Ostara is named after the Saxon goddess, Eostre (from whose name we get the direction East and the holiday Easter). In common depictions of Eostre, her familiar is a hare & she carries with her a basket of decorated eggs, which she gives as gifts to those who cross her path. This is a time of cleansing, fertility & renewal. Just as the dawn is the time of new light, so the vernal equinox is the time of new life. Day and night are equal, this is a time of balance, but Earth teeters on the edge… waiting to tilt fully towards the light.
Last night our circle gathered to celebrate the first stirrings of Spring & honor the Goddess Eostre. Although it wasn’t the actual date of the Sabbat, we choose to gather a little earlier to accomodate the availability of our group. It turned out to be a small group this time and was very calming for me. I enjoyed the ritual very much. We decorated the huge oak that stands in the north quarter of our circle, made an offering of spring flowers and stood hand in hand around him drawing on his deep rooted energy. It was so lovely I had to wrap my arms around him and give him a big hug afterwards. Sometimes those stories about us Pagans being “tree hugging hippies” are true. (Hehe!)
We did a few other things like make spring cleaning lists and shared them with each other. Once I started writing things down I began to realize all of the things I need to get done. I’m hoping that writing it down & having a physical list will help me to accomplish the things on it. One of the things I put on my list was cleaning my car out, trunk and all. That might take me until Beltane by itself. (Not really, but it’s a friggin’ mess!) I have been seriously neglecting to take care of my car like I should. The members leading ritual challenged us to get as much of our list accomplished as we could by Beltane. So, if I can clean my car this week & maintain its cleanliness until Beltane I’ll be super proud of myself.
I think it’s good to take an inventory of all of the things you have in your closets, attic & garage around this time then make an effort to purge your home of anything broken, unused, ill fitting or taking up space that could be used in a more efficient way. Spring cleaning always results in me making a trip to the Goodwill to make donations. Chances are if I haven’t seen it, worn it or used it in the passed 6 months… I don’t really need it. I encourage everyone to take this time to do some spring cleaning. Get rid of the old & make room for the new!
As a gift, our ritual leaders gave us herb plants to take home & care for. I ended up choosing rosemary & pineapple sage plants. This afternoon I spent several hours replanting those plants along with the lemon thyme & oregano gifted to my mom and my love in addition to the other plants that found their way home with me from the garden center. Those included an aloe vera, standard sage and banana pepper plants. My porch is starting to look as if a witch lives here.
Tending an herb garden has become a bit of an obsession for me, so having more herbs to care for is right up my alley. In the past I’ve had small gardens, but never had such an inclination to specifically incorporate them into my practices. Many of the herbs I decided to grow this go around, I’ve done so with the full intention of using them in magickal as well as culinary & medicinal capacities. I am looking forward to growing and harvesting my own herbs again after such a long time without them.
Little by little, with the help of my circle and my own conscious decision to make my spiritual enrichment a priority in my life, I feel like I’m finding a balance. What better time to discover that and offer up thanks to the Goddess!? I can’t think of one.
I hope your Ostara was as balancing and calming as mine was.