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A Season for Everything

What could possibly be more wonderful than living in a country that is blessed with the four changing seasons? For those who find the summer too hot you are relieved to have the cool breezes of autumn. Who doesn’t enjoy the Creator’s handy work in the painting of the fall leaves? Then there comes the winter for those who wish to take to the indoors for time of relaxation and reflection after perhaps a busy and laborious fall. Even the most avid winter lover grows weary of the gray days and cold Arctic winds and meets the rebirth of all of nature in spring with gladness.  The world literally comes to life as the silence of the long winter nights give way to the cawing of the crows, the songs of the robins and the croaking of the frogs. The warmth of the sun can be felt, at first in small bursts, and its rays brighten the sky longer and longer each passing day.

So here we are, another spring upon us. Our New Year’s resolutions seem like years ago and the summer heat still far in the distance. However, it is now that we take stock of the plans we started during our introspection of winter. We set goals and welcomed the Universe’s help in getting them started. Like the seeds that sleep under the blanket of snow, it is now time to uncover those new ideas and plans. Yes, the waiting is over! All those seeds that were planted are now ready to be born and grow into whatever it is we need in order  to move forward into another season of our lives.

As with our garden, we will need to watch carefully to make sure there are no weeds that will interfere with our seeds’ growth. Too often we allow influences and distractions to take us away from our true purpose and path. Through mediation and reflection we can remain focused and sure of what it is we want to harvest later on. By being diligent in our “weeding out” of all those past ideas, notions, experiences, energies that no longer serve us we can be sure our seeds will grow and bear the fruit we desire. We do not help the seeds growth by worrying over how much it will bear tomorrow any more than we can reach into the future through worry and create anything positive in our lives. Instead, by taking one day at a time, tending our thoughts, our words and actions we can then appreciate this moment, find joy here in the now and in this way create the future we wish to have.

We do well to welcome the spring, black flies, creepy crawlies, bugs and all. They too are the signs that life goes on and nature has a cycle we can depend on. These things have their purpose and place just as each one of us has a reason to be here, right now in this very moment of time and in this place.  What will we do with spring, our time of rebirth and growth? The choice is always there. It is time for us to let go of the darkness we may have felt over the winter or the weight of the negative times and emotions we have experienced up to this point and let in the warmth of the springtime sunlight.

Funny thing is that we had this light in us all along but didn’t acknowledge it.  What do you think kept us warm all through the winter? What brought us hope when all seemed lost? What makes us strive to go through the seasons, planting ideas in the hope and faith of a fruitful harvest? The Light and Love of the Divine is always there, perhaps it feels like it is hibernating but it is there ready to come to life once more. Yes, there is a season for everything and now is the time for newness of life and love.

The Moon played an important role in ancient calendars, helping people to measure time and to determine the proper time to plant their crops and harvesting crops.  Again, this cycle was also necessary for women to measure their own cycles of fertility and to recognize if they were indeed pregnant.

The moon cycles in turn create the four seasons.  This week we celebrated the Spring Equinox; that special time when darkness and light are balanced.  However, the balance is about to tip in favour of the light.  The spring equinox is sacred to the dawn, youth, the morning star and the direction of the east.  Cultures worldwide celebrate the coming of spring and with those celebrations it is not uncommon to find a goddess or two.  

Who are the Goddesses of the Spring Equinox?

One goddess most commonly associated with spring is Ostara or Eastra.  She is the great Goddess of Northern Europe who ushers in the spring and dawn.  (You can see where the Christian modern holiday of Easter got its name! ) Long before the celebration of the resurrection, Spring Equinox was celebrated with festivals in honour of Ostara or Eastra.  The word East is related to her name as it is in the east that the dawn’s light arises and the female hormone, estrogen is named for her.

Ostara is usually depicted wearing white with wreaths of flowers or new greenery adorning her body as she dances joyously.  However, like spring weather itself her mood can change suddenly solemn.  She is the first warm spring winds, the birds that return from their winter retreats, the budding trees and fresh spring herbs and flowers.  You can see her presence as the earth comes to life especially through the symbols of rabbits and eggs, both thought to be sacred to her, that appear after the long, dark winter. 

During the Ostara sunrise celebrations were centered around growth and renewal and prayers were said to her in order to assure abundant crops.  Eggs were eaten and exchanged as talismans. It has been recorded that in early times during the festival holy water in the form of dew, or water collected from brooks, was gathered and those who washed with it were said to have their youth restored.

Another popular fertility goddess is the Freyja.   This Norse goddess abandons the earth during the cold months, but returns in the spring to restore nature’s beauty. She wears a magnificent necklace called Brisingamen, which represents the fire of the sun. Freyja is connected with childrearing, and could take on the aspect of a bird. She owned a magical cloak of hawk’s feathers, which allowed her to transform at will.  The Hare is also associated with Freyja.

As the wife of Odin, the All Father, Freyja was often called upon for assistance in marriage or childbirth, as well as to aid women struggling with infertility.