In the Northern Hemisphere on March 20th at 2:37 AM PST, we officially start the first day of spring. The spring equinox is all about new beginnings, birth, new life, and balance. The day and night become equal again and from this point forward, our days will grow longer each day until we reach the longest day of the year on the summer solstice.
Aries season also begins on March 20th and starts the birth of a new zodiac cycle. Winter is finally ending, as is some of the artic chill that makes life miserable (in my opinion; calm down all you winter fiends!). In Spokane, it's not uncommon to have another snowstorm or cold spell over the next few weeks, but by mid-April, I will be dusting off my tennis shoes and heading to the nursery to spend all our money on flowers and tomato plants. My feet and hands won't be so cold all the time! I will be able to wear sandals and light jackets! I could do without the house spiders, but you win some and you lose some, I guess.
Ostara is the pagan holiday celebrating the spring equinox and the germanic goddess Eostre/Ostara. There are a lot of questions about Eostre's actual age and mythology. Some believe that she isn't a real goddess, while others believe she holds much earlier roots than most believe. Regardless, Ostara and Easter both hold many similar symbols of fertility and rebirth. Eostre has the head and shoulders of a hare and she is said to bring the first warm winds of the season. Bird song and spring flowers follow wherever she travels along with the lengthening days. All I know is that every time we get near the end of February, I weep with joy whenever I think she might be coming around.
It is no surprise that we paint eggs around this time of year and the Easter Bunny brings us treats and eggs on Easter. It is common to make hot-crossed buns on the first day of spring because of the symbolism it embodies. Think of it like the Celtic Cross, two equal lines that cross showing the balance of the year, the lines represent the spring and fall equinox, and the summer and winter solstice. It is in the space between the lines that hold the seasons and with it, the whole circle/cycle of the year. Birth, growth, death, and rebirth, over and over again. The cycle of life.
Happy spring to you and yours! May your days get longer and your feet warmer! I will be back in a couple of weeks with more information on the upcoming soap release! Until then, take a peek at the shop, get yourself a bar of soap or one for a special someone, and enjoy the season my friends!