The First Harvest (Lammas): Suggestions For Practices And A Simple Elemental Ritual

Whatever you call the midway point between the Summer Solstice and the Fall Equinox, it’s a time worthy of celebration. The First Harvest represents the bounty of the land and our lives. I take this time to reflect upon my personal bounty and crops, review my projects and relationships and crafting a corn dolly. Then it’s time to honor the local harvest with a simple feast. The grand finale is a contemplative ritual involving the elements.

To continue reading…..

 

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Blessings on Ostara and Happy Spring Equinox

May spring bring you a balance of warm and cold, light and dark, and more positive energy.

May Ostara bless you with a time to get seeds, intentions, and goals ready to plant and grow.

Blessings of love, light, peace ,and all good things dear ones!

N.H Ostara / S.H Mabon- Gathering on 20th, March 2018. Circle starts at 7:15 PM CT SHARP.

Our Ostara/ Mabon gathering was written by Hypatia who will be leading this gathering.

Tuesday, March 20th, 2018

At 6.45 PM CT

Circle starts at 7:15 PM CT SHARP.

30 minutes will be allocated for a chance to talk to our Brothers and Sisters. Please do not enter the chat room once the circle has started. Thank you!

 

WHERE:

Coven Life’s Chatroom

WHAT YOU NEED:

 

Preparation for the Northern hemisphere- Ostara:

We are going to be painting eggs…….

 

  • As this is a time for a clean start– consider taking a bath or a shower with your favorite essential oil or other aromatics. You could also infuse fresh herbs like a tea or use your favorite soap. If a whole body wash is not possible please just wash your hands, face or even just change into clean clothes. What will encourage your new growth?

 

  • Hard-boiled egg for decorating. You could do more than one if you like. No more than 3, mainly for time purposes. If allergic please refer to suggestions below.

 

  • Permanent marker pens or small stickers to decorate the eggs. Practice your patters beforehand if you wish, it might make it easier and quicker on the day. Keep it simple, not to thick or elaborate as we will be cracking and eating the egg.

 

  • If you have an egg allergy than please use gloves when handling the egg, crack the egg and place in the nest. You could place it in the earth or just give to a loved one that doesn’t have an egg allergy to consume.

 

  • Freshly picked flowers or herbs to place on you alter.

 

  • Green and Yellow candle. If you don’t have these colours please just use what is on hand. It is the spirit of the Goddess and the God created by the light that we will be using as inspiration.

 

  • A little bowl, egg holder or just a little nest made from cotton wool to hold you egg once finished. Be as creative as you wish. Egg baskets are also great.

 

  • A glass of water to help with the feasting.

 

Simple flower or leaf motifs will do. Anything that inspires the artist within and brings images of fresh beginnings. Remember to keep it simple as we will be cracking and eat the egg (avoid eating and handling without gloves if allergic, please see above suggestions). In this case please have a glass of whatever beverage you prefer and a piece of simple whole grain bread to feast on. If you have another preference than please do so. Your health is in your hands.

Here are some examples below.

It doesn’t have to be drawn all over the egg.

easter-eggs-in-a-basket--538133314-5a4c14a7ec2f6400377a8ab9

If you choose to do a Goddess symbols than please do. This is a time for you to connect with the Goddess, the Earth Mother and all the possibilities that she brings.

Simple spirals will even do.

images

 

You may even have your own symbol that brings forth the Great Goddess called by Persephone, Brigid, and Eostre.

Preparation for the Southern hemisphere- Mabon:

We are going to be preparing a feast………..

 

  • As this is the time of the fruit harvest we will be using an apple to represent the cornucopia of life.

 

  • Green and red candle. If you don’t have these colors please just use what is on hand. It is the spirit of the Goddess and the God created by the light that we will be using as inspiration.

 

  • A knife to cut your apple, horizontal across the middle to reveal the pentagram within. You can even practice this beforehand if you wish. (Please be careful not to cut yourself, your safety is in your hands).

 

  • A platter for offering and cutting board to cut your apple and other fruits.

Example below.

1437559472-mabon-7

  • A bowl filled with fresh seasonal fruits such as apples, pears and seasonal berries and even dried nuts, depending on their availability, your imagination and of course you budget. Whatever you can get your hands on. Remember it’s your feast dedication to the Great Goddess and God! The remainder of the fruit and nuts could be shared with family, friends or even acquaintances after the ceremony.

 

  • Apple cider or just a glass of water will do.

