The new year is getting well underway and we’re now arriving at the first quarter of the Earth’s path around the sun.
The Spring Equinox (also known as Ostara) is the time of year when the daylight hours (which have been slowly growing longer since the Winter Solstice) finally catch up to the hours of darkness.
“Equinox” means “equal-night,” denoting that both the Northern and Southern hemispheres will have 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness on this day. After the Equinox, daylight hours grow longer than the nighttime hours and Springtime has officially begun!
In the Northern Hemisphere where I live, the Spring Equinox takes place around March 21. And in the modern witchy and neo-pagan community, this sabbat tends to be called Ostara. This is because the religion known as Wicca is where most pagan re-constructionists derive their Wheel Of The Year from.
In the 1900s, Wicca was invented by a coven of neo-pagans known as Gardenarians (after their leader, Gerald Gardener).
They took what information they could gather from historical accounts of various pre-Christian spiritual practices in Europe, and they designed the modern Witch’s Calendar.
They chose names for the Solstices, Equinoxes and the midpoints in between using ancient European concepts as the inspiration.
The name “Ostara” is said to come from Northern Europe, referring to the name of a goddess or nature spirit who ruled over themes of fertility, rebirth, the hour of dawn and of course Springtime.
It’s also believed that Easter is derived from this and other pagan traditions, including perhaps the super ancient Mesopotamian mother goddess, Ishtar (who many later cultures used as the inspiration for their versions of mother goddesses.
Because many of us modern witches were separated from the pagan teachings of our own ancestors over the course of history, some of us have found it helpful to borrow aspects of the Wiccan Wheel Of The Year for our practice. This is why it’s very common for the words “Ostara” and “Spring Equinox” to be used interchangably by even witches and pagans who do not otherwise identify with the Wiccan religion.
But almost every culture around the world have their own traditions for the Spring Equinox that we draw inspiration from as well. So whether or not the subject of ancient gods and traditions interests you, the Universal themes of the Spring Equinox season are some of the most fun, relevant and actionable of the sabbats on the Witch’s Calendar.
Because Springtime is naturally celebrated by every culture on Earth, we can all feel connected to the idea of shaking things up and getting inspired this time of year.
I like to focus on three major themes of the season in my practice:
The Inner Child
We’ve endured the long, dark, introspective days of Winter, and it’s finally time to begin emerging from that cocoon!
The Spring Equinox is the time when the first seedlings begin to emerge from the soil, bravely stepping out into the world after their incubation period.
Seedlings are small, pale, and fragile when they first emerge into this unknown world, but they stretch bravely out of the soil with the promise of the potential for growth, expansion and eventually seeding a legacy for the year to come.
Much like the seedling, we may or may not feel totally ready to have that springtime “coming out” party, but we must embrace the vulnerability, trusting in ourselves and trusting in the Universe. It’s time to step up and begin taking tangible action toward the new version of ourselves that we’ve resolved to evolve into this year!
Some questions to ask yourself around the theme of emergence this Spring Equinox / Ostara season:
Which of my resolutions am I ready to start taking action on? What might that look like?
And which of my resolutions are still feeling a bit fragile?
Do I need to re-evaluate my goals and intentions, or do I just need to take some baby steps toward those goals until they feel more tangible? Or do I just want to dive right in with massive action?
One resolution that I’m ready to start taking action on is prioritizing my cat’s health.
I’ve been the primary caregiver of multiple cats since I was about 13 years old.
It was 20 years ago, and not only was it very uncommon for the average Joe to be well educated on the ins and outs of proper feline care, but I was also not the head of household, so I wasn’t the one who had the last word on all the decision making around my cats’ and their needs.
And admittedly, even into my 20s, it wasn’t always my top priority to research and implement top notch cat care in my household, because to be honest, I was struggling to survive adulting overall. Of course I’ve always loved my cats very much, and always continued to improve my cat parenting practices over the years. I feel so blessed that the family of strays I took in as a preteen lived very long and mostly healthy lives.
But after both observing some of their challenges toward the end of their lives (and especially after dealing with the major health emergencies my other younger cat, Mowgli has gone through) I’m feeling like now is the time for me to step into a more proactive role as a cat caregiver.
What’s held me back from feeling like I could take action in this area in the past was overwhelm. Not only did other commitments in my life take precedence, but I also feared that my big dream of being a truly magnificent cat lady were out of reach. I assumed it would be expensive or time consuming to provide better care for my cats (especially when I was solely responsible for four of them)!
But at the same time, I also have a dream of some day owning an epic cat sanctuary! So rather than getting stuck in analysis paralysis, I continue to take baby steps.
