Here we go again... another ramble from the 'Island-man'... and on this occasion thoughts turn to Spring.
In circumnavigating the Pagan wheel of the year we are soon to celebrate one of the four solar festivals, namely that of the Spring (Vernal) Equinox (equal night). It marks a period of equilibrium, for now the duration of night and day are in perfect balance. It is at the hub of the threefold dedications to Spring, as it succeeds the first stirrings of rebirth and regeneration identifiable with Imbolc, whereupon the Goddess begins to rouse from the darkness of Winter, whilst preceding the fulfillment and blossoming of the season as celebrated with Beltane. Perhaps as a moment of balance between Imbolc and Beltane it may prove timely for us to reflect on the fundamentals of balance with regard to our own lives, the symmetry of inner and outer self, or the proportions of spirituality and materialism, or the provision that Mother Earth makes for us and how we reciprocate Her gifts...for example.
To the contemporary Druid, this period is manifest as Alban Eilir (or Eiler), "Light of the Earth",
and though evidence of ancient Celtic celebration for this festival is sparse, as it is reasonable to assume that much of the symbolism of Pagan tradition was integrated into the Christian 'Easter'. However then as it is now, Mother Earth would have reached a stage of renewal, Her term of dormancy ended, the soil moist and abundant with nourishment, a gift to the seed, the bulb, the root, thus an appropriate time to sow for the years crops and give reverence.
Wiccan tradition acknowledges the Spring Equinox festival as 'Ostara' and as is the vein of Druidry, the term is difficult to corroborate, for both (I am sure..?) had oral foundations. The 7th/8th century historian Bede cites early reference with the Anglo Saxon month of 'Esturmonath' (the forth of their calender), after the Teutonic fertility goddess 'Eostre', though others suggest that she and her symbolic links to hares, eggs and rebirth are Roman-Pagan in origin.
There we go...
A Blessing on you, one and all.
May each ritual and celebration of your individual tradition be steeped with balance and life energy renewed.