Image by Alexandr Popadin

FROM SPRING EQUINOX

TO BELTANE

THE EARTH SCHOOL JOURNAL

A journey through the medicine wheel

SPRING

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Spring is the time of the year when the cycle of life, death, and rebirth is complete, and we celebrate the rebirth of the soil and the land. It is a time of fertility and abundance, a season to welcome life after the cold, dark winter. As new life returns and plants start to bloom, the theme of resurrection is ever-present. It’s the season for that which has gone dormant to become revitalised, alive, and reborn.

It is a season of balance when the light is equal to the darkness. Spring Equinox arrives, bringing a warming renewal of all energies that have grown stagnant and cold. This energy shift is an incredible opportunity to set manifestations for the growth cycle ahead.

Lena Brandt · The Spring Equinox · Celebrations & Rituals

Spring Equinox is a sun-based event which falls around March 21st every year. The word Equinox comes from the Latin words for “equal night”- aequus (equal) and nox (night).

 

On the Equinox, the length of day and night is nearly equal in all parts of the world. It happens at the same moment worldwide, though our clock times reflect a different time zone. 

On March 20th we celebrate Spring Equinox here in the Northern Hemisphere. The festival of the sun, when day and night are of equal length. A sacred moment of balance between light and dark, where both exist simultaneously.

The Spring Equinox is an invitation to become aware of light and shadow.

 

It brings us into harmony and opens the point of stillness and trust. It brings clarity and vision into life and offers us an energetic opportunity to find balance within our deeper selves.

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Just as the sun and nature continue to grow in strength, light, and power, our vision and inner treasures that were allowed to ripen during the darker months are now invited to slowly make their way into life. To be born.

We bring renewed passion to our projects, and spend more time outside as we embrace the transition. 

We cultivate nourishing practices and rituals, connecting to wonder, joy, and delight. We’re slowly getting ready to step outside, into the light, with all our abilities and gifts, bringing our own medicine forth.

"Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature - the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter."
Rachel Carson, Biologist & Author

Simone Meentzen · Birch Beauty · Plant Diary

With its white-gray-black, paper-like bark, the birch tree is a symbol of spring in northern Europe. With newly awakened vitality, it gives us the first-ever so delicate green leaves. Her name means „shiny“, and if you take a closer look, you can see the silky sheen on the bark of young birch trees.


Astrologically, the birch is assigned to the Moon and Venus. When her delicate, shiny prancing leaves move in the wind and moonlight, you can recognize the signature of the element air.

 

The birch tree was revered all over Europe and parts of Asia by our ancestors as a symbol of fertility: its early buds are taken from the forest to decorate the house, girls and women sang and danced under the birch tree. 

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In past times it was the symbol of the young Goddess: in Ireland, the birch tree was a symbol of Goddess Brigid, in Norse mythology, birch was consecrated to Goddess Freya. In Siberian shamanism, the birch plays a major role as the „world tree“. 

 

Birchwood can be used for making magic wands. German folklore tells of witches flying on brooms made of birch twigs on Walpurgis Night!

 

Some of the Pre-Christian customs have survived to this day. Also known as the „rod of life“, birch twigs are still used in some rural areas in Europe for fertility rituals: livestock and home are ritually protected with them. Home and yard are swept clean with brooms made of birch twigs. 

At Beltane, the May Day tree is often a beautiful decorated young birch tree, under which folks celebrate spring and the awakening of nature!

 

As true survivors, birch trees have been indigenous to Europe since the Ice Age. The Silver birch (Betula pendula) is extensive throughout Europe, while the Swamp birch (Betula pubescens) can be found in North and Central Europe.

Image by Dallas Reedy

For thousands of years, it has not only been a supplier for wood and a healing ingredient in folk medicine, such as hydrosols from birch leaves which refreshes skin and hair, or as a detox tea but also as a cult tree, birch is closely linked to people’s lives.


Although birch trees love moisture, they are very adaptable and can be found in dry and sandy locations, too. 


Perhaps you will come across a birch on your next walk? Or perhaps you even see a tree maiden fairy?

20 march
spring equinox
solar calendar

 

20 march

sun in aries

astrological calendar

21 march

world forestry day

global event since 1971

 

22 march

world water day

global event since 1993

19 april

sun in taurus

astrological calendar

22 april

international mother earth day

global event since 1972

PERSPECTIVES

From around the world

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TIME KEEPING

Rhythm & Calendar

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