Spring Equinox ~ Alban Eilir Solo Ritual
by Maria Ede-Weaving
Ritual Statement: I draw circle in my sacred space to celebrate the festival of the Spring Equinox. Life is quickening everywhere: catkins and pussy willow herald the greening of the trees; the nodding trumpets of daffodils – golden and sweet smelling – are the fanfare of the dawning year; their brightness kick-starts my sleepy senses, filling me with anticipation. The boundless energy and desire of the Goddess’ hare ignites my spirit and fuels my bodies with a new found enthusiasm.
All nature is stretching awake and I, like a brave green shoots, surface from my winter stillness, driven on by the growing light and warmth of the radiant Goddess of spring. There is a greening of the world; a greening of my soul. All life must rise up from the dark soil – must break out of the safety of womb and egg – to follow the irresistible call of growth.
Calling the Goddess: I call upon the Goddess as spring Maiden of vibrant new life in abundance; you are the golden dawn that brings with it a new day of possibilities and you are the hope of each new morning. You are the breezes of spring that freshen my mind and the boundless life and desire that fuels me. You are the egg of creation that birthed the world and you are the rising warmth and light of the sun, brought down to earth in the yellow of primrose, forsythia and broom; of daffodil and crocus. Maiden of the rising sun, as your day dawns upon me, all things are possible. Your body blossoms at the touch of light and warmth; your sap rises in my blood and my veins are golden with your light. Please bless me with your presence. You are loved, honoured and welcome here.
Calling the God: I call upon the God as the Green Man, vibrant spirit of the living earth, whose irrepressible life bursts forth in the opening of buds and the growth of shoots; whose dance of life animates my being. As the Maiden of spring stretches and feels the stirring of her desire, the Green Man is reborn and all life rejoices and is reborn with him. Great God may your green fire spark to life within me, filling me with your joy and vitality. Please bless me with your presence. You are loved, honoured and welcome here.
Find the Balance:
You will need one black candle and one white candle.
The Spring Maiden holds in her hands the balance of light and dark. In one hand is the bulb buried in the dark soil, rooted and secure; in the other is the blossoming daffodil moving towards the light.
In one hand is the egg, perfectly oval, its life contained safely within; in the other is the chick ever-growing and learning in the light of a new life. The Spring Maiden brings me to this point of transition, the moment of birth, the perfect balance between dark and light – the dawn between night and day.
It is a moment to take a breath before the final push that births me. I light these candles – one black; one white – and feel the balance of this moment within me, and in doing so, I draw strength to find my equilibrium, even when my rebirth frightens and overwhelms me.
Light the candles and meditate on this moment of suspension within and without; feel your life held in perfect balance.
The Breaking of Our Shells:
You will need a piece of paper and a small box or container. Write upon the paper one way in which you wish to stretch yourself and grow and then place it in the box. The box symbolises the egg, and your intention is contained within waiting to hatch. Meditate for a while on your intention; feel how this intention desires to manifest in your life.
Go to the East of your circle and say,
I break through the shell of my limitations of thought. May my thoughts nourish my being and guide my path. Visualise the fresh, clean breezes of spring blowing through you.
Go to the South and say,
I break through the shell of my limitations of courage. May my inner strength support me and move me along my path. Visualise a bright and vibrant sun burning in your solar plexus.
Go to the West and say,
I break through the shell of my emotional limitations. May my feelings be flexible and flowing, bringing harmony to my path. Visualise gentle spring showers washing you clean, a babbling brook flowing freely and joyously.
Go the North and say,
I break through the shell of my physical limitations. May I be strong and healthy; manifesting with care and responsibility the life I was born to live. Visualise a woodland in spring full of wild daffodils, primroses and celandines; feel the sap energising your body.
Return to the centre, close your eyes and feel yourself enclosed within the safety of your egg. Perform the following meditation:
You sit within your shell. You feel the shell’s security, its boundary all around you. You know that it has nourished and supported you in the past, but now something feels wrong. You have grown and the space in your shell becomes less and less. It is tight and you feel a growing discomfort, an increasing need to stretch your limbs. When you try to stretch you feel the resistance of the shell but something more powerful is moving within you. It is the energy of the Spring Maiden and the Green Man, who with courage must explore new territories, new perspectives; who are eternally reborn to new and exciting possibilities.
It feels frightening to push against your shell; you do not know what lies outside it, but the longer you stay, the more painful it will become. And so you call upon the Spring Maiden and the Green Man’s courage and strength, and as you do, you feel the shell begin to give way. You push and push and push your way out. The shell cracks and through it you see the pink and golden light of the dawn breaking through. Although you are still a little afraid of what is to come, you focus on the golden light, knowing that the Goddess and God will guide and protect you, taking you to the most wonderful, unvisited parts of yourself.
You see the Spring Maiden before you. She wears a bright gown of yellow and green. She glows with the colours of the dawn. In one arm she holds daffodils, broom, forsythia and pussy willow. In her hair are laced primroses and crocuses. In her other hand she holds an egg and at her feet hares chase each other joyfully. Bright green shoots and yellow celandine appear as she walks. She is radiant with a golden light that is filled with love, energy and vibrant sexuality. She touches you through the crack in your shell. You feel greenery shooting up through the pours of your skin, your whole body budding and blossoming: you feel alive!
Already, you start to feel how exhilarating it is to stretch out, to move beyond the confined space of your egg. You give thanks to your egg for keeping you safe and nourished but now it is time to let go of it. Step out of the egg into the Spring Maiden’s dawn light. Give thanks to her and ask her to bless your journey.
As your body buds and blossoms, you feel the energy of the Green Man within you; you feel his strength and courage growing inside. You then realise he is stood before you. He is the Horned God of Spring. You notice his antlers have been shed and that new ones are just starting to sprout; that his body – young, beautiful and powerful – is covered in lush, vibrant greenery. You feel excitement and a sense of belonging in his presence. He tells you that he guides and protects your path and that when you need extra courage and energy, to call upon him and he will help you. You bask in his energy for a while and then give thanks to the Green Man and ask him to bless your journey.
Open your eyes. Open the box/container and remove your piece of paper with your intention written upon it. Hold it to your heart and say,
I am the Spring Maiden
I am the Green Man
I am vibrant new life
I am the golden dawn
I am hope eternal
I am infinite possibilities
I am the cracking of the egg’s shell
I am opening and becoming
I am the bud bursting
I am the dancing hair
I am life renewed
I am the sap rising
I am joyous energy in abundance
I am life giving birth to the new
Now burn the piece of paper in the white candle saying,
This is the beginning of a new way to be. With the blessings of the Spring Maiden and the Green Man. Blessed Be!
Spring Maiden, I thank you for your presence and your spring blessings. Please give me the courage to expand beyond my boundaries, to crack the shell of my limitations that I might take my place in
your unfolding story. Help me to understand that the struggle of the tender shoot through the soil is rewarded by its blossoming and fruit. Let me relish in the gifts of my body, celebrating the joy and pleasure of being alive. Dwell in my heart always. Blessed Be.
Lord of the Wildwood, Vibrant Spirit of the Green, I thank you for your presence and spring blessings. Great Spark of Life, ignite within me your vitality and joy; bless me as I expand and grow stronger, as I journey outwards towards summer, towards new experiences and new lessons to learn. Dwell in my heart always. Blessed Be.