As always, look for the italics for any additional notes I've added post show - LeFay
1) Lead into Ostara/Spring Equinox/Lunar Eclipse
- Astrology behind the season (moon phase vs. planetary phases) - Feather had a great little explanation how the Moon will be going into Libra which will give us some great energy to better balance ourselves. By no means am I an astrology expert but I do happen to really like Cafe Astrology for some explanations of the day. My only problem is being able to trust one source over another...which leads me to spending HOURS looking online. As we say, though, it's about finding out what works for you and observing the patterns...see what happens!
- How the planets will affect us daily
2) A Brief History of Ostara
- In medieval Europe, the March hare was viewed as a fertility symbol -- this species of rabbit is nocturnal most of the year, but in March there are bunnies everywhere mating and bouncing around. These females are superfecund and can conceive a second litter while still pregnant with a first. The males tend to get frustrated when rebuffed by their mates, and bounce around erratically when discouraged.
- Rome, the followers of Cybele believed she had a consort who was born via a virgin birth. Named Attis, he died and resurrected each year during the vernal equinox (between March 22 and March 25).
- The Mayans celebrated a spring equinox festival for ten centuries. As the sun sets on the day of the equinox on the great ceremonial pyramid, El Castillo, Mexico, its "western face...is bathed in the late afternoon sunlight. The lengthening shadows appear to run from the top of the pyramid's northern staircase to the bottom, giving the illusion of a diamond-backed snake in descent." This has been called "The Return of the Sun Serpent" since ancient times.
- According to the Venerable Bede, Eostre was the Saxon version of the Germanic goddess Ostara. Her feast day was held on the full moon following the vernal equinox -- almost identical to the Christian Easter. One of the minor legends is Eostre found a bird, wounded, on the ground late in winter. To save its life, she transformed it into a hare. But "the transformation was not a complete one. The bird took the appearance of a hare but retained the ability to lay eggs...the hare would decorate these eggs and leave them as gifts to Eostre."
3) Celebrating Ostara
- Symbols to include: Balance, fertility, eggs, hares, estrogen, seeds, the first planting of the season, sex, flowers, wheel of the year
- Deities to consider: All Youthful and Virile Gods and Goddesses, Sun Gods, Mother Goddesses, Love Goddesses, Moon Gods and Goddesses, and all Fertility Deities: Persephone, Blodeuwedd, Eostre, Aphrodite, Athena, Cybele, Gaia, 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. - While preparing for this Sunday's festivities I had the chance to really look into who we would want to honor. My goddess surprised me simply for the fact she literally jumped out at me! While going through my notes looking up different topics for the show I found one of my old handouts from an event back in LA...it was for Blodeuwedd. Ironically I had been mulling around the idea of honoring Arianrhod, Blodeuwedd's mother-in-law, but she seemed to be more revolving around winter time. It wasn't until I looked at the pamphlet, mainly because it had a giant owl on the cover and I happen to be partial to owls, that I realized I was staring at my spring goddess. Blodeuwedd's story is a sad one filled with desire and deceit but she seemed like the perfect representation of a holiday that is beautiful on the outside but a grim memento mori as well. Once I started researching her more and more I stumbled on another Witch's blog that so gracefully described how Blodeuwedd's story is a reminder to maintain your own destiny. Being transformed into an owl was not a punishment but an achievement...gaining freedom from the service of the man she was created to serve. Find the blog here to learn more about Blodeuwedd
- Altar decorations
- Colors: lemon yellow, pale green and pale pink, grass green, all pastels, robin egg blue, violet, and white.
- Stones: aquamarine, rose quartz, amethyst, jasper and moonstone.
- Other symbols: lambs, rabbits, calves, milk, honey, seeds, bulbs, Irish moss, crocus flowers, daffodils, Easter lilies, roses, strawberry, acorn, celandine, dandelion, dogwood, honeysuckle, iris, jasmine, rose, tansy, violet
- Rituals or divination examples
- Focus on duality, day & night, fruitfulness, fertility, clearing out the old and welcoming the new, rebirth - About Religion Concept
- Egg decorating, planting a special garden, candle magick releasing negatives and drawing positives, diving with seeds/eggs, full moon blessings
Well, that should do it! Hopefully the show and the notes inspired some of you to try something out this weekend. Feather and I wanted to mention how important it is to remember that this is a HOLIDAY! This is a time to get together and enjoy the company of others. Whether this simply means getting the kids together and dying some eggs or going all in and honoring some deities and breaking out the cakes and ale. Celebrations are in the air regardless with it being St. Patrick's day all weekend long...or so it seems, so go out and enjoy that spring air!