A Very Happy and Blessed Ostara or Mabon

Well, I just learned something new about the spring equinox in the northern hemisphere and the fall equinox in the southern hemisphere. Ostara the spring equinox is on Thursday, March 19, 2020 at 10:49 PM PM CT while Mabon the fall equinox is on Friday, March 20, 2020 at 2:49 PM AEDT in the southern hemisphere. Which means we are experiencing the equinoxes at the exact same time just in different time zones and because of the international date line on a different date.

When I read this I felt it covered more than just a blessing for Ostara and Mabon. I felt it was a blessing to carry with us all through the year.

Northern Brothers and Sisters: May what you sow this spring come to a bountiful harvest in the fall.

Southern Brothers and Sisters: May what you sowed in the spring be bring you a bountiful harvest this fall.

Remember we can sow different things for our own reasons they do not have to be something we plant in the ground and watch grow, they can be something we change in our lifestyle or in our spiritual or magickal path. Then when we harvest them they become part of us and who we are.

Sabbat: NH Ostara Sunday, March 22nd, SH Mabon Monday, March 23rd

All Witches and Pagans are invited to join the Heart’s Spirit Coven as we celebrate Ostara in the Northern Hemisphere and Mabon in the Southern Hemisphere

WHEN:

Sunday, March 22nd, 2020 NH

Monday, March 23rd, 2020 SH

At 6:00 PM CDT NH/ 10.00 AM AEDT SH

Circle starts at 7:00 PM CDT NH/ 11.00 AM AEDT SH- SHARP.

45 minutes will be allocated for a chance to talk to our Brothers and Sisters. Please do not enter the chat room once the circle has started. Thank you!

WHERE:

Heart’s Spirit Coven Chatroom

 

Beginning the Sabbat with a Universal Prayer

Just before we begin our Sabbat, I would like to acknowledge all that has happened and is happening in 2020, before and beyond. It is a significant time of much change and challenges for both humanity and the Great Earth Mother and all within her. Let us take a minute to pray for the universal healing in this time of need.

“May the Great Mother and Great Father give us strength and refuge in our time of need. Help us to remain calm and strong in the face of uncertainty, help us find compassion without the overwhelming feeling of empathy. Great Mother and Father teach me humility, acceptance and to remember my kindness”

So mote it be……..

 

Ostara in the NH

Ying Yang Drawing for OSTARA

 

You will need (aside from your altar usual set up)

See how to set up basic elemental altar below:

https://covenlife.co/2017/07/06/simple-basic-altar-set-up/

Green Candle

White candle

Yin/Yang  Symbol- cut out the wholes specified once printed, or you can draw or paint the symbol.

2 eggs colored one darker one lighter

 

Mabon in the SH

You will need (aside from your altar usual set up)

See how to set up basic elemental altar below:

https://covenlife.co/2017/07/06/simple-basic-altar-set-up/

 

A wicker basket

Red Apple

Fallen Branch

Seasonal fruit and vegetables

Incense of your choice

Knife to cut apple

Picture of a large pentacle (I use a pentacle disk or you can draw or print one on a piece of paper)

A candle-(the larger the better, one to re-light, whenever you wish to contemplate during the winter months over your magickal and mystical path. If your candle runs low transfer the light to another large candle with love and intent of the energy of the first. Contemplations are done for short periods of time so candle needs to burn for only a couple of minutes at a time, longer if you wish it is purely up to you. Note; DO NOT BLOW OUT CANDLE, SNUFF THE CANDLE INSTEAD)

See how to snuffing candle

Set up for Ritual:

Mabon SH

Sweep your circle with a broom clockwise (use whatever you have on hand, it’s about physically cleaning your space)

Place the wicker basket with seasonal fruit and vegetables in the center of alter

Tree branch to the right of the wicker basket

Ostara NH

Sweep your circle with a broom clockwise (use whatever you have on hand, it’s about physically cleaning your space)

Have your Yin/Yang symbol prepared, holes cut out as indicated on diagram provided ready for ritual

Hard boil your eggs, colour one darker than the other ready to place on symbol

Purify the self and the Environment NH & SH:

Take a shower or bath with your favorite oils

Play your favorite music

Burn your favorite incense

Meditate and ground yourself

Ostara is the beginning of spring, the season for new beginnings and the renewal of life through planting. This is the time we can now plant seeds and nurture them throughout the coming months to bare their fruit. What is it that you would like to plant in your life? What are you willing to nurture throughout the growing season? For this ritual as this season is also a time for re-birth, new life and fertility we will be concentrating on the symbology of the egg. Think of the dark and light as the feminine and the masculine. The Goddess and the God resorting your outer and inner balance.