 

 

Don’t forget:

  • Athame’ or wand
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Bell

Candles for the God and Goddess the colors specified above, otherwise any color available (don’t forget you candle holders if needed). , use matches (with safety) or you could use a single pillar candle that you have blessed, anointed and inscribed. You use this to light your God and Goddess candles. The choice is yours as it is in the intention.

  • If you prefer an alter cloth
  • If you prefer a statue pf you Idol/ s

Remember to keep it simple. If you wish to add more depending on you practice and worship than please do so. Just remember to add each magical item in reverence.

 

So let’s begin:

Ostara is the beginning of spring, the season for new beginnings and the renewal of life through planting. This is the time we can now plant seeds and nurture them throughout the coming months to bare their fruit. What is it that you would like to plant in your life? What are you willing to nurture throughout the growing season? For this ritual as this season is also a time for re-birth, new life and fertility we will be concentrating on the symbology of the egg. The ritual will be dedicated to the Great Goddess, Persephone, Brigid, and Eostre.

 

Mabon is the second of 3 harvest festivals celebrating the equinox and the harvest of apples. On the day of the equinox, day and night is of equal length. For the next 6 months the nights will be longer than the days.  This is such a great time of abundance. All the hard work that it takes to collect the harvest, it is now a time to rest, reap what you have sown and take the time to look at you hopes and aspirations and reflect how they have manifested. Most importantly spend it with the people you love. This is a time of giving, sharing and loving.

Think of the dark and light as the feminine and the masculine. The Goddess and the God resorting your outer and inner balance.

 

Ritual:

So let’s begin our Ostara/ Mabon Ritual

Hypatia Casting the circle-

To the Guardians of the East:

I call you into our Watchtowers to protect us.

 

To the Guardians of the South:

I call you into our Watchtowers to protect us.

 

To the Guardians of the West:

I call you into our Watchtowers to protect us.

 

To the Guardians of the North:

I call you into our Watchtowers to protect us.

 

I cast this circle three times three with the assistance of the Great Mother and the Great God.

I call Upon the Guardians of spirit to protect us from above and below. As is above so is below, as is below so is above. May the power of The Great God and The great Goddess join us within this circle now, to protect us and to work with us and allow us to see beyond the veil.

 

Protect us Great Mother and Great God for all gathered here and those afar who are unable to be with us. Allow no negative energy to touch us, to harm us and that nothing we call upon will harm us and others. We come together in perfect love and perfect trust.

 

Greeting:

Hypatia – Merry meet brothers and sisters and honored guests.

 

Everyone – Respond Merry Greet. Please tell us your first name and state or country you are from.

 

Ceremony:

Please ALL light your candles

 

INVOCATIONS

Ostara in the N.H-

Now say-

“Hallowed be the Goddess, Our Mother and provider. The bleak winter storms leaving life to flourish outward. It peeps out quietly, refreshed by the God and Goddess’s power. We feel you. We thank you for all your gifts. “

 

Mabon in the S.H-

Now say-

Manannan son of Lir, Ruler of the Other world, You who gave the Silver Branch and the Golden Cup to King Cormac, I ask your blessings on this celebration of harvest.  May it sustain me through the coming winter.  Manannan, please accept this offering of food and drink, given in hospitality and in love.”

 

MAIN WORKING

Ostara in the N.H-

Now do-

Concentrate on the beautiful flowers you have picked, smell, and touch and appreciate this glorious gift from the Great Mother and Father. Take your hardboiled egg in your hands, feel its contours and acknowledge the gift and nourishment that it holds.

Understand that this is a time of regeneration and transformation. This is a time of re-birth and new beginnings. Visualize the creation of all and everything from a single seed a single egg.

 

Mabon in the S.H-

Now do-

Pick up the apple and hold it in both hands.  Feel its smoothness.  See its colour.  Smell its fragrance.

Think about where the apple came from.  Not where you bought it, but where it grew from bud to fruit:  a particular tree in a particular orchard in a particular location.  Can you see it?  Can you feel it?

Visualize the growth of the apple from bud to flower to tiny apple to large apple, compressing the months from spring to autumn into a few moments.  Meditate on its growth, and what that growth means to you.

 

Ostara in the N.H-

Now say-

“May we carry within us a total understanding of all living creatures, both great and small. Mother Goddess, father God, and show us how to worship the earth and all it holds.”

 

Mabon in the S.H

Now say-

“Lord of the Sun that rides the westerly wild wind. As the seeds flourish and the fall into the waiting earth. I know this to be a time of equals allowing natures scales to come into balance. As the dark winter shadows reveal the wheel-a-turning it unveils life’s glory through a deathly silence.

