Spring Equinox is the second time of the year when day and night are of equal length. It is also one of the four Solar High Days. It ushers in the first day of spring. The Equinox occurs between March 20th to the 21st each year. As with Autumn Equinox, there is an astrological component as well as a religious. As with most of the ancient pagan High Days, Spring Equinox was practiced by most of the Indo-European cultures,
albeit by different names.
The astrological component is related to the rotational position of the Earth’s axis. During the Spring Equinox the axis begins to move so that the Northern Hemisphere is titled towards the sun. This causes the effect of day and night being of equal length. With the change in the axis the weather begins to warm again, triggering life’s growing cycle.
There are several religious myths that are associated with the Spring Equinox. The first being that this time of year is when the Great Mother goddess gives over control of the year to the Great Father god. It is also the time when they become lovers conceiving the child that is to become the Great Father at Yule. These are widely popular beliefs among Wiccans.
In Greek culture this is the time of year when Persephone returns from her throne in the Under World, that she shares with her husband Hades. With Persephone’s return to the world her mother Demeter allows growth to enter the world once again. Demeter brings on winter so that the world will feel her loss when Persephone must return to the Under World for a third of the year. With her return, Persephone brings the promise of life after death, that life is eternal, that life continues. This is also the beginning of the Eleusinian Mysteries. Spring Equinox is the start of the Lesser Mysteries. This was traditionally the time when anyone seeking initiation into the Eleusinian would start their journey leading them to the Greater Eleusinian Mysteries.
Spring is a time of renewed life and new beginnings. With the return of Spring comes the promised of rebirth, the immortal soul. It’s a theme that runs throughout many cultures, past and present, giving a sense of hope to the people of the world.