While it can be hard to keep track of days at the moment, with isolation and quarantine and working from home making time blur into a fog of unreality, the Wheel of the Year still turns, and brings us to the Vernal (Spring) Equinox on Friday.
This Equinox is apparently the earliest Spring Equinox in over a hundred years, mostly due to the accretion of extra days from leap years, as a fascinating article in Space.com discusses:
“But 2000 was a century year, evenly divisible by 400, so it was observed as a leap year. Had we skipped the leap year in 2000 (as in 1900), then the vernal equinox in 2000 would have occurred a day later, on March 21”
The Equinoxes (Latin for “equal night”) are usually observed in Paganism as times of balance. But things seem very unbalanced at the moment.
How then, can we find that balance in a time of uncertainty and fear?
Druid Joanna van der Hoeven, at Down The Forest Path, writes:
“There is magic all around us, in the water that comes from our taps, in the air that we breathe, in the candle’s flame and in the earth beneath our feet. We can work with these energies to help us physically, mentally and spiritually. We are a creative bunch. There are no limits for the work that we can do with nature all around us. If we use the energies of the Spring Equinox on top of all these other energies, we are making good use of the time and tides of our lives”.
Wherever you are now, stop what you’re doing.
Feel the earth beneath your feet. Yes, even if you’re in a high-rise flat in the city, the earth is beneath you, far beneath you, but beneath you all the same. Feel the ground, or the floor, and how it supports you. The earth upholds us always. It brings strength and constancy to our lives.
Recognise the waters around you. Here in the UK, we’re a small island, and wherever we are, we’re never too far from the sea. Even in the middle of a huge continent, far far away, the waters of the ocean still flow around you, waves and shore trembling together. The water in your bottle, the water in your body, the water in the sea, all are the same water, flowing endlessly and connecting us all.
Feel the air and the sky above you. Open a window or step outside when you can. The air in your lungs is the breath of rainforests. It is the same air breathed by your ancestors, for thousands of years, through hard times worse than this, and far, far back into pre-human history right to the first air-breathing life.
Here and now, we are at the sacred centre, the point of balance between the three great realms of Land, Sea and Sky known and honoured by the Celts and Druids.
No matter what happens, these three remain. Land, Sea and Sky, and the Sun at the centre of it all.
The Spring Equinox, known in Druidry as Alban Eiler, the Light of the Earth, marks the point where days now overtake the nights and the light of Spring truly returns to our lands here in the Northern Hemisphere. With the returning light we see the signs of Spring; trees in bud and blossom, birds nesting, the earth exhaling and waking up after winter’s sleep.
Even now, as we huddle in our homes to self isolate or practice social distancing, the great community of Nature, the other than human world, not only survives but thrives.
And so will we.
In the balance between work and rest, in the balance between now and tomorrow, in the balance between separation and togetherness.
Blessings of the Equinox to you all.