Mabon is the second of 3 harvest festivals celebrating the equinox and the harvest of apples. On the day of the equinox, day and night is of equal length. For the next 6 months the nights will be longer than the days.  This is such a great time of abundance. All the hard work that it takes to collect the harvest, it is now a time to rest, reap what you have sown and take the time to look at you hopes and aspirations and reflect how they have manifested. Most importantly spend it with the people you love. This is a time of giving, sharing and loving.

 

Cast the Circle:

Hypatia Casting the circle-

To the Guardians of the North:

I call you into our Watchtowers to protect us.

 

To the Guardians of the East:

I call you into our Watchtowers to protect us.

 

To the Guardians of the South:

I call you into our Watchtowers to protect us.

 

To the Guardians of the West:

I call you into our Watchtowers to protect us.

 

I cast this circle three times three with the assistance of the Great Mother and the Great God.

I call Upon the Guardians of spirit to protect us from above and below. As is above so is below, as is below so is above. May the power of The Great God and The great Goddess join us within this circle now, to protect us and to work with us and allow us to see beyond the veil.

Protect us Great Mother and Great Father for all gathered here and those afar who are unable to be with us. Allow no negative energy to touch us, to harm us and that nothing we call upon will harm us and others. We come together in perfect love and perfect trust.

Greeting:

Hypatia – Merry meet brothers and sisters and honored guests.

Everyone – Respond Merry Greet. Please tell us your first name and state or country you are from.

Ceremony:

Please ALL light your main altar candles (not the Mabon or Ostara candles as yet)

Ritual begins:

Ostara

Place green candle to your left and the white candle to your right. Leaving enough room in the middle to place your Yin/Yang symbol.
Place the Yin/Yang symbol in between the lit candles. Place the darker egg into the hole in the lighter colored side of the Yin/Yang and the lighter colored egg into the hole in the darker side.
When done type in “Ready.”
We offer these eggs to Ostara as all new life grows from an eggs or a seed.
Ostara we ask you to bless these eggs to help us renew ourselves as Mother Earth wakens from her slumber. That we may find new life coursing through us as cleansing energy.
Oak King we ask that your fertilize the hopes and wishes we have written here so they may grow and come to fruition as the year progresses.
As the Spring Equinox is the balance of day and night as equals so is the relationship of all males and females. We ask Hecate and her Consort to bless our relationships with others be they men or women. That we feel equal to them and not above or below them.
Take the eggs and set them on the side. Tape the circle of opposite color into the now empty holes. (Before breaking the eggs to eat them write the same runes on to the circles now in the Yin/Yang symbol. The side you write them on should be the same color as the egg they are written on.
We will take a 2 minutes to complete the Yin/Yang symbol. When you are done type in “Blessed be”.

 

Mabon

Your wand in right hand, facing your alter, arms stretched out above head……….

“Autumn Queen and Harvest God I honor Thee. As the change of seasons begins the Wheel has turned once more. A time to reflect, a time to come together in the here and now in this sacred space where all time becomes one. The second harvest has been reaped, now take the time to rest and feel the change as the season passes from one to the next.

My Mother, go now and slumber

My Father go now and dream of re-birth”

Arms outstretched, lower your head and close your eyes, sit in contemplation for 30 seconds.

When ready open your eyes and lower your arms

Pick up the apple and place it on the pentacle

Cut the apple crosswise to reveal the pentagram bringing the elements into your life

Lift the half apple up as in offering and say….

“The year gives way to the next as the season passes and the Great Wheel turns. Ancestors, Guardians and Wise ones guide me. Every begging has an ending and every ending a new beginning”.

Light your Mabon candle now

Take a bite of the apple, put aside to share with nature later

Take the tree branch and shake in each direction, starting with the North, then West, South, East and say…….

“Allow me to remember the summer past as the days grow longer and the days shorter. Memories will warm my soul as the sunlight fades and hearth becomes inviting through this divine light of the candle dedicated to the Mother and Father.

Great Mother calls me forward to rest and lull myself to sleep with her songs as I cling myself to her bosom”.

Face the altar and branch held out in front of you and say……

“May I never forget the summer memories and continue to strive during the colder months. May I take this time to go within and reflect on the Mysteries that lead me to a better understanding of myself, of others and all that is in life and death”.

Put the tree branch back on the altar, take 30 seconds to contemplate about :

The symbols that you have mentally attached to this ritual,

The various projects that you will put in action over the winter months, no matter how small or insignificant they may feel.

