Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Happy Ostara (Vernal Equinox)

Today marks the Vernal Equinox or Ostara, one of two times in the calendar year (along with the Autumn Equinox or Mabon) when the Earth and her unruly children hover in perfect balance for a brief interval. Humans have nothing to do with the occasion. It is a pivotal astronomic point ordained by the heavens above us, by the natural order of things in this magnificent cosmos where we live out our days, spinning like tops in the Great Round of space and time.

If I lived further south, this might be a day of greening and enchantment, a day when Eostre, the old Teutonic goddess of greening and fertility, wanders wild places with her arms full of spring blooms, bestowing blessings on everything she sees. Trees would leaf out as she passed, and flowers would spring up in her footsteps. As always, she would be attended by hares, her special animal. The air would be filled with birdsong, with the heady fragrance of rich dark earth and wild springtime herbs. 

Winter's snow has departed for the most part, but it is still chilly here, and although there is greening in our thoughts, it will be a few weeks until trees leaf out, and greenery emerges everywhere. Clumps of crocus and snowdrops bloom in protected nooks here and there, but there is little or no blooming in open spaces.  

While I was pottering about in the front yard yesterday morning, several skeins of Canada geese flew overhead, honking their pleasure at being home again. The great birds were so high up we could hardly hear them, and they must have been returnees from somewhere far away. On seeing them, I put down my tools and danced a few steps, and the neighbors must have thought I was off my nut.

At nightfall, Beau and I went outside into the garden for a few minutes, and as we shivered in the star spangled darkness, it seemed to us that this month's waxing moon resembles a great cosmic egg - a perfect expression of this turning of the wheel with its verdant motifs of warmth, light and new life coming into being.

There is blooming in our thoughts for sure, but it is still too cold here for outdoor celebrations. Beau and I will spend time outside in the garden tonight, and we will light a votive candle on the deck if the north wind permits it, but our festivities are indoors for the most part. There is room for everyone at our hearth and there are enough mugs, plates and comfortable chairs to go around. Welcome, and come ye in!


francesray.substack.com said...

Lovely, Cate. You painted a beautiful picture of Eostre bestowing her blessings. We too must wait paitiently for the greening to appear.

Dee said...

No hares arrived with Ostara, but the magnolia tree has burst into bloom, so it must be here!