Celebrating the First Signs of Spring
Spring is a magical time of year. As the days begin to stretch, buttery yellow daffodils burst into flower and fruit trees start to blossom. The weather is unpredictable, turning in a flash from brilliant sunshine to torrential downpours. The March Full Moon is nicknamed the Worm Moon, in honour of the grubs that start to reappear as the soil thaws, while the April Full Moon is known as the Pink Moon, after a species of early blooming wildflower.
Gardeners take their cue from the natural world, harvesting the last of winter produce and beginning to sow early herbs and vegetables (did you know that the cue to plant half-hardy vegetables, such as beets, carrots, and chard, is when the daffodils blossom?). As the month moves on, the greengrocer becomes a riot of colour, signalling that spring has arrived.
While meteorological spring begins on 1st March, the start of astronomical spring in the Northern Hemisphere is typically marked on 20th March – otherwise known as the March equinox. Other names include the spring, northward or vernal equinox; Ostara; Alban Eiler; Rites of Spring; Eostra’s Day; and Lady Day. After this date, the Northern Hemisphere begins to be tilted more towards the sun, resulting in longer, warmer days, while the Southern Hemisphere begins to be tilted away from the sun and moves into autumn.
Certain ancient sites around the world have deep connections to this time of year, from Machu Picchu in Peru to Chichen Itza in Mexico. In South Wiltshire, down the road from the True Grace headquarters, crowds still gather at Stonehenge to watch the sunrise behind the stones.
There is plenty of folklore surrounding the dawn of spring, much of it focused on rebirth, growth and fertility; balance; beginnings; hope; and new possibilities. This turn in the seasons has been celebrated by cultures throughout history, each of them welcoming the promise of greener, warmer and more bountiful months ahead.
“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.”
Some Pagan rituals for the March equinox include the symbolic planting of seeds, decorating altars with fresh flowers and greenery, and choosing a man and woman to act out the roles of Spring God and Goddess for the day. Many of the traditions associated with Easter actually have Pagan roots, such as egg painting, egg races and egg hunts.
To celebrate the arrival of spring wherever you are, try brewing a refreshing spring tonic using the vitamin-rich early greens of the season, like dandelions, to stimulate and nourish you after a long winter. Follow your nose into damp woodlands to forage for wild garlic, which can be stirred into soups or blended into pesto.
This is also a good time to be planting seeds for the coming months – both literally, in the garden, and metaphorically, by setting intentions and goals. And why not embrace the changing energies with a ‘spring clean’?
Taking our cue from the changing seasons, at True Grace we have created fragrances that celebrate the iconic scents of the spring months, from an English garden bursting into bloom to a sudden rain shower on a warm day.