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Old 03-09-09   #1
feranaja
 
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Default Ostara

I'm amazed at how quickly Spring arrives in the Hills. One day we are battling subzero temperatures, ferocious winds and huge pileups of snow - the next I'm having tea with the dogs on my porch and starting to look for buds on the trees. Ostara is almost upon us, and I hardly noticed time passing since Brigid. How is everyone feeling - and what have you planned?

This Equinox will be a major celebration here as always, but I'm adding an involved ritual to it as well, one that will restore balance to my own life as well as, I hope, to others in my life. With all the changes of the past six months I a ready to move on and to embrace healing yet again. I love both Ostara and Easter as times fo resurrection, renewal and hope. Spring is mucky and sloppy and overflowing with life, it never lasts long enough for me.

As with Imbolc I'll add bits of folklore, recipes, ideas for ritual and personal magic here, regarding the vernal Equinox, and invite you all to share as well. One of the courses we'll be offering soon will be a foundational neo-Paganism class that of course revolves around the solar and lunar tides, celebrations and attunements. For now, this thread will fill the gap a bit, I hope.

If you celebrate Ostara, please share how you do it - and if you just love spring, this is a good place to celebrate.

sera
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Old 03-19-09   #2
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Default Re: Ostara

Quote:
Originally Posted by serafina View Post
I plan to add to it today and invite everyone else to share ritual ideas, recipes and anything else with regard to the Equinox.
It's so close now! Is anyone else celebrating?
Oh yes, if in no other way this year than an inward rejoicing over Spring, the increasing dominance of light and warmth and all the other spring time wonders. No time (or space) for the elaborate traditions of decorating, celebrating and baking this year. But just today, once again I experienced how joyous, deep blue and ekspansive the sky over the water that surrounds my island community is, something I have an internal love of and will miss dearly - but what I also see as an opportunity too expand.
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Old 03-19-09   #3
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Default Re: Ostara

Ang - I have crocuses up today.

Remember that absence is full of tender presence - you can keep what you've moved on from forever. Just carry it in your heart. And remind me I said that when I have to leave these woods.
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Old 03-19-09   #4
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Default Re: Ostara

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Originally Posted by serafina View Post
Ang - I have crocuses up today.
Remember that absence is full of tender presence - you can keep what you've moved on from forever. Just carry it in your heart. And remind me I said that when I have to leave these woods.
sera
I do too they are blooming along with the tiny daffodils. Oh joy!

And I will, promise. Water is "my" element, I carry it with me always. I grew up by the Pacific Ocean and spent my summers there and it was hard to leave that too. When I visit, it is like an old friend greeting me, blessing me and then letting me go again.
Since I am moving where a woods is right in my backyard, I am looking forward to learning more about woodland mysteries and magic. Small perhaps and not a wilderness with the wildlife you have, but there all the same. I'm wondering if there will be pine trees or if it is all deciduous.
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Old 03-20-09   #5
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Default Re: Ostara

Angelina, when it comes to nature, size really doesn't matter, I don't think. I grew up in Toronto, and I managed to find nature contacts by the Lake (before it became too polluted to walk in) and by various streams and parks scattered around and within the metroplis. I can't deny that living in this ancient and very wild part of the world has an incomparable magic for me, but I believe the contacts can be made anywhere.

I'm about to go out to watch the dawn now, I hve less than half an hour to greet the turning, and this will be (I HOPE) a very quiet celebration day. But I wanted to wish everyone not *just* a Happy Equinox but a wondrful spring. I love the spirit of this time of year, the new buds, the migratory birds arriving, the sense of quickening all around us. May the Goddess bless everyone, and the season bring much joy.

