Some rituals are complex with many steps, but I love this simple ritual using an egg and a tree to hold the intentions of birthing new beginnings.
I love this for any time of new beginnings, and especially at the Spring Equinox (which this year falls on March 20th) or at a New Moon. For instance, you might consider performing this ritual on the New Moon in Aries, the beginning of the astrological year, which this year falls on April 5th.
No matter how simple or how complex a ritual might be, I like to bring in the energy of the elements associated with the current time of year, moon phase, etc. For this special ritual for the Spring Equinox on March 20th, I am choosing to use an egg (a symbol of new beginnings), and not just any egg: a red egg to symbolize the energy of the Maiden in her first flow, her first blood mystery. It is said that the Druids planted red eggs in their fields at the Spring Equinox, to bring the fertility of the goddess to the crops and to reap her blessings.
The symbol of the red egg shows up in many other cultures and religions: the red egg of the Greek Easter Bread symbolizes the blood of Christ (Easter also celebrating Death and Renewal), the Chinese red egg celebrates new starts and is often a feature at birthday celebrations.
This ritual can also be done at any time you are setting new intentions, preferably in a Waxing phase of the moon to harness that powerful rising energy.
For this ritual you will need:
- one or more eggs for boiling and dyeing (white shells may work better in this instance)
- natural materials for dyeing your eggs (FYI, I prefer the yellow onion skin method noted below).
- a pencil or crayon for writing your intention on the egg
- a quiet location where you can bury your egg into the soil of Mama Earth
- A white birch tree, the Celtic tree associated with new beginnings, would be perfect for this ritual. If you don’t have birch trees in your location, check your local tree lore for something that might be appropriate or simply ask any tree for permission.
- a tool for digging a small hole to bury the egg (even a big spoon would work)
- a length of red ribbon, yarn or string to honour the goddess and your chosen tree
Prepare Your Red Egg
For this ritual, it is important to create the red hue naturally, as you will be returning this egg to Mama Earth. You may have your own method for dyeing the egg red and, in the past, I have used several ways, all by boiling the egg in water with a couple of tablespoons of vinegar plus any one of the following additions:
- chopped beets
- ratanjot powder
- yellow onion skins
- pomegranate juice
- alkanet powder
TIP: As you prepare the dye pot and egg, meditate on what you are birthing. Call on your guides, allies, and goddess(es) to support you in the meditation, and to infuse that birthing energy and intention into the egg.
My preferred method for egg dyeing is quite simple, and originally found in Nourishing Minimalism where they offered this suggestion for How to Naturally Dye Eggs a Crimson Red.
- Dry “paper skins” from yellow onions. (from about 5-10 yellow onions)
- Water to cover eggs
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
Place all ingredients to a pot, boil for 30 minutes, with a lid on. Check the eggs: if they the right shade, remove them and cool. If you want them to darken, allow to cool in the water and then place in the refrigerator, (still in the water with onion skins) overnight. Rub the eggs with olive oil to keep them vibrant.
Of course, the eggs do not have to be dyed red. Perhaps you are drawn to the pastel shades of Easter, which this year falls on April 21st. Click the links below for some other ways to dye your eggs using natural colours:
The Kitchn.com Thoughtco.com
The Egg Ritual
Once your egg is boiled, dyed, and cooled, assemble your tools and go to the place where you will hold your ritual . . . a quiet place with a tree.
At your chosen tree, be sure to first ask its permission to plant the egg. If you receive a yes, continue. If you don’t, choose another tree and ask for permission once again. Continue until you receive a yes. Tie your red ribbon to the tree securely.
Create sacred space in your usual way, and call on your guides, allies, and goddess(es) to support you in the ritual.
Hold your egg in your hands. Reflect back on your meditation during the egg preparation stage and, using a pencil or crayon, write your intention onto the eggshell. This is the intention you will nourish in this moon cycle or in the coming season.
Once again, hold the egg in your hands and call on the energy of your guides, allies, and goddess(es) to infuse that intention or affirmation into the egg.
Dig a small hole, just big enough for your egg and protected from the elements (including hungry animals!).
Gently place your egg in the hole and ask the spirit of the tree (some call this a dryad), Mama Earth and all your guides and allies to support your intention, to nourish it, to protect it. When you feel you are ready, cover the hole once again.
TIP: Make sure you note where you planted your egg, as you may want to return to it as your intention manifests… nurturing it with your energy… your own private nest of intention.
Thank the tree, the egg, and your guides, allies, and goddess(es) as you complete your ritual and close your sacred space.
This piece was originally published at the Spring Equinox in 2018, as part of our free year-long “Wisdom from Grandmother Moon” course, an exploration of the Celtic Wheel of the Year. In our current free course, we explore 13 Moons, 13 Goddesses. Click here for more information.