There are several reasons I enjoy March. First, my birthday is within the first three days, and my son’s birthday is the day after mine. More importantly, we know that March heralds the return of Spring. Sure. Living in Michigan sometimes means we still have snow on the ground (because the weather doesn’t always agree with the calendar) but knowing the trend is moving toward the sunshine and warmer weather can renew the heart even while temperatures remain frigid.
Ostara Celebrates Spring
My family will tell you that I love holidays. As a Green Earth Witch, my favorite celebrations center on the change of seasons for the most part. As part of the Wheel of the Year, it is Ostara that gives recognition to the Vernal Equinox. For those of us living in the Northern Hemisphere, that date is March 20th.
Ostara is a festival that honors the seasonal change from Winter to Spring but also the Germanic Goddess, Eostre. There is very little evidence of this goddess beyond the work of a monk known as the Venerable Bede. There are theories and modern traditions that have grown around her over the years.
As a result, unverified personal gnosis has given life to Eostre’s mythology as a fertility or Dawn goddess, connecting her to the annual celebration of Spring including the known symbology of decorated eggs, bunnies, flowers, etc.
For me, it is the Earth Deity who receives devotional rites on the Equinox but as I’m a polytheist there is no reason not to give a nod to Eostre (or any Spring/Dawn goddess if they have your devotion or spiritual partnership with you). As far as I’m concerned, the celebration of Spring is about renewal, hope, and revitalization after a period of dormancy.
Time to Celebrate
One of my favorite things to do is decorate the altar at the change of seasons. There is unique energy for each that I enjoy. Because of who I am as a person and witch, flowers and herbs are prominently featured.
For the Spring Equinox, I love tulips. Roses are a popular choice as well but there is something about tulips that says “Spring” to me. These flowers have a spirit that desires to help (or at least that has been my experience). They are wonderful protectors of hearth and home.
Tulip repels negativity while drawing love, friendship, peace, and gratitude. They can be partnered with as live plants, cut flowers, or dried petals. Not to mention, tulips come in a range of colors which can be helpful toward a specific goal or intention. Also, they just make me happy.
As mentioned, tulips are wonderful protectors. Here is an easy way to work with them as a personal protection charm for you or someone you love.
Tulip Protection Bag
A small muslin bag
Dried tulip petals
Dried African violet petals
A sprig of lavender
White sea salt
Small Hematite stone
Add all of the above components into the muslin bag, speaking to the spirit of each element asking for its magickal assistance. Focus on how this bag will protect you, shielding you from negative influences or energy, helping you maintain emotional equilibrium throughout the day. Ask a deity with whom you work or are devoted for a blessing on the bag if desired. Carry on your person, bag, or pocket.
Another element I enjoy using at the Spring Equinox is colored eggs. Because so many people use the same imagery at Easter there are plenty of egg coloring kits available at local stores. I’ve written about the history of colored eggs in the past that includes ideas for natural dyes to make a colorful sabbat display.
There are many cultures that include this symbol in their spiritual/religious traditions this time of year. They are a symbol of fertility, life, renewal, and perfection. Eggs are powerful in magick. They can be used for divination, healing, hex breaking, manifestation, protection, and a lot more.
You can grind eggshells to spread as a ward around your doors and windows. Colored eggs created for Ostara or Spring Equinox can strengthen magickal intention, be used as a symbol of growth for a spell.
Eggs are good to eat as part of a celebration meal as well. Not to mention, as magickal practitioners we can be stirring intention into the egg dish we make for our family. Prosperity in the coming months. Good health. Here is a simple recipe I learned from my mother for Deviled Eggs (it’s a family favorite):
Mom’s Deviled Eggs
Hard-Boiled and Peeled Eggs (6-12)
Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
Paprika, Salt, Pepper
Slice the hard-boiled eggs into halves, scooping out the yolks into a bowl. Place the sliced egg-white halves onto a play or tray.
Mash the yolks with a fork until they are a rough, pebbled consistency. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper, then stir.
Add a spoonful of mayonnaise or Miracle Whip, then stir. Continue to add by spoonful until you reach the desired consistency to your taste. I prefer just enough mayo or salad dressing to make the egg mixture into a pâté consistency.
Spoon the yolk mixture into each of the divided egg white halves.
Sprinkle each deviled egg with paprika. Place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Celebrate the Sun
If you’re like me (and Lisa Wagoner of Witch Indeed) the darkness of Winter can be a challenge. Just like many others, I deal with S.A.D. (or Seasonal Affective Disorder) every Winter and have done for a long time now. And it is not easy. Some years are harder than others but it’s always a factor. I do have a routine that I follow (especially when a fallow period strikes). The podcast and this blog help. Both give me activities to focus on but it can still be hard to find motivation.
For me, the Spring Equinox is about refilling my SPOONS drawer and wanting to be active in a way that doesn’t feel like a chore. Golden sunlight and blue skies drive back the chill and dreary atmosphere. The weather starts to warm up (although in Michigan 45 degrees is a heatwave after days or weeks in the low teens) and I sense the rejuvenation of nature from its slumber. It lightens my spirit and mood as well.
So, on the days when the sun is shining, I go outside (bundled up if warmth is still needed) and breathe. Close my eyes and hail the sun, and if it is warm enough make an offering of water. Sometimes I listen to music and dance. Other times I meditate (even if it is just a few minutes). If it is still too cold I sit in a sunny patch coming through a window in the house. And all the while, I’m offering thanks to the sun. This can be part of a Spring Equinox celebration as well.
Do It Your Way
If you choose to honor the Spring Equinox (or Ostara) find what works for you and enjoy. Simple is what works best for me. Because to be honest, I have been celebrating since March 1st and probably will well into May. Not in big ways but with intention, spellwork, and overall living I suppose. But the day of the Equinox (and Ostara) will be an intentional ritual. Spring is coming (or already here). I’m going to take the time to bask and be glad.