Spring Equinox ~ Alban Eilir Solo Ritual No.2
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 the Great She-Bear, Mother Honey Paw; I call upon you as our Primal Mother, fiercely protective of your children. Great Goddess, you have birthed me in the dark stillness of your winter cave. As you slept, you nourished me from your own body, giving life and a growing strength to my potential. With the darkness and cold surrounding me, it was the comfort and familiar warmth of your deep fur that I clung to; your vast body encircling me gently, your rich milk nourishing my spirit.
Now the fires of spring awaken you. As your body uncurls, the earth blossoms; as you yawn awake, the sap rises in my blood. The great star-sun glows brightly in your heart, bringing life back to the world after its long sleep. As you stretch awake, all nature stretches and I too feel the joy of expanding beyond the boundaries of my winter self. Great Goddess, lead me out of the cave of winter into the light of spring; reborn from your womb of earth I am embraced by the light of your new dawn, a new beginning. 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 Goddess 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.
You will need one black candle and one white. You will also need a symbol that represents your transformation from your winter to your spring self.
I stand at the Equinox, upon the threshold of the Great Bear Mother’s cave, one foot in the darkness, one foot in the light. The darkness has been my home for many months. I have been enfolded in the dreams of the Goddess as they took shape in the stillness. This is the safe world I have known. However, the Great Bear Mother beckons, encouraging me out of the safety of her cave. She is the loving midwife of all my dreams; she sees all my potential; she loves me fiercely and wants me to become all that I can truly be.
I light one black candle and one white to honour this moment of balance, within nature and within myself. It is a moment to take a breath before I finally make the courageous step to leave the winter behind. I draw strength from the powerful Bear Mother to find equilibrium, even when I feel fearful and overwhelmed by what the future might bring. She will guide my path for she is the both the darkness and the light.
Light the candles. Close your eyes and visualise yourself with the Great Bear Mother stood protectively behind you, both of you on the threshold of her cave. The darkness of hibernation is on your left; the bright light of dawn and the world outside is on your right. Ponder on this moment of suspension, feeling your life held in perfect balance; feeling the Bear Mother’s guidance and protection.
In the still darkness of The Bear Mother’s cave I have learned to let go of the old, all those damaging habits and ways of thinking that no longer serve me. Back then, I surrendered to the winter and put my trust in the Goddess to dream me a new way to be, to envision me anew. I give thanks in my own words for the transformation she has brought me; for my rebirth; for the wonderful chance to begin again. It is time to let the winter go.
Give thanks in your own words and place your symbol of transformation on the altar.
Gathering the Gifts of the Bear Mother:
You will need four pieces of card and one envelop big enough to place all the cards within. On the first card draw a symbol or attach an image that represents to you the qualities of courage, strength, protection, renewed energy and enthusiasm. On the second draw or attach an image that represents the qualities of unconditional love, nurturance and nourishment. On the third do the same with the qualities of grounding, endurance and inner guidance, and the fourth with the sweetness of life, new beginnings and rebirth.
Place the envelop in the centre of the circle. Place the first card in the south of your circle; the second in the west; the third in the north and the fourth in the east. Perform the following:
Go to the south of your circle and say,
Great Bear Mother, fill me with courage and fiercely protects my path; animate me with a renewed energy, enthusiasm and trust.
Pick up the card and place it at the centre of the circle. As you do so feels the Goddess’ gifts of courage, protection, renewed energy and enthusiasm fill your being.
Go to the west and say,
Great Bear Mother, enfold me in your secure embrace; nurture and nourish me with your profound love.
Pick up the second card and place it in the centre of the circle. Feel the Goddess’ gifts of unconditional love, nurturance and nourishment fill your being.
Go to the North and say,
Great Bear Mother, fill me with your immense strength and endurance; with your gift of inner vision born in the winter stillness – guide me wisely.
Pick up the third card, place it in the centre of the circle and feel the Goddess’ gifts of strength, endurance and inner guidance fill you.
Go to the east and say,
Great Bear Mother, bring me the sweetness of life; through you I am born to new beginnings; a new journey.
Pick up the card, place it in the centre of the circle and feel the Goddess’ gifts of sweetness and abundance; the chance for a new beginning and the joy of rebirth filling you.
Pick up each card and place them one by one in the envelop. As you do say the following,
I am courageous. I am fiercely protected. I am filled with energy and enthusiasm. I trust life. I am nurtured, nourished and deeply loved. I am strong. I am guided wisely from within. The sweetness of life is mine. I am reborn.
Seal the envelop saying,
With the Blessings of the Great Bear Mother. Blessed Be.
Keep the envelop and its contents on your altar; carry it with you when you need to be reminded of these gifts that you possess.
Great Bear Mother, with your blessings and your courage I can now move forward into life. I ask that you please continue to protect my path and guide my way. Let me never forget that even in the dark and fearful times you are there; all we need to do is gaze up into the night sky to see your ever-present starry form stretched across the heavens.
In spring, the paws of the Great Bear are up high, walking the spiral galaxy, the bowl of the Great Dipper inverted, the Great Bear Mother pouring her love upon the awakening earth. The Great Bear of the night sky points us to the Pole Star; with the Bear Mother we are never truly lost; she lights the fire of her guiding star within hearts, and the dawning of her spring sun rises upon our hope and joy.
Giving Thanks: Great Bear Mother: Lord of the Wild Wood, Vibrant Spirit of the Green, I give thanks for your spring blessings. Protect and guide my path; ignite my vitality and joy as I journey towards summer; towards new experiences and new lessons to learn. As you are reborn, may I too find new life. I give thanks for your presence. Bide well in my heart. Blessed Be.