Beyond Eggs: Ways to Celebrate Oestara

Beyond Eggs: Ways to Celebrate Oestara

by Melanie Fire Salamander


The wheel of the year turns; the days get longer, dawns earlier. The Spring Equinox, Oestara, approaches. You want to celebrate, but how? The same way you did last year? Nah, boring. Or maybe you’ve never planned an Oestara ritual before. Maybe it’s a holiday you’ve always gotten stuck on: You understand Imbolc, you understand Beltaine, but Spring Equinox — what do you do then? Following are some ideas to get your imagination ticking.

First, as with any Sabbat, consider whether you want only to celebrate the time of year and the goddesses and gods of spring or also to perform magick to accomplish a goal. If you want to perform magick, what goals do you and your co-ritualists have, and how do you work for those goals in magick appropriate to the time of year?

Whether you perform magick or simply celebrate, your Oestara rites begin with understanding the time of year. If Litha, June 21 or thereabouts, is Midsummer, Oestara is Midspring. It’s the second of the three spring holidays, Imbolc marking spring’s first glimmer and Beltaine spring’s height and power. If Imbolc is about inspiration, Beltaine about consummation, Oestara is about growth. At Oestara, the seed that stirred at Imbolc sprouts and pokes its head above ground. At Oestara, you can begin to feel spring: The crocuses and daffodils are out; the cherries blossom. The air smells of wet earth and flowers; earth and air begin to warm. You see the tall spring cumulus, feel the first spring wind, greet kite-flying weather. You can make your Oestara ritual part of this burgeoning spring, celebrating Earth’s fertility and the fertility in your own life.

You can also consider Oestara as a time of balance between light and dark. Night and day equally divide the 24 hours now; the dark half of the year gives way to the light. You can perform rituals to ask for balance in your life, and to honor both dark and light.

You can also work with Oestara as the first quarter of the Sun-year, parallel to the first quarter of the Moon. It’s a time to start new things or to consolidate beginnings. If the first inspiration began at Imbolc, now is the time to pour on nurturance and growth. You can also plant new seeds now. Symbolic associations for Oestara include the element air, the direction east and the time of dawn.

In a related association, this time belongs to the Maiden and her parallel the Young God. Other gods and goddesses concerned with Spring Equinox include the Greek wine-god Dionysos and his Roman counterpart Bacchus; the Greeks held Dionysia at Spring Equinox, when the new wine made the previous harvest was first drunk. The Norse at equinox celebrated the feast of the goddess Iduna, bearer of the magick apples of life, symbol of the light half of the year. We get the name of the holiday from the Germanic goddess Eastre or Oestara, whose symbolism is similar to Aphrodite’s, whose associations include Near-Eastern Astarte and Indian Mother Kali and whose consort is the lusty Moon-Hare.

On the day before the equinox, the Greeks and Romans honored wisdom goddess Athena and her counterpart Minerva. Rhea, mother of Greek Sky-Father Zeus and an aspect of the Great Mother, has her feast day March 15. March as a whole is sacred to the Roman god Mars and his Norse equivalent Tyr, and to the Anglo-Saxon Earth-Mother Hertha.

To celebrate Oestara, you can do any of the following, or use these ideas as a springboard.

Get out in Nature.Take a walk around your neighborhood or favorite park. See which plants are sprouting, which budding, which blooming, which still are in the grips of winter. Feel the air; smell the scents of Oestara.

Clear a space for a garden, or start flowers, herbs or vegetables indoors.It’s too early in this climate to plant fruits and vegetables; frosts can happen as late as April in the Northwest. But you can clear weeds, grass and rubbish from the spot where you plan a garden, or you can start seeds indoors. Check with your favorite garden store what flowers and vegetables might best be started now.

Pick up litter at your favorite park or beach.Help the earth rejuvenate by getting rid of the mess. Even an hour of cleanup can make a big difference.

Ritually color hard-boiled or blown eggs.Eggs, a potent symbol of fertility, figured in pagan spring worship long before their appropriation by the Christian Easter. Ukrainian pysanky, blown eggs with patterns drawn in wax and dyed, are pagan amulets for fertility, prosperity and protection. Pysanky have come to us basically unchanged in form from the hunter-gatherers of Eastern Europe.

