Southern Hemisphere – circa September 23rd
Northern Hemisphere – circa March 20th
As we venture through the seasonal wheel, the days of cold and winter seem so long ago. Ahead of us is the call of new beginnings, rebirth and the magick of Spring. Trees that lay dormant throughout winter are stretching their branches with new life as buds appear and flower blossoms lift their heads in pride as the suns warmth entices them once again. It is in the Spring that the Sun God, full of promise and vigor makes the transition from child to a young Prince. His thirst for knowledge increases as he moves throughout the land bringing his warmth, new growth and healing to all those within his realms. As the Sun God grows so too does the light, getting stronger and overcoming the dark with each new day.
The Goddess is now fully awake, full of life and curiously. As the young Prince watches her he is mesmerized by her laughter and love of nature. In her Maiden aspect she delights in his attentions, her happiness bringing fertility and healing to all living beings, whilst invoking new life. The Maiden is the Goddess that brings us new ideas, youth, playfulness and symbolic growth within our lives. She represents the Waxing Moon, the physical stage of puberty in humans and the colour white. Together with the Sun God or young Prince they bring about life and regeneration to the lands after the blanket of winter prevailed it.
The magickal embrace of Spring is all around, you can feel it in the air as the breezes pass through our subtle bodies, the sun as ‘His’ gentle warmth radiates into our being offering healing and vitality, the rain as it washes over us and the earth as the promise of new life emerges itself from the depths of Mother earth herself. Blossoms are beginning to cover the trees that have lain in wait throughout winter for this moment. Freesias, daffodils and jonquils are materializing in abundance alongside the roadways, parks and gardens. As we venture further out into the country, newborn lambs cry out to their mothers as they await their meals, and in the ponds a mother duck will speed away with a trail of ducklings behind her. Pukekos have slowly emerged from behind the old tree stumps and walking clumsily about with their long legs not quite fitting their bodies and displaying a powder-puff of white when they bend over. Yet while we frolic along the path of spring we should already be looking to the harvest. As a Witch or follower of the old ways and the seasonal wheel, Spring is the season of preparation in anticipation for the coming harvests. Even though these two seasons are halfway apart on the wheel, it is now that we must sow seeds, plant vegetables and herbs. Outside rituals are more frequent and we notice that more wildlife gather to watch us with curiosity. The cats have now realized that the sun is stronger and they too, spend more time outdoors basking in their own beauty and bewitching thoughts of contemplation.
The Spring Equinox is known as a Quarter Day or a ‘Lesser Sabbat,’ but certainly by no means lesser than any of the other seven Sabbats in the Witches year. The other four Lesser or Quarter Days are the Summer Solstice, Autumn Equinox and the Winter Solstice. The Spring Equinox is one of the two times that nature, for only a split second balances, making day equal night. The other occasion when this happens is during the Autumn Equinox.
Associated Names - Alban Eiber, Bacchanalia, Esotre’s Day or Festival, Mean Earraigh, Ostara, Rebirth Festival, Spring Equinox, Spring Quarter, Summer Finding, the Rites of Spring, Vernal Equinox.
Element - Air.
Direction - East.
Activities - There is so much to be done this season; here are a few starters… Decorate eggs, visit zoos, animal farms, sheep stations, donate money to wildlife funds, volunteer to help the earth & nature, prepare the garden, weeding, sowing seeds, start new craft projects, start up your own group, meditate, honor the Deities, have a garage sale, eat and buy green, look at your own carbon footprint, paint, draw, write, create, bake, make chocolate eggs, spring clean the home and animal areas, clear away energy leaks and clutter in the home, repair leaky roofs, cupboards and all those other chores you did not get around to, have blessing rituals, initiations for the Solitary, smile, have a “you” day, enjoy the season and embrace life. Feel witchy and attune to this magickal time of the year and dance in the ways of old.
Colours - Spring celebrates all colours of the rainbow, but if one were wanting to choose the ‘main’ colours of this season then red, white, yellow and blue including pale pink, pale green and the delicate ‘Robin egg’ blue.
Deities - All virgin, maiden, moon and fertility Goddesses and fertility, rebirth and young Gods are also part of the Deities that are worshipped during this time. The God is the consort of the Goddess, a young lad, hunter and the Greenman, God of resurrection, vegetation and the coming harvest.
Foods - The excitement that spring brought with it after the cold, bleak winter when food was scarce, the fields empty or barren and cattle were eating the last of their fodder. But the return of spring offered promise of new life and most importantly food and a time where planting for future crops could be started. It was also a life when people were used to the cold and being snowed in for weeks or months at a time, but to be able to dance and frolic outside, to begin planting, see newborns in the fields, what a sight to behold. Decorate your feasting table as you would your altar with flowers, plain and decorated baskets of eggs, a dish of mixed seeds, candles of white, pale pink, yellow and green along with any fertility amulets and objects.
Foods for spring can be rich foods marking the end of the bleak season and to a fertile season ahead. All edible blossoms and petals, ale, almond cakes, asparagus, baby peas, bread, celery, cheesecakes with custard and currants, chocolate eggs and chocolate shaped rabbits, cherry’s, clotted cream, cream, custard, duck, eel, eggs and all egg dishes, fish, fruit juices, goats cheese and milk, ham, honey, honey cakes, hot cross buns and cakes, leafy greens, lemon, mackerel, milk, nettles, parsley, poultry, pork and sage, parsley and thyme stuffing, or ground ivy stuffing, pashka, pavlova, roast lamb mint sauce, seeds, spinach tarts, sprouts, sweet spiced rolls, white wine.
Herbs and Plants - The herbs and plants of this Sabbat are basically anything that is around now including all greenery, blossoms, white and gold flowers, acorns, apple, beech, birch, bluebells, borage, catkins, cedar, celandine, chamomile, chickweed, chives, cinquefoil, clematis, daffodil, dandelion, dill, elderflower, elm, evergreens, fern, forget-me-nots, freesia, gorse flowers, hazel, hyssop, iris, ivy, jasmine, jonquils, kowhai, kumara (planting starts) lavender, lemons, magnolia, manuka, oak, pine, poplar, primrose, red clover, rosemary, rowan, snowdrops, tulips, violet and the willow.
Moon - The Seed Moon or Chaste Moon.
Symbols - Air element, all birds, balance of nature and forces, baskets, bulbs, bumblebees, butterflies, east, eggs, feathers, gardening, growth, hares, horses, ladybugs, lambs, new birth and beginnings, planning, planting, ploughs, rabbits, renewal, resurrection, ribbons, rising sap, seeds, spring cleaning, sprouts, sun rise, weather vane.