Spring Goddesses & Gods: Brigid, Green Man, and More
Spring is when the Cailleach is reborn, when Brigid’s flame burns the brightest, and when we come alive again in our hearts. When the Green Man romps through the forests freely and when Persephone returns to earth after her long Winter in the Underworld. In the Spring, we see a resurgence of certain deities beckoning us to acknowledge them. To make fresh magick with them. Here are the Spring goddesses and gods who may call on you this season.
The Magic and Divinity in Spring
Why are there Spring goddesses and gods from various cultures? Our ancestors were in tune with the earth, the sun, and the seasons. And because of this connection, they believed in deities that were tied to the changing of the earth – it’s plants, trees, animals, and landscape. Some of those deities were even linked or personified specific seasons…like Spring. As the green begins to emerge from the cold earth, we see the crone goddess of Winter reborn as maiden goddess. Replenished and anew. We also see the Green Man come out of hibernation, gifting life to the forests and fields. Read on to learn more about specific Spring goddesses and gods from various pantheons. And why they’re so important at the Vernal Equinox.
Spring Goddesses from Various Pantheons
One of many pagans’ favorite Spring goddesses is undoubtedly the Greek goddess Persephone. Her story is intricately tied to the earth, seasons, and therefore with life and death. The story goes that Hades, god of the Underworld, “kidnapped” Persephone and “forced” her to marry him and become Queen of the Greek Underworld. Keep in mind, I put parentheses around kidnapped and forced because there are different sides to this story, which you can read about here. Moreover, Persephone is destined to spend 1/3 of every year there, and when she does, the earth turns cold and barren. Every Spring, when she re-emerges from the Underworld, she brings life back to the earth…she gifts us with the Spring season.
2. Eostre, One of the Germanic Spring Goddesses
There’s some debate online as to whether Eostre, the Germanic Spring Goddess, actually existed or if Bede the Venerable “made her up”. Truly, we could say that every deity was “made up” and discredit any or all of them, if we really wanted to. The point here is, Eostre is regarded as a Goddess of Spring, specifically of the Spring Equinox. Her name, Eostre, is seen in the modern Christian holiday Easter as well as the pagan celebration of the Vernal Equinox called Ostara. Rabbits, flowers and eggs are her sacred symbols. Call on her for fertility and purification magick and for new, fresh opportunities.
3. Blodeuwedd, the Flower-Faced
Blodeuwedd is a Welsh Celtic goddess of the Spring, probably because she was literally created from flowers. To get specific, she’s made of oak, broom and meadowsweet and her name translates to “Flower-Face”. This Spring goddess is one who represents female empowerment in a day and age when we are exploring our rights to choose our life path, partners and more.
You see, Blodeuwedd was made specifically to be the wife of the god Lleu. Sadly, she was not in love with him and chose another partner…to her detriment and downfall. As punishment, she was transformed into an owl for eternity. To me, Blodeuwedd’s energy is felt strongly in the Spring, in a field of flowers and is heard in the cry of an owl. She reminds us of the gift of freedom to choose our lovers and our way in life.
While the Cailleach rules over the cold, dark half of the year in Celtic Ireland and Scotland, Brigid rules over the light, warm half of the year. Therefore, we’re including her here as one of the Spring goddesses. Truly, Brigid’s time began at Beltane on May 1st and lasted until Samhain when the Crone goddess Cailleach took over. Brigid was and still is a beloved goddess of the fire, smithery, inspiration, poetry and healing. She is frequently depicted as a triple goddess and some believe she is the sister of the Cailleach. Interestingly, Brigid is associated not just with the sacred fire but also with sacred water held within wells. Fire and water being too key elements to the Spring and Summer seasons.
5. Flora: Roman Spring Goddess
Ancient Romans had their share of goddesses associated with the seasons including Flora. Flora is the goddess of Spring and namely of flowers. Her name means flower. While she was considered a minor deity, she couldn’t have been too minor since she also had her own priesthood. Seeing as how Spring was such an important season, it makes sense why this Spring goddess would have been widely venerated. She also symbolized youth, vitality and fertility. As flowers in the Spring time do. At the end of April and into the first few days of May, Floralia was celebrated in Rome. This was Flora’s namesake festival in which the people put on parades, feasted, drank and honored the goddess.
Chloris is a nymph and ancient Greek Spring goddess mostly equated with the Roman flower goddess Flora (as discussed above). And, while the Romans tended to absorb or claim the Greek deities as their own, we should also know these Greek deities were their own entities first. So, Chloris. She is the wife of Zephyrus and the goddess of flowers and Spring. She was particularly known for her beauty and lived in a field of wildflowers.
