Wheel of the Year
Ostara - 20th March
The Wheel of the Year goes back to a time when life was celebrated as a multidimensional interconnected web. The Earth was respected and seen as a fertile life-force.
The Wheel of the Year begins and ends at Samhain (31st October- 1st November).
The wheel continues to turn! Spring is upon us, the dawn of the year. The beginning of the lighter half of the year here in the Northern Hemisphere, and move into the darker half of the year in the Southern Hemisphere. Balance of light and dark.
As we move towards the Spring Equinox/Vernal Equinox (day and night are yet again at equal length). The sun rises directly in the East and sets directly in the West. We feel the return of life after Winter’s sleep.
The celebration of Ostara is said to take its name from a Germanic goddess of the Spring. A Goddess of the dawn, sometimes called Eostre. She was closely linked with fertility (which makes me wonder about the origins of the word estrogen). She is also closely associated with the hare and the moon, both symbols of rebirth and resurrection. The nocturnal hare was said to die each morning and be resurrected each evening just like the moon. Hares and rabbits were sacred to druids and were not to be harmed. Seen as female deities associated with the lunar cycles, women, fertility and rebirth. We can find symbols of hare and rabbits across many cultures and mythology from the East to the West.
There are many celebrations across the world at this time of year.
Nowruz, a festival marking the Persian New Year, and official beginning of Spring.
Hanami, the Japanese cherry blossom festival welcoming Spring.
First New Moon of Spring, celebrated by the Cherokee people.
Holi, a Hindu tradition in India.
Spring Equinox celebrations in Mexico and many parts of South America.
and many more. Do you have a special Spring festival in your part of the world?
As the morning of the year breaks, seeds await light, warmth and rain, before they spring into life. This is a time to begin, a time to awaken. We are poised, on the cusp of new life.
What will you sketch this #seasonsketchers? What can you see around you? What plants have begun to poke their heads up above the ground? Often they have great medicinal properties, of detoxification, recharging our sluggish immune systems after a sleepy Winter (please check properly before eating or using any plants for this purpose). Maybe the trees buds you sketched for Imbolc have now begun to grow blossom or leaves, the process of vernation beginning..
Would you like to know more about how you can use the Wheel of the Year and Nature Journaling to connect deeper with nature where you live? Join my Patreon community, where I'll go deeper into using art and the wheel of the year as a way to connect with nature and the seasons. Click on the link here or image below to find out more.