Part of living a shamanic lifestyle is being attuned to the cycles of Nature, whether it be the phases of the moon, life cycles of the animals, fish and plants or the cycle of the seasons. Those of us who choose to walk a Shamanic/Druidic/Pagan path often acknowledge the “turning of the wheel” or cycle of seasons with some type of ceremony. Some celebrations are are grander than others, and some are very simple ceremonies.
The Spring Equinox is a day to celebrate the revival of life after a long cold winter. Our focus shifts from internal to external, from preparation to action. This is a time of renewal and rebirth…Eggs are hatching, birds are returning from their migrations, butterflies are breaking from their cocoons, plants are celebrating the return of warmth with vibrant greens and flowers of every color, the trees are bursting with new buds, and baby animals are appearing in our yards.
Spring arrives next week, on Thursday, March 20 at 6:57am EDT. So, let’s begin to think about celebrating it’s arrival with a ceremony. I’m offering a few simple ideas with plenty of time to plan. Choose one or more of these ideas and create your own Spring Equinox ceremony.
- Blessing of Seeds: Being an avid gardener, this is a part of my Spring Equinox celebration each year. I purchase some of the seeds that I will plant (I’m never organized enough to have them all here) and offer a simple blessing asking Spirit/Goddess/Universe to “awaken the seeds when they are planted to grow strong and bring forth plentiful fruit.” Then, draw the Birkana rune (a B with points instead of curves), the rune of new beginnings on each seed packet if you aren’t ready to plant them yet. If you are, draw the rune on a popcicle stick and place it in the pot. As each seed is blessed, visualize that particular plant in full bloom or full fruit. At this point, you may charge the seeds with blessings you hope to “sow” in the year ahead — things like wisdom, prosperity, understanding, or certain magickal skills.
- Awakening the Land: Mother Earth is beginning to rise from a long, deep sleep. In some places, she may still have the blanket of winter snow covering her. This simple ceremony gives her a gentle reminder that it’s time to stir and flourish once again. It’s kind of like waking your lover with a gentle nudge, instead of letting the alarm clock blast. Take a staff, walking stick or any long stick and walk around the property gently tapping the Earth. As you tap, tell Mother Earth that it’s time to awaken from her slumber. Use whatever words feel appropriate to you. Be sure to thank her for the time that you had to rest and recuperate as well. You can also stew herbs or sage as you go, making a “breakfast” offering.
- Planting an Egg: This little ceremony is to bring abundance to your home for the upcoming year. I wrote about this in last year’s Spring Equinox blog. Take a raw egg and mark it with the Berkana for growth, rebirth and new beginnings and Fehu for prosperity and abundance. Then, plant it in the ground at the entrance to your home. No ground? No problem … plant the egg in a pot of dirt by your door.
- Offerings to the Earth: Blend together some milk and honey, mixing gently. Milk represents the lactating animals who have just given birth, and honey is long known as a symbol of abundance. Pour it onto the ground in your garden, or around your yard as an offering to the earth. As you do, you may wish to say something like:”I make this offering to the earth, As thanks for the many blessings I have received, And those I shall some day receive.”
- Plant a plant: It’s sometimes amazing how simple a ceremony can be. The key is your intention. Plant a plant or repot one. Fill the pot with rich soil. As you plant it bless it and visualize it in full bloom or as a fully vibrant plant if it doesn’t flower. If you choose it to represent a particular aspect of your life, focus on that as well. Ask a blessing of Spirit/Goddess/Universe for your plant (and aspect of life) to grow and thrive. For more on my take on simple ceremony and the sacredness simple objects read my blog The Popcorn and M&Ms Ceremony.
- Egg Balancing: I’ve been told that at the EXACT time of the Spring Equinox you can balance eggs on their end. I’ve never tried this one, but have fun with it.
- Balance Exercises: Since the Spring Equinox is all about balance, this is a good time to bring our body into balance as well. In my Druidry course we work with some postures for increasing and balancing our Nwyfre or life force energy. These are similar to Tai-Chi exercises. Stand with your feet shoulder width apartand arms out at your side. Begin by sweeping your arms down and drawing the Earth energy up through your chakras. At the top turn your hands down and move the energy down around you. Repeat this several times. Then, with your arms at your sides bring them up, drawing the Sky energy down through your chakras, turn your hands and sweep the energy back up. This helps to fill you and balance your energy.
- Guided Meditations: I found a couple of interesting guided meditations online for you to work with the Spring Equinox energy. Renewing Your Bountiful Garden, an Ostara Meditation by Spirit Healer and Ostara Meditation by RavenKindred
However you choose to acknowledge the Equinox, relax, have fun and experience the renewal of Spring.
Until next time –
Mitakuye Oyasin (A Lakota prayer reminding us we are all related),