Ok, so everything stems from my basic ritual. So knowing that the part that reads “Magical workings or devotions” that’s this part for this ritual. So Ostara is on March 22nd of this year. Exciting! So here is my ritual to being in Spring.
Needed for ritual: Paper and pen, Plant pot filled with soil, A large plant or flower seed, Light green candle
I start by reading the poem exerpt:
Again did the earth shift
Again did the nights grow short
And the days long
And the people
of the Earth were glad
each in their own ways
– Diane Lee Moomey
Now as every holiday comes it is only natural to remember it’s history so that way I can cherish it more.
Around March 22nd, we celebrate Ostara, the Spring Equinox, which heralds the beginning of spring and the of the agricultural year On this day darkness and light are in balance. From this day onward, day will dominate the night and the Earth will explode with life. Ostara is a celebration of this renewal and rebirth of nature and warming of the Earth. As mirrors of the world around us, this is an ideal time to put plans into action for growth in our own lives, to actively encourage change.
Ostara is named after Eostra or Ostara, who is the Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring to whom offerings of cakes and colored eggs were made at the Vernal Equinox. Rabbits were sacred to her, especially white rabbits, and she was believed to take the form of a rabbit.
It is time for the Earth to “spring” into action and for us to initiate and celebrate new beginnings. One of the most universal symbols of this Sabbat is the planting of seeds and the sprouting of new life from the womb of the Earth Mother. The Vernal or Spring Equinox marks the beginning of the “light” half of the year, when day gradually becomes longer than night. From now until Autumn, the power of the Goddess dominates our festivities bringing light, warmth and fertility to the earth. The courtship of the God and Goddess commences with this Sabbat and this is an appropriate time to focus on the balance of male and female energies within ourselves.
In the Pagan Wheel of the Year, this is the time when the great Mother Goddess, again a virgin at Candlemas, welcomes the young Sun God unto her and conceives a child of this divine union. The child will be born nine months later, at Yule, the Winter Solstice.
The word “Easter” is derived from the word “Eostre” and the symbols used to celebrate Easter have pre-Christian origins. The Easter bunny reminds us of the hare, the animal most sacred to the Goddess Diana and the eggs that the hare brings symbolize new beginnings, rebirth, continuity and growth. Have you ever wondered why Easter changes dates and months from year to year? Interestingly it is always the first Sunday following the first full moon after the Spring Equinox!
A tradition that did not exactly move over into the popular celebration of Easter was having sex in freshly plowed fields. This tradition came from the pagan farmers who would finish plowing and planting their fields. Once the crops were all planted, the farmer and his wife would make love in the field, the idea being that the fertility of their sexual act would help the plants grow into a bountiful crop. Another variant of this is leaping in the fields. Instead of having sex in the freshly plowed fields, the farmer and his family would go out into the field and leap as high as they could into the air, the idea being that the crops would grow as high as their leaps into the air. This is an example of sympathetic magick, where the crops are supposed to imitate the actions of the farmer’s family.
For pagans, this is a day of preparation. Reconsecrating magikal tools, balancing their energies for new work. Blessing seeds for the spring planting, or starting your garden by cleaning the area and tilling the soil. It’s a good time for the lady to acquire a new broom and for the gentleman to craft a new staff.
It’s also a time for introspection. Meditation and evaluation of the current events and attitudes in your life. Examine where you might be unbalanced and where you might need to let go of the past and prepare for a fertile future. If you’ve been working extra hard during the winter months, then now you should turn some attention to home and hearth. If you’ve secluded yourself from the world other than school and work, then now turn some attention to family and friends.
Next place the plant pot on the floor next to the left side of the altar. Place the paper, pen, and seed on the altar pentacle. Say:
The Goddess has freed Herself from the icy prison of winter.
Now is the greening, when the fragrance of flowers drifts on the breeze.
The Maiden displays her beauty through colorful spring flowers and their sweet aromas.
The Sun wakes from His long winter’s nap.
The God stretches and rises, eager in His youth, bursting with the promise of summer.
I welcome thee, beautiful spring!
Light the light green candle. Say:
Springtime is seedtime. Now is the time to plant that which I wish to come to flower.
Spring brings hope and joy; expectations for desires realized; and inspiration for new ideas.
Life is brought into balance and I am reborn with the earth’s renewal.