After the ceremony please feel free to share the consecrated fruit and vegetables in a beautiful meal with family and friends. Make a beautiful dinner for all to enjoy and be thankful for what is.

 

CLOSING

Dismiss the circle:

  • To the Guardians of the North:

I dismiss and thank you from our Watchtowers and give Gratitude for protect us.

 

  • To the Guardians of the West:

I dismiss and thank you from our Watchtowers and give Gratitude for protect us.

 

  • To the Guardians of the South:

I dismiss and thank you from our Watchtowers and give Gratitude for protect us.

 

  • To the Guardians of the East:

I dismiss and thank you from our Watchtowers and give Gratitude for protect us.

 

As you leave here tonight may the Lady and Lord bless you with all that you need.

 

I bid you Blessings and great Joy Brothers and sisters of the Craft

 

Thank you and farewell

 

Preparing for Ostara/Spring Equinox Coven Gathering Ritual

Merry meet and merry greet. The coven gathering is open to any witch who would like to attend. It is being held on Saturday, MArch 19, 2016 at 7:00 PM CT. For more information go to the Home page on Covenlife.co and scroll down to the announcement for this gathering.

Ostara is the start of spring when day and night are in perfect balance. It is the time when the Triple Goddess starts out as a Maiden and conceives her child. The eggs represent this quickening of the womb. The Ying/Yang symbol represents the male and female energy all living things have inside of them.It is a time to plant your seeds to nurture them into seedlings to plant on or around Beltane when the Triple Goddess enters the Mother aspect.

Below are the things that should be prepared ahead of time for our ritual. I suggest not making the eggs more than 2 days in advance because we will be eating them during the ritual.

Items Needed:

1 White Candle (any size is fine) Represents Ostara

1 Green Candle (same size as white one) Represents Oak King

Lighter or Matches

Water Proof Markers in 2 colors – 1 Light and 1 Darker

2 Previously Hard Boiled and Colored Eggs – 1 Colored the Darker Shade

                                                                                   1 Colored the Lighter Shade

Something to put the egg shells in when you eat them

Pair of Pointy Scissors to cut circles out of Ying/Yang Symbol

1-8×11 Inch Piece of Plain White Paper – With Ying/Yang Symbol Drawn on it.  I suggest using a dessert plate to draw the circle on the paper and then cutting around the outside of the mark.

Holes cut out to fit 1 egg in large part of each side of the symbol. I suggest using a shot glass or something the same size to draw th circles,  then cut inside the lines. Keep circles you cut out. One should be colored the lighter color and the other the darker one (you will be taping them back into the Ying/Yang symbol.

When coloring the eggs and Ying/Yang symbol use the lighter shade on one side and 1 egg. Then use darker side to do other side of symbol and egg.

Black Sharpie or similar Marker to write on the eggs with.

Before the ritual the eggs should be colored, the Ying/Yang symbol drawn and colored. Cut the circles out of each side of the symbol to nestle the eggs in. The reason for putting the opposite color egg into the symbols is to show how if it is the masculine side they have some feminine qualities and vise versa. 

Below will be a drawing of what each step in making the symbol and eggs will look like. My drawing with the Paint program on my computer is not that good but at least it will give you an idea of what I am talking about above.

Ying Yang Drawing

Mark each egg with as many runes as needed to convey your wishes/goals for yourself to sprout and grow thought out the summer and to be harvested in the fall. Below is a list of  one type of runes and their common meanings. You can find other types of runes by doing a search on Google.com or Bing.com

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ITEMS NEEDED FOR RITUAL:

First should have all ritual items as close to your computer as possible, so you can follow along with ritual easily.

Prepared Ying/Yang Symbol

2 Prepared Hard Bile Eggs

1-3 inch Black Candle

1-3 inch Yellow Candle

Plate or something to put egg shells on

Something to save egg shells in -you will be “planting” these either in your garden outside or in a pot inside with some type of seeds (flower or leafy plant or a vegetable- whatever kind of seed is your choice) You can refrigerate or freeze egg shells until you are ready to plant them on Beltane.The egg shells will help nourish what ever seeds or plant you chose to use them with.

Any questions about this post? Please email Lady Beltane at ladybeltane@aol.com

The actual ritual will be posted one week before our gathering in the post that has the date, time and place. Just scroll down this page to find it.

