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=Eostre=

- the Vernal Equinox


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21/22 March = Northern hemisphere
21/22 September = Southern hemisphere
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Eostre marks the vernal (meaning youthful) equinox- a time of balance between daylight and darkness, the point before day is longer than night. It falls in the Christian season of Lent in the Northern hemisphere, which itself comes from an Anglo-saxon word, referring to the 'lengthening' of the days.
It is also a celebration of growth and derives its name from a German goddess whose totem was the hare. The saying 'Mad as a March hare' comes from observations of their mating behaviour at this time of year, as they appear to 'box' and leap about in the fields. In fact, hares are no more crazy in their behaviour in March than at any other time; it is just that the grass is still short enough for their antics to be visible!
The hare is seen as prolifically fertile and many Moon goddesses linked with women's reproductive cycles share it as a totem of earthy sexuality and fecundity. Today's Easter Bunny is a bowdlerized descendant of this early pagan fertility symbol, but is nonetheless regarded with fondness by witches who recognise it as a modern remnant of an ancient tradition.

=Symbol 0f Fertility And Renewal=

Eggs have been linked with this time of year for thousands of years. This enduring, pre-Christian symbol of fertility, renewal and the life-force inspires pagans today to celebrate by decorating eggs for the Eostre celebrations. Sometimes these hollow, painted eggs are hung on a branch placed in the centre of our sacred spaces. This is a branch thrown by winter or early spring winds and should never be cut from a living tree. As the eggs represent 'life-in-potential', we magically imbue them with wishes we
hope will manifest during the coming summer.
Eostre is a good time to be out in nature and witness for ourselves the effects of the sap rising in trees, the buds and the busy behaviour of nesting birds. It is the time to visit the daffodils- the flower of this festival -in their natural setting, and discover why they are called harbingers of spring. It is also an ideal time to seek balance in our own lives; in our celebrations, we sometimes walk between a black candle and a white one, and pause before we pass through this gateway into summer,
to ask the God or Goddess what we can do to restore the balance in our lives that will enable us to grow.




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