For your own rituals, you can draw in crayon or white wax on hard-boiled eggs symbols that represent things you want in the coming sun-year, or write on the eggs these things’ names, or both. You can then use Easter-egg or natural dyes to color the eggs; your wax symbols and writing will stand out against the dye-color. Next, raise energy in ritual for your goals, charge the eggs with that energy, then peel and eat the eggs, taking in the things you want to manifest. Alternatively, you can mark and dye unboiled eggs, then crack tiny holes in both ends with a pin and blow out the matter inside, keeping the eggshell on your altar.

Perform oomancy (divination by eggs).To perform the most common form of egg-divination, separate egg whites and yolks. You then drop the white into hot water and divine from the shapes it assumes.

Perform love or other divination with apples.Apples are a Northern European pagan symbol of spring and of love. You may recall from childhood two forms of love-divination by apple, using the seeds and the stem.

To divine whether someone loves you by apple seeds, choose and eat an apple thinking of your loved one. Next, split the core and count the seeds chanting this rhyme: One I love, two I love, three I love I say, four I love with all my heart, five I cast away; six she loves, seven he loves, eight they both love; nine s/he comes, ten s/he tarries, eleven s/he courts, twelve s/he marries. To divine the first letter of your spouse-to-be’s name, twist an apple’s stem while chanting the letters of the alphabet. The letter at which the stem breaks is his or her initial.

Both these love-divination techniques can be adapted to other uses. To adapt the former, alter the rhyme with words suiting your situation. To adapt the latter, you can simply chant yes and no while twisting till the apple stem breaks; you can also chant “yes, no, maybe” or use words more specific to your situation.

Meditate on the imagery of the seed.Consider a seed and how it relates to the earth, how it falls from its mother plant into a rich loam made from the breakdown of other dead plants. Consider how the seed is influenced by sun and rain, by the energy from sky and earth. Or contemplate as a seed an idea or situation in your life, then imagine the seed breaking open and sending out roots and sprouts. Study what these roots and sprouts look like, where they find barriers and where they grow most strongly.

Perform magick by planting a seed to grow with your spell.A traditional love-spell runs as follows. (Of course, you shouldn’t perform this spell to draw a particular person, but rather to draw the right person toward you.) Just after the New Moon, plant the seed of some sturdy plant in a pot. Water thoroughly, and charge your spell by raising energy and saying over the plant: As this root grows, and this blossom blows, may my true love be inclined toward me. You can adapt this spell to any purpose naturally achieved over time, such as the success of a business.

Meditate on the season’s flowers.Around us now bloom crocuses, daffodils and early tulips. You can find or purchase cut or living flowers and meditate on them. Sitting before the flowers, consider what is growing in your life. Flowers are the sexual organs of plants; consider what this says to you.

Perform magick to give back to the earth.Raise and send energy to return to the Earth, our mother, some of the bounteous energy and fertility She gives to us.

Meditate on the Moon-Hare.Rabbits provide an obvious symbol of animal fecundity. Meditate on the Moon-Hare, the animal the early German tribes and the Aztecs saw on the face of the moon, and see what comes to you about literal or creative fertility in your own life.

Honor the spring or Earth goddess or god of your choice, or a goddess or god of balance.To honor balance, venerate Roman Janus or his female counterpart Jana, or any pair of twin goddesses or gods. You can also honor goddesses and gods of spring or fertility now. Greet Oestara with rites like those of Aphrodite; drink new wine in honor of Dionysos; celebrate warlike Mars, deep and fertile Hertha or ever-young Iduna. Likewise, you can honor the Maiden, either sole and free or ripe for consummation.

Light around your house pairs of white and black candles, symbolizing dark and light.Each time you pass a pair of candles, you can honor the balance of light and dark we find this time of year, and the balance of light and dark within yourself.

Light a bonfire at dawn on the Equinox to honor the light half of the year.Not only did ancient Northern Europeans burn such fires, but also the Mayans.

Meditate or perform ritual at dawn or sunset.These liminal times are particularly significant now when we balance between dark and light.

