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The Vernal (L. ver = Spring) Equinox, the turning of the seasons, the start of Spring, is just a day away. The soaking Winter months slip from memory. There’s a welcome abundance of daffodils and primroses in the copse in front of my window. Life is very much returning.

Spring Equinox

The Vernal Equinox was long observed as the start of a new year throughout much of the world which, to me, makes sense: New life, New beginnings, New season so, a New Year. It seems such a natural correlation. The Spring when nature is refreshed, replenished, renewed, seems a perfect time to begin a new year. March 25 was celebrated as New Year’s Day in America as late as 1752 when the UK adopted the new Gregorian calendar, and declared that, henceforth, January 1 would be the ‘new’ New Year.

spring-equinox

A common way to sanctify and mark the New Year was to consecrate the bare earth with rituals to ensure fertility, growth and abundance for the next growth cycle. As long as 6,000 years ago people, for example, rolled eggs on the soil at the Vernal Equinox to fructify the fields in the name of Eostre, the Great Goddess of Living Spring. 

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The historian Bede claimed the name “Easter” was in fact a Christian accommodation of this pagan celebration of the return of green growth, life and light.

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Some ceremonies linked to the Vernal Equinox are plain odd: Eggs On End: Standing On Ceremony

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“…count down the minutes to the Equinox. Then, when the time is right, stand up your eggs in unison in salute to Spring. At this first moment of Spring, the egg becomes the symbol of a new season, the birth of new life. And, it’s immaterial whether or not the egg can stand at any other time of the year, as some critics have argued. The important thing is to recognize the symbol, the season, the sky and the kindred souls who surround us. Standing an egg on its end, feeling it as the yolk shifts inside to find its perfect point of balance, is like holding the entire universe in the palm of your hand. Cynicism magically disappears in the process of sincere participation. And, like the buds and the birds, of early Spring, we, too, are refreshed and renewed.”

And the Druidical Spring Equinox event in London…

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Whether or not you you plan to celebrate or mark the Equinox, perhaps we should all take a moment out of our busy lives to savour the turning of the Seasons and look forward with optimism to the Spring/Summer months ahead.

Fact File

An equinox or Equal Night (L. aequus = equal nox = night) occurs twice a year, around 20 March and 22 September, when the tilt of the Earth’s axis is inclined neither away from nor towards the Sun. and the Northern and Southern hemispheres are illuminated equally.

event

equinox

solstice

equinox

solstice

month

March

June

Sept

Dec

year

               

day

time

day

time

day

time

day

time

2014

20

16:57

21

10:51

23

02:29

21

23:03

2015

20

22:45

21

16:38

23

08:20

22

04:48

2016

20

04:30

20

22:34

22

14:21

21

10:44

2017

20

10:28

21

04:24

22

20:02

21

16:28

2018

20

16:15

21

10:07

23

01:54

21

22:23

2019

20

21:58

21

15:54

23

07:50

22

04:19

2020

20

03:50

20

21:44

22

13:31

21

10:02

Further Reading:

http://www.isisinvestigations.com/Article_Vernal_Equinox.html
http://www.schooloftheseasons.com/spring.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Druid_Order
http://homersykes.photoshelter.com/gallery/DRUIDS-CEREMONY-LONDON-SPRING-AUTUMN-EQUINOX-UK/G0000zp4r_dEh_0s/

The British Druid Order

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