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~*~ Ostara The Spring Equinox ~ March 20, 2019 at 5:58 PM ~*~

Spring Equinox or Ostara, around March 21, is when light and darkness are in balance but the light is growing stronger. Ostara was not originally a part of the Celtic year, and all of its associations were given to Beltaine until recent times. Because it was named for the Teutonic Goddess of Spring and New Life, Eostre, it is assumed that it was brought to prominence in the Celtic world by the Saxons. Symbols: Egg, Rabbit, Equilateral Cross, Butterfly

Colors: Pastels

Herbs: celandine, cinquefoil, jasmine, rue, tansy, and violets may be burned; acorn, crocus, daffodil, dogwood, honeysuckle, iris, lily, and strawberry may be decorations.

Modern Celtic Pagan practice has adopted Ostara whole-heartedly, and different Celtic traditions have different ways of observing this Sabbat. Primarily it is a night of balance in which night and day are equal, with the forces of light gaining power over the darkness. One tradition honors the God in his guise as a warrior on this date, while another views it as a time of the courtship between the God and Goddess, a relationship to be consummated at Beltaine.

Another Ostara custom of uncertain origin which has gained popularity in Celtic circles is that of awakening Mother Earth. The youngest person present is often asked to take a stick or wand and walk to the far northern point of the circle, the coldest compass point in the northern hemisphere, the place where the sun never travels, and tap on the ground three times. The youngest then entreats Mother Earth to "wake up". In keeping with the Celtic beliefs about the sacredness of three times three, this gesture is repeated twice more. After this is done you may wish to evoke or invoke the Earth Mother and make her the center of your Ostara festivities, celebrating her presence as the embodiment of Spring.

Here are a few suggestions for activities that may be part of the Sabbat celebration or something to do during the day:

Make Hot Cross Buns to honor the union of the Earth and Sun for spring. Slash the 'X' with your boline and bless the bread.

Have a traditional breakfast of buns, ham, and eggs. Save the eggshells and after breakfast, throw the crushed eggshells into the garden and say:

For fairy for flowers, for herbs in the bowers, The shells pass fertility with springtime showers.

Wear green clothing.

Bless seeds planted in the garden.

Color hard-boiled eggs and add the symbols for the Fertility God, the Goddess, the Sun God, unity, fire, water, agriculture, prosperity and growth, strength and wisdom, spring, love and affection, and protection.

Consecrate the eggs by saying:

In the name of the Goddess of spring (name), And the ever-returning God of the sun, (name), By the powers of the four elements - earth, air, fire, and water, I do consecrate these eggs of Ostara.

Point your athame at the eggs, make the sign of the pentagram, and see the energy flow through the blade into the eggs, and say:

New life watching as new life shall enter the soil. Let those who see this life find it and consume it, for all life feeds on life.

The eggs may be hidden and the Ostara Egg Hunt commences. On Ostara Eve, light a purple or violet candle and burn patchouli incense. Carry them both through the house, saying:

Farewell to wintry spirits and friends; On morrow we greet the spirits of spring; Our blessings to thee as your way you wend; And merry we'll meet next winter again.

Blow out the candle and say:

Merry meet, merry part, and merry meet again!

The earth is cool and dark, and far below, new life begins. May the soil be blessed with fertility and abundance, with rains of life-giving water, with the heat of the sun, with the energy of the raw earth. May the soil be blessed as the womb of the land becomes full and fruitful to bring forth the garden anew.