O Great Goddess, watcher of sacred magic and long gone myths, show me the way to great wisdom. Show me the way Great Goddess!”

 

Ostara in the N.H-

Now do-

Now prepare your tools to decorate.

As you decorate your eggs meditate on creation, on rebirth and the wonder of life.

Appreciate and acknowledge that this is the place where everything starts from.

Be spontaneous and draw whatever mandala comes to your mind or something that you have already chosen.

Allow yourself to enjoy the energy of creation.

Visualize what you would like to bring into your life.

What you would like to bring into fruition, what you would like to give birth to.

This is a time of great fertility, you hold the egg in your hand, the egg that will give life to your desires.

In your own words give thanks to the great Goddess for her gift of regeneration, rebirth and rejuvenation.

Once finished decorating your egg/s

If allergic- you can place the egg/s in your nest, bowl or holder and give to a loved one after the ceremony or bury in the ground. I will leave that up to you.

Otherwise– crack the egg on the surface, peel the egg and consume as much as you like and with every bite appreciate the gift of regeneration and rebirth. The glory of new beginnings that is gifted from the Great Mother Herself. Keep a glass of water on hand.

 

Mabon in the S.H-

Now do-

Place the apple on your chopping board and cut across the middle (horizontally) exposing the pentagram.

The pentagram is connected to the 5 elements. Allow yourself time to connect to water, fire, earth, air and spirit as without these we would not exist.

Breathe in the scent. Understand that the apple is a simple reminder of the healing powers of the earth and the restorative energies of the Other world’s.

 

Slice a portion of the apple and say-

Manannan mac Lir, please accept this offering.”
Now place in the offering platter

 

Slice a second portion and say-

Mighty Ancestors, please accept this offering.”

Now place in the offering platter

 

Slice a third portion and say-

Spirits of this place, please accept this offering.”
Now place in the offering platter

 

Now take a bite of the apple and allow it to nourish you. Feel how refreshing it is and how it is filling you with its nourishment.

Now prepare the rest of you platter by adding from your fruit bowl. This is a dedication to your God and Goddess. Take your time to enjoy and savior the feast that you have prepared. Drink your apple cider, water or what other beverage you have chosen.

In your own words give thanks to the great God and Goddess to this second harvest and all it has brought you.

 

FAREWELLS

 

Ostara in the N.H-

Now say-

Mother Goddess, Lady of the Waters, I thank you for your presence and your blessings. May there be peace and honor between us now and forever. Hail and farewell.”

 

Ancestors of blood and ancestors of spirit, I thank you for your presence and your blessings. May there be peace and honor between us now and forever. Hail and farewell.”
Spirits of the land, spirits of this place, I thank you for your presence and your blessings. May there be peace and honor between us now and forever. Hail and farewell.”
Mabon in the S.H-

Now say-

Manannan mac Lir, I thank you for your presence and your blessings. May there be peace and honour between us now and forever.  Hail and farewell. 
Ancestors of blood and ancestors of spirit, I thank you for your presence and your blessings. May there be peace and honor between us now and forever.  Hail and farewell.  
Spirits of the land, spirits of this place, I thank you for your presence and your blessings. May there be peace and honor between us now and forever.  Hail and farewell. 
And Now before closing the circle.

Lady Beltane-

I would ask that all non-members leave the circle at this time please. You are welcome to return in about 15 minutes to socialize. Thank you.

We will be introducing the newcomer Elders and this is a private initiation.

CLOSING

 

Dismiss the circle:

  • To the Guardians of the East:

I dismiss and thank you from our Watchtowers and give Gratitude for protect us.

 

  • To the Guardians of the South:

I dismiss and thank you from our Watchtowers and give Gratitude for protect us.

 

  • To the Guardians of the West:

I dismiss and thank you from our Watchtowers and give Gratitude for protect us.

 

  • To the Guardians of the North:

I dismiss and thank you from our Watchtowers and give Gratitude for protect us.

 

 

As you leave here tonight may the Lady and Lord bless you with all that you need and want.

 

I bid you Blessings and great Joy Brothers and sisters of the Craft

 

Thank you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Merry part until we merry meet again.

Spring Equinox, Ostara: Southern Hemisphere

Midway through Spring!
This is the time of equal day and equal night, the balance of light and dark,
and so at this time we have the chance to invite balance into our lives.

Add this to the energy of Spring, and as we see in our gardens, we also have the opportunity for new growth, fresh starts and new beginnings.  Now would be the appropriate time for the Easter Egg hunt!