Here is a page I found while looking around online for interesting Ostara pages. Some worthy ideas here I thought.

http://www.schooloftheseasons.com/spring.html

Blessings, serafina
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Old 02-19-10   #6
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Default Re: Ostara

Although it is four weeks away I'm counting the minutes this year. The Spring Equinox is a favorite time for me magically and in every way. What's everybody planning? how do you celebrate Ostara, if indeed you do?
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Old 02-19-10   #7
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Default Re: Ostara

Well, I'm planning on starting up a Bonsai tree. Not too terribly impressive, but I'll probably try to turn it into my first major ritual if I let myself.
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Old 02-19-10   #8
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Default Re: Ostara

We had a ritual on Imbolic and I gave everyone a packet of seeds. We all planted them and have little sprouts. So I will hopefully have a small little plant to transfer in the ground when its warmer. I might just keep it in a larger pot on the deck. This way I can always have it.
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Old 03-05-10   #9
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A Little Article on Ostara:
Contrary to popular neo-Pagan myth, the modern sabbat of Ostara is in all likelihood not named for a Teutonic goddess of spring.

The first recorded mention of any such goddess is in Bede's 703 CE work De temporum ratione. A Benedictine monk, Bede stated in chapter 13 that the Saxons called the fourth month 'Esturmonath' after their goddess and Eostra. Ronald Hutton postulates in Stations of the Sun that Bede's association of the word indicating the season of spring with an existing goddess was, in fact, little more than a creative leap. Bede's assumption served as the source for centuries of unquestioning conflation of season with this proposed goddess, thereby perpetuating the myth that there did indeed exist a deity by the name of Ostara. Other than Bede's statement, there is no other evidence of the existence of such a deity in the Germanic mythos, not even in the Eddas, the main source of Teutonic mythical information.

The Saxon word 'eastre' translates roughly to 'beginning', which extends to the Saxon use of the term 'Estor-monath' to mean 'month of beginnings', or 'month of openings' - their term for Spring. This, of course, is the source of the modern English word 'Easter', and of the modern German 'Ostern'. By comparison, most other languages use the Hebrew base 'pasah' to describe the festival of rebirth, fertility, and light. It is interesting to note that the date for Easter is calculated by the lunar cycle: Easter occurs on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Vernal Equinox.

The English word 'east' is likely derived from the same etymological root in the Germanic language group, a root associated with the concept of 'dawn', 'light', 'shining', and, of course, new beginnings. All these concepts are associated with the Vernal Equinox when light and dark are balanced during the light's inexorable increase begun at the Winter Solstice. While there is little concrete evidence to support the existence of a goddess called Ostara, there are goddesses in other cultural pantheons who serve the same purpose, such as Eos and Aurora .

Ostara is one of the least-celebrated holidays in the modern Wheel of the Year, and this is in all likelihood due to the tenuous connection to an obscure deity, and the overwhelmingly prevalent Christian overtones to the season. Amusingly enough, Easter is celebrated in an extremely Pagan fashion with plenty of pastel colours and sweets into the shapes of bunnies and chicks, symbols of fertility consumed originally to attract similar energies to the one who ingested them. In a way, the Vernal Equinox suffers from arriving after Imbolc and before Beltaine in the modern Wheel of the Year: Imbolc celebrates the returning light, the first signs of Spring, and the stirring of fertility in herd animals, whereas Beltaine takes for itself the joyous celebration of fertility between man and woman. The Vernal Equinox is thus left with little to define it other than the sowing of crops.

Whether the Saxons did indeed honour a goddess by the name of Ostara during the fourth month, or whether Bede simply postulated a deity of that name, mistakenly led by the word assigned to the season, widespread use of this goddess-form to represent Spring personified has, in a sense, created her.
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Old 03-05-10   #10
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Default Re: Ostara

as a pantheist i tend to keep things simple <g>. i do mark the changes of the seasons and the new and full moons. for vernal equinox i take down my corn husk doll (up since autumnal equinox) and put away any remaining items of the previous season. i perform a small ritual (3 blue candles...i only use blue...sandalwood...music...) and color two eggs red (you're going to ask me why two and why red...it's just something i do).
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