Her glossed lips parted and a tender sigh escaped. The mid-morning light illuminated her face from the subway window. The mysterious stranger couldn’t hide her blush as her lover reached in for another kiss as he stroked her cheek. As we pulled into Canal Street, the young lover said, “more, later,” and dashed off. It was the kind of self-restraint that I did not possess in my younger years and I admired her sly smile, holding her lover captive in between her cherry glossed lips. As the train continued on its journey I smiled at her nervously after being caught looking, but she returned the smile and didn’t seem to mind. Yes, I’m that voyeur, but as spring approaches we all become collective voyeurs, awakening, noticing and gently unfurling to the delicately ripe beginnings all around us.
The Spring Equinox, also called the Vernal Equinox, marks the astronomical first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere on Wednesday, March 20, 2019, at 5:58 P.M. EDT. The word equinox comes from the Latin words for “equal night”—aequus (equal) and nox (night). Also celebrated as Ostara, by witches, Wiccans, and pagans alike, the equinox is a spring, solar festival celebrating the balance of light and darkness, the sowing of seeds and the waxing light that will continue to intensify thus forth. Spells of manifestation, fertility, abundance, and love are all on the magical agenda during Ostara season.
Ostara is a modern pagan holiday that was given its name in the 1970’s by an American witch and poet Aiden Kelly who was creating a pagan calendar and wanted more pleasing names for the “lesser sabbats” as the equinoxes and solstices have been referred to. In his work, he found that Saint Bede the Venerable, a Benedictine monk in the 8th century, wrote extensively about the goddess Eostre, who had an entire month (April) dedicated to her, and pagan Anglo-Saxons had feasts in her honor. Ostara or Eostre was a Germanic mother goddess associated with radiant light and the dawn, similar to the Greek goddess Eos or the Roman counterpart, Aurora. While Easter may have adopted the name from this Germanic goddess, the Christian holiday, also celebrated as Pascha in many parts of the non-English speaking world, the resurrection of Jesus is an entirely different holiday with some pagan remnants like hares and eggs absorbed in new traditions. Spring holds magic in its seed of potency and is felt worldwide, from the Iranian New Year Nowruz, to Vasant Pachami in India, which marks the “king of all seasons,” spring. During this time, Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of music, poetry, knowledge, and language is honored for her creative energy and worshippers wear yellow—her favorite color, celebrate with family, ask the goddess for blessings or pujas, and also venerate the agricultural gifts of the season. In customs, traditions and religions, both ancient and modern, Ostara and springtime’s blossoming magic contains universal joy celebrating our desire to connect, create and blossom.
On this particular equinox, we also experience a Full Worm Super Moon in Libra. Which keeps me thinking about the lovers on the train and why the magic I’m focusing on for this season is “more, later,” as a reminder that not everything sweet needs to be instantaneous. That evening after a long and decidedly unbalanced day, I pulled the Temperance card and sat looking at its rich symbolism. Temperance is almost always depicted as an androgynous angel or winged human person pouring liquid from one receptacle into another, standing with one foot on water and one foot on land. Ostara opens a door of possibilities with its lush flowers, birds and swirling light enlivening us all. Yet the equinox and this Full Moon in Libra firmly reminds us that balance in our partnerships, pursuits and ourselves can bring us the deepest source of pleasure. May your spring be sweet and full of unending embraces.