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Ostara - Welcome Back the Sun
The Cottage March/Ostara 2002

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Ostara - March 21~23
Also known as: Spring or Vernal Equinox Lady Day or Alban Eiler (Druidic)

Gondolas in Venice; Actual size=240 pixels wide

Welcome back the sun!

For those of us in colder climates the coming of this sabbat means the ending of the cold that has hung on for what seems to be forever. The sap begins to flow, the trees are budding, the ground softens, ice melts, and everywhere the fragrance and colors of spring slowly awake from their sleep. 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 and Beltaine about consummation, then Ostara is about growth. Since the Spring Equinox represents new life and growth, this is the perfect sabbat for planting the seeds of plans you made at Imbolc.

As Spring reaches its midpoint, night and day are in perfect balance, with light growing every day. This is the time when the young Sun God now celebrates a sacred marraige with the young Maiden Goddess,who once again became a virgin at Imbolc. The courtship begins.
It is a time of great fertility, new growth, and newborn animals.

Ostara is sacred to Eostre the Saxon Lunar Goddess of fertility whose two symbols were the egg and the rabbit. She was the maiden whose aspects of renewal and rebirth brought about the reappearance of bright spring flowers and baby animals.

The egg seems to have been used as a fertility symbol since the dawn of man. Eggs were marked with brilliant colors along with various types of bands drawn upon them which represented the cycles of life, death, and rebirth... The golden orb of its yolk represents the Sun God, its white shell is seen as the White Goddess, and the whole is a symbol of rebirth. Rabbits we know symbolize fertility

Celebrations honoring the Maiden aspect of the Goddess are appropriate, as are celebrations recognizing the strength (physical or emotional) of women and young women. Fairies abound, and you might invite a few to celebrate the Equinox with you. This is a time of the Maiden, and all is new and possible. In addition, this holiday is an ideal time to break the last of the chains that may halt our growth.

Ostara Activities

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 North.

You can clear weeds, grass and rubbish from the spot where you plan a garden, or you can start seeds indoors.

Pick up litter at your favorite park or beach. Help the earth rejuvenate by getting rid of the mess.

Ritually color hard-boiled or blown eggs

Perform oomancy (divination by eggs).

Meditate on the imagery of the seed.

Meditate on the season's flowers. 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 fertility 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.

Light a bonfire at dawn on the Equinox to honor the light half of the year.

Meditate or perform ritual at dawn or sunset.

Meditate or perform ritual for balance in your life and in the earth's life.

Do a ritual denoting the passing of the year's dark half.

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. In meditation, note how these symbols connect organically and how you relate personally to them.

Taking a long walk in nature with no intent other than reflecting on the Magick of nature and our Great Mother and her bounty.

If you don't do your spring cleaning at Imbolc it is an ideal time to clean your home to welcome the new season.

Offerings of food and milk are left for the fairies and other spirits who live in and around rocks and are responsible for the fertility of the land. Leave a few fruits from the last harvest for the nature spirits.

Symbolism of Ostara:

Renewed promise of life, The Union of the Goddess and the God, Fertility, and dispensing of the old and making way for the new. Resurrection of life , The Season of Rebirth


Symbols of Imbolc:

Eggs, bunnies, new moon, butterflies, cocoons, dragons, flowers, trees.


Deities of Eostar :

All Youthful and Virile Gods and Goddesses, Sun Gods, Mother Goddesses, Love Goddesses, Moon Gods and Goddesses, and all Fertility Deities including :Persephone, Blodeuwedd, Eostre, Aphrodite, Athena, Gaia, Cybele, Hera, Isis, Ishtar, Minerva, Venus, Robin of the Woods, the Green Man, Cernunnos, Lord of the Greenwood, The Dagda, Attis, The Great Horned God, Mithras, Odin, Thoth, Osiris, and Pan.


Colors:

lemon yellow, pale green and pale pink. Other appropriate colors include green, all pastels, Robin's egg blue, violet, and white.


Ostara Foods:

eggs, egg salad, hard-boiled eggs, honey cakes, first fruits of the season, fish, cakes, biscuits, cheeses, honey and ham. You may also include foods made of seeds, such as sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds, as well as pine nuts. Sprouts are equally appropriate, as are leafy, green vegetables.


Herbs :

Daffodil, Jonquils, Woodruff, Violet, Gorse, acorn, celandine, cinquefoil, dandelion, dogwood, honeysuckle (woodbine), jasmine, rose, tansy, violet.Olive, Peony, Iris, Narcissus, crocuses, Irish moss, snowdrops, ginger, and all spring flowers.


Incense:

jasmine, frankincense, myrrh, dragon's blood, cinnamon, nutmeg, aloes wood, benzoin, musk, African violet, sage, strawberry, lotus, violet flowers, orange peel, or rose petals.


Sacred Gemstone:

amethyst, aquamarine, bloodstone, red jasper
rose quartz, and moonstone


Spellwork for Ostara:

Spellwork for improving communication and group interaction are recommended, as well as fertility, balance and abundance


Animals and mythical beasts:

rabbits,snakes,unicorns, merpeople, and pegasus


Tarot Cards:

High Priestess


Taboos:

Ostara is a time to wear your new clothes. It was considered bad luck to wear anything old on Easter/Ostara