Mar 26, 2014

Spring ( Vernal ) Equinox folklore, correspondences and magick

Rather than as purely Pagan holliday, I chose to observe and commemorate the Vernal ( Spring ) Equinox, as a universal holiday, not really bound to any religion, a priori.  In fact, as I have mentioned when I wrote about  Saturnalia and Sol Invictus, most, If not all of  the holidays  which are associated ( and seen on ) with the Wheel of the Year, actually predate any known Pagan religion.  Some anthropologists describe it as sort of prehistoric cult of worshiping the nature, or plainly superstitious attempts to  mark specific  periodic changes  in nature and affect them.  Hence unrelated to any Pagan deity or specific religion, rather the nature itself.

So when Wiccans celebrate the victory of their Solar god , god of Light, over his twin counterpart, god of darkness, or pregnancy of their Lunar goddess in any of the forms ( for example Biggid  ) I celebrate the reawakening of the Earth, vegetation, arrival of the spring and lengthening of the day, and try to harness the motivational, creative and inspiring energies of the day.

For me, as an Eastern Orthodox Christian,  both Annunciations, and the Easter do not occur before April ( Church uses Julian calendar for holidays and rites, and Gregorian is used as  mundane, plain-time calendar ), hence I do not necessarily associate the two.

The fact that the plethora of Earth cultures and religions, old and  new, commemorate this day in some form, is a reason more for me, to take its power and significance seriously.

So what is  Vernal equinx celebration
Spring equinox celebration, in any of it’s multitude of forms  (“Alban Elfed”, the Teutonic festival in honour of Eostre, Roman “Hilaria Matris Deûm”, Welsh Gwyl Canol Gwenwynol , “Disablot” of the Norse , Iranian “Nowruz” or “New Year” , “Sham El Nessim” ,the Ancient Egyptian holiday, Wiccan “Ostara” etc.  ) commemorates the astrological phenomenon, which occurs in March ( any day between the  19th -25th  of March ) on the Northern Hemisphere.

 Thus “is the equinox on the Earth when the Sun appears to cross the celestial equator, heading northward” [1], and consequently, the duration of the day and night are equated. Hence the associations of the holiday with harmony and balance as well.  

In essence, in Europe it’s a festival associated with the return of the Light, and the deities associated with it are often associated with Light, renewal, rebirth, growth, flourishing, all the things we associated with spring.

Hence, the old German pagan goddess Oastra, and her Teutonic  version ( Anglo- Saxon ) Eostre, are perceived the similar way, as Jackob Grimm, describes in his “Deustche mytholigie” :

 Ostara, Eástre seems therefore to have been the divinity of the radiant dawn, of upspringing light, a spectacle that brings joy and blessing, whose meaning could be easily adapted by the resurrection-day of the christian's God. Bonfires were lighted at Easter and according to popular belief of long standing, the moment the sun rises on Easter Sunday morning, he gives three joyful leaps, he dances for joy ... Water drawn on the Easter morning is, like that at Christmas, holy and healing ... here also heathen notions seems to have grafted themselves on great christian festivals. Maidens clothed in white, who at Easter, at the season of returning spring, show themselves in clefts of the rock and on mountains, are suggestive of the ancient goddess “ [2]

Her sacred animal, alleged to had been her helper in spreading the influence of the Spring was rabbit, and  the colored   eggs were left at her sanctuaries and temples, on Vernal equinox, which seem to have influenced the Westerner’s trademark symbols of Easter.

It’s often speculated, how the Christian custom of decoration of the boiled eggs originates from these celberations, and indeed what many Christians do,  in modern times may indeed be modeling after these pagan customs, but the actual ritual of   dyin g   the egg red , on Easter, or rather Saturday before it  is a Christian proprietary ritual. It has to do with a miracle associated with Mary Magdalene, which had happened to her upon the resurrection of the Lord Christ.  


Concepts, ideas, notions and words associated with it are: light, youthfulness, vigor, power, virility, growth, strength, action, determination, increase etc.