The Witches Correspondences for Friday, December 25th

Christmas with animals ::: Weihnachten mit Tieren
FRIDAY CORRESPONDENCES

Venus/Water/East/West/South/Dawn/Female/Libra/Taurus

 

Magickal Intentions: Love, Romance, Marriage, Sexual Matters, Physical Beauty, Friendship and Partnerships, Strangers, Heart

Color: aqua, blue, light blue, brown, green, pale green, magenta, peach, pink, rose, white, all pastels

Number: 5, 6

Metal: copper

Charm: green or white garments, scepter

Stone: alexandrite, amethyst, coral, diamond, emerald, jade, jet, black moonstone, peridot, smoky quartz, tiger’s-eye, pink tourmaline

Animal: camel, dove, elephant, goat, horse, pigeon, sparrow

Plant: apple, birch, cherry, clematis, clove, coriander, heather, hemlock, hibiscus, ivy, lotus, moss, myrtle, oats, pepperwort, peppermint, pinecone, quince, raspberry, rose, pink rose, red rose, rose hips, saffron, sage, savin, stephanotis, strawberry, thyme, vanilla, verbena, violet, water lily, yarrow, and all flowers

Incense: ambergris, camphor, mace, musk, myrrh, rose, saffron, sage, sandalwood, sweetgrass, vanilla, violet, all floral scents

Goddess: Aphrodite, Asherah, Baalith, Brigid, Erzulie, Freya (Passionate Queen), Frigg, Gefion, Harbor (Beautiful One), Hestia, Inanna, Ishtar (Lady of Passion and Desire), Lakshmi, Lilith, Mokosh, Nehalennia, Nerthus, Ostara, Pombagira, Sarasvati, Shakti, Shekinah, Sirtur, Al Uzza, Venus (Queen of Pleasure), Vesta

God: Allah, Bacchus, Bes, Cupid, the Dagda, Dionysus, El, Eros (God of Love), Freyr, Frit Ailek, Shukra

Evocation: Agrat Bat Mahalat, Anael, Hagiel, Mokosba, Rasbid, Sachiel, Uriel, Velas

Courtesy of Moonlight Musings

The Witches Correspondences for Friday, November 20th

celtic musician

FRIDAY CORRESPONDENCES

Venus/Water/East/West/South/Dawn/Female/Libra/Taurus

 

Magickal Intentions: Love, Romance, Marriage, Sexual Matters, Physical Beauty, Friendship and Partnerships, Strangers, Heart

Color: aqua, blue, light blue, brown, green, pale green, magenta, peach, pink, rose, white, all pastels

Number: 5, 6

Metal: copper

Charm: green or white garments, scepter

Stone: alexandrite, amethyst, coral, diamond, emerald, jade, jet, black moonstone, peridot, smoky quartz, tiger’s-eye, pink tourmaline

Animal: camel, dove, elephant, goat, horse, pigeon, sparrow

Plant: apple, birch, cherry, clematis, clove, coriander, heather, hemlock, hibiscus, ivy, lotus, moss, myrtle, oats, pepperwort, peppermint, pinecone, quince, raspberry, rose, pink rose, red rose, rose hips, saffron, sage, savin, stephanotis, strawberry, thyme, vanilla, verbena, violet, water lily, yarrow, and all flowers

Incense: ambergris, camphor, mace, musk, myrrh, rose, saffron, sage, sandalwood, sweetgrass, vanilla, violet, all floral scents

Goddess: Aphrodite, Asherah, Baalith, Brigid, Erzulie, Freya (Passionate Queen), Frigg, Gefion, Harbor (Beautiful One), Hestia, Inanna, Ishtar (Lady of Passion and Desire), Lakshmi, Lilith, Mokosh, Nehalennia, Nerthus, Ostara, Pombagira, Sarasvati, Shakti, Shekinah, Sirtur, Al Uzza, Venus (Queen of Pleasure), Vesta

God: Allah, Bacchus, Bes, Cupid, the Dagda, Dionysus, El, Eros (God of Love), Freyr, Frit Ailek, Shukra

Evocation: Agrat Bat Mahalat, Anael, Hagiel, Mokosba, Rasbid, Sachiel, Uriel, Velas

 

Courtesy of Moonlight Musings

 

The Witches Correspondences for Friday, November 6th

The Witching Hour

Friday Correspondences

Venus/Water/East/West/South/Dawn/Female/Libra/Taurus

 

Magickal Intentions: Love, Romance, Marriage, Sexual Matters, Physical Beauty, Friendship and Partnerships, Strangers, Heart

Color: aqua, blue, light blue, brown, green, pale green, magenta, peach, pink, rose, white, all pastels