Meditate or perform ritual for balance in your life and in the earth’s life.Meditate on that ancient Eastern emblem of balance, the Yin-Yang symbol. Consider what is dark and hidden, rightly or wrongly, in your life, and what is daylit. Consider how you best can create balance, honoring both sides of yourself. Likewise, contemplate what you see as dark and light in the world around you. Meditate upon what this year will bring, dark and light, and how best you can take right action in the world. You can also use these symbols actively, raising energy and asking that balance come to your life.

Do a ritual denoting the passing of the year’s dark half.Medieval Bohemians, after honoring the Christian savior on Easter Sunday, performed a ritual for his pagan rival on the following Monday, or Moon-day. Village girls sacrificed an effigy of the Lord of Death in the nearest running water, singing “Death swims in the water, spring comes to visit us, with eggs that are red, with yellow pancakes, we carried Death out of the village, we are carrying Summer into the village.”

As an updated variation, you can create an effigy of the dark half of the year and imbue it with the things of winter you’d like to leave behind. You can then either burn it in a bonfire or drop it in the nearest watercourse. (In the former case, you’ll want to make the effigy’s components flammable, in the latter biodegradable.) To return with the spring, bring back to your home greenery cut with respect or water from the stream.

Use the energy of the time of year as you would the first quarter of the moon.You can use the energy of this time of year to fuel any new project or goal.

Meditate on beginnings, on the East, on air, on dawn. This station of the year reflects these traditional associations. In meditation, note how these symbols connect organically and how you relate personally to them.

Confessions of a Solitary

Confessions of a Solitary

by Lisa (Wild Rose) Harris

I contemplated the full moon from my position under the “Triple Goddess” tree. The mountains seemed to glow from the magick of her light. The sounds of the night filled the air: the river’s gentle yet powerful sound enveloping the canyon, the haunting sounds of a great horned owl and coyotes singing from the ridge. The tree in the pasture we had chosen for our site was like no other I had ever seen. She was composed of three trunks of separate trees intertwined, which over the years had grown together to become one, rather than three, trees. I could feel her energy, and anytime I needed to meditate, contemplate or ground myself, I would go to her. Yes, the time and place was right, and there was true magick in the air.

The chilly autumn air of the Sierra Nevada foothills penetrated every part of my body, yet I did not shiver. I looked at my companion, my friend Pauline, who was the only other practitioner of the Craft I knew of in our small mountain town. She was bursting at the seams with energy. We shed our robes, letting them fall to the ground. Neither one of us made a habit of public nudity, yet we wanted to pledge ourselves to the Goddess, naked and unashamed, as we had come into this world. The pasture was well out of view of the road and the few houses that were around. That Samhain midnight, under the full moon, with the animals as witness, was the night I pledged myself to the Goddess and to the Craft.

Seven years later, I am still a solitary. I have met friends, teachers and organizations along the way, but none that I could dedicate myself to with “perfect love and perfect trust.” One self-proclaimed “teacher” from New York, whom I met through the same pagan pen-pal listing where I found my friend Pauline, was obviously interested in using the Craft to manipulate young, innocent pagans into sexual situations, long distance if need be.

When I broke off contact, after catching on what this guy was about, I was deluged with creepy dreams, ravens at my back door and other phenomena that I could only interpret as psychic attack. I did some research on protection spells. Finding nothing I liked, I created one of my own. The object I made and buried near my front door was so strongly charged that the energy it radiated caused a buzzing in my hands that reached up through my arms and into my chest. The words I spoke came from a place somewhere inside myself I was not familiar with. They were powerful and they actually rhymed (which is surprising since I have no poetic talent whatsoever).

Two weeks later, I received a letter from him asking for help. He told me that he was in jail after being lured into a sting operation and arrested because of his religion and his very high-profile promotion of the Craft. He told me that all of the pagan leaders had “turned their backs on him.” I knew that his own energy had turned on him and brought him to justice for what I suspect was some sort of sex-related crime. I burned the letter.

My first experience with magick was swift and strong. I vowed never to misuse power, because when bad energy turns back the power is amplified. I was lucky on two counts: first, that I had recognized the psychic attack, because I had experienced psychic phenomenon ever since I was a child, and second, that I realized there are those who would manipulate others in the name of their god in any religious movement, not just the Craft. I continued on my path, a bit wiser than I was before.

