A Time for Renewal: Spring Equinox Rituals
Longer days, the ground is beginning to warm and plants are beginning to push their roots through the ground. The spring equinox is nearing and with it a time for physical and spiritual rebirth. As nature reawakens, it begs the question, what do you want to reawaken in yourself in this new beginning?
The word equinox originated from Latin and translates to "equality of night and day." The equinox transpires at two specific moments in time when the sun is exactly above the equator. In the Northern Hemisphere, the spring equinox takes place around the 21st of March, and the autumnal equinox, which brings in the fall in late September. This year, the spring equinox, also called the vernal equinox, will occur on the 20th of March. It signifies that winter has ended, spring has arrived, that mother earth is alive with possibility, and that the fertility of the land is all but ensured.
At Vosges, the spring equinox celebration occasionally arrives when Chicago is still blanketed in snow and frosted over with freezing temperatures, so while it is hard to imagine that winter is over, it is a time of hope and the inspiration for our spring collections.
This season, we celebrate the Goddess Ostara. While the spring festival of the goddess Ostara is a pagan tradition, the holidays of Easter and Passover also fall on or near the equinox and can be feted with these luxury chocolates. We’ve also written about how to create a wonderful chocolate Easter basket with our beautiful chocolates.
Though much has been written about Ostara through the ages, she remains a mysterious figure, regally cloaked in stories about her origins and her legendary powers. Just like the vernal equinox, Ostara was celebrated by all in her orbit for bringing the spring flowers and the cheerful abundance that comes with it. The Ostara celebration was a symbol that longer days were ahead and that the sun would remain in the sky in the waning hours of a day. In this burgeoning new spring festival season, joy and blessings were abundant and every radiant dawn, life-affirming.
Ostara brought with her the joy of merry making and festivity. Using her feminine beauty, Ostara was the physical embodiment of fertility and procreation. She was a reminder to embrace the sweetness and grace of life and the good fortune to be the recipients of revival and renewal.
This season we also celebrate each of you. We invite you to participate in the spring equinox rituals that surround Ostara and engage in the chocolate ritual collections as a way to celebrate a new beginning.
Here are a couple of suggestions for creating your own Ostara rituals:
Create your sacred space
Creating a dedicated space or altar to Ostara is a sacred tradition. It will slow you down and make you present. Gather items that make you feel hopeful and prepare you for the coming season. May we suggest fresh spring flowers, candles, crystals that have meaning for you, hard-boiled eggs and honey (both symbols of new life), and the Ostara and meditation chocolates, which are symbols of the strength of the goddesses and also ensure a sweet future. Lay these items on a beautiful piece of fabric with the bright colors of spring. Use this altar as a sacred space to get in tune with your thoughts and dreams.
Prepare a spring feast or delightful ritual tea
Celebrate the Ostara celebration season with a tea or light meal that includes foods that symbolize earth's rebirth. Spring greens, sprouts, shoots, eggs, local wine, and bread can be shared as a way to celebrate mother earth and the dreams that are brewing and stirring inside you.
Connect with and honor the earth
Though it may still be pretty cold where you are, it is important to spend time outside. Take in the air, feel the sun on your face as you face east to welcome a rising sun. Walk on fertile ground and imagine the green coming through the soil as your aspirations and all of the possibilities associated with them. Plant your own seeds in the ground. By sewing these seeds, tending to them, nourishing them and watering them, you are calling in your dreams and carefully growing them.
Cleanse your home and your soul
The spring equinox is the perfect time for cleansing. It is a time to clean your home, organize your desk, open the windows, and let the fresh air in to cleanse your space. You can also smudge your home with sage or palo santo to reset your environment and invite peace and balance into the space. Ritual baths are also a way to cleanse yourself for the dawn of a new season.
Express your dreams
As you let go of the old and embark on new paths, write and speak your dreams aloud. Take a sabbath to meditate and contemplate on your deepest desires. As the spring continues, add your wins to these writings. By gaining traction on your dreams, you will begin to create momentum.
Mindfully indulge in the Ostara Collection
Our limited edition collection celebrates Ostara, but also her sister goddesses from regions all over the world. Their stories are an inspiration to have faith in new beginnings, to trust that spring will come, and declare your own power in their presence. It is a time to revive your spirits and find balance and wellness in your lives.
As the spring arrives, let Ostara be your reminder that dark always finds its way to the light and that frozen ground always thaws to allow new growth to burst through. Even in the most trying of times, let the spring equinox and the rituals we perform under its sun, remind us that hope always prevails.