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Vernal Equinox (cont)Soft Flame

And here are Jan's thoughts:
The four major Solar festivals as I know them are those that work in the northern hemisphere.  Our comrades on the other side of the world would see these “the other way around” because the festivals are keyed to natural growth cycles in Nature and our planet.  Consequently when we are celebrating the Vernal Equinox, Australians (for example) are moving into Autumn, which properly belongs to the Autumnal Equinox.  But because my experience of this Festival is from a British point of view, that’s what I will be speaking about here.

This Festival traditionally occurs on the 24 hours following the Sun entering the Sign of Aries – this year that happens at 22.46 GMT on the 20th.  Therefor we will celebrate on the 21st.  Also commonly over here the official fixed “start of Spring” happens on this same date which causes no end of confusion for people who don’t know the astrological “pinning” of the Festival.

The four “big” ceremonials of the year – the Equinoxes and Solstices – can be heralded over the seven days preceding them (so long as these fall on a rising moon – that is, between New and Full).   This is something the whole family can become involved in.   For example you can build an ivy wreath which you decorate with spring flower heads. Or, to continue the planting theme from Lights, you might want to start some of your vegetable seedlings off now in a propagator.  You could make seed packets as gifts for friends, as an original “Easter” greeting.

Or how about selecting a specific plant in the garden (or one growing in a pot if you are a flat-dweller) and using this to teach yourself and your children something about the inexorable miracle of nature?  Study it carefully on the first day, paying attention to everything you see.  On each subsequent day, make a point of studying that plant again very carefully and seeing what changes you can notice.  Bulbs planted around the Winter Solstice will work nicely here – for example winter planted hyacinths should be popping their flowers at this time of year.  But remember, at this time of year supermarkets are dripping with bowls of bulbs, so even if this is your first year of trying this, you can find a decent display to watch over.  [More...]

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