March 21, 2018

I love those Spring mornings when you wake up to the gentle glow of morning light warming your bedroom. My cat will stretch lazily, hop down off my bed, and wait in the hallway for me to come present his royal highness his breakfast. Taking my morning caffeinated beverage out on the porch is one of my favorite things to do this time of year. The budding trees hold the promise of sweet things to come, and their sublime fragrance drifts on the Chinook. I have already sewn my first crop of hardy veg, so I pull on my mucks to check on their progress. The ground is muddy and squishy, and moss is still present in shaded areas, but life has returned after the dreary winter months. My lettuce and spinach are already doing well, and to my delight, there is plenty for the feast which follows our community rituals.


Ostara, the celebration of Spring, is a time of renewal. Migratory birds have returned and laid their eggs. Soon, the air will be filled with the song of hatchlings, and their proud parents. The local nurseries are filled with starts, and eager gardeners itching to get their hands in the soil. They may not know it, but the very act of tilling the soil, and planting their seeds and starts, are rituals in and of themselves; offerings to our Mother. This endless cycle of birth, growth, maturity, and death is present for all living things.


There are many ways to celebrate! My coven comes together to honor the return of the Kore, and the rejoicing of Demeter. We might dye eggs and do a hunt for them, or plant seeds with magickal properties associated with a goal we have in mind. If there are any initiations to be completed, this is the perfect auspicious day to welcome new members to our coven. Feasting on new greens, deviled eggs, chocolates, meade, and a roast beast of some sort follow, naturally. We’re a hearty bunch; any excuse to gather, drink, and eat!


I have also been solitary for Ostara. It has been a few years, but my favorite Ostara ritual would start with setting up an altar to The Goddess in her Maiden form, and the Horned One as a youth, with the usual accoutrements in each direction; incense & a bell in the east, a candle and athame in the south, chalice and seashell in the west, and flowers and a mortar & pestle in the north. I would then take a ritual bath, in specially prepared salts and oils, while listening to Loreena McKennitt, Enya, or SJ Tucker. Then, my yoga mat would get rolled out on the sunniest part of the porch, and I would perform a skyclad Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation), followed by meditation, and maybe a [chilly] walk/sprint through the woods.


Now that I live in the city, my Ostara celebrations are very different. Instead of a large garden, I plant seeds in clay pots, and set them in every sunny nook I can find in my apartment. No skyclad outdoor rituals for me, but urban Ostara egg hunts rock! There is lots of pagan community around, as well as lots of spiritual and crunchy folk, so a couple of people drumming in the park quickly turns into a full blown drum circle, and energy is raised organically. We also participate in clean-up crews put together by small groups of volunteers, to pick up trash downtown and in parks. These types of activities bring together people of all walks of life, to celebrate the Goddess, whatever one may call her; Mother Nature, Earth, our Lady, etc..          


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