Spring Equinox

Alban Eilir (Welsh), Dius Aratri (Gaulish), Eostre (possibly Norse/Anglo-Saxon), Ostara (neo-Pagan).

Balance – day equals night.  The promise of spring first seen at the first cross-quarter festival is now here.  Winter’s grip is failing, a bare remembrance of cold remains.  The sun’s return warms the earth and the seed saved from last year’s harvest is sown in the freshly turned soil.

Neo-Pagan celebrate the waking of the Goddess after her winter’s rest.  Warmed by the continued strengthening light of the Sun, She wakes from her sleep and the earth bursts with fertility.  The youthful God walks the fields and forests, delighting in the abundance of life and nature.  Their presence impels creatures out of their long hibernation, and stirs others to reproduce the lives lost during the long dark.

Many cultures share stories of a return from the underworld/deep sleep that occurs at this time of year – with some, it is a lover that returns (such as Isis/Osiris and Aphrodite/Adonis), with others, it is a mother/child (with Demeter/Persephone and Bacchus/Semele).

The name of this celebration seems to have come from a Teutonic Goddess of Spring, Dawn and Fertility – Eostre or Ostara, although very little is actually known about her.  Hares and eggs seem to be common symbols of the season – as they both represent fertility and new life; hares because of their ability to reproduce so quickly, eggs because of their potential for new life.