Ostara: Escaping Winter's Icy Grip, Embracing Nature's Shift

Some of us in the UK may still have snow in our gardens and on our roads, but believe it or not the Spring Equinox arrives tomorrow and it is one of the most powerful moments in nature. It brings about the start of a new season when the Sun gains in strength and with this comes a distinct shift in energy.

The Spring Equinox will happen tomorrow on Tuesday 20th March at 4:15pm, and is also known as the Vernal Equinox. The word 'vernal' comes from the Latin word for spring, and 'equi' means equal, 'nox' means night. An equinox happens twice a year when the Sun aligns to give us equal hours of night and day.

You may already have seen the signs of this impending shift in nature; buds are beginning to bloom, the daylight hours are longer, and many animals are feeling the urge to mate. It represents the start of a new cycle, and is a sacred time as it represents balance and oneness. Many people feel that by having equal hours of the day and night, that they are reminded about the importance of finding balance and oneness in their own lives. Light and dark are both needed in our lives in order to be whole, and this time of the year we are strongly reminded of that. It is also a cleansing time of the year, a time to start new anew whether emotionally, professionally or physically.

A number of festivals take place around this time all over the world, dating back to ancient times. We all know about the Christian celebration of Easter, when Jesus is believed to have died and then been reborn. However, the one we identify most strongly with is that of Ostara, the Pagan 'Easter' (or the day that Christians borrowed to be their Easter). The word Ostara is said to have originated from a spring goddess called Eostre, and the Anglo-Saxons who first celebrated it in England, celebrated the courtship between this Goddess and the warrior God. We also get the idea of the Easter Bunny from this Goddess, legend has it that she transformed a bird into a hare, and the hare responded by laying colored eggs for her festival. Ostara is a fertility festival, signs of new life are all around us and is one of the reasons why we eat eggs at this time of the year, albeit chocolate ones! It is a time to celebrate life and the fruits of the land that Mother Nature is now bestowing upon us.

We love this time of the year, full of positivity, promise and beauty! We have (almost) escaped the icy grip of winter, and are heading towards the warm embrace of spring and summer.

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