Spring Equinox is one of the eight festivals in the Wheel of the Year, which in its entirety represents the Cycle of Life. In this cycle of becoming and unbecoming, death and rebirth, Spring Equinox marks a time of balance, keeping in mind the coming outward journey, towards growing, unfolding and blooming.
Its opposite is Autumn Equinox which also marks a time of balance, but keeping in mind the coming inward journey, towards our inner wisdom and the symbolic death in winter.
When do we celebrate Spring Equinox?
As its name suggests, an equinox is a day where day (light) and night (darkness) last for about the same length of time, or at least appear to be of the same length. The word equinox comes from Latin „aequus“ meaning equal and “nox” meaning night.
Spring Equinox happens between March 19th and 21st in the Northern Hemisphere, and between September 21st and 23rd in the Southern Hemisphere. The exact time differs a little from year to year, because it depends on the moment when the sun is exactly above the equator at 12 noon local time.
Why do we celebrate Spring Equinox?
Spring Equinox marks the midpoint between Winter Solstice and Summer Solstice, symbolising a time of equilibrium – light (day) and shadow (night) balance each other.
This time of year is an invitation to take a closer look at what’s working well in your life, what you are grateful for, what feels harmonious to you – and what doesn’t. And to feel into what’s needed to bring some more balance to the areas of your life that have gotten out of balance.
At the same time, Spring Equinox heralds the lighter half of the year: From now on, the days will be longer than the nights, Nature and humans are drawn out into the light and life begins to celebrate its own rebirth, fertility and joy.
In Christian culture, this is the season of Easter celebrations: Adopted from ancient pagan traditions, it’s basically a symbol that the dying has come to an end.
After a long and often harsh winter, Nature is resurrected and new life is born. Death is never just an end, but also a new beginning, and Easter fires remind us that we all carry a spark, a fire, within us that is now reawakened and slowly growing stronger.
What is the energetic quality of this time?
The energetic quality of Spring Equinox is similar to the First Quarter (Waxing) Moon and the follicular phase (between menstruation and ovulation, if you have a menstrual cycle). Energy is slowly returning to our body and our focus starts to shift outwards, to pleasure and the joy of life.
We can observe this in Nature, too, where the seeds start pushing out of the Earth, the first green appears on the trees and spring flowers exude their intoxicating fragrance. The Earth begins to blossom and symbols of growth and fertility are found everywhere; the sex drive reawakens and invites us to express our sensuality and sexuality free of any shame or guilt.
Finally, the time has come to start implementing projects and other undertakings: The seed that was sown at Winter Solstice has started sprouting and grown the first roots for Imbolc. Yet, so far all the preparations have happened in stillness, in the subconscious, the underground. Now, the more active half of the year begins, the planning and implementing.
What has prepared itself within you? What is the vision you’d like to bring to life this year and what could be a small first step? Which (inner and outer) obstacles might stand in its way and what kind of support will you need to fuel and maintain the trust, fun and joy in your undertaking?
How can you honour the quality of this time?
We often believe it needs to be something big and significant to celebrate a certain time or period of life, but it is the little daily rituals that make the difference. Here are a few ideas to honour this time in your day-to-day life:
- Create your own Spring Altar: Prepare a corner in a room, a little table or simply a bowl and decorate them with everything that reminds you of spring, fertility and growth, e.g., colourful flowers, rabbits, ladybugs or coloured eggs.
Then take a few moments here and there to notice the sensory delights with your eyes and consciously connect with spring time.
- Spring Cleaning (inside and outside): Who doesn’t like a good old spring cleaning? We humans instinctively feel that now is the time to leave the mustiness of winter behind for good, including old habits and beliefs that keep us from living as freely and fully as we’d like.
Use the energetic quality of this time to declutter, release and clear, so the outer spring cleaning also brings more clarity and order within.
- Gathering Spring Herbs: Nature reawakens and already offers her first gifts to you: Nettle, dandelion, goutweed, daisy, ground ivy, watercress or wild garlic are all herbs that awaken the spirits after a long winter and strengthen your body.
- Planting: Start planting in your garden, preparing the balcony or simply putting some colourful flowers in a vase in your apartment. Doing so will invite the fertility, resourcefulness and creativity of Nature into your home.
- Expressing your Creativity: Every human is creative in their own rights, because creativity simply means creating something, and we do that every day. Whether you paint a picture, write an e-mail, decorate your apartment or cook dinner, all of these are creative acts.
Now is the perfect time to reconnect with your creativity, your innate creative power, for example by doing creative work consciously or taking up a new creative endeavour.
The meaning and themes of Spring Equinox (Ostara)
It’s time to stretch your limbs and reawaken your spirits after the long hibernation period of winter. Nature comes to life everywhere and celebrates its power, we see vibrant colours everywhere and the libido, the natural sex drive, rises in both humans and animals.
