This morning was my first in the garden. It was blustery, cold and windy as befits March. The sunlight was brittle, not the warming gold of spring.
We are close on the Spring Equinox, which some Pagans call Ostara. Ostara or Eostre is an Anglo-Saxon Goddess to whom offerings of cakes and colored eggs are welcome. The white rabbit is Her sacred animal, indeed She often takes that form. The similarity between the words Easter and Eostre, not to mention the association of colored eggs and rabbits, is obvious.
In my world view, and that of many Pagans, the Spring Equinox is the time on the Great Wheel of the Seasons when new fire glows – life awakening, exploding and expanding. Light and dark are equal now, but light is gaining purchase.
Rose quarts are often worn to invoke and attract that new fire. Lily of the valley, lavender, tansy, lemon balm, lilac, honeysuckle, violets, crocus and daffodil are some of the flowers and herbs, fresh or in essence of oil or incense, used to invoke the Fae, the Little Ones, to the garden for the coming season. Ritual altars are ablaze with green or sunny yellow candles, draped with brightly colored cloth, strewn with fresh flowers, laden with sweet cakes and every lovely thing to be pleasing in the sight of the Great Celtic Goddess Brigit - in my case.
Seed blessings are often offered at this time. One might be: “Goddess bless these tiny gifts of your life so that they might grow and as the Wheel Turns give gifts of their own.”
Garden rituals are also popular among Pagans. This is mine. I use Jasmine or Heather in oil or incense, whichever is at hand, to bless the ground on which I stand. At the quadrants I call the elements, in the North - Earth, in the East - Air, in the South - Fire and in the West - Water. I thank them for the Soil, the Wind, the Sun and the Rain they will contribute. I then invoke Brigit and ask for an Equinox blessing for the gardens I tend in Her name.
She has already blessed one of my gardens with the tiny iris featured here and bloomed just this day in the north quadrant of the Fairy Garden. They are two inches high and no more than two and half inches across their flower head. They are dressed to honor the Great Crone of Winter in deep blue and royal purple, as She takes Her leave until Samhain and the last harvest. Thus does one season bid farewell to another.