This winter, I learned some really important information about cat nutrition, and that most of what’s marketed as cat food really isn’t good for them. And even though I’ve been on a tight budget while saving for a new home for Mowgli and I, I asked myself how I can take one step toward improving his nutrition without necessarily even spending any money at all…
And with a little research, I quickly discovered which foods I already keep in my kitchen for myself that could be added to his diet as a supplement. Eventually, I’ll most likely evolve his diet completely as I gain more education, experience and resources. But for now, I’ve given myself permission to just get started by reaching for the “low-hanging fruit” – literally!
And of course since it’s me, I ritualized this resolution with a little kitchen witch magick! I actually called upon my cat’s Higher Self and used my pendulum to ask which of the suggested ingredients to include, and repeated my cat protection incantation while mixing the food:
Blessed be the garden
Blessed be the home
Blessed be the kitty cats
Wherever they may roam
… All while inserting the intention not only for us to manifest a home that can be a safe space for other cats in need of homes, but also for the health, safety and happiness of all cats and those who care for them.
It’s just a small serving of raw fish and vegetables in an old hand-me-down blender… but it’s the energetic initiation of a much larger movement that I’m aligning myself with from this moment forward. And that’s exactly how real magick is made! By starting somewhere and setting intentions for expansion.
*UPDATE: Shortly after writing this, I manifested a gift of the high end catfood I wanted to feed Mowgli – responsibly sourced human-grade freeze-dried organ meat formulated for cats! Yay for intention setting!
As with both the Autumn and Spring Equinoxes, this time embodies a major shift between darkness and light. This time, we’re shifting from an abundance of darkness to an abundance of light. The darker half of the year was a time to turn inward toward self-reflection, domestic matters, and shadow work…
But now, we’re making the transition into the light, bright days of the year! It’s time to ease ourselves out of the cocoon and step forward with a lighthearted sense of renewal.
For those of us who really tend to hibernate during the Winter, we’ll need to make a conscious effort to ease ourselves into the more social, outgoing days of the bright season.
Some questions to ask yourself around the theme of re-calibration this Spring Equinox / Ostara season:
What did I learn about myself this Winter that I wasn’t as aware of last year this time?
How can I use the information I gathered during the self-reflection time of Winter to step into a bolder, more confident and outgoing version of myself this Spring?
One thing I learned about myself over the Winter that I wasn’t aware of last year this time is that self love, self worth and self care are even bigger parts of my soul’s journey and purpoe than I’d previously been aware. Obviously, these are themes I’ve been immersed in for years now, but it’s occurred to me while facing big challenges in my life that these themes were growing stronger and stronger.
Where last year, I was kind of just feeling “rock bottom” energy, and turning to self care as a helpful coping mechanism, this year the situation has evolved into a more empowering and proactive lifestyle. The huge challenges have continued to be present, but I’ve noticed a huge difference in myself. The way I view and respond to triggers and challenges has changed.
Last year, I set the intention to laugh more, be more playful, be more magickal and expressive… And to dive deeper into reprogramming my subconscious mind to cultivate the belief that everything is happening for me rather than to me.
My mindset has evolved to a place where rather than asking for challenges to be taken away and then feeling low self worth and a vicious cycle disappointment when the projected outcome I’d been attached to didn’t manifest… Now I have learned to have no expectations as to what the outside circumstances will even be. Instead, I’ve focused more and more energy on basing my self worth on my intrinsic existence; And consistently loving, accepting and valuing myself, rain or shine.
Where the old version of me felt like the Universe was picking on me, I now have learned to instead lean into self love, self worth and self care all the more; taking the challenges and triggers as opportunities to strengthen my self love muscle all the more.
And you know what? I’ve found that some of the old familiar triggers don’t even trigger me anymore! I’ve become immune to them, freeing up massive amounts of my energy to be applied to things that are actually important to me – like being playful and creative even in my imperfect situation.
And one of the results of this re-calibration has been wildly improving my YouTube content, launching a Patreon and receiving more abundance from generous patrons who find this more authentic form of my artistic expression valuable and inspiring.
This time of year is often represented by babies of all species. Seedlings, chicks, bunnies, and lambs…
We tend to decorate in the Spring time with pastel colors and engage in playful activities.
This is all a way of celebrating our own Inner Child! The Inner Child archetype is a part of the Self that can be evoked at any time to help remind us of what FUN is!
In adulthood, we have so many responsibilities and ambitions that we can often loose sight of what really makes us feel happy, playful, and alive. Let this time be a celebration of just that!