It’s a moment to consciously remember that every death also holds room for something new – and that it doesn’t necessarily have to be the physical death of a living being.
A woman or menstruating person, for example, goes through a process of death (menstruation) and rebirth (follicular phase) every month. Each month they have a chance to let go of something that no longer serves them and to invite something new instead.
And Spring Equinox invites us to become clear on the vision we have for our life this year, and think about how to implement, strengthen and nourish it. So it may grow and flourish like Nature does all around us.
Fertility, Sensuality and Joy of Life
At the time of Spring Equinox, Nature clearly displays her fertility and invites us to enjoy life with all our senses. Lambs are born, bees buzz around, flowers and trees blossom, the lush green delights our eyes and the intoxicating scent of flowers fills our noses.
Life is celebrating itself.
How easy is it for you to tap into your sensuality and enjoy your own sexual nature?
Especially in Christian culture, many women and people socialised as women have a hard time to fully embrace their sexual pleasure (I’m no different). For centuries a woman’s pleasure has been called “sin” and suppressed, or only been permitted in the narrow realm of procreation.
It’s time to release the (often internalised) shame and guilt put on you and celebrate this most natural expression of life in yourself.
If that sounds difficult for you, take a first step and reconnect with your sensuality. Smell a flower and deeply inhale her fragrance. Take a bite of a juicy apple and let the taste activate every taste bud. Play your favourite music and allow your body to start moving in any way that feels right for you.
And if you don’t want to venture on this journey of reconnecting with your own sexuality alone, but instead be held in a strong and safe space where you can get in touch with your pleasure and joy of life and release any internalised shame or guilt, book a free Connection Call with me to see how I can support you.
Fertility doesn’t only refer to our sexual nature, our creativity is especially fertile during this phase, too. Ideas are sprouting and there’s a growing desire to create something new.
Whether you try new (cooking/baking) recipes, take up drawing, painting or playing a musical instrument or simply decorate you home and create a lovely space for yourself – there are no limits to your creativity and creative power!
What have you always wanted to try? Now’s the time to get started!
Spring Equinox in the Cycle of Life
The wisdom of the individual festivals of the Wheel of the Year can always be applied to our bigger cycles of life, which we move through as humans – no wonder, since they represent the Cycle of Life.
Spring Equinox corresponds to young adulthood, around 20 years of age. It’s the time where we begin to walk our own path, do “our own thing”.
In childhood and youth we’ve been strongly influenced by other people’s ideas and opinions, now we want to find out who WE actually are, build something for ourselves.
Some already start a family, others focus on a career or travel the world. It’s about following your own joy and passion, showing yourself to the world in all your glory, with your natural gifts and talents, trying new things and living all-out.
What do you really, really want from life? What are your dreams, the milestones you want to experience, which feelings do you want to feel on a regular basis? And which activities or ways of being make you feel like that and how can you make sure to include them into your weekly schedule?
How can you celebrate Spring Equinox?
Since the focus (of Nature, but also our own) shifts back outwards around Spring Equinox, the rituals of this time of year are all about new beginnings and letting go of what stands in their way.
- New Beginnings: Now is the ideal time for new beginnings and projects of all sorts: Recall the past couple of months since Winter Solstice and look at all the seeds you’ve planted. Which have sprouted and taken root in you? Which roots do you want to continue nurturing? And what are the first possible steps you can take, to make them become visible in the world around you?
If you celebrated the Twelve Holy Nights, you can have a look at your 13th wish again and see if there’s new inspiration coming to you on how to put it into practice.
- Cleansing Fire: Light a candle of a fire in a fire bowl and gaze into it. Allow everything heavy, negative and burdensome in your life to rise to the surface, take a look at it and then hand it over to the fire.
Alternatively, imagine how you step into the fire yourself, how its flames surround and warm you and how they burn everything away that’s heavy and burdensome within you.
The popular Easter Fires also serve to free yourself from shame and guilt imposed on you from the outside and remember your inner light, the fire of life that burns within you, inextinguishably.
- Personal Blessing Ritual: Open your home to everything positive you want to call into your life. Take some saltwater or water infused with essential oils and sprinkle it into every corner of your home, especially around the windows and doors. Repeat the words “May everything good find its way into this home!”
- Colouring Eggs and Decorating: Eggs have always been a symbol of fertility and new life. Meet as a group (invite in the children, too) and colour some eggs together, paint them or decorate them with little stickers. Give them to each other as a gift and sign for the abundance, fertility and joy of life you wish one another.
- Group Blessing Ritual: Come together as a group, to rattle, drum, burn incense and offer blessings. Make a wish for love, good health, joy, peace, sensuality and fertility. Or choose one person who walks around the participants with drums, incense or saltwater and speaks the following words “I bless the people present in this circle. May they be strong and healthy and use the power of their spirits for good. May all new projects and endeavours be successful for everyone involved!”