Tomorrow marks the beginning of spring here in the northern hemisphere. It is a time when the northern hemisphere starts to tilt towards the sun, creating longer days and shorter nights. Hence, Vernal means new or fresh, and Equinox literally means equal night. Spring will officially arrive at 6:29am in the Eastern Time Zone! And to that I say, HURRAY!
People have celebrated the Vernal Equinox throughout the centuries. The Egyptians built a huge sphinx that would face the rising sun each year on this equinox. And, Christians use this day to figure out when Easter will occur. Easter always falls on the first Sunday after the first Full Moon following the Vernal Equinox.
This is a time when people start feeling the need to clean out drawers and closets, sweep out the dust and cobwebs, and throw open the windows and doors to blow out the stale, old season of winter, and usher in the fresh, new season of spring. Fields get plowed, gardens get planted, and people begin embracing the smells and sounds of Mother Nature. It is an exhilarating time.
Make a point to celebrate the changing of seasons. Head outside before you start your busy day or settle in for the evening. Give thanks for the dawning of this new season. This doesn’t have to take too long; you can do this in 5 minutes…showing a little gratitude for the blessings of your life and the newness of the spring season.
- Make a little fire. Fire is symbolic of change; the transmuting of one thing to another. This fire doesn’t have to be large. I make mine in an abalone shell using a little sage, cedar and sweet grass.
- Make a little offering. You may want to write a few words about what you are grateful for or what you want to release to the darkness of winter. I use tobacco; placing a bit of tobacco in my left hand, I speak my words of gratitude and humility. I use my left hand because it is closest to my heart, so all my thoughts and intentions are infused into the tobacco.
- Give your offering to the fire. When ready, place your offering in the fire and watch your thoughts, words and emotions rise up to the Creator where they will be heard, understood and acted upon. At this point, I place my tobacco into the fire, or smoldering embers, and watch the smoke rise to the heavens.
- Let the fire burn out completely. Try not to create a fire so large that you have to douse it with water to put it out. Instead, let the fire burn out completely before you end your ceremony.
- End your ceremony. Return the ashes from your fire to Mother Earth. Give thanks to Mother Earth for making your ceremony possible. I give thanks for the sage, cedar, sweet grass, tobacco, fire and shell, and for all she has given me. I thank her for awakening to this new season of freshness and growth, and for the time of slumber.
Make this a time of sweet renewal. If winter was difficult, let it go; it is behind you. Turn to the east and welcome spring.