Number: 5, 6

Metal: copper

Charm: green or white garments, scepter

Stone: alexandrite, amethyst, coral, diamond, emerald, jade, jet, black moonstone, peridot, smoky quartz, tiger’s-eye, pink tourmaline

Animal: camel, dove, elephant, goat, horse, pigeon, sparrow

Plant: apple, birch, cherry, clematis, clove, coriander, heather, hemlock, hibiscus, ivy, lotus, moss, myrtle, oats, pepperwort, peppermint, pinecone, quince, raspberry, rose, pink rose, red rose, rose hips, saffron, sage, savin, stephanotis, strawberry, thyme, vanilla, verbena, violet, water lily, yarrow, and all flowers

Incense: ambergris, camphor, mace, musk, myrrh, rose, saffron, sage, sandalwood, sweetgrass, vanilla, violet, all floral scents

Goddess: Aphrodite, Asherah, Baalith, Brigid, Erzulie, Freya (Passionate Queen), Frigg, Gefion, Harbor (Beautiful One), Hestia, Inanna, Ishtar (Lady of Passion and Desire), Lakshmi, Lilith, Mokosh, Nehalennia, Nerthus, Ostara, Pombagira, Sarasvati, Shakti, Shekinah, Sirtur, Al Uzza, Venus (Queen of Pleasure), Vesta

God: Allah, Bacchus, Bes, Cupid, the Dagda, Dionysus, El, Eros (God of Love), Freyr, Frit Ailek, Shukra

Evocation: Agrat Bat Mahalat, Anael, Hagiel, Mokosba, Rasbid, Sachiel, Uriel, Velas

 

Courtesy of Moonlight Musings

Ostara Creation Spell

Ostara Creation Spell

This joyous holiday honors the spring goddess, Ostara, whose name means “movement toward the rising Sun.” Just as Imbolc signals the return of light, Ostara signals the awakening of the Earth. Trees are blooming, bulbs are pushing up out of the ground, birds are nesting, and animals are mating. The creative energy is at its strongest during this season. If you haven’t decided what you wish to manifest this year, do so now.

To empower your goal, write it on a hard-boiled egg with a wax crayon. The egg is a powerful symbol representing the universe in embryo. Your goal lives within you in the same way that creation lives within its egg, and like the egg, your goal has everything it needs to manifest. Now, draw two interlocking triangles to form a six-pointed star on your egg. This star symbolizes one of the most important keys in magic: as above, so below. What you can create in your imagination, you can manifest on the physical plane. Dye your egg a deep red to symbolize the goddess and life itself. Using your egg as a focus, work in the days ahead with the interplay of imagination and physical striving to achieve your desire.

By: Lily Gardner

8 Ideas for Celebrating Ostara


Ostara Comments

8 Ideas for Celebrating Ostara

 

Ostara, the Spring Equinox, is always especially beautiful here in Sonoma County, California. This year seems especially nice. Winter’s rains have been lighter than we would like, but they have been gentle and well timed. My farmer friends with whom I’ve spoken are feeling good. Warming temperatures and longer days have brought forth the first abundant flowers, especially the wild mustard that makes it seem as if our craggy valley oaks and vineyards have their feet awash in bright yellow paint. The threats from frost are virtually over.

Our season and Ostara’s symbolism are in perfect harmony.

Wiccan Sabbats celebrate our Wheel of the Year, and the Wheel of the Year, like the phases of the moon, symbolize to us the stages of life, from birth to death to rebirth. Four Sabbats are “Greater Sabbats” originally linked with Celtic agricultural cycles: Brigit, Beltane, Lammas, and Samhain. The other four “cross quarter” Sabbats are correlated with the cycles of the solar year, the solstices and equinoxes. On the 21st of this month, Witches and many other Pagans will celebrate Ostara, the Spring Equinox.

Equinoxes are times of balance between day and night, light and darkness. But the balance is dynamic, lasting a day, before shifting into playing a role in that greater balance that is the Wheel of the Year. For me this sense of balance should be the dominant theme of either Ostara, or Mabon, the Fall Equinox. But they are very different Sabbats otherwise, for after Ostara the light will continue to grow, whereas after Mabon, it is darkness that increases.

There is another aspect of balance that comes to mind as a am mulling this post over, that between the universal and the concrete. Solar Sabbats are universal, the Greater Sabbats are specific to time and place. Together, they balance the universal with the variety that is local. So while I think it is important to make sure Greater Sabbats are strongly connected with where we live, it is not as important for the Cross Quarter ones.

With these thoughts in mind, I have a few ideas for celebrating Ostara I want to share. All are suitable for Solitaries.

