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What's Up and Coming
At Imbolc we celebrated the turning of the wheel and the advancement of the year. This turns our eyes and hearts toward spring. The weather is getting warmer, winds are settling down and the days are getting progressively longer. At the equinox the earth has moved around the sun in such a way that we have equal amounts of light and dark. We experience the earth awakening form her slumber. Seedlings are blooming and poking up from the earth. This is a time for casting off the weight of winter and preparing for the bountiful harvest to come.
For eons people have celebrated the Earth’s journey around our sun. We may not have understood the science of what is actually happening; we have been able to recognize the change in seasons, and the lengthening of the day light hours. At spring we recognize the return of life. Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus at spring time. The Myans celebrate the resurrection of Maize God Hun Hunahpu. Ancient Egyptians recognized the resurrection of Osiris at the spring equinox. Temples and statues have been built in honor of spring and its meaning. Even the famous Sphinx was built to look into the spring dawn.
Through a 365 day year the Earth (third planet from the Sun) travels around the sun. The earth sits at approximately a 23 degree angle to the sun. As it travels around the Sun the earth’s tilt will bring either the northern hemisphere or the southern hemisphere closer to the sun to pick up more heat. As one hemisphere experiences spring and summer, the other is experiencing fall and winter. At two points in the Earth’s journey the tilt and timing is such that the time each hemisphere is exposed to light is the same (approximately 12 hours and 12 hours). The equal length of the day has been named the “Equinox”.
The point where the earth is crosses the celestial equator is marked as the equinox. The Celestial Equator is an imaginary circle drawn at 23.4 degrees from the earth’s rotational equator (the equator we are used to seeing). This year the Spring equinox (northern hemisphere) and Vernal equinox (southern hemisphere) will occur on March 20th.
Celebrating and honoring the equinox can be an exciting and fun time. Symbols of new life are the running theme of spring celebrations. Eggs are often dyed with bright colors and symbols. Pastel colors symbolize the flowers that are coming into bloom. Baby animals (especially Chicks and bunnies) are the ultimate symbol of new life. Spring crafts should include bird feeders, fairy homes, terrariums, or just a day of seed planting. Planning and planting your summer garden is always a good part of your spring celebration.
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