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Heathen Vegans and Vegetarians - smiling smiley-DSpring/Vernal Equinox/Ostara Mar 20 2008 05:48 UT - Discussion Forum

smiling smiley-DSpring/Vernal Equinox/Ostara Mar 20 2008 05:48 UT
March 19, 2008 05:03AM
Spring/Vernal Equinox/Ostara Mar 20 2008 05:48 UT

The Spring Equinox marks the time when day and night hold each other in perfect balance. Pagans understand the importance of equilibrium in life and the Equinoxes are a perfect example of this. Everywhere will see 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of sunlight.
Everywhere around us life is stirring and beginning. The days are getting warmer and we see a glimpse of the joyous days that are to come. It is a time of lush, green fertile lands and awakenings, awakenings within ourselves as well as the world we live in. Symbolically it is a time for putting things behind us and moving forward. Nature is always our best guide and teacher, look to her to understand the changes in yourself as she wakes from her long winter sleep. Pagans celebrate this festival as the goddess in her maiden aspect comes together with the young sun god for the beginning of their reunion.
As with most pagan festivals a feast plays a big role in the festivities. Choose foods that are naturally in season and grown close to where you live, working in harmony with nature is what being pagan is all about. Choose fresh green leafy vegetables to represent spring time and rich cakes and breads to represent what our ancestors would have feasted on.
Dandelions are a magnificent plant to take example from at this time of year. With their lush green foliage and beautiful yellow flowers they are the perfect embodiment of spring and what it represents. Dandelions are embedded deeply in the earth that nourishes and sustains them ? they don?t forget their roots. Celebrate this day with the Dandelion. Go for a walk and pick Dandelion flowers and Leaves, ask her permission first and bid her Happy Equinox.

Dandelion Jelly

4 cups of Dandelion blossoms
3 cups boiling water
4 1/2 cups sugar
2 Tbsp Freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 packet powdered pectin

Wash well and shred 3 cups of the blossoms up into small bits, make sure there are no stems as these are rather bitter. Place in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil over a low heat and simmer for ten minutes. Pour the mixture through a sieve and press the blossoms to get as much liquid out as possible. Return to the heat. Add the remaining cup of Dandelion blossoms and three more cups of water and simmer for another ten minutes
Strain through a coffee filter.

Combine water with lemon juice, sugar and pectin. Bring to a fast boil and stir until sugar is dissolved. Boil hard for one minute.
Pour into hot, sterilized jars and seal. Once cooled this can be used straight away and will keep in the fridge for 3-4 weeks.
It is delicious served on homemade oven warm bread.

The Leaves can be added to a fresh leafy salad which is ideal food for celebrating Spring with.
Rituals and activities might include painting eggs as eggs are another symbol of this time of year. They represent the new life within and fertility. Planting spring flowers or Seeds is also a good activity to partake of ? give something back to the earth. I always plant seeds on this day and spend a good few hours in the garden; gardening always helps me connect to the source.

As pagans living in the 21st century we are very removed from the way our ancestors would have lived and celebrated this time of year. With our busy lives, jobs, families and responsibilities it can sometimes be difficult to remind ourselves of our place in the world and within the cycle of life. You don?t have to have a lavish festival with a long complicated ritual to feel you have celebrated this day. If that?s what you want to do and if that?s how you want to mark this time of year then all well and good, but it isn?t essential.
Instead look to the earth and witness her awakening in the Dandelion on the side of the path or the bird in song or in flight.
More importantly is to look within yourself and make any changes in your life that you would like to see.
In the simple everyday things we do we can be at one with the Earth and all her resplendent glory.
Whatever you decide to do this day I hope you will be safe, happy and may you never thirst.

Happy Equinox
smiling smiley
Re: smiling smiley-DSpring/Vernal Equinox/Ostara Mar 20 2008 05:48 UT
March 29, 2008 03:45AM
A bit of interesting trivia for anyone bothered enough!

The reason Easter was so early this year is that the full moon was only one day after the equinox. The date of Easter has a complicated definition, but the short (slightly inaccurate) version is that it's the Sunday after the full moon after the equinox.

It's not the earliest possible date for Easter - that would be March 22nd, one day earlier than this year. That won't happen until 2285, and it won't happen on March 23rd again until 2160. So nobody alive today will ever see such an early Easter as this for the rest of their lives.
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