  1. On my altar I will have 4 candles. I will light two, and with sundown, light another. I have tried to figure out a simple but visually beautiful way of symbolizing Sabbats and their meaning, and here is my scheme into which this simple observance fits.

Yule – 1 candle lit during ritual.

Imbolc – 1 candle lit, a second during the ritual.

Ostara – 2 candles lit, a third lit at end of ritual or at sunset.

Beltane – 3 candles, one lit during ritual, making

Midsummer – 4 candles, one extinguished at end of ritual.

Lammas – 3 candles, one extinguished during ritual.

Mabon – 2 candles, one extinguished at sunset or end of ritual.

Samhain – 1 candle lit, but extinguished during ritual.

  1. I will fill my place with local flowers. I just spoke with a friend in Maine. The garden I helped plant still looks like a snow drift. Maybe the willows are changing their color as the sap tentatively rises, making for a good altar decoration. If not, it’s good that this is a solar Sabbat!

3. I will watch the dawn, and do some invocations and prayers while I do it. Ostara is said to have been a Goddess of the Dawn as well as spring, so this is fitting, although very little is known of Her. If I was in Fairbanks, I might let this slide.

  1. In Pagan times eggs and hares were associated with the creation of life and fertility, for obvious reasons. While it seems all folklore of ancient provenance has disputed origins, regardless of how these customs arose and survived, they are perfectly fitted for symbolizing this time, when almost everywhere spring has arrived or is coming soon. Dyeing the eggs in Spring-time colors, and having a good old fashioned Ostara Egg hunt is a wonderful thing for kids.
  2. A good smudging, followed by a good airing if the weather permits. Burning sage is the easiest way to smudge a place, though any cleansing incense is worthwhile. Be sure to get corners and dark places. Energy collects and stagnates in those places, and most of us have had all winter for that to happen.
  3. Plant a seed associated with a magickal ritual for something you want to grow. Simple and personal is best. Focus your intent strongly on the seed, then on the pot of soil after you have planted it. Take care of it. I’d recommend a perennial, that you can plant and let continue to flourish with your care, but maybe an annual will do the trick. Depends on your project.
  4. If you have a yard, this is a good time to begin getting in touch with the spirits of your place. But as with any relationship, it will normally take some time to grow. The last time I lived for any length of time in a house with a yard, I would make weekly offerings in a out of the way part of my yard, that I otherwise left alone (all the rests was garden). I would leave a small glass of rum, some tobacco, and a votive candle (be very careful about fire if you do this). After some months the ‘feel’ of my back yard began to change in ways I and others liked a lot. But remember, attitude makes or breaks this kind of thing – as with all relationships.
  5. If there is a public Sabbat celebration, and you are not part of a coven, try and go. Some are well done, some can seem like ‘ritual abuse,’ but either way, this is a good way to begin meeting other local Pagans. In my view the real magic of what we do is most powerful when we work and celebrate together

Source

Information from Beliefnet

Author: Gus diZerega

Blog: A Pagan’s Blog

Ostara Symbols

Ostara Symbols

Lilies – These beautiful flowers were a symbol of life in Greece and Rome. During the Ostara season, young men would give a lily to the young woman they were courting. If the young woman accepted the lily, the couple were considered engaged (much like accepting a diamond ring from a young man in today’s society).

Lambs – This fluffy little mammal is an eternal symbol of Ostara, and was sacred to virtually all the virgin goddesses of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. The symbol was so ingrained in the mindset of the people of that region that it was carried over into the spring religious rituals of the Jewish Passover and Christian Easter.

Robins – One of the very first birds to be seen in the Spring, robins are a sure sign of the fact that warm weather has indeed returned.

Bees – These busy little laborers re dormant during the winter. Because of this, the sighting of bees is another sure sign of Spring. They were also considered by the Ancient peoples to be messengers of the Gods and were sacred to many Spring and Sun Goddesses around the world.

Honey – The color of the sun, this amber liquid is, of course, made through the laborious efforts of the honeybee. With their established role as messengers to the Gods, the honey they produced was considered ambrosia to the Gods.

Faeries – Because of their ability to bring blessings to your gardens, protect your home, and look after your animals, it is beneficial to draw faeries to your life. Springtime is the quintessential season to begin drawing the fae again. You want to be sure to leave succulent libations or pretty little gifts for them. Some ideas for libations or gifts are… honey, fresh milk, bread, lilacs, primrose blossoms, cowslip, fresh berries, dandelion wine, honeysuckle, pussy willows, ale, or shiny coins.

