There’s something in the air this time of year. A buzzy sort of feeling, as if the world is waking up from a long sleep, refreshed. People start to sweat under their layers, and remove their scarves like animals shedding their winter coats. ‘Spring is coming!’ your mum / neighbor / postal worker exclaims, gesturing vaguely at the sun. 

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And they’re right! Spring is coming. And this year it officially arrives on March 20th — AKA the Vernal (or spring) Equinox. 

The Spring Buzz

You may have heard of the equinox before — especially if you are also someone who celebrates the summer and winter solstices. Like the solstices, the equinoxes mark the changing of the seasons. This change is felt all over the world, and has been throughout history. You certainly weren’t the first to feel the spring buzz, and you sure won’t be the last! That is why almost all cultures ancient and modern have had festivals, celebrations and significant days marking this time of year. 

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In the past, before electricity made us able to pull inadvisable all-nighters, almost all work was governed by how much light was available. Working and the ability to work was dictated by the seasons. You can’t harvest grain in the pitch black dark! Still today, we feel the seasons change acutely — it changes the way we feel, dress, socialize, even the way we eat. And this is a good thing! We sure do need to regain our listening skills when it comes to Mother Earth. 

What Is An Equinox?

So let’s get down to the brass tacks. What is an equinox? Well the clue is in the name if you happen to know Latin! if like everyone else you don’t, it means “equal night”. This is because the equinoxes are the time of year when the day and night are both as close to 12 hours each as they can be. The spring (or Vernal equinox) means the days are about to start getting longer as we skip towards summer. The autumn equinox, which happens in the northern hemisphere in September, means we are careering towards the shorter days and chilly winter. As you might expect the equinoxes and solstices are reversed in the southern hemisphere.

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Celebrations That Coincide With The Vernal Equinox

Easter

Easter, a classic example of the Christian-ification of much more ancient holidays, falls on the first full moon after the vernal equinox. Its origins are deeply connected to traditional vernal equinox celebrations, with eggs being an important symbol in both festivities. In ancient Pagan spring celebrations the egg symbolized the rebirth of the world after winter, in Christianity it became the symbol of Christ’s rebirth after crucifixion. 

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Nowruz

Nowruz, the Persian New Year falls on the vernal equinox. An ancient festival celebrated for over 4000 years that began in what is today Iran, it includes the burning and jumping over of bonfires, spring-cleaning the home and the preparation of a ceremonial meal. This meal is called Haftsin, which means ‘seven S’s’. This seven S’s are;

Sabzeh –  wheat which symbolizes nature’s rebirth. 

Sib – a red apple to symbolize beauty and fertility. 

Sir – garlic to symbolize health.

Samanu – a sweet pudding made from wheat to symbolize the sweetness of life. 

Senjed – a sweet berry which symbolizes love.

Sumaq – the color of this Persian spice represents dawn, and light vanquishing darkness. 

Serkeh – vinegar to symbolize patience and old age. 

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Other items often included are the book of Shahnameh, candles, coins, goldfish, hyacinth flowers and painted eggs. 

Vernal Equinox Day

In Japan, they celebrate Vernal Equinox Day, a public holiday focused on being with family. Loved ones gather, return to their family homes and/or tend to the graves of their ancestors. It is a day to appreciate the blooming nature with those closest to you. 

via Max Pixel Creative Commons

What Can You Do To Celebrate The Vernal Equinox? 

There are many ways you can celebrate the vernal equinox — anything goes really — but an emphasis on nature is key. You may want to take inspiration from some of the traditional celebrations from above, such as Nowruz. I mean, who doesn’t love a fire? We, however, think that one of the best ways to connect with nature is with a little help from her own psychedelic tool — magic mushrooms.  

via Wholecelium.com

Here are three rituals or activities you can do for the vernal equinox either sober or enhanced by a dose of magic mushrooms. The psilocybin is proven to help you to feel connected to nature and the rest of the world — which at the moment is sometimes tricky. Take a low to moderate dose and see if you can align yourself with the rhythms of the season. For everything you need to know about doses check out our handy dosage chart

Water Rituals

Water is both a symbolic and literal cleansing tool. A water ritual is perfect for the vernal equinox because you are washing away the winter with freshness. Most of us, unfortunately, do not live near a babbling brook or waterfall, but you can do this ritual with your very own shower or bath tub. 

Start by cleaning your bath or shower. Begin as you mean to go on — cleansed! Make a bundle of fresh herbs. We like rosemary, honeysuckle, lavender, eucalyptus, and/or mint.

If using the shower, attach your bundle to the shower head so the water runs over it.

If in the bath, place your bundle in the warm water.

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You can light candles in spring-like colors such as green or yellow or pink. Add music if you like, but make sure you visualize the past year washing away, the old stresses disappearing away down the drain. If you have taken some shrooms or truffles, this will only experience the sensorial waves as the water hits your skin. 

Plant Something

The vernal equinox also marks the beginning of the Astrological New Year, in which the sun returns to Aries at the beginning of the zodiac. Spring feels like a much more appropriate time to start the new year, as the rest of nature is also beginning afresh. Why not make like the zodiac, or a flower, and chart your new year from now? This means you can set some new resolutions and intentions. 

Here’s what you will need:

  • A plant pot
  • Potting soil
  • Some seeds of your choice 
  • Paper and a pen
  • Water

Think carefully about what you want to achieve, or intentions you want to set, for this new season or Astrological New Year. Note down 3 of them that you most want to manifest on your paper. 

  • Place them at the bottom of your plant pot.
  • Cover them with the soil, filling up the pot.
  • Press your seeds gently into the soil. 
  • As you water your seeds visualize achieving your goals and the growth of your potential. 
  • Over the next months as you water your seeds you will be reminded of the goals you wish to achieve. 
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Top marks if you do this after taking a batch of home-grown magic mushrooms. (Luckily grow kits defy seasons!) The warm fuzzies of your trip will help you infuse your little seeds with still more love, and strengthen your intentions. 

Go For A Spring Walk

Finally, the most simple of all is to simply enjoy the spring springing in your local area. Go to the park, sit in a garden. All around you the brave spring flowers will be opening up to the sun. You can too. Let the growing sunlight strengthen and invigorate you.

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Happy Vernal Equinox!