Breaking the shell at equinox

by | Sep 21, 2023 | Uncategorized | 0 comments



Have you heard how sweet and clear the bird song is now — especially in the mornings?


Birds are busy mating and nesting as spring equinox approaches on September 23.

The pīpīwharauroa has returned from its winter pilgrimage, singing ‘Kui, Kui, Kui.’ This bird is recognised in the Māori proverb: Ka tangi te wharauroa, ko nga karere a Mahuru. “When the shining cuckoo calls it is the messenger of spring.’

Have you seen a chick hatch, or cradled one in your hands? As a child, I was fascinated to see how our speckled hen scratched out a nest under the flax bush, fluffed up her feathers, settled down into them, and sat patiently day after day, week after week.

One morning a tiny beak poked out from the warm shelter of the mother, then another and another, and soon little yellow balls of fluff on legs were running around everywhere, eagerly foraging.

What a wondrous thing, that from a little red speck seeded into a soft orange yolk, such a creature could form, and grow strong enough to peck its way out of the hard shell.


Eggs as symbols


It’s not surprising that from ancient times the egg has been a potent symbol of fertility and the miracle of birth.

Engraved ostrich eggs going back 60,000 years have been found in Africa. Decorated ostrich eggs have been found in ancient Sumerian and Egyptian gravesites.

The early Christians of Mesopotamia began staining eggs red, in memory of Christ’s blood. The hard shell of the egg was a reminder of his tomb, and the bursting forth of new life from within the shell a celebration of his resurrection.


Easter and equinox


In the northern hemisphere, the first full moon after spring equinox marks the pregnant phase of the goddess Eostre. Her festival formed the foundation for the contemporary Christian Easter. Easter falls on the first full moon after equinox.

In our southern hemisphere calendar, this time is very near: on September 29th this year.

The season’s energy is lifting into a resurgence of growth. New life is flooding in and with it new possibilities. It’s the season for breaking through whatever shells may have outlived their protective task.

What is seeking to grow vigorously in you this spring? What old shell needs to be broken open? What breakthrough is close?

With blessings for the emergence of new life,


The inundation of the Spring
Submerges every soul
—Emily Dickinson 



Spring Attunement

The Spring Attunement home ritual will help you mobilise this high energy so that it’s available to you in a positive way, to fuel your projects, dreams and intentions.


Books for the Seasons

For guidance in aligning with the season you are in, my Seasons books are there to help you.

Celebrating the Southern Seasons is a classic resource book. The chapter on Spring Equinox, (p. 104) links this seasonal marker with Celtic Eostra, Māori Kōanga, and Christian Easter.

Dancing with the Seasons is a personal guide to the seasonal flow. In Chapter Eight on p. 151 you will read more about awakening, regeneration, and ancient myths.

Sun, Moon, and Stars will inspire you to celebrate with your family or whānau. See p. 137 for the chapter ‘Spring Equinox: Te kōanga’ to tune you into this season.


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