Equal-armed Crosses – These crosses represent the turning points of the year, the solstices and equinoxes and are often referred to as ‘Sun Wheels’. They come in many forms such as God’s eyes, Celtic crosses, Shamrocks, Brigid’s crosses, 4-leaved clovers, crossroads, etc.

Ostara’s Spring: Celebrating the Little Bit of Pagan in All of Us

Ostara’s Spring: Celebrating the Little Bit of Pagan in All of Us

BY: Debra Moffitt

When spring rolls around there’s an itch to get outdoors,  celebrate Mother Earth and enjoy the season. Ostara, the Pagan festival that comes to us from traditions that  pre-date Christianity, formalized it. It fetes the arrival of Ostara, the  spring. Ostara is personified by the goddess who represents the dawn, the coming  of new light and rebirth through many of the rituals, decorations and gifts that  we’re familiar with to this day. They include colorful Easter eggs, rabbits, and  baskets filled with sweets. Due to the popularity of these symbols in ancient  times they were coopted by Christianity from “pagans” (which to them meant  anyone who’d not adopted the religion) into what we know as Easter celebrations.  Many of us continue to celebrate the season with a little bit of pagan  influenced décor and delights.

The festival of Ostara falls around the equinox and is related to spring  festivities that celebrate renewal, planting new seeds and fertility. These  rites of spring come to us from the Celts and Saxons before they were conquered  by the Romans some 2,000 years ago. The spirit of Ostara festivities aimed to  inspire gratitude to the earth and environment in a beautiful and meaningful way.

Ostara (or Eostra) is an Anglo-Saxon goddess who represented dawn, and her  name derives from the Germanic word for “east.” She’s depicted as a young woman surrounded in light and budding trees and flowers. The Ostara festival falls on  the day of the equinox, the day when light and dark are equal. It also marks the  time when more light will begin to come in, days will be longer, nights shorter  and food will be more abundant. At a time when people had to store food to last  the long harsh winters, this festival was particularly anticipated as a time of  renewed hope.

Inspired by the equinox where light and dark of the physical day are equal,  Ostara is a time to celebrate life and balance. On this occasion it was believed  that taking water at dawn from springs and drinking them would restore balance  and be beneficial for a body. Villages celebrated with bonfires and often ate  the remaining ham that had been stored up over the winter. With the promise of a  new beginning in the fresh blossoms in trees and green sprouts of bulbs from the  ground, new nourishment was available and a sense of possibility restored

The name of this Pagan goddess is connected to one of the most sacred  Christian holidays. Ostara’s (Eostra’s) or the traditional Easter festival was transferred to the celebration of  Christ’s resurrection to incorporate the Christian meaning of Easter after  Anglo-Saxons and Germans converted to Christianity. This merging between “pagan”  and Christian festivals occurred throughout Europe, and remnants of it, like the  Easter eggs, remain visible to this day in both European and American cultures.  The “pagan” cultures didn’t deny divinity; they simply celebrated it in a way  that was more closely connected to the earth and Nature in forms like Ostara who  became a deity they worshiped as they saw her powers manifest every spring.

The symbols that surround Ostara include eggs, rabbits and spring flowers  which speak of the fertility and new life she brings. The egg, especially, has  always been a sacred sign of fecundity. Eggs carried the power of becoming, of  creation. Some ancient legends believed that the Earth was hatched from an egg,  and of course eggs abound in birds’ nests at this time of year. They became  natural associations with fertility, birthing and creation. The egg or lingam is  still much revered and often placed on altars in Hindu culture. Rabbits, too,  were associated with the spring festivals because of their great fertility. They  produce a large number of offspring and breed many times during the season.

Modern Pagans celebrate Ostara with feasting and fun.  It’s a joyous celebration that may be combined with rituals to promote balance,  plant new seeds both literally and figuratively, and prepare for a wonderful new  season of rebirth. Even if you’re not Pagan, everyone can enjoy the ancients  rites and rituals of spring that connect us both to the earth and to our  possibilities to grow spiritually. You may want to get some soil and plant seeds  for lettuce; prepare a kitchen herb garden or bring some potted plants into the  house. Bringing in spring colors will help you to connect with spring energy and  move you into a place where you begin to tap into the energy of renewal. Colors  like lilac, pastel pinks similar to the cherry blossoms and bright tulip colors  will add touches of freshness to interior spaces. In ancient times, when  planting took priority as a way to sustain a community, clearing away debris and  weeds was an important step before spring planting. What needs to be cleared  from your house and life to bring in that essential balance so that the seeds  you long to plant can grow? This is an ideal time to take a moment to  contemplate what needs to be brought into balance in your life.

