March 20, 2023

Spring’s Balance And Abundance

< BLOG

Ostara, or Spring (Vernal) Equinox, occurs in the northern hemisphere when the sun passes the equator moving from south to north. The Latin “equinox” translates into “equal night” and the day marks when daylight and night are equal.  It is an celestial act, literally. This year, Ostara falls on March 20 and marks mid-spring (Imbolc, observed around February 2, is the first day of spring) according to Nature’s Wheel of the Year calendar.  (Alternatively, Harvest blessings to our southern hemisphere neighbors who are observing Autumn Equinox.)

This holyday is named after the goddess Eostre, a Germanic goddess of renewal and fertility, whose symbols are eggs and rabbits. (Now you know why those two symbols are combined at this time of year!)  Eostre may also be connected to “estrus” (a recurring period of sexual receptivity and fertility in many female mammals). 

The Christian observance of Easter, a newer festival taken from this ancient celebration of Ostara, is the last of the movable feasts: timed according to the phase of the moon, Easter is observed the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox – with rabbits and eggs. 

Recovering Balance

While we are still recovering from the pandemic, there is little — if any — balance in the world. War languishes on and on in Ukraine;  floods and earthquakes spread homelessness and despair; poverty continues to beat down so many, while the uber wealthy lobby for their own selfish desires.

Even Nature tries to regain balance during this time of storming and shuddering from the damage done to Her by human greed and self-conceit.

We are also seeing – at least here in the United States – the veil of illusion being pulled back: that of needed equality and equity.  The tragedies happening to people of color, to women, and to our LGBQ+ neighbors are in a hotter spotlight than ever before.  Our country was built on high ideals, but those ideals were initially intended for only a sacred few.  Now is the time for us to become balanced in our view of all people who have the inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. (And let’s not forget to protect ALL of Nature’s creatures — plants and animals — as well!)

It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.
– Rainer Maria Rilke

The Abundance of Ostara

You can cut all the flowers, but you cannot keep spring from coming.
– Pablo Neruda

It is so true! Early heralds of spring include pussy willows in their furry coats, tasseled witch hazel, and forsythia fireworks. Now, Spring is leaping out of the ground, out of the tips of twigs, out of the bellies of birds, out of the hives of bees!  Her first sunny days put us all in a good mood, escaping from our cave-like homes to bask in Nature’s warming light.  We are elated as we witness birds singing, willows feathering, daffodils budding, and quinces blooming.

It’s no wonder that we feel that we are surrounded by Nature’s abundance!  Many believe that Spring Equinox is Nature’s new year with all these births and promises. 

What promise does this time of year hold for you?

What intention are you nurturing for Nature’s new year?

What new births are you seeing in your own life?

 

The transitions between seasons can often feel chaotic.  Nature – in her own way – is full of the chaos of change and growth.  So if you are feeling overwhelmed, be sure to take some deep breaths and be still.  Feel your cheeks sitting on the chair.  Put your feet flat on the floor (or earth) and feel Mother Earth’s steady energy supporting you. Recognize that while Nature is bursting, this birthing has been months in the making. 

Animals Of Spring

We often think of rabbits and wild hares and chicks at Ostara.  But there are other animals that also represent rebirth. 
 
Mama Bear has long been connected to spring, as She emerges from Her hibernation – with cubs in tow!  Imagine, not only slowing your body functions so much that you can go without food, etc. for months; but also birthing and nursing babies during that time!  Talk about miracles and magic!

Bees also represent Spring’s birth to me.  Did you know that the Queen Bee lays about 500 eggs a day during her tenure?  At the beginning of her reign, she takes a maiden flight when she is fertilized and from then on she sustains and grows the hive. Safety in numbers is the name of the game for bees (and ants and termites).  There are typically about 50,000 bees in a hive.  And while that seems like a bunch of chaos to us humans, the bees have a very regimented existence. At least 95% of the bees are female, each having a specific assignment: attendant bees who care for the Queen, nurse bees who tend to the eggs and larvae, and worker bees (those are the ones we see flying about) who forage for nectar and pollen as well as build and repair the hive as needed. 

The “Birds and the Bees” is an apt saying for this time of year.  Lots of creation is going on now.  Birds are building nests, mating, and preparing for brooding.  Some birds brood two or three times each year!  Another amazing feat of ability and endurance. 

Nature asserts Herself.  Miracles abound. Magic proliferates.
 
What animals come to your mind with Spring’s arrival?

Dreams and Myths

I have included this article in previous Ostara museletters. Spring seems a perfect time to pose these questions. Our thoughts are the initial seeds of manifestation. 

I recently participated in a deeply thoughtful on-line class with Canadian tarot reader James Wells, who referred to Dr. Anthony Stevens’ definition that “myth is a collective dream while dreams are personal myths”.  (There is an exquisite balance in that distinction.)  Then James invited us to consider these two sets of questions (adapted from Joanna Macy’s and Molly Brown’s “Widening Circles” process from the Work That Reconnects):

1. What old dream does humanity need to stop dreaming?

2. What is my part in stopping that old dream?
3. What dream does humanity need to start dreaming?
4. What is my part in starting this new dream?

As well as
 
1. What old myth is no longer healthy for humanity to live by?
2. How can I help lay that old myth to rest?
3. What new myth is healthy for humanity to live by?
4. How can I help bring this new myth into being?

 
In order to reclaim and reinforce balance within and without, I invite you to consider the same questions.  Take some time to examine unhealthy old myths and healthy new myths.  And/or consider what new dreams can lead us all into a healthier world – and how you can contribute to this effort.
 
Let us honor Mother Nature’s cycle of renewal and new growth with our powerful responses!

Kate Stockman designs to honor Nature and the Self. A self-taught assemblage artist, Kate creates one-of-a-kind assemblage jewelry. She and her husband, a wood turner, live in a little cabin in Saluda, in the western North Carolina mountains.

www.KateStockmanDesigns.com  KateStockmanDesigns.etsy.com 

AHereticHeart.etsy.com

In the same category

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

0