The spring equinox in March is one of the two days of the year when day and night are equal and balanced, (the other being the autumn equinox in September.) It is an astronomical and astrological event that has been celebrated by cultures all over the world for millennia.
In fact, many monuments around the world are built to align with the sun on the spring equinox, (as well as with the summer solstice and winter solstice), including Angkor Wat in Cambodia and Stonehenge in England. You don’t need a temple to take part in this spring festival. Spring Equinox celebrations are easy to incorporate into your magickal routine to ground yourself and refresh yourself before summer.
How to celebrate spring equinox:
An Introduction to the Spring Equinox, the Astrological New Year + Ideas To Celebrate
From this point forward, until the summer solstice in June, the days will begin to be longer than the nights, so at the spring equinox, we celebrate the return of the sun, of warmth, and of light. That warmth and light means that the grasses and flowers will begin growing in earnest, baby animals will be born, and new life has come to the earth.
There is also an astrological significance to the spring equinox, as the event actually occurs when the sun reaches 0° of Aries, the first sign in the zodiac, which makes this also the astrological new year.
What is the Spring Equinox? A Brief History.
The spring equinox, also called the vernal equinox, is considered the first day of spring and represents the tipping point in the year when day finally overtakes night. The spring equinox is celebrated by many witches as part of the Wheel of the Year.
The Wheel is a series of eight holidays or sabbats, based on or inspired by ancient festivals found primarily in Celtic lands and Germanic Europe, that celebrate the turning of the seasons throughout the year. The concept of the Wheel of the Year was devised by modern 20th-century pagans and is not an ancient idea itself, but the eight festivals do serve as powerful markers throughout the year for our own self-care, growth, and personal development.
The spring equinox marks the first of the two springtime festivals and is often referred to as Ostara. This is also a modern construction, inspired by the Gaulish goddess of springtime, Ostara or Eostre. The equinox is often celebrated with decorated eggs, a fresh springtime feast, and light and refreshing beverages and desserts like lemonade and custards.
Spring Equinox 2022
Because the spring equinox is determined by astronomical events and the movement of the sun, it shifts a few days each year but generally occurs around March 20-23.
In 2022, the spring equinox is occurring in the northern hemisphere on March 20. (Please note that the spring equinox in the southern hemisphere occurs in late September, when the sun reaches 0° of Libra.)
The Symbolism of the Spring Equinox
The symbols of the spring equinox are truly the symbols of spring. It’s all about bunnies, baby chicks, decorated eggs, and fresh spring flowers. Of course, these symbols might seem awfully familiar to you as secular Easter. In fact, celebrations of the spring equinox are the witchy roots of many modern-day traditions such as Easter eggs and the Easter Bunny.
If you’ve wondered what the Easter bunny has to do with the crucifixion, it’s because the Church co-opted the spring equinox symbolism of the earth’s rebirth, turned it into the symbolism of the rebirth of Christ, and used the swap to convert pagans across Europe. Imbolc, another witchy festival you will love, has also been reshaped over the years.
Even before its Christianized associations, however, the spring equinox really was associated with rebirth. Our ancestors knew that time is not linear and that everything is cyclical. As winter ends and as the sun moves through the final degrees of the final sign in the zodiac, (Pisces, where the sun transits in February and early March), we end one year, but we also begin another. The earth is reborn, the light of the sun returns, and life is renewed.
Spring Equinox Celebration Ideas & Correspondences
- Spring Equinox Colors: Bright Green, Pink, Light Blue, Yellow
- Spring Equinox Crystals: Clear Quartz, Aventurine, Rose Quartz
- Spring Equinox Plants: Daffodils, Narcissus, Grasses
- Spring Equinox Foods: Eggs (decorated, chocolate, or egg dishes), Spring Greens, Mustard
- Spring Equinox Decorations: Decorated eggs, Ostra candles, bunny shape decor or small gifts, daffodils
Spring Equinox celebrations around the world vary, but these are two ways I like to relish in self care and setting intentions during this pagan spring celebration.
Self-Care Rituals for the Equinox
So what about self-care at the spring equinox? This celebration of rebirth is a wonderful time to celebrate a rebirth of your own or to set your new year intentions and goals at a time that is far more energetically aligned than January.
