Tomorrow is the Spring Equinox, which is considered by many to be the first day of Spring, and is one of only two moments in the year when the sun is exactly above the Equator and day and night are of equal length. After this day, the brightness of daylight begins to overtake the dark hours in the sky as the days continue to longer and longer, and the nights shorter and shorter. This transition is the basis within the celebration of the holiday itself, as we celebrate the warming and awakening of the earth as she prepares to share her abundance and generosity with us all.
In my path, the Spring Equinox is also known as Ostara. Although this holiday is celebrated (as Easter around) the world by those that embrace many traditions that originated in Paganism, most don’t realize the full and rich history that this holiday holds.
Like with new moons and full moons, I usually do a spread to check in with myself and give myself some direction for the next couple of months for each solstice, equinox, and other Sabbats. This spread is an adaptation of my Self Care Saturday spread, so there are sure to be some similarities in how it is read. The focus of this spread, though, is not about Self Care, but rather about progress and my path. The time period is also longer, reaching through the next handful of weeks until the celebration of the upcoming Beltane at the beginning of May.
Theme of the Season – Ostara, Waning Gibbous Moon, Betula alba (Silver Birch)
Ostara, as mentioned above, is a celebration of nature’s awakening after the long winter’s sleep. It’s about the eager energy of spring finally beginning to show itself to us in visible ways, and the uplifting hope that comes with this renewal of energies in the world around us.
In farming, the Waning Gibbous Moon is a time of planting (with the exception of annuals) and transplanting, as it’s believed that absorption of nutrients from the soil occurs the most during the waning phase of the moon, and this sets up bulbs, tubers, and young plants with the energy and food needed to burst into growth for the approaching new moon to come.
Metaphysically, it is a time of release, in which we focus on ridding ourselves of bad habits, negative thinking, and other barriers that hold you back from growth, creating room for more positive energy to flow in as the new moon approaches.
Silver Birch (Betula alba) symbolizes new beginnings, renewal, purification, and protection. This tree holds lessons for us in how hardy even the most fragile of us can be, and in lessons to do with potential and growth. Its oils, extracted from the bark, can be used as an insect repellent as well as to treat certain skin conditions, while an infusion from its leaves is both a diuretic and antiseptic. It’s sap also has healing properties that are useful in treating urinary tract infections.
When looking at these three cards together, the theme that I see here is as the Ostara card says… “The land shall sign with the promise of Spring”. Yes, the equinox is here and yes, spring has begun, but it is the promise spring brings that we see in these cards. A promise that in the days and weeks to come we will find energies renewed, and life once more ready to emerge and grow strong. The abundance is not quite here, but it’s coming. The promise has been made… and it’s coming.
Earth – Five of Cups – Dissatisfied and pessimistic. This is something you’ve been battling a lot over the past month or so and you’re finally at a place where you are aware of what is going on and that it’s not just a fog but a depression. This awareness has the potential to allow you to see your moments of dissatisfaction with your current progress towards manifesting what you want as a side effect of that depression. An illusion instead of reality.
Air – Knight of Cups atop The World – Stuck in the moment and not focusing ahead on where you’re going but instead on old ideals. The Knight faces toward the past and toward the world of potential that the past holds. Turn around and look forward towards the future, instead of staying stuck focusing on past ideals.
Water – Three of Wands – You’re getting there. The depression screws with your emotions, but you’re on your way to clearer skies. It may not always feel like it, but keep moving forward and don’t look back (an echo from the Air section of this reading).
Fire – Seven of Swords – You need to let go of what is too heavy to carry. Moving forward is easier without all that weight. Ease up on the expectations you put on yourself and let go of the responsibilities that don’t matter right now. You can pick stuff up later on after you’re feeling better if it’s still important at that time. Right now, it’s just too heavy and is weighing you down. Take only what you can carry and leave the rest.
Waning – The Mystic and Staff – Wandering into the woods with no direction and allowing yourself to meander is not going to serve you well right now. You need direction, purpose, and focus at the moment to assist you on your travels both spiritually and in life.
Waxing – The Reconciler and Moon – Accept what cannot be changed and focus on what you can alter through reasonably chosen achievable steps. Don’t allow your imagination and what is illusory to stand in your way, but instead use determination to seek clarity, purpose, and direction.
Take Away – Everything here is about opening up to potential. There is a great deal of opportunity upon the road ahead, but in order to see that opportunity clearly and take advantage of the healing it has to offer, it’s going to be necessary to confront inner demons and let go of the negative bad habits that are tying your hands and holding you down.