 

Source:
Beliefnet

Let’s Talk Witch – So What is Ostara All About?

Ostara Comments

Let’s Talk Witch – So What is Ostara All About?

Ostara or the Spring Equinox when I grew up was always celebrated on March 21. In fact, all the Equinoxes were celebrated on the 21st of their respective months. Now who went and moved it, I don’t know. I do know this has caused some confusion in the Pagan community. How? Well, it is simple. The new generation of Witches & Wiccans are taught Ostara/Spring Equinox is on March 20. The Elders celebrate Ostara on March 21st. See the confusion.

To simplify matters, someone (who I don’t know) decided we celebrate Ostara from March 20th thru March 22nd. I guess this just gives us an excuse to celebrate more days, huh? I practice the Ways of Old, which means I am convinced that Ostara is on March 21st. But the books and other material insist that the Spring Equinox occurs during the previous days.

To me, it is like pick one and stick to it. My tradition dictates to me that we celebrate Ostara on the 21st of March. Your tradition might tell you something else. This brings us to the question, who is right? I am open-minded but I don’t like people changing things such as our Sabbats’ days around. I personally believe that no one in the Pagan community did this. I think you know were I am going with this. The same people who have stolen much of our traditions from us, now you get the idea.

All of this makes me wonder, if the dates were changed on our Sabbats, what was the purpose in doing that? Was it to make our Sabbats seem less important? To me, that seems to be the main idea behind moving these dates. Oh, by the way, our Summer Equinox date has also been changed. It is now marked as being celebrated on the 20th of June. Again, it use to be June 21st. And to get totally off topic here, they have even changed the astrological sign’s date in June. I know this personally because I am married a Gemini. But really he is now a Scorpio. Darn, my sign and his sign aren’t even compatiable. Like I said that is totally off topic. But are you getting my point.

It is time for us to wake up and see what is actually happening. Someone is screwing with our Religion (I don’t like the term, screwing but unfortunately it fits). It is an attempt to divide us, cause confusion, and most of all take away the importance of our Religious Holidays. I am tired of others outside of our Religion playing with it. As far as I am concerned, they can keep their paws off of our Religion. If they want to play with one, mess with their own. I wonder how they would like it if all of a sudden Christmas was celebrate December 18th thru 26th. I don’t think they would. Neither do I like people messing with ours.

I have never argued this point amongst the Pagan community. If I did, it would only cause a fight perhaps, confusion and divide us. That is what they want. I will not argue the point with anyone in our community. Never! I understand we have newcomers and Elders that might have grew up or just learned that the Spring Equinox was on this day or that day. As far as all of us at the WOTC, we will wish you a Happy & Blessed Ostara from March 20 to March 22. The point is simple, I will never let them win or comply to anything that might divide us. All that matters is that we know the truth, we know our history and our teachings. We never, ever let anyone come between us. We stand as one Religion with many Paths & Traditions the compliment each other.

Always remember it is extremely important that we work to bring the Craft back to the mainstream Religions. Then once we are back in its rightful place, we will rewrite our own history. Yes, Our History, we should know it better than anyone else! It is a history and heritage that I am proud to call my own on this first day of Spring (you know really it is March 21st, right, lol!).

May the Goddess bless each and everyone of you in this beautiful season of rebirth and renewal.

 

Source

Lady Of The Abyss

Ostara to Beltane

Ostara Comments

Ostara to Beltane

The advent of Spring marks the turning of the year, when hours of daylight begins to outnumber the hours of darkness again. New growth emerges around us and we experience renewed energy and hope, while fertility becomes the focus of the animal and human world and is also seen in the reawakening of the Earth and the flora it sustains. Because the Sun returns to our lives at the Spring Equinox, it is associated with the color yellow.

Ostara Incense

Ostara Incense

Recipe by Scott Cunningham

2 parts Frankincense 1 part Benzoin 1 part Dragon’s Blood 1/2 part Nutmeg 1/2 part Violet flowers (or a few drops Violet oil) 1/2 part Orange peel 1/2 part Rose petals

Burn during Wiccan rituals on Ostara (the Spring Equinox, which varies from March 20th to the 24th each year), or to welcome the spring and refresh your life.

(The above recipe for “Ostara Incense” is directly quoted from Scott Cunningham’s book: “The Complete Book of Incense, Oils & Brews”, page 83, Llewellyn Publications, 1992.)

 

Source

Ostara Lore

Researched and Compiled by StormWing