We need the spring season. We haven’t seen much of spring but it will arrive – eventually. While those who know me know that I am a cool weather gal we have to honor the beauty and necessity of spring.
Spring begins when the Sun moves into the constellation of Aries on the equinox. Aries is the typical sign of upward and outward movement – or masculine energy looking to change paths and lead a new way. How perfect! This is the time to clean away the old growth, sow the fields and make plans for the rebirth of late spring and early summer.
In Five Element Acupuncture, spring is the time of wood – also a planning time – when Yang energy begins to awaken from a long Yin winter.
|Pastina and Pesto a spring dish from “Signs of the Tines: The Ultimate Astrological Cookbook.”|
The sign that follows Aries is Taurus, the most tactile sign, that which loves to feel and engage with the Earth. Taurus is considered the sign of the Ecology Movement. As the first flowers appear and the Earth is reborn we feel very close to Taurean energy.
I beg of my clients one thing – if you do nothing else with Astrology use it to be in cycle with nature. So use the Aries energy to clean away the cobwebs of winter – physically and emotionally – and then be like Taurus the Bull and run through the new grass and smell the new roses.
Recently I asked a group of people where the word Easter came from. Didn’t that name always seem out of place? Not surprisingly, no one knew. Easter – it has no correlation to the day. Right? Well, if you dig back into the history of it all it clearly does. Easter is named for the Germanic and Celtic goddess Eostre. Depending on the tribe telling the story, she was either a young maiden who travelled the country side with her rabbit spreading eggs in your garden or a magical woman who transformed into a rabbit in Spring. Virgin, rabbit, eggs – yes, fertility and rebirth – they weren’t subtle back then. (Actually, there were many variations on the theme but these were the general avenues of interpretation.)
To celebrate the day of Eostre one would bake breads with the cross of the rising sun which have become translated into hot cross buns and dye eggs. Who said human beings have original ideas?
Interestingly in Sweden they celebrate Easter by celebrating witches! The children dress as the up as the witch Blakulla, make drawings and then go door to door exchanging the drawings for candy. Sounds like a take on Halloween. Interestingly, in Italy, the witch Buffana comes to the children on Christmas Eve. Witches, girls, maidens, they all find their way into someones celebration.
Anyway, back to Astrology and Easter. However, the celebration it is important to remember it all starts with the stars. The Spring Equinox, when the Sun is at the mouth – zero degrees – of Aries, the first sign of the zodiac – the sign that starts the wheel of life again – is March 21. Easter takes place on the Sunday after the first full Moon following the Equinox. Who can guess whether I was taught that little tidbit during eight years of Catholic school? Easter linked to the Equinox – linked to the Moon! Shock.
Passover too starts a day or so after the first full Moon after the Spring Equinox.
This year the full Moon was April 17, so Passover started at sundown on April 18 and Easter is April 24.
And they both have to thank Aries the first sign of the Zodiac for it. Speaking of Aries, it is still in full force. We currently have Mars, Uranus, Lilith, Mercury, Venus and Jupiter in an Aries stellium (that is, more than five bodies in one sign.) That is a lot of raw, dynamic change energy circulating in the universe. Using it to harness change in your life, new ways of expressing yourself, a new search for love and new way to open new doors. Those people who aren’t aware of themselves or their natal planets could be feeling very angry and restless because they embody the shadow of Aries. So that potential for anger, violence and just raw emotions is still very high.
In any case, dye your eggs, plant your gardens and tip your hat to Eostre this weekend!
Tomorrow is the Vernal Equinox, a time for renewal and resurrection. Astronomically and astrologically it is when the Sun is at zero degrees in the constellation Aries. Astrologers call Aries, the baby of the zodiac, the first sign of the twelve…the beginning of things anew.
I remember being shocked at the first Passover Seder I attended when I saw hard boiled eggs on the table. Eggs? Isn’t that for Easter? How little I knew. We all have the same concept- eggs, fertility, rebirth and resurrection – they are all celebrated at the Equinox.
It is all about eggs – The Druids dyed eggs red – the color of the “returning” Sun. The Celts dyed their eggs blue in spring and the Ukrainians started dying eggs thousands of years ago. Spring is the time when the Earth comes back to life. It is symbolized by the goddess at her youngest – sowing seeds that will bloom in a few months.
In fact the word Easter comes from the Anglo Saxon goddess Eostre. Now there are two stories about Eostre. In some parts of the ancient Saxon world she was a goddess in the maiden stage who wandered the country side with her hare sowing seeds. This is also the beginning of the Easter bunny legend. In other parts she was a goddess who transformed herself from maiden to hare as she brought the return of spring and promoted the growth of crops. However, you get the general drift – spring is the time for renewal and growth.
The concept of resurrection was not new to the Christians – check out Osiris and Isis for the Greeks and Oden for the ancient Norse. Sorry, but there just is nothing new under the Sun – in any season.
But be a part of the ancient tradition, dye some eggs, plant some seeds – it is SPRING!