Seriously? Nobody noticed that I snuck the cover for the new book into the slide show widget to the left? Maybe I am talking to myself here.... ;)
The spring equinox never coincides with Easter. That's by design. The Council of Nicea decided in 325 C.E. that Easter would always fall on the first Sunday following the Paschal (Passover), or Ecclesiastical, full moon. The Paschal full moon is the first one following March 20th (which was the date of the spring equinox in 325 C.E.). The idea was to make sure that Easter always followed Passover on the church calendar, because Jesus' death and resurrection occurred after Passover. But because the church fathers were estimating full moon dates, the Ecclesiastical date is sometimes a day or two off from the actual full moon. Which is why, in some years, Easter is nearly at the end of April. (Thanks to About.com for this information.)
Luckily for Neopagans, our holidays don't vary nearly that much. We always observe Ostara on the spring equinox -- which, this year, is 1:14 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Tuesday, March 20.
An Ostara observance looks a lot like your typical Easter observance. We have the chicks and bunnies, and the eggs dyed pastel colors. That's because, just like the Christmas tree and the Yule log, chicks and bunnies started out as pagan symbols of the season and were co-opted (maybe tolerated is a better word) by the Church for its celebration of Christ's resurrection. In any case, the symbolism hasn't changed. At base, both Easter and Ostara are about new beginnings and fresh starts, about coming out of difficult times and into the light and warmth.
Maybe I should warn you, though, that Seized is not about light and warmth. It's set at the winter solstice 2012, which, you may remember, is the date when the Mayan calendar (or one of them, anyway) is supposed to end. Given that this is the first of four or five books, you might surmise that I'm not predicting the end of the world on that day. And you would be right. But in the world of this series, change is certainly coming....
Anyway, if all goes as planned, Seized will be available for the Kindle on Tuesday. If you don't have a Kindle, all is not lost -- Amazon has free Kindle software available for many platforms, including PCs and smartphones. (I've been reading Kindle books on my iPhone. It's not as bad as it sounds. No, really!) I'll pull together a paperback version, too, if there's enough interest -- let me know.