“The first day of Spring is one thing, and the first Spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month.”
~Henry Van Dyke
March, the Third Month of the year of our Goddess, 2014
March is the third month of the Gregorian calendar, and it was the first month of the Roman calendar. This month is named for the Roman God of agriculture and war, Mars. Its astrological sign is Pisces, the fish (February 18 – March 20), a mutable water sign ruled by Neptune. March is a month of transition between winter and spring. Daffodils begin to brighten the early garden. The sap rises, and robins returns. In the hardware stores, shelves are stocked with garden tools and packages of flower and vegetable seeds. Still, late season snowstorms are not unusual in March. Ostara, the main holiday of the month, celebrates the lengthening hours of daylight and the awakening of the Goddess. Eggs, whether dyed are intricately decorated, are popular seasonal symbols of life and fertility. St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, is rich with Pagan symbolism. For example, the shamrock, was once used to depict the three aspects of the Goddess. Sunny, breezy days encourage kite-flying, another seasonal activity. Kites are magickal because they soar toward the realm of Spirit. The ancients used the March wind to carry their wishes to the divine. The winds of March bring the promise of a new season and a fresh start. March’s Full Moon was called the Storm Moon and it remains a potent time to work magick for change and renewal.
Correspondences For MARCH
NATURE SPIRITS: Mer-people, Air and Water beings who are connected with spring rains and storms.
HERBS: broom, High John Root, yellow dock, wood betony, Irish Moss.
FLOWERS: jonquil, daffodil, violet
TREES: alder, dogwood.
COLORS: pale green, red-violet
SCENTS: honeysuckle, apple blossom
STONES: aquamarine, bloodstone
ANIMALS: cougar, hedgehog, boar
BIRDS: sea crow, sea eagle
DEITIES: Black Isis, the Morrigan, Hecate, Cybele, Astarte, Athena, Minerva, Artemis, Luna.
POWER/ADVICE: Energy breaks into open, growing, prospering, exploring.
New beginnings, balance of light and dark, breaking illusions. Seeing the truth in your life no matter how it may hurt.
- March’s birthstone is Aquamarine and Bloodstone
- March’s birth flower is the Daffodil or Jonquil
- March’s Zodiac signs are Pisces (until March 20) and Aries (March 21 onwards)
- March’s trees are Weeping Willow, Hazelnut, Lime and Oak.
Popular Beliefs About March
There are many superstitions about March. We often hear that “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.” This means that the first day of March is often stormy and the last day is mild and warm. Another saying is, “April borrowed from March three days and they were ill.” This refers to the first three days of April, which are generally rough and blustery like March. A third saying calls the first three days of March “blind days” because they are “unlucky.” If rain falls on these days, farmers supposedly will have poor harvest.
- Irish American Month
- Music in Our Schools Month
- National Craft Month
- National Frozen Food Month
- National Irish American Heritage Month- designated by Congress in 1995.
- National Nutrition Month
- National Peanut Month
- National Women’s History Month
- Red Cross Month
- Social Workers Month
Our Sabbat for March – Ostara
The word Ostara is just one of the names applied to the celebration of the spring equinox on March 21. The Venerable Bede said the origin of the word is actually from Eostre, a Germanic goddess of spring. Of course, it’s also the same time as the Christian Easter celebration, and in the Jewish faith, Passover takes place as well. For early Pagans in the Germanic countries, this was a time to celebrate planting and the new crop season. Typically, the Celtic peoples did not celebrate Ostara as a holiday, although they were in tune with the changing of the seasons.
Mad as a March Hare:
Spring equinox is a time for fertility and sowing seeds, and so nature’s fertility goes a little crazy. In medieval societies in Europe, the March hare was viewed as a major fertility symbol — this is a species of rabbit that is nocturnal most of the year, but in March when mating season begins, there are bunnies everywhere all day long. The female of the species is super fecund and can conceive a second litter while still pregnant with a first. As if that wasn’t enough, the males tend to get frustrated when rebuffed by their mates, and bounce around erratically when discouraged.
This is a good time of year to start your seedlings. If you grow an herb garden, start getting the soil ready for late spring plantings. Celebrate the balance of light and dark as the sun begins to tip the scales, and the return of new growth is near.
