgerows. It is a plant that is often associated with witches, the darker half of the year and winter and yet it is really one of the first indicators of true spring together with forsythia and other early flowering trees and shrubs. The Hawthorn remains dormant but with leaf buds ready to burst whilst Blackthorn gives us its blossom before its leaves. The saying ‘A Blackthorn winter’ feels appropriate this year as we had a recent snowfall that left us cut off for a couple of days and really did put spring on hold.
This new spring energy can be put to use with a spring-cleaning taking place in your life and in your home. Taking stock of what needs to be kept and what needs to go can have a very positive impact as we de-clutter and keep what is most needed and cherished. Simplifying and streamlining our lives and our homes can be restorative and also actually bring benefit to others as we can give away things to those who may want it and have a better use. If this feels a step to far then maybe just go for a good old house cleaning session, throw open doors and windows to let the remnants of winter out and truly let springtime in.
Wishing you a beautiful springtime ahead x