Oestara Is Also The Spring Equinox
It is no coincidence that the name for this sabbath sounds similar to the word ‘Easter’. Eostre, or Ostara, is an Anglo-Saxon Dawn Goddess whose symbols are the egg and the hare. She, in turn, is the European version of the Goddess Ishtar or Astarte, whose worship dates back thousands of years and is certainly pre-Christian. Eostre also lives on in our medical language in the words ‘oestrous’ (the sexual impulse in female animals) and ‘oestrogen’ (a female hormone). Today, Oestara is celebrated as a spring festival. Although the Goddess put on the robes of Maiden at Imbolg, here she is seen as truly embodying the spirit of spring. By this time we can see all around us the awakened land, the leaves on the trees, the flowers and the first shoots of corn.
Oestara is also the Spring Equinox, a time of balance when day and night are equal. As with the other Equinox and the Solstices, the date of this festival may move slightly from year to year, but many will choose to celebrate it on 21 March. In keeping with the balance of the Equinox, Oestara is a time when we seek balance within ourselves. It is a time for throwing out the old and taking on the new. We rid ourselves of those things which are no longer necessary – old habits, thoughts and feelings – and take on new ideas and thoughts. This does not mean that you use this festival as a time for berating yourself about your ‘bad’ points, but rather that you should seek to find a balance through which you can accept yourself for what you are.
There is some debate as to whether Oestara or Imbolg was the traditional time of spring cleaning, but certainly the casting out of the old would seem to be in sympathy with the spirit of this festival and the increased daylight at this time encourages a good clean out around the home.
Ostara – Spring Equinox
Ostara: Oestre, Easter, the Spring Equinox, Vernal (Spring) Equinox, Alban Eiler (Caledonii).
March 20 – 23 Northern Hemisphere / September 20 – 23 Southern Hemisphere
Traditionally March 21st
The Spring Equinox is the point of equilibrium – and it celebrates the arrival of Spring, when light and darkness are in balance but the light is growing stronger. The forces of male and female are also in balance.
The Easter Bunny also is of Pagan origin, as are baskets of flowers.
A traditional Vernal Equinox pastime: go to a field and randomly collect wildflowers (thank the flowers for their sacrifice before picking them). Or, buy some from a florist, taking one or two of those that appeal to you. Then bring them home and divine their Magickal meanings by the use of books, your own intuition, a pendulum or by other means. The flowers you’ve chosen reveal your inner thoughts and emotions.
Cultivating herb gardens is also a fine Ostara project . This is the time to free yourself from anything in the past that is holding you back.
We are masters of organization today, which can increase productivity. Ironically, being so preoccupied with having everything in order can impede our progress. The methodical Capricorn Moon reminds us to tighten up all systems, yet something unexpected might upset our plans and add chaos to the day. If our schedules are disrupted, we should take it as a sign that we are being too rigid and need to loosen control before continuing with our work.
You might feel as if you’re being attacked today by someone who is simply trying to improve your efficiency. But don’t be too quick to compromise yourself by changing your behavior to accommodate others. There’s no need to pretend that you’re willing to modify your approach just to avoid a confrontation. Fortunately, if you’re honest about your motives right from the beginning, you will be less likely to provoke any trouble.
Although problems may arise at work today, they will probably be minor ones. Still, you don’t need to feed them with your insecurities. Instead, use the down-to-earth Capricorn Moon to plant your best ideas, allowing them to slowly take root for future growth. You might think that you have to disclose all your ideas now, but this assumption can get you into trouble. Patience is one of your innate virtues, so slow down and let everything develop naturally.
You are usually at your best when your world is buzzing with lots of mental stimulation. However, you can get so excited today that you say something that’s best kept to yourself. You intuitively recognize that plans may change several times before the day is done. Practicing meditation or breathing techniques can help settle your busy mind.
Someone may come to you with a sensible idea today, but it doesn’t fit into your tight schedule. Analyzing all the facts might not help you decide what to do. You could listen to other people’s stories yet still resist helping them out. Or you could just jump in, even if it means putting your own issues on the back burner. Go for the assist; it won’t be as time consuming as you think and the intangible rewards make it worthwhile.
If you come up with a good idea today, you will have to make the effort to see it through. That might seem fair, but why is it that if someone else suggests a plan now, you are still the one who has more work to do? Unfortunately, changing these inequitable dynamics appears to be beyond your reach. Although you want more control of your own life, it’s better to do what’s expected of you now. You’ll have a chance to put things back in balance soon enough.
You may be thankful today because your common sense is keeping you in line. Although one part of you is bored with the regular routine, you might not be ready to break free just yet. Even if you’re raring to go, others are counting on your stability, so bolting isn’t necessarily a wise move. Hold on to your horses; waiting for the right time to initiate action is always a smart idea.
It may be difficult to understand how your own fears influence your judgments and push you toward one decision or another. Just remember that your integrity is ultimately more important than what others think of you. Don’t get distracted by the intellectual noise. Enjoy the quiet while you can find it; your thoughts speed up tomorrow, making it harder to reclaim the peace of knowing what’s true.
