A Special Conjunction
This year, the first equinox coincides with a full moon. For Pagans this heightens the energy for both the Equinox holiday and the observance of the full moon.
The equinox marks that time of the year when the Earth begins to shift on its axis. It marks the change of seasons for each hemisphere; from Winter to Spring in the north and Summer to Fall in the south.
It’s best known as being the time when the number of hours for the day is equal to the number of hours for the night. But this isn’t accurate.
..day and night are not exactly equal at the equinox for two reasons. First, daytime begins the moment any part of the Sun is over the horizon, and it is not over until the last part of the Sun has set. If the Sun were to shrink to a starlike point and we lived in a world without air, the spring and fall equinoxes would truly have ‘equal nights.’ – From The Old Farmer’s Almanac
Here in Richmond Virginia, the equinox officially occurs on Sunday, March 20, 2016 at 12:30 AM EDT. That’s midnight on Saturday night. You can visit TimeAndDate.com to find the exact time in your area.
This astronomical event has long been observed as a spiritual occurrence. And that’s certainly true for Pagans around the world. But what that holiday celebrates and who or what it honors depends on if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere or in the South. Since Pagans begin their holiday observance at sunset and celebrate during the night hours, this becomes an important honoring of the event.
In The North
For those in the northern hemisphere, the Spring Equinox, also known as the Vernal Equinox marks the Pagan Holiday of Ostara. The Spring Equinox festival is based in Germanic Paganism. Ēostre or Ostara is a goddess in Germanic paganism. But it’s also claimed by Norse, Saxon and Celtic pagans as well. The Celts admit that holiday is not one of their original observances and therefore it’s accepted to be part of a modern reconstruction of old Celtic ways.
Ostara is seen as the time of total balance. The longest day and longest night, not winter and not yet spring. It marks the rebirth of nature and the return of the God who comes to join the Maiden to bring new life and fertility to the coming growing seasons. For pagans, this is a day of preparation. Clear and cleans old tools and consecrate them for new workings. Bless seeds for spring planting, or start a garden by cleaning the area and tilling the soil. It’s a good time for the lady to acquire a new broom and for the gentleman to craft a new staff.
In The South
For those in the southern hemisphere, this equinox marks the transition into Fall and the holiday known as Mabon (May-bawn). Also known as the Feast of Avalon, the Festival of the Wine and the Festival of the Apple Harvest, this holiday marks the end of summer and the harvest.
It’s a holiday that represents the time of honoring the dead, visiting burial sites, giving thankfulness for the end of the harvest season and the bounty it has provided. These are the themes of closing, remembering with honor and letting go of the past.
The Full Moon
This year the March full moon, also known as the Worm Moon in my Pagan tradition, officially occurs on March 23rd at 8:00pm in my part of the world. Moon magik is recognized for a 7 day period however. It begins 3 days prior to the full phase, and lasts 3 days after. This means the energy of the March Full Moon begins to affect the Earth on March 20th and will last until March 26th. That allows the full moon energy to coincide with the March Equinox increasing the importance of both events. Some also believe it also increases the energy of both as they build on each other to heighten the magik of the day.
Each phase of the moon brings with it a special energy for that phase of the lunar cycle. Everyone knows the moon affects the tides of the worlds oceans, but because we are mostly liquid ourselves, these phases also affect us. Understanding what these energies bring, help you to connect with and use those energies in your magikal rituals, meditations and even your daily life.
The Full Moon is best used for banishing unwanted influences in your life. Think of it as ‘shining a light’ on issues or challenges. It can also be a good time for creating protection magik and performing divination. You can use this time for releasing old patterns or issues, and open the door for healing by giving energy to positive patterns you’ll put in place. ~ Workings With The Moon
Celebrating The Conjunction
In the North, the holiday and full moon energies can be used to let go of what has been and allow the renewal of Spring to come into your life bring new and better events and/or people. Banish the mistakes and negative energies first through the Full Moon magik. Then focus on the rebirth of Spring within your self and your life. Getting ready for the summer and the remainder of the year on a clean slate.
In the South, the holiday and full moon energies are in synch and focus on letting go of the old. Honor the lessons events provided you during the past year and burying them with love and compassion as you release the old. You can honor your ancestors who have passed as well as situations and events, whither they were good or challenging. Putting these things in the past and saying goodbye makes way for new events/people to come into your life over the winter season.
Where ever you are in the world, everyone here at Springwolf Reflections and Spring’s Haven
Wish you a wonderful and safe Equinox/Full Moon celebration!
May the GreatSpirits bring you blessings, abundance, good health and happiness.
- The History Of Ostara – The Spring Equinox for the North
- High Holy Days: Southern Hemisphere
- The History of Mabon: The Feast of Avalon – Celebrating The Fall Equinox in the South
- Sun & Moon – Watching On Your Phone
- Workings With The Moon – (on PagansPath.com)
- The Monthly Full Moon / Moon Names – (on PagansPath.com)
- Check Out the Equinox’s Quirky Math – (on Space.com)
- The March Equinox Date & Time In Your City – (on TimeAndDate.com)
- 2016 Vernal Equinox – (on the Old Farmer’s Almanac – Almanac.com)
© 2016 Springwolf, D.D., Ph.D. Springwolf Reflections / Springs Haven, LLC. All Rights Reserved.