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Party Like a Pagan for Spring!

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Happy Ostara, folks!

Today is the vernal equinox, one of only two times in the long year where night and day are perfectly in balance – 12 hours of sunshine followed by 12 hours of darkness. This year is a little extra special with a full moon on the rise tonight, which hasn’t happened in 19 years, making it a great opportunity to honor the changing of seasons and party like a pagan.

Before your eyes roll into the back of your head, you should know that most Christian holidays are just cleverly disguised appropriations of ancient pagan holidays. Decorating an actual tree inside your living room has absolutely zero to do with the birth of Jesus – the tradition stemmed from German pagans who wanted to add some color and life to winter homes, and ancient Romans decorated branches of evergreens to honor the God Saturn in December. Coincidence? Hmm.

Spring maiden. Photo illustration courtesy of Patheos

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Equally, rabbits and eggs at Easter make no sense if you’re coming at the holiday with the whole resurrection thing in mind – those symbols were hijacked from Ostara, the pagan earth-loving festival that honored growing light and life that comes with spring. You don’t have to be Wiccan to appreciate the simplicity of celebrating seasons – in a way, it seems more natural than most organized religious rituals.

After such a long, wet and dreary winter, there’s nothing wrong with celebrating all spring has to offer, and luckily for you, the Bay Area provides plenty of ways to do just that.

Before you get ready to clean out your house, you may want to clean up your inner house. The good people at Raw + Ritual are hosting a special full moon event tonight that draws on Kundalini kriya practice to give you a little meditative soul scrubbing. The group will be tickled with purification and prosperity rituals beginning at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in Berkeley at Poet’s Corner. You can get more details and RSVP on their Facebook event page.

Spring full moon. Photo illustration courtesy of ThoughtCo

Over in San Francisco, you can get your groove on with Mission City Swing classes and social dance Wednesday night, or you can score some custom flower ink over at Eye of the Tiger with their spring special designed to help you feel pretty every day. What says Ostara more than dancing and adorning yourself with flora?

We know some people are really attached to traditional religious holidays but there’s no reason we can’t love on a little of everything.  Spring is a great time to shake off the leaves and embrace new things to come, however you choose to do that. Some lightness and celebration is in order after such a tough winter, so, whether you go equinox-lite and just enjoy a fresh meal with friends or full pagan-style with some naked dancing under the full moon, the point is to do something that brings you joy. Get out there and enjoy all the natural beauty this season brings and have fun doing it. Who cares if it sounds silly or not? You can do the whole repenting thing later.


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Nik Wojcik - East Bay Editor

Nik Wojcik - East Bay Editor

Journalist, editor, student, single mom to a pack of wolves, foodie, music lover, resident smart ass, and champion of vulgarity and human kindness.