You have set your heart on a bigger prize today, an emotional treasure that’s buried deep beneath the surface. A minor irritation at work can provoke you to withdraw and escape into your imagination, but turning inward now stirs old fears that only get in the way of progress. Unquestionably, it’s smarter to deal directly with an annoyance before it turns into something bigger that becomes unmanageable.
Make the most of your authority today by sharing your experiences instead of just bossing someone around. You have recently returned to Earth from a journey to the outer limits of possibilities. Thankfully, you can finally hear the voice of common sense, even though it has taken away your wings. Keep both feet on the ground until you see tangible results from your heartfelt efforts.
Although you may think that time has run out, the game isn’t over. Don’t trust your senses now, for a trick of light can warp your perceptions to match your desires. There is more going on than meets the eye as the Moon in your sign reminds you that simple logic can’t always override an intense feeling. Denial is not a viable strategy, so keep an open mind until your head and your heart are in agreement.
You might not want others to see how serious you are today because you think their assumptions will paint you into a corner. You’re afraid of being stuck in a role you don’t want to play. It’s important to keep your options open as mischievous Mercury backs into your key planet Uranus over the next couple of days, throwing a few unexpected curve balls and playing tricks on your mind. Don’t be overly concerned by what anyone else thinks; you don’t need to conform to their expectations.
You may be the conscientious person who holds everyone’s interests together today, even if you sacrifice your own point of view in the process. The responsible Capricorn Moon’s visit to your 11th House of Teamwork enables you to keep your preferences to yourself in the name of community spirit. Just remember that your feelings are important, too, even if they are temporarily subsumed by the needs of the larger group.
Cut Hair to Retard Growth, Mow to Retard Growth, Castrate Farm Animals, Harvest, Pick Apples and Pears, Wean, Quit Smoking, Potty Train, Perform Demolition, Wash Wooden Floors, Wash Windows, Start Diet to Lose Weight, Advertise to Sell, Buy a Car
Correspondences for Friday, March 16th
Magickal Intentions: Love, Romance, Marriage, Sexual Matters, Physical Beauty, Friendship and Partnerships, Strangers and Heart
Incense: Strawberry, Sandalwood, Rose, Saffron and Vanilla
Sign: Libra and Taurus
Colors: Green, Pink, Aqua
Herbs/Plants: Pink Rose, Ivy, Birch, Heather, Clematis, Sage, Violet and Water Lilly Stones: Rose Quartz, Moonstone, Pink Tourmaline, Peridot, Emerald and Jade
Oil: (Venus) Cardamom, Palmrosa, Rose, Yarrow
Friday belongs to Venus, and its energies are warm, sensuous, and fulfilling. Efforts that involve any type of pleasure, comfort, and luxury, as well as the arts, music, or aroma (incense and perfume) works well on this day. As Venus lends its sensuous influences to the energies of this day, use it for any magical work that deals with matters of the heart.
The Wicca Book of Days for March 16th
Gabriel, the Go-Between
As a Piscean day, March 16’s astrological element is Water, which in esoteric belief, is in turn associated with Gabriel. Gabriel’s correspondences also include Winter and the West, the direction in which you should turn when invoking this Archangel. In Christianity, Gabriel is best known as the messenger from God who announced her impending motherhood to the Virgin Mary, but he is specifically mentioned by name in the old Testament Book of Daniel as helping Daniel to interpret his visions. And in the apocryphal Book of Enoch, Gabriel is “one of the holy angels who is (watches) over Paradise and the serpents and the Cherubim.
If you are puzzling over an enigmatic dream or vision, try respectfully requesting from Gabriel the same help that he gave Daniel. You may be blessed to feel the presence of this angelic being with you, ready “to give thee skill and understanding.” (Daniel 9:22)
*Remember there are various Pagan Traditions that use Saints and Archangels in their Religious Practices.
Today’s Affirmation for Friday, March 16th
I can achieve any goal I set myself if I choose my goals wisely. I dedicate myself to the goals that really matter.
Today’s Thought for Friday, March 16th
“The significance of a man is not in what he attains but rather in what he longs to attain.”Kahlil Gibran (1883 – 1931)
Today’s Talisman for Friday, March 16th
Focus On A Pebble
You can use a pebble as a talisman to act as a focus for your ambitions and goals. Hold the pebble in your hand and focus your attention on it. Look at the smooth grain of its surface and the variations in hue, and feel the cool hardness of the pebble against your skin. Now close your eyes and squeezing the pebble tightly in one hand, wish for the fulfilment of an important dream or goal. As you do so imagine that the stone is glowing in your hand, charged with the energy of your wish. Put the stone in a place where you will see it on a daily basis to remind you of your goal. Whenever you are about to take a step toward achieving your goal and require an extra boost, squeeze the stone in your hand to summon your energies and focus your mind.
As well as pebbles, there are many other things that you can use as talismans – for example, a semi-precious stone or crystal, a pendant or a small toy or doll.