Some questions to ask yourself around the theme of the Inner Child this Spring Equinox / Ostara season:
Who is my Inner Child? What does my Inner Child love about life?
What do they love to do and experience?
What can I do this Spring to evoke my Inner Child into my practice and/or my everyday life?
My Inner Child is a very whimsical, magickal and playful little girl. She loves to observe nature, celebrate seasons, make art inspired by her favorite themes, get crafty with magickal and mundane things, and dream about what’s possible beyond the status quo.
I’ve already reconnected with and expressed my Inner Child a lot more since last year this time, and I’m so grateful that I took the time to journal about this theme last Spring! And now this year, I’m excited to see the next level that’s being made possible through the progress I’ve made thus far.
In last year’s entry, I journaled about the energy of the VI Of Cups Tarot card; How I’d been feeling disconnected from my Inner Child because embodying that part of myself didn’t feel safe. Because my adult responsibilities and outside circumstances had led to a lot of trauma in the past few years, I felt like my Inner Child was afraid to come out and play.
I was desiring to have a safe space – a beautiful walled garden and someone strong and responsible to look out for me, provide for me, and keep me safe so I could remember what it was like to play… And I remembered that both the Inner Child (represented by the kids in the card image) as well as the Spiritual Warrior (represented by the guard in the background) are parts of me! And in order to live as my most empowered and fulfilled self, I needed to re-calibrate my way of balancing those two different inner archetypes.
As the Sun goes into Aries season (which starts on the Spring Equinox) it’s an empowering combination of the Inner Child and Warrior energy. Aries represents both the brave, confident Warrior who isn’t too tired or too afraid to create what he wants for himself in the outside world… And Aries also is the Astrological “new year.” It’s the birth of new life that’s potent, playful and pure like the Inner Child.
In the past year, I’ve evoked both these energies in bold new ways, and it’s created the sense of safety and confidence to become both more relaxed and more successful in my inner and outer expressions. With that power supporting me, this Spring Equinox, I can call on this energy in even bigger ways as I dream even bigger for myself and my goals.
Bonus Theme: Balance
If evoking the astrological energies of the seasons interests you, you may also wish to do some moon magick this Spring!
The Full Moon which occurs closest to the Spring Equinox is in the sign of Libra – which is the opposite sign from Aries (which the Sun is in now).
In astrology, it’s recommended to evoke the opposite sign from what the Sun is in to achieve a healthy balance, and notice how the Full Moons are always in that opposite sign every season!
In this case, it’s extra relevant to this theme of balance, because not only is balance also a major theme of the Equinoxes in general (with the whole equal day, equal night thing) but the Full Moon that takes place near the Spring Equinox is in the sign of Libra, which is the archetype of BALANCE! This makes sense, because the Sun goes into the sign of Libra at the other of the two Equinoxes – the Autumn Equinox.
So if my story about evoking archetypes that balance each other out speaks to you this season, the Spring Equinox, the Libra Full Moon and the New Moon in Aries could all be powerful dates for spells and intention setting rituals!
My moon sign is actually Aries, so it makes sense that I always experience some kind of empowering rebirth during this season. Are any important astrological transits coming up for you this Spring? I would love to know how you work with seasonal and astrological energies and themes for Spring in the comments!
If you enjoyed the information and prompts shared in this post, I also invite you to grab the journal / grimoire pages I’ve created for the Spring Equinox season! You can download them as printables or order pre-printed copies from the Writing Witch Shop.
Are you also looking to connect with myself and other magickal mavens as you embody your most fulfilled version of yourself this season?
If so, I’d love to invite you to join our Early Spring Seasonal Living Challenge!
This challenge is for the Grimoire Goodies tier, Magickal Mavens tier and the Writing Witch Subscription Box tiers on Patreon.
Every Wednesday for the five weeks around Ostara, I’ll be posting a prompt to help you maximize your fulfillment by harnessing the themes of the sabbat.
Patrons who post a response to every discussion prompt will be entered to win a package of paper craft goodies from my shop!
All you need to do to participate is be aware that…
- The challenge begins on the first Wednesday in March when the first post goes live. There will be one challenge post per week for five weeks leading up to the final post which will come out in early April.
- Challenge prompts will always be posted on Wednesdays around 11AM EST.
- A winner will be selected randomly one week after the 5th and final prompt is posted.
If you’re not already an eligible patron, I invite you to sign up now! I’m so excited to get to know you better as we share our experiences with the seasons! I hope to see you there!
Spring Equinox blessings to you!
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