As I have continued, the magick I have created on my own has been so powerful that it has frightened me on occasion. Knowing the power that one can raise and direct has made me ever vigilant about only doing magick for the right reasons. I won’t even send healing energy to someone with out their explicit permission. I also teach my daughter that magick should not be done for selfish reasons, as what we set in motion tends to take on a life of its own. Karma works.

There have been times when I’ve wished that I could become part of a coven and do great magickal and celebratory works with others. There are other times when I am grateful that I have chosen a path that frees me of hierarchy and dogma. To me, the thought of earning degrees and having someone else “bestow titles” on me is too much like the Christian faith I was raised in. I entered the Craft as a spiritual quest, a way to connect with something that I understood, rather than trying to fit into someone else’s religion or dogma. My beliefs would put me at odds with some traditions. Some people may want and need a specific structure and system; I do not do well in such a system. I can’t bring myself to profess to believe in something unless I honestly believe and agree with every fiber of my being. That’s difficult for me to do in anything organized.

Another difficulty I have with working groups is just that, that they’re groups. My personal philosophy on paganism is that most “witches” were solitaries, doing kitchen magick and healing. I believe that this magickal work and connection with the natural world was an everyday way of life, and that witches got together mainly for seasonal festivals and rites of passage. I tend to agree with the theory that coven structure, as we know it, did not enter into the picture until later, during the Inquisition and the like. Since none of us were there at the time, we can only do our best to follow the path as we see it.

Now that I have a family and want a spiritual community for my daughter, I’ve addressed the group aspect of the Craft differently. We belong to a Unitarian Universalist Church in Tacoma, which has no dogma, only basic principles that I can wholeheartedly support, and which give my daughter the freedom to find her own path. When I arrived at the church, I immediately asked who ran their Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans (CUUPS) chapter. “Where are your pagans?” I asked the board president. He explained to me that the group had gone defunct and that there wasn’t anyone who had the energy to reinvent the group.

I couldn’t abide by the idea of a Unitarian church without a strong pagan presence. Earth-centered spirituality is one of the many traditions the church’s practices are based on. The first thing I did was to write an article responding to a sermon given by the staunch humanist minister who was serving at that time. It was a pagan view on humanism, which challenged the congregation to find magick and sacredness in their lives, rather than just intellectual stimulation.

Once I stirred the pagan political cauldron, I found myself planning a winter solstice service, and soon people began saying that my energy was just what was needed to get things going again. One day I noticed that I was being introduced to new members as the “chief pagan,” and I was being referred to as “priestess.” I now facilitate the church’s Earth Centered Spirituality Group, which leaves me in the odd position of being a solitary leading a group.We get together to study and celebrate seasonal festivals and rites of passage, as I believe our ancestors did. We also reach out to the congregation and community to teach them about the wheel of the year and to dispel myths and propaganda. I didn’t set out to lead a group; it just happened.

My solitary work has taken a back seat, now that I spend so much time and energy facilitating meetings and rituals. Most of my personal practice involves cleansing, purifying and healing, while the seasonal celebrations seem to fall in with the group. I also recently began networking with other groups in the area. Since I have been thrust into a position of leadership and most of my “knowledge” and practice comes from books and personal experience, I feel that it is important to go out and learn from others. I was afraid that I didn’t have the right to lead a circle or study group. What I found in the community was wonderful people to celebrate with, and a feeling of belonging. I also found the rituals I wrote and organized weren’t any different than anyone else’s. I watched other groups spill, trip, forget words, read from cards and make the most of it just like we do. It didn’t hurt the rituals; it made them real. The Goddess loves a good laugh.

My practices have changed over the years. Rather than chanting under the Triple Goddess tree as a rural pagan, I find myself working indoors as a Northwest city pagan. I do healing work for family and close friends, honor the seasonal cycles with a family altar in the living room and occasionally find time for divination. Much of my time is spent at my computer researching and writing our next ritual. Since I never seem to be able to find a ritual from written sources I like, I write them myself.