Many modern Wiccans and Pagans celebrate Ostara as a time of renewal and rebirth. Take some time to celebrate the new life that surrounds you in nature — walk in park, lay in the grass, hike through a forest. As you do so, observe all the new things beginning around you — plants, flowers, insects, birds. Meditate upon the ever-moving Wheel of the Year, and celebrate the change of seasons.
~By Patti Wigington, About.com
Prayer Honoring the Goddesses of SpringHail, and welcome!
Green life returns to the earth
blooming and blossoming
once more from the soil.
We welcome you,
goddesses of spring,
Eostre, Persephone, Flora, Cybele,
in the trees,
in the soil,
in the flowers,
in the rains,
and we are grateful
for your presence.
How To Hold an Ostara Ritual for Solitaries
Ostara is a time of balance. It is a time of equal parts light and dark. At Mabon, we have this same balance, but the light is leaving us. Today, six months later, it is returning. Spring has arrived, and with it comes hope and warmth. Deep within the cold earth, seeds are beginning to sprout. In the damp fields, the livestock are preparing to give birth. In the forest, under a canopy of newly sprouted leaves, the animals of the wild ready their dens for the arrival of their young. Spring is here.
- For this ritual, you’ll want to decorate your altar with symbols of the season. Think about all the colors you see in nature at this time of year — bright daffodils, crocuses, plump tulips, green shoots — and incorporate them into your altar. This is also a time of fertility in the natural world — the egg is the perfect representation of this aspect of the season. Symbols of young animals such as lambs, chicks, and calves are also great altar adornments for Ostara.
- In addition, you’ll need the following:
- Three candles — one yellow, one green, and one purple
- A bowl of milk
- A small bowl of honey or sugar
Perform this ritual outside if at all possible, in the early morning as the sun rises. It’s spring, so it may be a bit chilly, but it’s a good time to reconnect with the earth. If your tradition normally requires you to cast a circle, do so now.
- Begin by taking a moment to focus on the air around you. Inhale deeply, and see if you can smell the change in the seasons. Depending on where you live, the air may have an earthy aroma, or a rainy one, or even smell like green grass. Sense the shift in energy as the Wheel of the Year has turned. Light the green candle, to symbolize the blossoming earth. As you light it, say:The Wheel of the Year turns once more, and the vernal equinox arrives. Light and dark are equal, and the soil begins to change. The earth awakes from its slumber, and new life springs forth once more.
- Next, light the yellow candle, representing the sun. As you do so, say:The sun draws ever closer to us, greeting the earth with its welcoming rays. Light and dark are equal, and the sky fills with light and warmth. The sun warms the land beneath our feet, and gives life to all in its path.
- Finally, light the purple candle. This one represents the Divine in our lives — whether you call it a god or a goddess, whether you identify it by name or simply as a universal life force, this is the candle which stands for all the things we do not know, all those things we cannot understand, but that are the sacred in our daily lives. As you light this candle, focus on the Divine around and within you. Say:
- Spring has come! For this, we are thankful! The Divine is present all around, in the cool fall of a rain storm, in the tiny buds of a flower, in the down of a newborn chick, in the fertile fields waiting to be planted, in the sky above us, and in the earth below us. We thank the universe* for all it has to offer us, and are so blessed to be alive on this day. Welcome, life! Welcome, light! Welcome, spring!
- Take a moment and meditate on the three flames before you and what they symbolize. Consider your own place within these three things — the earth, the sun, and the Divine. How do you fit into the grand scheme of things? How do you find balance between light and dark in your own life?Finally, blend the milk and honey together, mixing gently. Pour it onto the ground around your altar space as an offering to the earth**. As you do, you may wish to say something like:
I make this offering to the earth, As thanks for the many blessings I have received, And those I shall some day receive.
- Once you have made your offering, stand for a minute facing your altar. Feel the cool earth beneath your feet, and the sun on your face. Take in every sensation of this moment, and know that you are in a perfect place of balance between light and dark, winter and summer, warmth and cold — a time of polarity and harmony.When you are ready, end the ritual.
- * Instead of “the Universe”, feel free to insert the name of your patron deity or the gods of your tradition here.
- ** If you’re doing this rite indoors, take your bowl of milk and honey and pour it in your garden, or around your yard.