“To what purpose, April, do you return again?
Beauty is not enough.
You can no longer quiet me with the redness
Of little leaves opening stickily.
I know what I know.
The sun is hot on my neck as I observeThe spikes of the crocus.
The smell of the earth is good.
It is apparent that there is no death.
But what does that signify?
Not only under ground are the brains of men
Eaten by maggots.
Life in itself
An empty cup, a flight of uncarpeted stairs.
It is not enough that yearly, down this hill,
Comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.”
― Edna St. Vincent Millay
It is always so heartening to get into spring.
There is a sense of hope, joy and all is well in the world. The dashes of colour from the flowers is such a gladdening sight even if you have to wrap your scarf a little more snugly around the neck as the March winds can be sneaky, although I do think that they blow the cobwebs of winter away.
My garden is despairing of me.
Every time I glance out of the window I can feel her thoughts drifting in my direction and it is time to get out there and sharpen her up a bit. She must be tired of being scruffy and overgrown; besides she thrives on love and affection. As the buds pop out she is showing me that she is ready. So, it is that time of year, a new phase begins and working in the garden is symbolic of being a master of one’s own destiny. Fate and circumstances are courtesans of the winter; it is not for us to be victims of life itself but to sail our ship on a steady course with a vision in mind.
Spring or vernal equinox falls on Wednesday 20th March.
I think the equinoxes are important beacons in the year as they prepare us for what is to come; we step into the right mindset, our body aligns with the season and our spirit welcomes the season.
An equinox is the time when Earth’s equator passes through the centre of the sun, this makes the day and night of equal length. The equinox is seen as the struggle between light and darkness and we are reminded that the light keeps returning and will always do so. Spring equinox represents new light and life, new beginnings, planting of seeds and walking a new path.
The winter is about the feminine mysteries, internalising, conception, birthing and growth. Spring is about the masculine mysteries, externalising, fire and passion, pushing life forward.
The spring equinox reminds us that there is a need for balance.
Tarot is so good at showing us where we are tipping the scales and how to retrieve equilibrium and your cards will no doubt have a message for you. It is a time for renewal, exploring ways to move forward positively. The cycle of life and death is prominent now and we are asked to honour it by acknowledging the process even in the minutiae of our lives. Be pro-life, only go with that which offers sustenance and compassion, only adhere to that which will serve you and have your best interests at heart.
It is celebration time of the cosmic journey of the soul.
It is not unusual to make bonfires, dance a sacred dance, re-enact cosmic events or create rituals and performances. Refresh the shrine and dress the altar, drink from the spring and walk the henge in honour of the spring time that the ancients would have witnessed.
My Grandfather used to say of spring, 'Don’t cast a clout until May is out.’ A clout is a name for a vest; spring can indeed be chilly, in fact I have seen it snow in May. For me this saying is all about certainty and this gives us the strength to consider what we might cast to one side as we progress into the cycle of life.
What kind of a spring can we expect for this year? I drew the 6 of Pentacles.
This shows that growth will occur in all aspects of life but the influences around the material world and the flow of money is well aspected. This six also shows that we should be mindful of those that have supported us through the winter months and it is about giving and receiving; one hand doesn’t clap alone. Perhaps it is time to give back to continue the cycle of receiving. A tradition I heard of some years ago was the 'give away' ritual; as far as I am aware, certain Native American communities practiced it. This is where you give away something that is most precious to you; you give it gladly knowing that we can’t keep everything to ourselves forever and all is replaceable. The idea is that by giving something meaningful away, you receive something else that is just as important and needful for you now.
The second card I drew is the 9 of Wands.
This encourages us to be strongest when we feel at our weakest. Although the going may be tough and we are asked to let go of a lot of things we have been haplessly carrying, there are challenges ahead which may be testing and difficult but they are the key to gaining insight and wisdom. We can face what is to come and we are asked to re-connect to our passion, whatever that may be, as it is the vehicle that will keep us moving.
The third card is the Knight of Pentacles.
He asks that we be accepted and acknowledged in all that we do especially within our working life. This Knight tells us that methodical and steady movement forward is real progress, nothing will change or happen overnight. The groundwork has been done so let the world see us in all our finery; let's dress in our brightest colours, just as the spring does.
A mini spread for you to try:
What do I let fade away with the winter?
What is my attitude to giving and receiving?
How will my passion take me forward?
What challenges lie ahead?
Is there something new coming along?
What do I need to grow?