Ostara, High Spring, Vernalia, or whatever you choose to call the Spring Equinox (for me it’s Vernalia) is just around the corner, and I have little idea of what I’ll be doing to mark the day yet. This is my first Equinox celebration and I’m still a little lost in the weeds. Still researching, still trying to figure out what I want to do with all the information. I’m still not even sure what I’m trying to accomplish with all this.
It’s easy to say “I want to be more spiritual”. It’s not easy to figure out how, especially when you’re not coming into all this from place where spiritual practice was the norm. My immediate family offered me few opportunities to actually practice being spiritual. I observed a fair amount, but I did so with the eye of the skeptic. I wasn’t thinking that I might need some ideas for my own rituals in the future.
I’m jealous of those who come to Atheopaganism from the pagan side. They seem to be ahead of the curve compared to me in all things spiritual and ritual, while all I’ve got to fall back on is a lot of issues and skepticism with organized religion and all things associated with it.
The only thing I do have is a fondness for family tradition, which revolves heavily around food. The meals we ate when we came together for holidays are indelibly inked upon my brain. Each holiday had it’s traditional main course, sides, and desserts, like the homemade strudel that my grandmother only made on special occasions and tins full of holiday cookies and family favorites.
While our typical family get togethers revolved around the holidays, Vernalia isn’t closely related to Easter as Yule is to Christmas, for instance. Easter is an entire month away from Vernalia this year, and honestly the only traditions I associate with Easter beyond the family meal, and making myself sick from eating so much chocolate, is buying a new dress and being forced to stare into the sun while we took family pictures on the lawn.
I mean, I suppose I could buy a new dress. I like dresses, and new clothes, and all that, but I’m trying to get away from consumerism as a holiday tradition not add more of it.
So for now, I’m focusing on food. I like food, I like cooking (most of the time) and I certainly like eating. I also like the way food ties in so closely to the seasons, and how the old traditions ties into both. Our ancestors of ages past didn’t have grocery stores, industrial agriculture and global economies to provide easy to access to foods all of types all year round. They ate what was in season and unless they were wealthy and privileged, they ate local. In times of scarcity, such as the depths of winter, they ate what they preserved in times of abundance.
My plan is to do as much as I can to mimic those old ways, at least when celebrating the Wheel of the Year. Eating in season year round will be a goal for future me. Luckily, finding foods that are in season is fairly easy this time of year, especially since I live in a very mild climate that offers a long growing season. Salad greens are young and tender right now, there are lemons on the tree still, and spring is the season for lamb and young chicken, perfect for broiling and frying. Root vegetables are always in season, since they store so well. The potatoes of my ancestors might have been looking a bit withered by now, but they’d still make for a nice mashed potato.
I’ve barely begun to pick out recipes for the meal. I know that there will be colcannon. It was a hit for Imbrida and I’ve some changes in mind for the recipe I want to try, as well as the fact that I’m making a batch for a St. Paddy’s day party potluck and it will be easy enough to make a large batch and save some for Vernalia.
Other that that, I got nothing but a basic plan… a meat dish, a veggie dish and a dessert. Maybe a salad.
The work is overwhelming right now, between the big picture figuring, and the single holiday figuring, and then documenting it in this blog, while actually trying to accomplish the doing of what I figured, while not falling behind on the rest of my life. If that sentence was confusing to you, then you get the gist of what I’m feeling right about now.
And with that… back to figuring.