Monday, 5 March 2012
Secrets of Spring
This is now the turn of the new season. Spring. I've already written about Winter in my post "Secrets of Winter". This post is about the Spring and how it's message is about a similar theme, feminine force and the goddesses. Girls of the stars, and girls of the earth and flowers. Motherhood, daugterhood and lovers. Yet there are boys too appearing in Spring celebrations! The earth mother and Her daughters, as well as sons will be mentioned.
During the Spring season, we are in the vernal equinox, and this means it's an "equinoctial point" or the sun faces the equator (the reason why the sun appears directly ahead in the distance during certain times). For an interest in the vernals and the sun arcs, read and (view this page). The ancient peoples celebrated the equinoxes, and the soltices but here we are now on the verge of the Spring equinox, the vernal point of time and space. While the stars and sun alter, the trees grow brightly coloured, scented blossoms.
There are many celebrations during Spring, and most of all there are numerous holidays all over and stamped days of rites. The most obvious is Ostara (Easter), the biggest celebration in Spring. Before I go onto the discussion about Ostara/Easter, let me go through the different other celebrations and older holidays in Spring.
In Britain, "Mothering Sunday" is held during March. This is a christian celebration of motherhood but it had earlier roots in paganism. The Roman rite of Hilaria was the festival and celebration of the prehistoric Goddess Cybele, the Earth Mother, Goddess of the Mountain, Mountain Mother and Magna Mater.
She was known to the ancient Greeks as Kybele. This is one of the most powerful goddesses in mythology, as she's knowned to be the "mother of the gods" and the Great Mother Earth. She had a cult following with temples and a priesthood, and a caste system. She had a devoted priest named Attis the god-man who was protrayed as being rough, barbarian and strong. (A bit like Conan!)
The Dactyls were fertility gods and male spirits who dwelled near Cybele. Animals such as bulls were sacrificed in honour of the Goddess. The festival of Cybele was during March and the christianised Roman Empire turned the pagan festival into a Virgin Mary.celebration day, and what it is now: Mothering Sunday. Another celebration of the Earth Goddess is on "Lady Day" (christians know it as the "feast of the Aunnunciation") held in March. This is also actually to do with Ostara the goddess. It was possibly the celebration of Venus, 25th March (yes it's my birthday too).
Another festival in March (Irish originally but recognised in other countries) is Saint Patrick's Day. This is to do with male gods and fertility but there is more to it than you think. It IS another celebration of the Spring. The clue is in the shamrock. This is a four leafed clover, and four leaves of a clover is a sign of good luck. It's a holy flower and a divine sacred plant that has a deeper meaning behind it: four petals, and four seasons. Four is sacred, and four points in the compass. Four spokes of a sun wheel. Four divided segments of time and space. Now the shamrock is scattered like confetti in many places including England, where the Queen and princesses have displayed shamrocks. The colour associated with Saint Patrick's Day is GREEN. The green represents the shamrock, the Earth and the Green Man, an aspect of Saint Patrick possibly. The Earth Mother goddess has male consorts, and lovers, who are male fertility gods of nature, and the Green Man is one of these. Saint Patrick's Day isn't so much about this christian saint but an overlap and echo of a pagan celebration of Spring. Saint Patrick is also a feasting day.
Ostara follows, often in April and there are other smaller days and rituals. Ostara, also called Eostre, is the northern Germanic and Celtic goddess of the Spring. She appears during this time of year, and the link with Easter eggs ad the Easter bunny is all to do with this goddess, who is like the Earth's Daughter. The bunny comes from the ancient pagan beliefs that the hare or rabbit was a sacred animal to this goddess. The Celts and Germans both understood Ostara's wisdom.
Ostara is the goddess of the East, the sunlight, dawn, spring, fertility, flowers, youth, birth, light, the moon, the egg, ovum and pregnancy. The egg is a sacred shape, and it represents the ovum, pregnancy, as well as a planetary sphere. It could be the moon, for the moon like like an egg. It could be the earth for the earth is like a pregant female. Or it could be stars and suns. Ostara is also similar to Persephone who returned to the land bringing spring, light and warmth.
Also Ostara is similar to the Goddesses Venus and Aphrodite, who were associated with hares, star eggs and flowers. She returns to the earth from her egg, the earth's underworld. The egg, the eliptical sphere, is both the planet and creation, pregnancy and wombs. Also Hares are linked with the moon and the lunar cycles. This might be a global prehistoric art of magic, with travelling on water under moonlight. It was said to carry one to a spiritual destiny, astral travelling and dreaming.
The third month of Spring starts with May Day, there is often a maiden who becomes a goddess for the day, The Queen of the May. This is a romantic and flower-celebratio of the maiden as a woman, a bride and a goddess, where the women is mated. This is a symbol of the woman's feelings. It also means the planet's time of growing, floweing, developing, and turning warmer. The light gets stronger.
Check out other info:
Symbolism of Rabbits and Hares
Easter Eggs - Wikipedia
The picture on this post is "Venus" by Kagaya.