Spring Equinox / Ostara+ The Rebirth of Nature's Fertility +
SPRING EQUINOX READING
“All cleaned and purified for the first day of spring. wash your body, scrub your clothes, and sweep the dust from your corners. wash the woodsmoke from the curtains, and scour the kitchen sink. clean out the cobwebs in your mind, the rusty motion in your charity, the worn out gestures and attitudes that stand between you and your friends, the worn out concepts that stand between you and the trees and stones.”
From The Feminine of History Save is Mystery, facing page 1
Day and night are equal. Days start to be longer than nights, days lengthen rapidly.
We celebrate balance and the entry into the light. This is the day when Persephone comes up from her winter in the underworld. Her mother Demeter, the earth goddess, rejoices at her return and all the plants start to grow again. “Kore” means maiden, and refers to Persephone before she enters the underworld – in the oldest version of the myth, she chooses to go down. Like Inanna, she “inclines her ear to the great below.” Later patriarchal versions have the god of the Underworld, Hades, drag her down into his Kingdom. When she returns in the spring, she is no longer a simple maiden, but Queen of the Underworld.
The Pagan name, Ostara, comes from the name of a Teutonic Goddess of fertility, Oestre, which also gives our names for Easter, and Estrogen. The date of the Christian Holiday Easter is based on Passover, from the Jewish lunar calendar. Easter, which celebrates resurrection, comes after the full moon after the spring equinox. It is also a celebration of the rebirth of Nature’s fertility, which is what all those eggs and bunnies are about.
SPRING VERSE FROM THE FOUR SEASONS
Breezes blow through the woods in springtime
Roots drink deep in the wakened earth
The young leaves shine in the quickening sunlight
Dance the song of the new year’s birth.
The dance goes on and it’s never ending
The circle turns and the singer sings
The year turns on but the woods in springtime
Does not care what the winter brings.
DANCES WE DO AT THIS TIME
HERE COMES THE SUN – “Little Darlin’, it’s been a long, cold lonely winter…” We do the dance choreographed to Van Morrison’s “Daring Night”.
FOUR SEASONS – traditional dance from the Faeroes
KORE – a dance choreographed from pictures on a Greek vase, to music by Mikis Theodorakis. This dance was originally choreographed as a women’s initiation dance, symbolizing the story of Demeter and Persephone.
DANZA SOLAR – a dance to music by Lila Downs, to celebrate the sun
BACH SUN MEDITATION – a meditative dance choreographed by Bernard Wosien
SUNRISE – a Stefan Freedman dance to celebrate the sun. Sunrise is associated with the East and Spring.
VESENI CHOROVOD – a traditional Russian braiding dance. The leader winds the line of dancers into a tunnel and emerges through them.
LE PRINTEMPS – a lively dance choreographed to a French song about spring