Spring Equinox, Ostara: Southern Hemisphere

Midway through Spring!
This is the time of equal day and equal night, the balance of light and dark,
and so at this time we have the chance to invite balance into our lives.

Add this to the energy of Spring, and as we see in our gardens, we also have the opportunity for new growth, fresh starts and new beginnings.  Now would be the appropriate time for the Easter Egg hunt!

The trees have come back to life, blossoms are blooming, the grass is growing, the sprouts are ‘taking off’, growth is everywhere! Beautiful smells, sprite-liness and baby animals…
During Spring, everywhere in nature, we see and feel and hear, the energy, the pulse, the sound of new growth.

And so we have the opportunity to consciously align with this energy
and ‘use’ it to fuel whatever new beginnings we are creating in our lives.

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The Spring Equinox & Ostara

Ostara is a modern Neopagan festival. It is loosely based on several holidays which were celebrated around the spring equinox. The modern holiday does not have a strong relation to any known historical Pagan religious observation.

In the northern hemisphere, the end of March is the focus for a number of religious and traditional celebrations. As the sun appears to cross the earth’s equator on the 20th or 21st of March, entering the Zodiacal sign of Aries, day and night will be equal in length. This astronomical phenomenon is a day anciently revered amongst Pagan peoples. Their festivals included Alban Elfed, the Teutonic festival in honour of Eostre, Roman Hilaria Matris Deûm, Welsh Gwyl Canol Gwenwynol (‘Day of the Gorse’), the Christian Feast of the Annunciantion of the Virgin Mary (Lady Day) as well as Easter itself. The Wiccan Eostar (Ostara) Sabbat (one of the four lesser Wiccan holidays or sabbats of the Wheel of the Year) is a more recent addition to the Spring time festivities.

Here in the southern hemisphere the spring equinox will fall this year on Tuesday September 23, 2008 at 1:44AM. Many southern hemisphere pagans choose to celebrate Ostara when it is seasonally appropriate, in September, rather than following the northern dates.

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Ostara (Spring/Vernal Equinox) Sept 20-23

Northern Hemisphere Date: March (20-23)
Also known as Eostre.

The Equinoxes are the balancing points in the cycle of the seasons, when the day and night are of equal length, reminding us of the harmony of the whole. Buds of flowers and leaf, all manner of eggs and just-born life are celebrated in decorations and imagery as Pagans rejoice in the Earth’s reawakening. The urge of spring is to do, create and bring in the new. Here light overcomes darkness with lengthening days bringing the magic of new growth. Ostara is associated with childhood and new life, and the God and Goddess are perceived as children, personifying youth and innocence before their entry into adulthood. The Goddess, as the Maiden, covers the earth with flowers and love while the God grows to maturity. This is a time to honour the masculine and to celebrate everything that is great about being alive.

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