For me, working ritual that I have created myself or with the help of others gives me more of a sense of connection than reciting something from a book. My wonderful, supportive husband, who is just now embracing his inner pagan, likes to tease me by calling me “Hemingway” when I write. I decided a long time ago that I am looking forward to becoming a very eccentric old woman, and so as not to shock anyone, I’m starting early. I like to write ritual, articles and homilies naked while drinking a glass of Merlot.

And so the wheel turns. It begins under a tree in the mountains and is continued at a keyboard in the city. Some things stay the same. I still ritually purify the house after an illness or argument. I still infuse candles with herbs, oils and energy to use in healing or personal and spiritual growth. Most of all, I try make spirituality a part of my day-to-day life, not just something I do at the full moon or at a Sabbat.

Although part of me still hopes to someday meet that group of people with whom I fit perfectly, I guess I have the best of both worlds, my own personal relationship with the Goddess and wonderful new friends to celebrate with. As I close this article, I raise my glass to the goddesses and gods everywhere, and to those who explore, celebrate and honor them in whatever way they see fit. So may it be.

Solitary Witchcraft

Solitary Witchcraft

by Raelayna Alvarez

I became a solitary witch at first because there wasn’t an outspoken pagan community in my area. Although I live in California south of San Francisco, the community that surrounds my home isn’t as open-minded as its northern counterparts. It was hard to find support, let alone a coven. When I began to practice and learn about being a witch, I was alone and hidden. I am no longer hidden, but I have grown accustomed to practicing alone, doing what I feel are the right things to do. I imagine a coven is a wonderful gathering of witches, but for someone who is used to being solitary and not really comfortable with being in a large group, I find my way most beneficial for me.

Being a solitary witch in my opinion is cozy. I feel closer to my Goddess and God because I can say what I sense and not rely on my group to agree or disagree. What I do comes from my heart and my traditions; it isn’t always a set thing. I don’t have to worry about telling anyone in advance that I changed the words or actions a bit; I just do it. Another reason I feel more at home with solitary witchcraft is the fact that I know when I am ready, when my mind is set to do magick and when I am comfortable to do it. I can take my time and release energy when I feel it is necessary. I do not have to work within the perimeters of another person, or a whole group.

Although I enjoy being a solitary witch, I tend to lack in certain areas that a coven might excel in, such as gathering energy. Sometimes I find it hard to muster up the right kind of energy for my task, or for casting a circle. Certain types of magick, too, tend to be more productive with more then one person (for example, sex magick). I can say that magick can be seen on a different level when others are involved. A spirit person might communicate better with someone of the opposite sex, or an additional person might bring a different interpretation that may change the way you do things. Others may be more open to the effects of energies and can bring insight that wasn’t possible with just you alone.

In my practices as a solitary witch, I come to my Goddess and God with humility, yet with love and familiarity, much like that of a close friend or relative. I recognize every day that my Goddess and God have given me things that no one else, no matter how important, could give me. I look into my heart and mind for the knowledge they bless me with that I might otherwise not see. I can work skyclad or with clothes. I can make my work as long or as short as needed. I can choose the time and place, then change it depending on how things work out.

Many people say that one cannot be a proper witch without being initiated into or being part of a coven. In my case, that simply is not true. I love the way things have worked out for me, and I question whether it would be this good had I joined a coven. I find happiness in the fact that I worship my Goddess and God every day. The way I choose is the best way for me and who I am. A coven might well make me feel uneasy and out of touch. I’m afraid I would feel left out. Solitary witchcraft may not be the best for everyone, but I find it perfect for me.

About Oestara

About Oestara

a guide to the Sabbat’s symbolism

by Arwynn MacFeylynnd

Date: March 21–23 (usually, the date of the calendar spring equinox).

Alternative names: Spring Equinox, Vernal Equinox, Alban Eiler, Mean Erraigh, Eostre.

Primary meanings: Oestara is light and dark balanced, with light gaining power. It’s the turning point from winter to spring. It is a beginning of the agricultural year, and its rites ensure fertility of crops and flocks; it is a time of planting, nurturing and growth. The God and Goddess begin their courtship now. Oestara was not originally a part of the Celtic year but was named for a Teutonic goddess of spring and new life, Eostre. The holiday was probably brought to prominence in the Celtic world by the Saxons.