Now the darkness of Winter and the past is cast behind.
I look only to that which lies ahead and what I wish to bring forth.
Sit in front of the altar and meditate on what seed of an idea you would like to plant, to grow into an opportunity. It could be a skill or personal quality you’d like to acquire, or an opportunity to do or create something. When you have decided what desire you’d like to nurture in the coming year, write it down on the paper. Stand up and say:
Lord and Lady, receive this seed.
Let it germinate in my mind and heart.
Let it prosper and grow into maturity,
For I will care for it and encourage it in Your names.
Make a hole in the soil of the pot, then place your piece of paper at the bottom. Pick up the plant seed and concentrate on it and your desire. Place the seed in the center of the pot and close the soil over on top of it. Water it with blessed (“Holy”) water. Say:
This seed I place in the womb of the earth
That it may become a part of that earth,
A part of life and a part of me.
Now I continue on with everything from my basic ritual.
However there are a lot of correspondences with each Sabbat, whether it be major or minor. So have some fun! & celebrate Spring!
Other Names: Ostre, Alban Eiler, Mean Earraigh, Pasch, Caisg, Pess
Date: Spring Equinox (March 20-22 in Northern Hemisphere) or when the Sun is 1 degree Aries.
Symbolism: The beginning of spring, new life and rebirth, the God and Goddess in Their youth, balance, fertility
Goddesses: all love, virgin, and fertility Goddesses; Anna Perenna (Roman), Aphrodite (Greek), Astarte (Canaanite), Athena (Greek), Cybele (Greco-Roman), Blodeuwedd, Eostre (Teutonic), Flidais (Irish), Gaia (Greek), Hera, Ishtar (Assyro-Babylonian), Isis (Egyptian), Libera (Roman), Minerva (Roman), The Muses (Greek), Persephone (Greek), Renpet (Egyptian), Venus (Roman)
Gods: all love, song & dance, and fertility Gods; Adonis (Greek), Attis (Greco-Roman), Cernunnos (Celtic), The Great Horned God (European), Liber (Roman), Mars (Roman), Mithras (Persian), Odin (Norse), Osiris (Egyptian), Thoth, Pan (Greek), the Green Man
Symbols: Eggs, rabbits
Foods: Hard-boiled eggs, honey cakes, fresh fruits, milk punch, leafy green vegetables, dairy foods, apples, nuts, flower dishes, sprouts
Plants & herbs: Acorn, celandine, cinquefoil, crocus, daffodil, dogwood, Easter lily, gorse, honeysuckle, iris, jasmine, jonquils, narcissus, olive, peony, rose, tansy, violets, woodruff and all spring flowers
Incense and oils: African violet, jasmine, rose, strawberry, lotus, magnolia, ginger and any flower
Colors: Light green, lemon yellow, and pale pink
Stones: Amethyst, aquamarine, bloodstone, red jasper
Animals and mythical beasts: Rabbits, snakes, unicorns
Decorations: Daffodils, tulips, violet, iris, narcissus, any spring flowers, eggs, butterflies, cocoons
Spell/ritual work: Garden/plant blessings, balance, growth, communication
Planetary ruler: Mars
- Spring cleaning (new beginnings)
- sunrise observances (to celebrate the growing light of the sun)
- sowing and planting done ceremonially
- ashes from the Ostara eve bonfire mixed with the planting seed as a fertility charm
- eating of cake and cider in the planting fields
- burying a piece of the cake then pouring a cider libation to show the earth what it is expected to produce
- Taking a long walk in nature with no intent other than reflecting on the Magick of nature
- moon cakes which are round cakes marked on top by a cross dividing it into quarters or “farls” symbolizing the quarters of the moon and the four elements – they are the original hot cross buns
- Have a traditional breakfast of buns, ham, and eggs.
- On Ostara Eve, light a purple or violet candle and burn patchouli incense. Carry them both through the house, and say: Farewell to wintry spirits and friends; On morrow we greet the spirits of spring. Our blessings to thee as your way we wend; And merry we’ll meet next winter again. Blow out the candle and say: Merry meet, merry part, and merry meet again.
- At this time, witches cast spells for careers, relationships, and love. It’s a time for planting new ideas. Seek harmony and balance in the incredible energy of the season, and project good health, good fortune, and confidence in achieving goals.
- Light a fire
- Buy a new besom or staff