7. Renpet, Egyptian Spring and Life Deity
How about the ancient Egyptians, did they too have spring gods or goddesses? They did. Renpet is the ancient Egyptian goddess of new life, Spring, fertility and youth. Interestingly, her name is translated to mean year or time, which makes me think she had more to do with the entire year than just the Spring. According to Ancient Egypt Online, she was worshiped in Crocodilopolis and Memphis and eventually was considered an epithet or aspect of the Great Mother Isis. She’s depicted as wearing a palm shoot on her head, common vegetation on the Nile.
8. Idunn: Norse Goddess of Eternal Life
Idunn is a goddess of Norse mythology who reigns over immortality of the gods. She is the guardian of a sacred apple orchard, containing apples that are the secret to the gods’ eternal life. Idunn is the wife of Bragi and is considered a Spring goddess. In the most prominent Idunn tale, she is kidnapped by a Jotunn (giant) and Loki must win her back to appease the Aesir (gods of Asgard) as they worry over their immortality.
Learn how to work with any god or goddess in our new book:
Spring Gods of Fertility and Healing
9. Green Man, A Forest Deity
We’ve talked about this Spring god many times before here on Otherworldly Oracle and even did an entire podcast episode about him. Traditionally, Green Man’s sabbat is Beltane, but I can honestly say I’ve seen and felt his presence earlier in the year. As early as the Spring Equinox. Whether Green Man is his own entity or a manifestation of other forest gods like Cernunnos or Pan is up for debate. If you ask me, he’s one of the elemental guardians of nature. If you visit the deep woods and sit really still, you’ll hear him all around you. It’s possible he’s a spirit of the trees too.
10. Belenus: Celtic God of Healing and Springs
Belenus or Belenos is an ancient Celtic god who likely originated on Continental Europe before his worship spread to the isles. But today, scholars believe his name is seen in the Irish Celtic sabbat Beltane, or Beltuinn, celebrated annually on May 1st. Belenus is a Spring god because of this connection, but also because he’s a sun deity and a god of healing, fertility and the Springs. A temple that was dedicated to him in Burgundy depicts him as a brilliant sun deity where offerings were left of stone, oak, and images holding fruits and cakes.
11. Jarylo: Slavic God of the Spring
We don’t often talk about deities from the Slavic pantheon and that’s a real shame. One of our favorite Spring gods comes from the Slavic tradition and his name is Jarylo. His name, which derives from an older Proto-Germanic word, translates to “Spring”. And, fittingly, he is the god of fertility, vegetation and all things that come with the Vernal Equinox. While we don’t have a ton of information on this god, we do know that Spring festivals called Jarylo were held up until the nineteenth century in Russia and parts of Eastern Europe. Scholars believe these festivals were still being carried on in Jarylo’s name. His sacred animal is the horse.
12. The Great Spring God
In China, there is the Ba-Jia-Jiang, which is a group of deities who rule the Underworld and may be called upon for protection and luck. In Taiwan ,there are 13 members of the Ba-Jia-Jiang, one of which is the Great Spring God 春大神. The Great Spring God manifests with a dragon face and wears a blue gown. And his specific duties are to wake up criminals in the interrogation of captured ghosts. He is one of the Four Seasons’ Gods.
The Bacchanalia was held in September. But there were other ancient festivals honoring the Roman god Bacchus held in March. Bacchus is the ancient Roman god of wine, revelry, the forest, and fertility. His Greek counterpart is Dionysus. Ever heard of the maenads, the priestess of Dionysus who would enter ecstatic trance? Well, Bacchus has his priestesses too…called the Bacchae. Any god worshiped in the Spring that ruled the forest and fertility often brought a level of promiscuity. Just like the animals and plants in the Spring season.
How Do We Work with Spring Goddesses and Gods?
Just because Spring rolls around, doesn’t mean you have to work with any gods or goddesses you don’t feel called to. However, if you’re really in tune with the seasons and want to work with these deities in the Spring, we say go for it. Every experience I’ve ever had with a god or goddess has enriched my life. As I’m sure it will yours. Here’s some ways in which to work with these Vernal deities:
- Set up a seasonal altar dedicated to Spring goddesses and gods
- Meditate outside and see if you can meet any of these deities through visionary work
- Start your seeds or start an entire garden and dedicate it to the flower goddesses like Flora, Blodeuwedd and Chloris
- Seek to embody the Green Man in your Spring rituals and sabbat celebrations: Wild, Untamed and Primal
- Celebrate Belenus at Beltane, Flora at Floralia, Bacchus and Bacchanalia and Eostre on Ostara and/or Easter
- Go on a hike and ask these deities to send you Spring signs like soaring birds, butterflies, symbols in the clouds, etc.
- Make flower crowns and use as offerings for Flora and Chloris
- Visit sacred wells, lakes, and forests in honor of Spring and these deities
Leave a Reply