I recommend two rituals to align with the energy of the equinox, which you can do together or on different days when you feel called to them. Although the equinox occurs on a specific day each year, it’s really a season of new life and awakening, so you can do your rituals whenever you feel most inspired to. The new moon in Aries also always occurs on or within two weeks of the spring equinox and is another good time for setting intentions and celebrating rebirth.
A Shower Equinox Ritual for Rebirth
Spring Equinox rituals are often foucsed on the symbolism of new life and fresh starts. One of the beautiful things about celebrating the cycles of the seasons, nature and the moon phases is that there is always a new opportunity for a fresh start. With each new season and each new moon, we have a chance to start over and to start again and the spring equinox is an especially potent opportunity.
You Will Need:
- A clean shower (bonus points if you have plants in your shower)
- Fresh rosemary, lavender, or eucalyptus bundle (we love Araceli Farms for locally grown lavender!)
- White or green candles.
- Your favorite water-safe crystals, such as clear quartz or rose quartz
In this experience, you’ll be taking a ritual shower to cleanse yourself and start anew. You might want to start by actually physically cleaning the shower so that you’re truly starting fresh, but this is totally optional. I like to take everything out of the shower and do a good spring cleaning to the walls and corners, and reorganize any tools or products. Make your shower a sacred space.
When you’re ready, hang the bundle of fresh herbs over the shower head so that the water runs directly through it or just so the steam activates it. You might want to turn on some gentle music, light candles, or place your favorite crystals around the shower or bathroom. Mindfully undress, listening to the water run as it heats up, and bringing your attention to your physical self.
Step into the shower and notice as the water runs over each part of your body. Feel it on your skin as you wash, just giving your attention to this moment. Find the pleasure and relaxation in just being here with yourself for a little while. Breathe in the fresh, clean scent of the herbs and feel the air in your lungs.
When you feel refreshed, turn the water to cool and rinse yourself from head to toe, imagining that the water is washing away the past year, any challenges you’ve struggled with, and any negative energy that might be clinging to you. The water rinses it all away, carrying it down the drain.
Shut the water off and step out, renewed.
An Equinox Ritual for Planting Seeds and Intentions
For this ritual, we’re focusing on the astrological new year component of the spring equinox. The sun spends about a month in each sign of the zodiac each year – you’ll probably recognize this as your sun sign in horoscopes.
The first sign in the zodiac is Aries, where the sun spends approximately March 20 – April 19 each year, and the last sign is Pisces, where the sun spends approximately February 19 – March 19 each year. When the sun crosses out of Pisces and back into Aries (or, directly overhead the equator of the earth which won’t happen again until the autumnal equinox) we start a new cycle – and we celebrate the spring equinox!
This is actually the ideal time to set new intentions and to make new year’s resolutions, if you prefer to, rather than in January. Although there is some cosmic support for resolutions in January, the calendar new year is actually a pretty arbitrary date so Aries season and the March equinox is a much more cosmically aligned time for those activities!
You Will Need:
If it’s a nice day, sit outside in the sunshine, or inside by a window if it’s still wintery where you are in the world. Slice a lemon and place a few slices in a glass of water. Grab your journal and start reflecting on the past year. What’s come up for you? What lessons have you learned? What accomplishments have you made? What abundance have you received and what challenges have you faced? Sip your lemon water as you journal.
When you feel complete in your reflection, start to think about the year ahead of you. There is a brand new year laid at your feet – what do you want to do with it? This isn’t just about setting goals or trying to achieve some socially acceptable benchmark. It’s more about asking yourself what you want to do, have, and experience this year. It’s about asking yourself who you want to be. And then, practically, thinking about what will need to happen or shift in your life in order for those desires to become reality.
Try to select 2-3 intentions that you want to really focus on calling in for this year. When you’re ready, write each intention down on a small strip of paper and place them in the bottom of the pot. Scoop dirt over the papers and gently press the seeds or small plant into the soil.
This is a classic spring equinox ritual to help us plant seeds of our intentions and nurture them into the new spring season. Sprinkle water over the seeds or new plant, thinking of how you will also water the seeds of your intentions. Place your hands on either side of the pot and close your eyes, visualizing a soft, green light swirling between your palms and blessing the seeds and your intentions with growth and positivity.
You might even imagine the light growing bigger and bigger to surround and bless your whole body or your whole house as well. Keep your plant in your home and tend to it intentions with equal care throughout the springtime for new beginnings and reconnection with the natural world.
Celebrate spring equinox traditions all on the same weekend or at your own pace throughout a few weeks.