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Friday, March 3, 2017

Spring Equinox and Equilux

Judith Ashley is the author of The Sacred Women's Circle series, romantic fiction that honors spiritual traditions that nurture the soul.

March 2017 the Genre-istas are talking about the changing seasons and/or the Spring Equinox also known as Ostara.

This year the special day falls on March 20th a Monday. I know I’ve said this at least once before in a blog post however it bears repeating. In ancient times, the people knew their environment to the point they knew when Yule or Winter Solstice, Ostara or Spring Equinox, Lithia or Summer Solstice and Mabon or Fall Equinox fell. They erected wood and stone circles around the world to mark those occasions.

Gabriella learns as she studies Sacred Geometry that Eratosthenes c.275-194 BC used two sticks and a measuring wheel to measure the earth’s circumference = 24,461 miles.

Using the most advanced, expensive technology we now know it is 24,891 miles! A 430 mile discrepancy.

Ostara is the day when day and night are equal and it marks the beginning of the time of the year when light has more power. Plants and people breathe a sigh of relief after winter’s dark months. Hope and life as well as flowers bloom bright.

It is Valentine’s Day as I write this. A few hardy plants in my yard are pushing their way to the surface (daffodils, crocus in particular). Soon tulips and hyacinths will make an appearance. When I look at my Larch Diana (the larch tree loses its needles in the Fall), I can see a reddening where the new needles will appear. Right now the tree seems edged in red, so different from the stark black of a couple of weeks ago.

We had a hard winter where I live and my yard has suffered. My plan is to prune back many of the plants to see if they can recover from their base or roots instead of just at the end of the limbs. My Larch also lost a limb from the heavy snow and ice we had in January. I’ve pulled it to the side to inspect more closely later in the spring. I think making a wand from that branch would be a way to appreciate the gifts this tree gives me each day.

If you read my December post on Winter Solstice, you know that I follow the Wheel of Life through the year and that in my tradition, Winter Solstice is the beginning of the year because that is when Light overcomes Dark and begins to strengthen.

Celebrating Ostara is about acknowledging the power of light, of life, of the continuity or flow as the Wheel turns.

You may not know this but when Christianity was coming into its own as a world religion, many earth-based religion or pagan customs and sacred days were assumed by the new church. Ostara is one of them.

Easter is determined by the following formula: The first Sunday after the first Full Moon after Ostara or the Spring Equinox.

I’m already looking forward to Spring and new growth. The rebirth of my Armistead Salvia will bring butterflies and the hummingbirds who love it so. From my window next to my computer, even when writing, I have a view (albeit small) of nature. This view feeds my writing with inspiration. And I look for the messages the natural world has to tell me.

What have you learned about the natural world that bring amazement and wonder into your life?

And, my March posts on my JudithAshley.blogspot.com site delve into the aspects of Ostara in more detail. Please join me each Monday as I explore The Wheel of the Year: Ostara.

Learn more about The Sacred Women’s Circle series on her website. Sign up for Connections and receive a free digital copy of Lily.
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© 2017 Judith Ashley 


Sarah Raplee said...

What an interesting post, Judith! I, too celebrate on the Vernal Equinox, or Ostara. In the Baha'i Faith, it is Naw Ruz, or New Year's Day. As a person with seasonal depression, I also personally celebrate Winter Solstice, giving thanks for the coming of the light!

I always enjoy from your JudithAshley.blogspot.com posts on Mondays. You are indeed a Wise Woman.

Maggie Lynch said...

You always teach me something new, Judith! This time it was about the measurement of the circumference of the earth. I am not at all surprised ancient people were able to determine this. Having visited places like Stonehenge in Wales and New Grange in Ireland, I know that ancient people understood the movement of the stars and the timing of the seasons, and they were definitely sacred and filled with ritual.

I also love the coming of the light after the winter darkness. However, I must admit that at the end of the year I also look forward to the winter darkness and time to be quiet and cocooned indoors. So, each turning of the wheel brings its own gifts.

Thank you for sharing your knowledge and beliefs with us!

Diana McCollum said...

Beautifully written blog post, Judith! Each season has it's special elements. Like Maggie, I too look forward to not only the light after the winter darkness, but I enjoy the quite time of winter darkness. Your blog posts are always so informative. I studied the wheel of life many, many moons ago when I took a herbal course at Foothills herbal farm in California. The course brought in various speakers on a number of different topics. I really enjoyed learning about nature and how it relates to us.

Judith Ashley said...

Thank You, Sarah. Your post on New Year Traditions was an inspiration for this post on Ostara. Is Naw Ruz celebrated on a specific date in March or does it depend on the actual point when the sun's rays hit the equator?

Judith Ashley said...

Maggie, I was so stunned when I read that part about measuring the earth I reread it several times! One of my favorite places to visit in England was the Avebury circle because we could walk among the stones. Stonehenge is roped off unless you go during the ceremonies on the winter and summer solstices. Another favorite place was the Chalice Well in Glastonbury. I'd love to go back and spend more time in both places.

While I'm currently enjoying the moderation of the winter weather, I will certainly welcome it back in nine months or so. I don't think I could live in a climate where there are no seasons and the turn of the wheel of the year is marked by the calendar more than the weather.

Judith Ashley said...

Thanks for stopping by, Diana. I bet that herbal class was interesting. I've taken an introductory aromatherapy course through a local College and learned to make my own blend. Such fun to spritz my house with something I created!

FYI: While I've been writing this, the hummingbirds are flocking to my neighbors feeder. I can hardly wait until my salvias are in bloom and they are in my yard too.