Any solstice or equinox can be celebrated by simply being present for the rising or setting sun. There are many ways to celebrate the spring equinox. I’ve created a ceremony here based upon how an ancient one may have looked. I’ve used research and my own experience of having gone through the actual initiation it symbolizes while out of my body, and the oldest known evidence for the celebration of the event that’s recorded today. Creating your own ceremony at home or with friends can connect you to the ancients and make you feel part of the spiritual cosmic order of the universe.
Start by Reading the Step-by-Step Guide
Before getting into the ritual itself, the best place to start is reading A Guide to Celebrating the Solstice and Equinox to get a background to creating your own celebration and sacred space, with a deeper understanding of what these times of year mean.
Mantras for the Spring Equinox
The Mahamrityunjaya mantra
~ from the Rig Veda
Om Tryambakam Yajamahe
Mrityor Mukshiya Maamritat
We Meditate on the Three-eyed reality
Which permeates and nourishes all like a fragrance.
May we be liberated from death for the sake of immortality,
Even as the cucumber is severed from bondage to the creeper.
The Mahamrityunjaya mantra is also known as the Great Death-Conquering mantra, and is found in the most ancient Hindu text the Rig Veda, in the most ancient core texts of it. It is dedicated to Rudra, the ancient Hindu god of death, and appears in a passage in which Soma, the nectar of immorality is offered.
The reference to the cucumber is significant, as a cucumber does not fall or separate from the vine like other fruits; it will grow, ripen, and then wither and die on the vine, producing the seeds for the next generation of plant without ever leaving the vine. This is symbolic of the cycles of birth, death, and rebirth. To leave the vine it must be picked, which is to be freed from this cycle.
The text the Siva Purana (in the Sati Khanda section) tells a story involving the Mahamrityunjaya mantra. Sukracharya was the teacher of demons. As penance, Indra set Sukracharya the task of hanging upside down from a tree above a fire with smoke billowing into him for twenty years. After Sukracharya succeeded in getting through this challenge, he was taught this life-restoring mantra so he could recover from his long period of austerity. It was later taught by Sukracharya to Rishi Dadhicha so he could recover after his body was cut into pieces (an interesting parallel with the restoring of Osiris’ body which was cut into pieces as part of his passion in Egypt).
Below is a video with a suitable pronunciation of the Mahamrityunjaya mantra – don’t lower the tone at the end as it does in the video though when you pronounce it.
Here are some suggestions for mantras for after the ceremony:
Oṃ āmaraṇi dziwanteye svāhā
Tibetan mantra of the Buddha Amitāyus, whose name means infinite life, who dwells in the Pure Land beyond the bounds of this world, and who is mostly depicted sitting and holding in his hands a vessel containing the nectar of immortality.
Om namo bhagavate vasudevaya
~ from the Bhavaghata Purana
O my Lord, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, son of Vasudeva, O all-pervading personality of Godhead, I offer my respectful obeisance unto You.
It is said in India, that prostration and salutation is an external symbol of an internal union, and that by chanting mantras to aspects and forces of God, an atmosphere is created within for the contemplation of God and the sensing of His presence.
Copyright © Belsebuub 2012
The instructions for this ceremony can be found in the book The Path of the Spiritual Sun.