Symbols: The hare or rabbit, eggs, seeds, potted plants, the New Moon, butterflies and cocoons.

Colors: Lemon yellow, pale green and pale pink, all pastels, robin’s-egg blue and white.

Gemstones: Aquamarine, rose quartz and moonstone.

Herbs: Crocuses, daffodils, ginger, jasmine, Irish moss and snowdrops.

Gods and goddesses: All youthful and virile gods and goddesses, sun gods, mother goddesses, love goddesses, moon gods and goddesses and all fertility deities. Goddesses include Persephone, Blodeuwedd, Eostre, Aphrodite, Athena, Cybele, Gaia, Hera, Isis, Ishtar, Minerva and Venus. Gods include Robin of the Woods, the Green Man, Cernunnos, the Dagda, Attis, Mithras, Odin, Thoth, Osiris and Pan.

Customs and myths: Spell-work for improving communication and group interaction is recommended, as well as for fertility and abundance. Oestara is a good time to start putting those plans and preparations you made at Imbolc into action. Plan a celebratory walk (or ride) through gardens, a park, woodlands, forest or other green places. A popular Oestara activity is decorating and coloring or dying hard-boiled eggs, or other eggs such as those made of wooden or papier-mâché. Use gold and silver paint pens to draw pagan designs and magickal symbols all over your eggs, or use other color combinations. Try interconnected triangles, symbolizing the Triple Goddess, pentagrams and other God and Goddess symbols, or words written in magickal scripts. Other traditional activities include gardening and practicing all forms of herbal work — magickal, artistic, medicinal, culinary and cosmetic.

‘THINK on THESE THINGS’ for March 18

By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

“There is no royal road to anything – One thing at a time, and all things in succession. That which grows slowly endures.”
– J.G. Holland

The first lesson we have to learn is that instant success in anything is a fantasy. The overnight success stories we hear about are really products of much preparation.

If we could view a life laid out before us, we could see it is much like a hand sewn quilt, built of many tiny pieces, colors of every hue, fabrics of every kind, and patiently joined together by tiny stitches to give many years of service. Maybe we missed a stitch someplace and it caused a weak place, but the strength of many other stitches will carry it through. Finally a complete quilt has been created and it is strong and lasting.

When we truly want to move ahead we build our lives a quilt block at a time, patiently adding to another part of life until we have the strength and courage to endure.

Take one step at a time, but take it positively forward! The patience will be rewarded. To have a dream come true we must first have a dream. Don’t look back. The past is gone, but the future is still in our hands.


Available online! ‘Cherokee Feast of Days’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler.

Visit her web site to purchase the wonderful books by Joyce as gifts for yourself or for loved ones……and also for those who don’t have access to the Internet:
Click Here to Buy her books at

Elder’s Meditation of the Day – March 18

Elder’s Meditation of the Day – March 18

“The sacred fire used to heat the rocks represents the eternal fire that burns at the center of the universe.”

–Dr. A.C. Ross (Ehanamani), LAKOTA

Our Sweat Lodge represents the womb of Mother Earth. This is the place of forgiveness. The altar is the place where the Grandfathers are heated. The Sweat Lodge and the altar represent the whole story of the universe. The Sweat Lodge and the ceremonies are sacred. The Great Spirit gave these things to us to help us. He taught us to do the ceremonies in harmony with Mother Earth. We need to know and understand these things.

Great Spirit, let me understand harmony.


March 18 – Daily Feast

March 18 – Daily Feast

Other people have so much happen in their lives before we get to know them that we don’t always know how to meet their needs. If they have been hurt, they may box themselves in and our reach is not long enough. But we cannot go back and make up for what someone else has done. All of us have come to the present with some memory, some experience, that has affected us negatively. It would be hard to live in a world of hurt and not be touched by it. But the Cherokee knows that change can take place suddenly to heal life. A Seneca chief had been sick a long time, but he was visited in his dreams by three supernatural beings sent by the Great Spirit, and rose up cured to teach the good message given him by the Master of Life. His people thrived and flourished and developed gifts. So can we. When we seek we find. And it may be by helping others.