The colors associated with the day are green and yellow [3]

Plants associated with  the day, include, among other:  Five finger’s grass, Primrose, Saffron, Sage, Nettles, Violets, Daffodils, Hyacinth, Narcissus and other

Stones include, Jasper, Bloodstone, Moss agate, Citrine, Sunstone  and others

Rituals and spells

The 12 Candles ritual

I designed this ritual, to be performed on the Spring Equinox day, in order to bless some aspect of Your  life, to entice success in some specific area(s) of life, and to make ( reasonable  ) wishes come true.

Set twelve candles, so that they form a circle. Any color can be used, though green or yellow would be in accordance to Equinox tradition.  In the centre of the candle circle, place a fireproof dish ( like a censer, or a fireproof  dish with coals ).  Light the candles, sunwise.

Next, crush and powder
·         Five fingers grass
·         Saffron
·         Sage leaves

On a piece of paper write down Your needs and wishes. Sprinkle it with just a small pinch of powder. Fold it thrice, towards oneself. Throw some crushed and powdered herb mixture into the censer with coals and the set the paper alight while chanting:

Darkness end and sorrow burn,
Raise with light, good luck return !
Set in motion, break the stillness,
Open the roads and bring success !”

Toss also the burning paper into censer, and add some more  of the powder.  You may want to chant few more times, more so If  You feel so inclined.  Bury the ashes remaining in Your own yard, or on sprinkle some place where  the   idea of abundance and growth is dominant, such as forest, or strong river that flows toward East etc.

 Alternatively, You could add ashes to the soil in some pot, and plant some herb there.

Blessed seed ritual

Seeds can be empowered and planted  to work Your magick in manifesting Your need for money income, health growth, abundance, fertility, success and alike, and this can be done throughout many auspicious times of year. Like  Nights of the Full Moon, Winter Solstice,  even Imboloc. But  by far most auspicious and prominent day  for it is Spring Equinox, more so If the Moon happens to be Crescent  ( in waxing phase )

All You need to do is empower some seeds, for example by means of chant, prayer, or even passing few times through incense smoke, then plant them, water with consecrated water ( it can be Lunar slime, water in which Holy water from the Church has been added, “living water”  ,  or crystal essences ), and as the plant grow so will Your health, wealth, success etc. 

Burning the Corn doll

The doll made of Corn or Wheat collected during Lamas or Even Samhain, ashes are reserved and sprinkled in fields, gardens and plant pots to ensure fertility,  good yields and abundance. This is a traditional European folk custom. [4]

Linen charm for spiritual development

If Your desire is to increase Your spiritual powers, aptness and  proficiency in spiritual work,  You can create this charm to  assure You achieve this goal. On the 22nd of March,  get some new, linen fabric, preferably purple If You can get it.  Go where the Willow  tree grows, and cut the bark, or perforate minutely, and collect the dripping sap on Your linen fabric. Carry it on Your behalf onward from that point as often as able, and place it bellow pillow when sleeping. [5]
Hope You found the post informative and inspirational ,

Many Blessings, from Shadow J
NOTES: This article was  written and composed by myself, should You wish to use any part of   it elsewhere online,  You may, but You  have to provide credits  ; Shadow of Shadows magick place, or a direct link to this post
[2] Retrieved from :
[3]  According to  Cass Eason’s  “Encyclopedia of magick and ancient wisdom” 
[4] According to  Cass Eason’s  “Encyclopedia of magick and ancient wisdom” 
[5] According to “Kalendar za srecne dane” ( trans. “Calendar of the lucky days ” ) by Jasna Jojic Pavlovski, Gorgon publishing house, Belgrade,  similar ritual, modified  for use here by myself is an European custom  which   was/is believed to  entice spiritual growth . Used without any ill will , for  educational  purposes on here . More on the author and book, can be found on here:
IMAGE CREDITS: Image was taken and edited by  myself

No comments: