Today is the Spring Equinox that time of balance when light and dark are literally in equilibrium, but now with the light advancing, bringing in the warmth of spring.
So how can you celebrate the feast of Eostre, Ostara or Alban Eilir? I saw one ritual where a small pot plant is placed on the altar and at a certain point the plant is touched gently so that you can 'connect with the energies of the plant and, through it, with all nature'.....
This really is the festival where you can see nature in action.
Take a walk in a park, or in the country, or even around your own garden and just look at how nature is renewing herself. Look at the newly unfurling leaves, they are fresh and a brighter colour than at any other time, see the plants which are magically reappearing after vanishing completely through the winter.
In our garden we have daffodils bright yellow and bold, a real 'in your face' spring flower, a few early Sorcerer's Violets (Periwinkle) peeping out from the mass of shiny deep green leaves, and a tufty orange flowers on a shrub which my mother gave me - and I have no idea what it is called.
The hazel trees are festooned with dangling catkins, dancing in the lightest breeze, showing off their ready sexuality to all and sundry.
The perennial oriental poppies and monkshood are pushing their leaves out into the world again as are the clumps of grape hyacinth which will soon be covered in tiny, bobbly blue flowers. I see we have some bluebells coming through too and the celedines are carpeting the ground through the nearby woods. And the shamrock has gone wild covering the statue of the hare crouched in amongst them.
Eostre is the original festival of hares and eggs. At this time of year, if you are very, very lucky you might catch sight of hares chasing across the fields or boxing. Which is basically the female hare fighting off the male until she is ready to receive him.
According to one legend the goddess found a little bird dieing in the cold of winter, so to save its life she gave it fur and transformed it into a hare. The hare lived, but as it was still a bird at heart, it found itself laying eggs in the spring time, so it decorated the eggs in bright colours as an offering to the goddess.
So how do you celebrate Eostre? Be with nature if you can, hard boil an egg or two and let your artistic nature rip, paint them, decorate them - and don't forget to eat them too.
Plant some seeds, or buy yourself a plant, any plant and look after it - a pot of basil can feature in many love spells, and growing an onion or other bulb and naming it after the one you desire is a very old spell to cause love to grow.