Neomenia is a fancy word for New Moon, which we have a splendid example of today. The Super Moon of March 20, 2015 caused a total eclipse of the sun for the North Atlantic and bits of Greenland and Iceland.
Some Pagan folk call Spring Equinox by the name of Ostara, or Eostre, after the ancient Germanic goddess who heralds the spring reawakening. The word is related to East, and Aus, a proto-germanic word for dawn. I’ve often thought is sounds quite a bit like Purim’s Esther and that other rabbit & egg holiday that’s just around the corner!
The Equinox refers to the balance of dark and light, for today, the night is as long as the day, roughly speaking. I see for us the sun rises and sets at around 7:18.
Rumor has it that the heavenly dance of Pluto has big things in store for our little planet. So heed the auspicious signs, plant your seeds, honor your Mother. Let us celebrate the wonder of life.
I wish all the blessings of the change of season to you all, the joy of rabbits leaping, and flowers opening, and delicious boiled eggs of many colors, including chocolate!
Today is the day all these giddy glorious spring days have been leading up to, the Longest Day. It’s the day all those bird-serenaded dawns that lured you from your bed at a ridiculous hour have been heralding. Longest day, and shortest night.
And so begins the lengthening nights, at first just seconds longer, but now we count the days toward winter. I know that often non-Pagans find this attention to the cycle cruel, a downer, focusing on the Dark Side. Well, yes. Not evil or the devil, just the Night that follows Day, the dark that follows light. The contrast that makes the world spin. The op-ed Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark from Akiko Busch in the New York Times says it more eloquently than I:
IN mid-June, the twilight seems to go on forever, the sky awash with translucent shades of rose, pearl, gray. These are evenings of enchantment — but also of apprehension. The moment the sun reaches its farthest point north of the Equator today is the moment the light starts to fade, waning more each day for the following six months. If the summer solstice doesn’t signal the arrival of winter, surely it heralds the gradual lessening of light, and with that, often, an incremental decline in disposition.
It is easy to associate sundown with melancholy, to believe that temper can be so closely tied to degrees of illumination. The more floodlit our nights, the more we seem to believe that a well-lit world is part of our well-being. But equating the setting of the sun with that of the spirit may be misguided, at variance with some essential need humans have for darkness and shadow.
In his book, “The End of Night,” Paul Bogard notes that two-thirds of Americans no longer experience real night. “Most of us go into the dark armed not only with ‘a light,’ ” he writes, “but with so much light that we never know that the dark, too, blooms and sings.”