Seasonal changes are not merely observed in the outer world. As we live in relationship with the natural world we, too, experience these seasonal shifts. Both external and internal energies shift as the seasons change, waxing and waning with the movement of the sun.
In both the Druid and Lakota traditions, and also seen in Oriental medical theory, as well as in other traditions the world over, Spring heralds new beginnings and is considered a time of renewal and rebirth, new life, regeneration and a renewal of spirit. The earth, in hibernation during the cold winter months, slowly begins to awaken as the weather warms and the days begin to lengthen.
As the energy begins to rise, plants start their journey from deep within the earth. There may be a sense of struggle as the shoots, driven in their innate wisdom to grow, push their way through the earth towards the sunlight. But success is assured and as the earth warms, the shoots will burst through to meet the growing light and heat of the spring sun. It is a time when the sap starts to rise in the trees, when animals also awaken from their hibernation and new life is born.
In the Druid tradition, this time is known as Alban Eiler, “Light of the Earth.” This festival honors and celebrates the earth’s rebirth and return to life and the rising fertility of the land. Astronomically, it is the time of the Spring or Vernal Equinox (approx. March 21), when day and night are equal lengths—a time of balance between the dark and the light. In both the Druid Wheel of the Year and the Lakota Medicine Wheel, the Spring Equinox is located in the east. The east has always been associated with wisdom and enlightenment, because it is from the east that the sun rises, so Spring Equinox also represents the time of reception of wisdom.
As humans, because we are inextricably part of the web of existence and are connected to the natural world, Spring Equinox, as a point of balance between day and night, is a perfect time for us to reflect on the quality of balance in our own lives. It is a time for festivity and celebration for it marks the beginning of a new phase, and it is during this time we can open ourselves to the reception of balance, of new life and new beginnings, to wisdom and the powers that can bring clarity to us.
The energies of Spring can provide an opportunity for us to “tune in” and reflect within ourselves those qualities associated with this season. Here are questions you can consider during this time:
- With the Equinox being a time of balance, is there anything specific keeping me from being balanced in my life and what can I do to recreate balance?
- As this is a time of new birth, what seeds have been germinating within me that are now ready to burst forth and how can I best help these seeds to grow?
In 2012, I had an opportunity to take part in a workshop for individuals who had experienced a great deal of personal trauma. Much of the work centered around ways in which to release the old patterns and open to new ways of being in the world—to reclaim themselves. It was from that experience that I wrote and shared the following with them. Just as spring signals a time of renewal on the earth we, too, can use the natural energy this season offers and be supported by it as we make a choice to blossom.
Created with each trauma,
Each stolen unembraced moment,
Plant themselves within
the fertile ground of my wholeness.
Hostile darkness robs the sunlight of my becoming
And I float,
Seen & Unseen
Known & Unknown
Spoken & Silent.
Dismemberment feels timeless.
But Divine Spark of Self,
Refusing to be buried
Re-ignites from limbo spaces.
Fueled by the innate right of power,
The chrysalis-like outer husk is torn away
As influential seeds of new possibility struggle
In their growth from cold void to bright warmth
Emerging into Light
Free from confinement,
A new growth cycle begins;
Soul’s spring has arrived.
I own its sweetness.