Friday, March 19, 2010

In The Coming of the Spring...

"On the either side the river lie,
long fields of barley and or rye.
That clothe the wold and meet the sky,
and thro' the field the road runs by
to many towered Camelot."

-Loreena Mckennit, The Lady of Shalott


Spring is coming, well in some countries where there are four seasonal changes. Here in the Philippines there are still debates whether a Filipino Wiccan needs to celebrate the coming of the Vernal Equinox. Some of the Wiccans here in the Philippines that I have talked to or associated myself with would tell me that they do not celebrate the coming of spring since we do not have spring in the Philippines. I understand their concerns about this and since Wicca is an evolving and a very dynamic religion it varies from place to place and time to time.

Spring can be felt everywhere, whether you are high in the mountains of Nepal or down south in the Antarctic. Life stirs in the bowels of the Amazon and in the sand dunes of the Sahara, as it is the same whether you are a Witch from the US or a Wiccan here in the Philippines. The energy that is brought about by the coming of the spring is constant and IS felt anywhere you are in the globe.

The Vernal Equinox is called Ostara or the Feast of Eostre. It is traditionally celebrated on March 20-22, depending on the actual coming of the equinox. For Wiccans, we celebrate the coming of the spring by thanking the Goddess for the coming bounty. Fertility abounds during this time as the Earth releases the energies of growth and creation which were frozen when the world hibernates last Winter. Normally the appropriate celebration during this Sabbat is welcoming the coming of the first light of the sun. In some parts of the world where ancient giant observatories like the Stonehenge and the Tor, pagans celebrate the coming of the spring by visiting these sacred ritual sites.

Here in the Philippines, since we do not have (or have not yet discovered) ancient observatories which mark the movement of the planets and the stars, we celebrate our rituals of spring by offering flowers and painted or colored eggs to the gods.. I would normally design boiled eggs and give it to friends for prosperity and fertility. I remember when I was in Iloilo that we had this celebration in the cafe of a friend, where we colored eggs and offered it in one of the magickally active part of his arts cafe.

A Philippine Wiccan would either be seen celebrating this lesser Sabbat under the crescent moon (well the moon is crescent last night) or inside his room (like in my case) infront of his altar and in the presence of the Gods.

In a country where Wicca and other alternative religion gives you a one-way ticket to Hell, it is difficult to be yourself and practice the faith that everyone should be entitled to. However, as I have always said- the Gods are everywhere, be it in the wide wold, in forest and glens or even in a cramped room where urban witches live.

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