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24 September 2014
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Moonraking: The Spring Equinox (March 20th/21st)
Summer St John

In our series looking at the Celtic Wheel of the Year, Summer St John, from Wiltshire based Apogee, takes a look at the myths and legends surrounding The Spring Equinox.

 

This is the second of the four 'sky points' in our Wheel of the Year and it is when the sun does a perfect balancing act in the heavens.

AveburyAt the Spring (or Vernal) Equinox the sun rises exactly in the east, travels through the sky for 12 hours and then sets exactly in the west. So all over the world, at this special moment, day and night are of equal length hence the word equinox which means 'equal night'.

Of course, for those of us here in the northern hemisphere it is this equinox that brings us out of our winter.

For those in the southern hemisphere, this time is the autumnal equinox that is taking you in to your winter. And this is very much how I think of the equinoxes - as the 'edges' of winter. This is why they can be quite hard on our bodies as it is a major climatic shift, so it is a good time to give a boost to your immune system with natural remedies and cleansing foods.

Here in Wiltshire (as with the rest of rural Britain), it was traditional to drink dandelion and burdock cordials at this time as these herbs help to cleanse the blood and are a good tonic for the body after its winter hardships.

As the Vernal Equinox heralds the arrival of spring, it is a time of renewal in both nature and the home, so time for some spring-cleaning!

This is more than just a physical activity, it also helps to remove any old or negative energies accumulated over the dark, heavy winter months preparing the way for the positive growing energy of spring and summer.

As with all the other key festivals of the year, there are both Pagan and Christian associations with the Spring Equinox.

Vicar of DibleyTo Pagans, this is the time of the ancient Saxon goddess, Eostre, who stands for new beginnings and fertility.

This is why she is symbolized by eggs (new life) and rabbits/hares (fertility).

Her name is also the root of the term we give to the female hormone, oestrogen.By now, you may be beginning to see the Christian celebration derived from this festival - Easter.

And this is the reason why the 'Easter Bunny' brings us coloured eggs (and if you're lucky chocolate ones!) at this time of year.

So, as nature starts to sprout the seeds that have been gestating in her belly throughout the winter, maybe you can start to think about what you want to 'sprout' in your life now and start to take action.

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alicia anda jessy
is a very interesting and the tex is very beatuful .alicia and jesy understad the tex and we do espanihs

Pat
Is there a "Tom Hill " in Wiltshire?

Trevor Malcolm Cunningham
My Daffs are shooting in the Garden along with some new crocus

Dave
Nother finer than the break of winter.

Fudge
I'm bored of bunnies bringing me eggs. I say it's time the chickens were allowed to bring us baby chocolate bunnies.

Ray
For Saghir The axis that the Earth spins on has a slight wobble so the Spring Equinox is not always on 21st March but tends to be within a few days either side of it depending on what part of the cycle we are in.

Bill
Equinox comes from the term "galloping sun/day". The sun appears to be moving most rapidly at this time of year north or southward. The day length at the British latitude changes by about 4 mins (daylength varies sinusoidally between 30 and 70% over the year). Equinox has the same word stem as Equine - hence the horse and galloping connotations.

Ted
Don't forget spring equinox is also the start of the new year in Zoroastrianism, when the god of light overcomes the god of darkness. It is still celebrated by Persians.

Ben
Indeed

Hilary
That explains why I got the dusters out today!

Paul
Knowledge

Feona
Bunnies and flowers... love it

anon
the spring equinox is also the persian new year

Keith
How exactly do I remove those 'old or negative energies accumulated over the dark, heavy winter months'? Does it require a special vacuum cleaner?

Jan - Scotland
Thanks for explaining the equinoxes. I didn't realise it happened all over the world. Great info.

yang yan
spring is the best season of a year

Dan
Yes, let's try to find more examples of the sacred feminine as read about in The DaVinci Code.

William
My body and soul are glad to be re

aspi rostami
this is also a day when the Persians celebrate the New Year.

Frank
Eostre, Astarte, Isis. It's all in the book "When God was a Woman."

saghir
Very interesting, i did notice that the day on which the time between sunrise and sunset is exactly equal is getting a few days earlier, (march 17th this year), does this mean the date of the equinox is changing?

krzych kizier
look: Stonehenge survey clock K.K.

Andy
So that's why I get these cravings for Dandelion & Burdock!

Val-from-Canada
Wild! I knew Chrisianisty's roots were all "Pagan" (or Egyptian) - very cool to see the link of Easter to Eostre to Estrogen! It all makes sense. What's "old" is new ...

Evy
Interesting

Laura
I'm 'sprouting' a new career for myself this year! Happy Ostara !

Teresa
wonderful information!! Happy Spring to all!

• Click here to return to The Celtic Wheel of the Year


   

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• Beltane
• Spring Equinox
• Winter Solstice
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The Celtic Wheel
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Black Dogs
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Moonraking
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BBC Wiltshire, Broadcasting House, 56-58 Prospect Place, Swindon, Wilts, SN1 3RW
Telephone: 01793 513626 | E-mail: wiltshire@bbc.co.uk


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