~ We were a lawless people, but we were on pretty good terms with the Great Spirit. ~


‘A Cherokee Feast of Days’, by Joyce Sequichie Hifler


Daily Motivator for March 18th – Successfully being you

Successfully being you

Remind yourself how strong you have been. Consider how strong you can be.

The challenges that face you are real, and not to be taken lightly. Yet you have already worked your way through countless challenges, and you have what it takes to keep moving forward.

Let yourself feel sincere, all-encompassing gratitude for where you are and for what you have. Make the commitment to make positive, purposeful use of the goodness with which you are blessed.

There is much to be done and there is even more that you’re capable of doing. In every moment is the opportunity to create new, fulfilling value.

Look forward, and envision the best possibilities. Step confidently ahead, and feel how good and right it feels to make them come to life.

You are, right now, the most experienced and effective you’ve ever been at successfully being you. Use this day to raise your success to ever higher, more fulfilling levels.

— Ralph Marston

The Daily Motivator

Daily OM for March 18th – A Matter of Priorities

A Matter of Priorities
Letting Go of the Little Stuff


When we stop worrying about unimportant matters, we can devote so much more of ourselves to what is truly important.
We experience numerous disappointments each and every day. Our expectations go unmet, our plans are blocked by circumstance, our wishes go unfulfilled, and we discover that our lives are subject to a myriad of forces beyond our conscious control. In some cases, our response is powerful because we must invest ourselves and our resources to overcome genuine hardship. In others, our reactions are far more passionate than our circumstances likely warrant. The tension that permeates our bodies and minds when we are late for an event, interrupted at work, or sitting in traffic is not inappropriate, but it can interfere with our well-being in profound ways. When we stop worrying about relatively unimportant matters, we can be at peace and devote so much more of ourselves to what is truly important.

The small frustrations and irritations wield such power over us because they rob us of the illusion of control. But every problem is a potential teacher—a confusing situation is an opportunity to practice mindfulness, and difficult people provide us with opportunities to display compassion. There is a natural human tendency to invest copious amounts of emotional energy in minor dilemmas and frustrations in order to avoid confronting those more complex issues that are largely outside the realm of our control. The intensity of our response provides us with a temporary sense of personal power that helps us cope with challenges that might otherwise overwhelm us. But it is only when we let the little stuff go that we discover that the big stuff is not really so devastating after all.

In the stress of a singularly tense incident, differentiating between an inconsequential annoyance and a legitimate challenge can seem a monumental task. Ask yourself whether the emotions you are feeling will be as vivid in a year, a day, or even an hour. As focused as you are on this moment in time, your reward for letting go of your emotional investment may be the very happiness and harmony of being whose loss you are lamenting. Needless aggravation is seldom worth the cost it exacts. You cannot distance yourself from life’s inconsistencies, irritations, and upheavals, but you can relinquish your desire for perfect order and gain peace of mind in the process.

Special Kitty of the Day for March 18th

Sammy, the Cat of the Day
Name: Sammy
Age: Deceased, Fourteen years old
Gender: Male
Kind: Flame Point Siamese
Home: Alexandria, Virginia, USA
Sammy Jammy was adopted from an animal control shelter in Michigan where I volunteered when he was about two years old. He sat in a cage for over six weeks and was almost sold to research. He was a Flame Point Siamese (Applehead). Sammy had been my little old man from day one. If I sat down for even five seconds, he immediately crawled in my lap. He was a slow mover, though in his younger years he would play (which was hilarious to watch). He had a funny meow that sounded like he was saying “monroe.” Being a siamese, we had great conversations every day. He was very wise and had a lot to say. Although he was deaf for two years and then was in kidney failure, he had such spirit and a desire to live. Every night, he crawled in my lap and we cuddled. He’d bury his forehead into me and purr.

I had a hard time imagining life without him, but Sammy passed away a few weeks ago from a long battle with kidney failure. I will always remember him, and miss him very much.

Dog-gone Doggie of the Day for March 18th

Sheba, the Dog of the Day
Name: Sheba
Age: Unknown
Gender: Female Breed: German Shepherd
Home: New York, USA
My adopted parents rescued me from a shelter. I love to dress up for show, and play with my male buddy Coolidge the cat who also rescued a year after me. We are both thankful for being loved by our adopted parents Randi and Patrick.

