Prepare for Spring Equinox Festival
This is one of the eight great Festivals of the year. Here is a list with typical dates:
There are the four Celtic Fire Festivals of:
Samhain Nov 1st (October 31st)
Imbolc Feb 1st / 2nd
Beltain May 1st
Lughnasadh Aug 1st
And there are the four Cross-Quarter solar Festivals of:
Winter Solstice Dec 21st
Spring Equinox Mar 21st
Summer Solstice Jun 21st
Autumn Equinox Sep 21st
The Spring Equinox, or Vernal Equinox, known in the Welsh Druid Tradition as Alban Eilir, occurs when the Sun enters the tropical zodiac sign of Aries on or around March 21st. It marks the time where the day’s length for the first time equals the length of the night. And from this time on, the days will get longer than the nights, until the day of the Summer Solstice, the longest day, around June 21st.
The key energy of the Spring Equinox is therefore the power and standing of the Sun, and the defeat, banishing and diminishment of Winter and darkness.
And in celebrating the growing power of the Sun, we celebrate the growing solar power in ourself, the ending of the more inward time of winter in our lives, and the appearance of new life on the earth: green leaves bursting everywhere, lambs and flowers, ploughing and planting in full swing. And in human culture: contests and games.
But in celebrating this we also honour the principle of divine cycles, and of the underlying important of Balance.
In terms of the ancient Irish, little has survived of the celebration of the Spring Equinox Festival because it got overlayed by the Catholic Easter, sand three Celtic Saints’ Days: Saint Patrick, Saint David and Saint Piran.
But as a pointer to the ancient recognition of this point in the yearly Sun-cycle, many Irish ancient monuments of the Neolithic and Bronze Ages are aligned to the Solstices, and one at least to the Spring Equinox: Lough Crew Cairns, near Oldcastle, County Meath, which are two hours east from Foxford or an hour west from Dublin. Lough Crew was built about 3,200 BC, has alignment to the solstices as well, but on either equinox, the Sun rises in the same place and illumines down a passage on to the carvings on the passage back stone
So the Spring Equinox celebration needs to include the following factors. Start to plan from say the end of February which you will do and when. Plan how and when you will take these steps. Some might be appropriate to work with as the Festival approaches. All will be pulled together on the day of your Festival Celebration Ritual. Keep a record. Go through your planning with me. Share with me afterwards how the celebration ritual went: what it achieved, what steps need to be taken to implement and consolidate the ‘new You’ start to choose and develop your focuses for the celebration, to support your healing, transformation and empowerment:
The Sun: Celebration of the Sun, his nature and the fact of his rise in powered and brightness, inspiration and life-giving. We can visualise and share in his rise from the new-born Sun of the Winter Solstice, to the child of Promise, to, now: the young King: Arthur or Fionn: The Mabon in Welsh druid path.
The Earth: Make contact with and celebrate the consequences for the earth and life on earth of the new power of the Sun. we visualise the growing abundant giving of the Earth under the light of the Sun, from the barrenness of Winter, to the first snowdrops of Imbolc to now the first flowers, buds and catkins; The lambs, the calves; the new births. The life-giving Goddess. Sovereignty.
Plan your ritual place:
Choose the place: in nature preferably.
Sense the energies of the place you choose: The Irish Celts saw a soul in everything, Interlapping Otherwords. Spirts of place. Great Energies placed in the Earth by the Earth Shapers.
How will you deck the altar or the site? What physical arrangement will need to be put in place?
Develop in a shared way a little timetable of parts you might want to include n the ritual. But no scripted speeches, and allow for authenticity of personal expression and breakthrough. Allow for the unexpected. If your celebration is in a group, some members might want to take responsibility for preparation for a certain facet of the celebration.
Plan the preparations and the parts of the ritual itself: visualising, energy work, food and drink. Start to prepare from end of February onwards. As always, before and during the ritual, it is good, healing and empowering to greet the risen Sun, to shire the fact that you too will rise, and to honour the four quarters and what each gives to your body and your life, and to honour Land, Sea and Sky.
Focuses for your Preparation and for the Festival Celebration:
Your Body: Vision and Energy work: Check out your own body energies and decide if changes are needed:
Lie down and visualise yourself under the rise of the strengthening Sun. scan your body energies. Note impressions you receive of illness, disease, weakness and strength. Do you need healing? Do you need changes in lifestyle in the light of what you see?
Soak up the rays and warmth of the Sun using your visionary eye. Allow the needed movement of the Sun energies through your body. Direct your body energies to this end.
Your Life: Create a space to take stock on your life: to meditate or vision-journey on the personal questions related to this rise in the Sun, namely:
Where have I been putting my energies, and do I need to re-focus because of the rise of the light and the longer days and warmer weather?
Do I need to move from a more inward to a more outward period of my life?
Do I need to increase my power and the expression of my vitality and talents?
Do new directions, values and attitude need to arise now in my life. Do I need to create new planning and strategy?
And are there things I should let die?
Do vision journey with this intention. See what arises to your mind.
Your Solar Self: See how you were before the ritual, and how you are after it. Visualise your intention of who you will become. Make a transition to health and healing. Leave sense of woundedness behind as the Sun rises to his glory. Afterwards it can be a good idea to draw before and after and share the drawings with loved ones, Group members, etc.
Fight between light and darkness: your celebration could include recognition of the fight between light and darkness, maybe even the fight between the Winter King and the Summer King. Maybe a game or contest between human contestants representing the two sides, with Light destined to win: this time! Light crosses the goal-line this day! With the light now arising triumphant, and all the new life now emerging on the earth: food, flowers, and the altar can be decked accordingly.
So these are the factors. On my course, you can make your plans with me before the Festival ritual, you can share the results, and I cross-refer to your western and Vedic Astrology: the destinies and psychological drives in your natal astrology, and the energies of the current time in your predictive astrology.
You can enroll on my Festivals course at: www.druidforestschool.com/courses
You can enrol on the Fire Festivals Course, The Cross Quarter Festivals Course, or both courses.
And see the details of our west of Ireland Healing Centre and air bnb: /www.foxfordairbnb.com
We look forward to working with you