Hreða – the goddess of the vernal equinox

Leaves from a Heathen's Book of Shadows

Prunus cerasus LC0133.jpgYes, I know the vernal equinox is dubbed “Ostara” by many, but it’s a bit of a misnomer, as that’s a derived Old High German word for the Christian festival. And if you think there was an Anglo-Saxon/Germanic goddess Eostre, there may not have been. And, in any case, Eostremonth in the old Anglo-Saxon calendar occurred in April, not March. If you’re interested to learn more try this excellent article.

So this is for the real goddess of the spring equinox, whose month – Hreðamonth – is roughly equivalent to modern March (allowing for a lunar calendar).

The seasons turn; I see white flowers:
Those harbingers of longer hours
Of daylight, and without delay
The days stretch forth to pave Her way.

On clear nights She spans the skies;
The constellations are Her eyes.
Her cloak deep indigo within;
Without the barn owl’s feathered skin.

She wards cold winter…

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