-- compiled and edited by Wind Daughter
The energies of the Spring Equinox are high for four days before and four days after the peak occurs. Morning is the perfect time to begin your celebration.
As morning is the time of day for Wabun the Spirit Keeper of the East, why not greet Father Sun at dawn? We will be saying good-bye to the season of Waboose, the Winter, the North, the White Buffalo, the Powers of Cleansing, Renewal and Purification; and welcoming Wabun, the Spring, the East, the Eagle and the Powers of Clarity, Wisdom, and Illumination. This event begins the Budding Trees Moon and the time of Wabun of the East.
I'd like to share a few of the ceremonies we have on the first day of Spring, and if you feel good about them, include them in your Spring celebration.
We will begin on Vernal Equinox morning at sunrise with a tobacco-burning ceremony, followed by the Sweat of Thanksgiving. We will spend the first round giving thanks for all the gifts, joys, lessons, etc. of the Winter. During the second round we will give thanks for all the good things the Spring brings to us. The third and fourth rounds honor summers and autumns, past and future.
The important focus in this Ceremony is that we do not concentrate on our needs and wants. This Ceremony is used to generate energy to give back to the universe for the Great Spirit's gift of life to us. If you are not able to do the sweat ceremony, then expand the tobacco-burning ceremony to include your prayers of thanksgiving.
Next we will go to our Earth Mound, which represents the element Earth and the Earth Mother, and move the rock that we use to represent the head of the Turtle, from the North where it has rested during the time of Waboose, to the East where it will stay during this season of Wabun.
Then we will go to our gardens and bless them with cornmeal, and plant small crystals at the four directions and in the Center. As women represent the fertility of the Mother Earth, the women are in charge of this ceremony, and sometimes do this ceremony alone. In some native cultures, the women would go to the garden and dance around it; dragging their clothes behind them, to exchange the blessing of fertility with the Earth Mother.
After the garden has been blessed, we will go to the prayer feathers that serve as the boundary markers of our land, and there we will ask the power of Spring to bring a renewal and a reawakening of the power of protection that we prayed for when we set them out at the time of Winter Solstice.
At the end of the day we will have a feast, first preparing a Spirit plate and then place it outside or bury it or place it in the fire; this way the spirits may partake of the essence of the food. As we come together to eat, we each share a bite of each food in celebration and thanksgiving for all our relations. We conclude our day with a Pipe Ceremony.
I hope this sharing of our plans for this celebration has inspired, encouraged or at least gently nudged you into planning your own welcoming-in of the energies of this season in the future.