Sheba can be seen out running in Prospect Park on a regular basis. Sheba was adopted two years ago January. At the time, she was emaciated and the vet advised that she shouldn’t start running until she put on weight. She’s leading the good life now and could use a run now and then to keep her girlish figure, especially since she started walking the fashion runway. Sheba was a winner at the first annual Pups on the Runway Halloween Costume Ball and recently participated in the Pre-Westminster Fashion Show. In her spare time, she does lots of socializing, hiking, hanging with her feline brother, attending charity events that raise money for dog-friendly causes, and walking dogs from the local rescue. Sheba likes to take advantage of all the city has to offer for canines including the Dog-Friendly NY race, Doggy Dash, Bark In The Park, Broadway Barks, Coffee Bark in Prospect Park and Light the Night. We love her a lot.

Today’s Runes for March 18th is

Today’s Runes

Stone Runes are most commonly used for questions about the natural world and things beyond human control. Wunjo is the rune of Joy. Since joy is least frequently a solitary emotion, this rune often represents mutual or communal bliss. Wunjo is also seen as a rune of the gods and a rune of perfection, carrying with it the elation that blazes from the creation of a perfect work – perhaps this is the true joy of the gods, that they can create perfection. That aside, this rune does not focus on the struggle for perfection or on our inevitable imperfections, but rather on a job well done and the satisfaction that comes from it.

Calendar of the Moon for Sunday, March 2

Calendar of the Moon
13 Nion/Anthesterion

Anthesteria Day 3: Khutroi

Color: Purple
Element: Earth
Altar: Upon a purple cloth set a great jug of water, the ship of Dionysos, a wreath of grapevines, nine purple candles, and a cauldron in which are many beans.
Offerings: Food. Feed people in the community.
Daily Meal: Beans and lentils and rice. Grains cooked with honey. Only water to drink today. A great meal should be prepared, and many people from outside the community should be invited, especially those who are in need. If there is not room, the meal may be cooked and taken to the appropriate shelter or soup kitchen.

Khutroi Invocation

After the joy of the vine,
We come to water and work.
Water of the flood, which washed away
Our ancestors, may you give us
Only aid, and may we not see
Your terrible aspect, drowning the millions.
Work of the world, the greatest of which
Is the giving of sustenance to those who have none.
As we come to a better understanding
Of what it is to be past childhood,
After the day of joy and mirth
We come to the threshold
Of work and toil for the good of others.
For this is truly the mark
That we have passed youth and innocence:
When we realize the Fate does not
Take care of everyone, including we ourselves,
And that we must stand in for Fate
And alter the order of the world,
Giving of ourselves that others may survive,
And thus become Fate.
On this the Day of Pots
We open our cooking fires
To the rest of the world.

(All depart and proceed to the kitchen, where the meal is prepared in silence, with all meditating upon the effort that it will take to feed all that they can, and what that means to one’s understanding of oneself as a mature being connected to the web of life.)

Pagan Book of Hours

Calendar of the Sun

Calendar of the Sun

Media Hiems

Color: White and grey
Element: Earth
Altar: Set out a cloth of white and grey, a vase of bare branches, a single grey candle, a pitcher of melted snow or rainwater, pots of earth, and seeds to be sown and nurtured in the greenhouse.
Offering: Seeds, preferably saved from the year before.
Daily Meal: Vegetarian.

Media Hiems Invocation

Earth that lies asleep
Waiting for the touch of the Sun
To grow in strength and light
And awaken thee to life,
We warm thee with our breath,
We prepare thee with our hands,
We plant thee with our hopes,
We await thy awakening
With faith in the coming of Spring.

Breath warms thee
Hands prepare thee
Hope sows thee
Sun awaken thee.

(All take seeds and plant them in the pots of earth, water them, and breathe onto them, visualizing the seeds awakening and growing. The remainder of the water is poured out as a libation to the Earth. The pots are then taken to the greenhouse in procession to be nurtured until planting time.)

Pagan Book of Hours