Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Sabbat Spring Equinox

Sabbat Spring Equinox

springtriple_hare_by_mslionk.jpgIt's the time of the Spring Equinox if you live in the Northern Hemisphere, and it's a true marker that Spring has come.  The word Ostara is just one of the names applied to the celebration of the Spring Equinox on March 20.  The Venerable Bede said the origin of the word is actually from Eostre, a Germanic Goddess of spring.  Of course, it's also the same time as the Christian Easter celebration, and in the Jewish faith, Passover takes place as well.  For early Pagans in the Germanic countries, this was a time to celebrate planting and the new crop season.

Today many honor Frigg, Freya and Nerthus.  Libations of mead are poured onto the Earth.  Ostara celebrates the coming of spring and return of life after the dead of winter.  Many Americans follow the tradition of coloring hard-boiled eggs and giving baskets of candy.  The Easter Bunny is a popular legendary anthropomorphic Easter gift-giving character analogous to Santa Claus in American culture.

This is an excellent time to perform rituals involving purification, business success, study, employment, breaking addictions of all kinds, travel, releasing guilt and jealousy, healing diseases and the conscious mind.  A time of Air, Spring, Maiden and Warrior. 


Other Names: Eostre's Day, Ostara, Vernal Equinox, Alban Eiber, Bacchanalia, Lady Day, Summer Finding

Activities: Dying Eggs, Bonfires, Looking for Spring Growth, Planting seeds, Introduce the joy of planting and working with gardens to the underprivileged, Spring Cleaning

Altar: Upon a cloth of Ostara colors, place a rain stick, a bowl of eggs, a great bowl of water filled with stones, a yellow candle, incense of violets, and a fan made in the shape of a bird's wing.  Add also flats of earth and a bowl of seeds.  Set up a vase of branches cut from a tree and allowed to sprout green in warm water.  Hang hollowed eggs marked with appropriate symbols from the tree.  Some should be half golden and half black.

Animals: Rabbits, Snakes, Chicks, Robin

Attunement Teas(Individually or Blended): Dandelion, Egg Drinks, Hyssop, Linden

Colors: Pink, Yellow, Grass Green, All Pastels, Robin's Egg Blue

Deities: Youthful and virile God and Goddess

Element: Earth, Air

Foods: Eggs, Honey, Nuts, Flower Dishes, Mead

spring474_1466527.jpgGoddesses: Aphrodite (Greek), Eostre (Teutonic), Gaia (Greek), Iris(Greek), Lady of the Lake (Welsh-Cornish), Moon Mother (Native American), Coatlicue (Aztec), Flidais (Irish), Isis (Egyptian), Minerva (Roman), The Muses (Greek), Persephone (Greco-Roman), Rheda (Anglo-Saxon), Venus (Roman), Freya (Norse)

Gods: Adonis (Greek), Lord of the Greenwood (English), Dylan (Welsh), The Great Horned God (European), Mithras (Greco Persian), Odin (Norse), Osiris (Egyptian), Pan (Greek), Thor (Norse)

Incense: Jasmine, Rose, Strawberry, Floral of any type

Key Action: Open, Begin, Renewal, Growth

Meaning: Balance, New Life, Rebirth, Goddess and God in Youth, Non-Celtic End of Winter, Light Overtaking Darkness

Mythical Creatures: Unicorn, Merpeople, Pegesus

Plants: Crocus, Daffodil, Jasmine, Irish Moss, Snowdrop, Ginger, Violet, Flowering trees

Pronounced: "O-STAR-ah" Ostara

Ritual Oils: Lotus, Magnolia, Ginger

Stones: Aquamarine, Rose Quartz, Moonstone, Jasper

Symbols: Eggs, New Moon, Butterflies, Cocoons, Baskets, Seeds

Taboos: None



Spring's Return by Justin Douglas Blackford

The grass grows tall and green.
The air is dewy sweet.
Winter is in retreat.
Sunna has returned sheen.

The skies seem bright and clean.
The wind bows fields of wheat.
The cold is dealt defeat
By the warmth in-between.

With new leaves, the trees thrive.
The breeze is brisk and cool.
Flowers are brought to life.

The sheep are shorn of wool.
Children resume their plays
Outdoors on these great days.


We Color Ostara´s Eggs           
Can be chanted as 'call and response' while children paint their eggs.

Red will the eggs be, red like Thor´s beard.
- We color Ostara´s eggs all with red.

Yellow will the eggs be, yellow like Sif´s hair.
- We color Ostara´s eggs all with yellow.

Green will the eggs be, green like Frey´s thumb.
- We color Ostara´s eggs all with green.

Blue will the eggs be, blue like Odin´s eye.
- We color Ostara´s eggs all with blue.

White will the eggs be, white like Frigg´s cloak.
- We color Ostara´s eggs all with white.

Bright blue will the eggs be, bright blue like Njord´s sea.
- We color Ostara´s eggs with bright blue.

Flame red will the eggs be, flame red like Freya´s heart.
- We color Ostara´s eggs with flame red.

Bright green will the eggs be, like Ostara´s dress.
- We color Ostara´s eggs with bright green.

Colorful will the eggs be, just like the rainbow.
- We color Ostara´s eggs with all colors there are!

(German original "Wir färben Ostaras Eier": Michael Schütz)







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