The Folklore of the Spring Equinox

Spring Equinox folklore tells of the egg, 🍃🥚🍃seen as a fertility symbol and a sign of rebirth, and the March hare, or traditionally known as the Oestra Hare.

The hare is a magickal creature and has connections to moon 🌙 goddesses, the hare and the egg both sharing close relations to Oestra or Eostre, a Germanic spring and fertility goddess.

In 16th century German folklore it was told that children who made a nest out of their bonnets or caps the night before the equinox would be rewarded with a visit from Oschter Haws or Osterhase, the spring equinox hare. The hare would bestow upon the children gifts of chocolate confections, (usually a chocolate hare) and dyed eggs in a rainbow of colors to symbolize the flowers of spring.

I make a nest and place it within my woodland circle at spring equinox. Lined with pine needles and sprinkled with dried chamomile flowers and pine resin, with offerings of carrots, lavender honey cakes, and chamomile mead for the hare and the maiden of spring. I do something similar again at the autumn equinox for the wood spirits and the hag of the dark season.

The hare was also strongly associated with the witch in 16th century Puritan times. It was said that the witch be a shape shifter, her human form changing in the dark of night transforming into the hare. In rare instances these hares where seen standing on their hind legs, dancing about the wood like humans, which arose suspicion with the villagers. Old, widowed, unmarried or independent women were usually named as the
culprits.

The hare was a dreaded animal to see in spring, as old Irish legend told of a hare being seen sucking milk from a cow. And when the hare was chased by hounds and cornered, these creatures where known to utter an odd, almost eerie human like cry. It’s mannerisms resembling that of assumed witches. In this form of the hare the hag would then steal the villagers milk or food, or lay curses upon their family, animals and crops….

So today was sprinkled with chamomile and lavender throughout the day, and traditional foods like lavender scones and matcha lattes sweetened with rose infused honey, wild greens salad, an asparagus with wild mushroom quiche, with a lavender honey posset for desert. Tonight is a night I truly look forward to, for it’s the first night I return back to the woods, the tree, and the world within….

In some legends, hares are the messengers of the underworld, as they come and go out of the earth as they so please. So if doing spell work that involves an underworld journey, call upon the hare to be your fetch. I start my ritual off with a brew of my Spring Equinox tea, ☕️🍃laced with my Datura flower essence. Datura aids in shapeshifting, and has her connections to the moon 🌙 as well. I follow up with my Shapeshifter flying ointment, an ointment of datura, bear fat, crow feather dust and moon oils. I apply it to my feet, arms, and third eye for hedge flight, I light the candles, 🕯 burn the incense and inhale, while putting some traveling music on.

I inhale again and slowly raise my head to see that I am back in the woods, and back into the tree…..

A traditional Spring Equinox spell for passion and fertility….

Fertility Spell ~ In the hour of Mars place a rabbit skin under your bed to bring about fertility and abundance to your sexual activities. If you’re not into using real fur, use a hare poppet in it’s stead.

Happy Spring Equinox ✨🥚🍃

Published by Raven Wood

I am a herbalist, planetary alchemist, writer and magickal folklorist who lives and practices her craft in the woods of mid western North America. I am the owner and alchemist at “Deep Within the Hollow” A witchy little shop of tarot readings, poisons, ointments, flower essences, candles and incense for magickal intentions. I am also the proprietor of “Ravens Hedge” a sister shop to Deep Within the Hollow. Ravens Hedge is a little forest shop of seasonal herbal wildcrafts to rejuvenate, pamper, and experience the woods with. In addition I write the blog “Witch of the Wood with Raven Wood” for Patheos Pagans, and have my first book in the works.

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