16th March 1987
Dear Tessa and Glyn,
It is almost the spring equinox, and we have had equinoctial gales, as no doubt you will have noticed! You, like nature, may have felt chaotic, wild. The two weeks before and after both equinoxes are often times of stress and great tension. This is because all the elements of life are being brought into new balance, psychically, as day and night attain equal length. At the spring equinox, light is gaining, for future days will now be longer than the nights. So a new tide of life begins. But first the old ways must be broken down. Times of transition are, potentially, both stressful and chaotic. Out of this chaos, new ways arise. It isn’t always easy to believe it at the time, but from a breaking-up, new life comes.
Therefore, the main spring-equinox or Eostar symbol is the egg, which symbolizes fertility in nature. It also shows how plans that were being hatched on the inner levels during the winter may now be put into practice in our lives. We may take the first steps towards doing something we have only dreamt about. (This powerful symbol is still retained in the folk memory, as Eostar eggs are still popular with everyone.)
Eggs, hardboiled and perhaps hand-painted for decoration, should be on the altar. They show the emergence of life from darkness, of ideas from inner levels. They are the Goddess fertile, rich with promise and potential life. Not for nothing is this festival named Eostar, but for the ancient Teutonic Goddess Oestre, whose name connects with the root of our modern world oestrogen, the hormone stimulating ovulation.
After the casting of the circle, invoke the Lady and the Lord. This is the Festival of New Life. Now the winter is finally left behind, along with what belongs to winter. The Goddess is Spring Maiden and the God is young, the ardent one. Their union brings all life into new order. Now things are different. Spring flowers appear on the Earth, where the Goddess walks. And the beasts of the field and wood, the birds of the air, prepare to bring forth young.
There is the breaking of shells, pushing through earth, growth of new buds, hatching, the richness of eggs. Heat. Fertility. This is the Festival of the New Balance, as the Sun gains strength.
After the invocation, dance deosil around the circle. On this occasion, you should sing about new life, change. It could be something like this.
Breaking through and breaking out.
Change! Sun and Earth together,
pledged for life, within, without,
Sun God stretches out his hand,
Spring Queen dances through the land.
Spring blooms, throughout and about.
Visualize the energy created by your dance as a golden cone of light. Direct this into the cauldron, at the centre of the circle, using the power of your thought. Now light a third candle, which should be inside the cauldron. As you light it, say, I light this candle to the Sun.
Also inside the cauldron, around the candle, there should be spring flowers. Take them out and hold them high above the altar. Say, May the blessing of the Spring Queen be upon these flowers, the fresh bloom of new life.
Take some of the flowers to the east quarter. Offer them up, saying, May there be new understanding on Earth, new awareness and knowledge of Mother Earth’s needs. As spring flowers bloom afresh, may this blossom.
Lay the flowers on the ground beside the incense.
Return to the altar for more flowers (deosil) and take them to the south, offering them up with these, or similar words: May there be a return of joy in life. In song, dance, love, and the beauty of all the natural world. May this blossom.
Lay the flowers on the ground beside the candle. Return to the altar.
Take flowers to the west in offering. Say, May there be peace on Earth. May this blossom.
Lay the flowers on the ground beside the water. Return to the altar.
Take flowers all the way around the circle, from north back to north again. Offer these up, saying, May the greenwoods return, the freedom and balance of natural life. May this blossom.
Lay the flowers on the ground, before the altar. Sit beside the cauldron. Visualize the blossoming of new awareness, joy in life and peace, and the greenwoods returning. People in harmony with each other and with all life forms on the Earth. See this flowering across the world, the sight and scent of this encouraged, stimulated, by the return of spring flowers. If the image seems too fragile, remember flowers can even break up concrete. After the rite, you can gather them up again, and keep them in a vase.
And that is the spring-flower spell.
Take one of the eggs from the bowl on the altar. Hold it on high, saying, Blessed be, the life from within life.
Go to the centre of the circle and sit by the cauldron again. This time, curl your body, tuck in your head, as though inside an eggshell. You are in your egg space and you are about to hatch out. Think of the egg you held at the altar. Life is enclosed, growing inside the darkness of a shell. Your winter self has been like that. Your winter plans have been incubating slowly. Feel the life of these new plans, frail but determined. Feel the new person you have become because of them, newly ready to emerge into the Sun. And visualize yourself reaching out to break through your shell, breaking out, shell shattering. You step out, new self, into a new phase of your life. Now the old way has been lost. The elements of life must be brought into new balance.
Go to each of the quarters in turn. First the east. Sit quietly with eyes closed and think about your mind, your mental state and attitudes. Ask the Spirits of Air to guide your thoughts, so that you may achieve new harmony of mind. Listen carefully for any inner messages and remember any images you may see with your ’mind’s eye’. These may be important and you will understand them later, if not at the time. Do not try to analyse them.
Now go to the south quarter. Sit quietly and ask the Guardian Spirits of Fire for guidance on vitality and change. Again, listen and watch for any messages. Remember, the south is also the quarter of passion.
Visit also the west and the north, asking the Spirits of Water for guidance on harmony of emotions and the Spirits of Earth about a physical harmony. Listen and watch for messages.
Well, that’s all the magical work for the Spring Equinox, unless you also want to consecrate all the eggs in the bowl, and give them as Eostar gifts to your family and friends.
Lay your hands over the bowl and say, May these be blessed and consecrated, in the names of the Spring Queen and her consort, the Young God.
Take the bowl deosil around the circle, passing it through the smoke of incense and the (south) candle flame, sprinkling it with water and, at the north, touching the bowl to the stone.
Say, May those who receive these be rich with new, fertile life. May their dreams become reality, and their plans be blessed by the Sun.
Bless the bread and wine and end with communion. Then thank the Lord and Lady for their blessing, bidding them, Hale and farewell. Open your circle.
Blessings on your Eostar celebrations.