The trees have come back to life, blossoms are blooming, the grass is growing, the sprouts are ‘taking off’, growth is everywhere! Beautiful smells, sprite-liness and baby animals…
During Spring, everywhere in nature, we see and feel and hear, the energy, the pulse, the sound of new growth.

And so we have the opportunity to consciously align with this energy
and ‘use’ it to fuel whatever new beginnings we are creating in our lives.

Your being, as part of the Earth, part of the cycle of the seasons…

To read the rest of this please click on this link: Ostara

History of Ostara – The Spring Equinox

MANY HOLIDAYS, MANY NAMES

The word Ostara is just one of the names applied to the celebration of the spring equinox on March 21. 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.

Typically, the Celtic peoples did not celebrate Ostara as a holiday, although they were in tune with the changing of the seasons.

According to History.com, “At the ruins of Chichen Itza, the ancient Maya city in Mexico, crowds now gather on the spring (and fall) equinox to watch as the afternoon sun creates shadows that resemble a snake moving along the stairs of the 79-foot-tall Pyramid of Kukulkan,…

To Rest the rest of this article please click on this link: https://www.thoughtco.com/history-of-ostara-the-spring-equinox-2562485

For Southern Hemisphere Readers: Ostara Crafts & Cooking

f you’d like to jazz up your altar, walls, or the entire house with decorations for Ostara, here’s where you’ll find several fun and easy craft projects. There’s more to this time of year than colored eggs, so be sure to check out these ideas!

Make a Miniature Greenhouse for Ostara
Make a Spring Weather Station
Spring Snake Wreath
Naturally Colored Ostara Eggs
Tie Dyed Ostara Eggs
Make Magic Crystal Ostara Eggs
Make an Ostara Tree for your altar
Seed Packet Greeting Cards
5 Easy Decorations for Ostara
7 of the Best Ostara Crafts on Pinterest

Feasting and Food

No Pagan celebration is really complete without a meal to go along with it. For Ostara, celebrate with foods that honor the the coming of spring — eggs, early spring greens, shoots and sprouts, and of course, the all-important marshmallow Peep.

Surprise Lemon Bread
Spring Sprout Salad with Homemade Honey Mustard Dressing
Marshmellow Peep Ambrosia
Deviled Eggs
Mint Chutney
Roasted Lamb
Hot Cross Buns

 

By Patti Wigington for more information please click on this link: http://link.about.com/view/555adff05e7b8f68388b4ded4j4d7.jmw/485d2f09

READ NOW

Celebrating the Equinox, March 20

Spring has finally arrived! March has roared in like a lion, and if we’re really lucky, it will roll out like a lamb. Meanwhile, on March 20th, we have Ostara to celebrate. It’s the time of the vernal equinox of you live in the sorthern hemisphere, and it’s a true marker that Spring has come. There are many different ways you can celebrate this sabbat, depending on your tradition.

If you’re one of our readers in the southern hemisphere, be sure to scroll down for information on Mabon, the autumn equinox. Whichever of these sabbats you may be celebrating, I hope yours is full of magic!

Ostara Rites and Rituals  
Depending on your particular tradition, there are many different ways you can celebrate Ostara, but typically it is observed as a time to mark the coming of Spring and the fertility of the land. By watching agricultural changes — such as the ground becoming warmer, and the emergence of plants from the ground — you’ll know exactly how you should welcome the season.
Here are a few rituals you may want to think about trying — and remember, any of them can be adapted for either a solitary practitioner or a small group, with just a little planning ahead.Setting up your Ostara Altar
Ostara Altar Photo Gallery
Ostara Ritual for Solitaries
The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Chocolate Rabbit – an Ostara rite for kids
Ostara Rebirthing Ritual
Ostara Labyrinth Meditation
Earth Meditation
Celebrating Ostara with Kids
Ostara Traditions and Customs  
Interested in learning about some of the traditions behind the celebrations of March? Learn why St. Patrick hated snakes, and why the Easter bunny brings eggs for us to eat!

Ostara History
Deities of Ostara
Spring Equinox Celebrations Around the World
Who was Eostre?
Matronalia, March 1
Easter Eggs: Pagan or Not?
Can You Really Balance an Egg on the Equinox?
Beware the Ides of March!
St. Patrick and the Snakes
Pagans and Lent

Ostara Craft Projects  
As Ostara rolls in, you can decorate your home (and keep your kids entertained) with a number of easy craft projects. Start celebrating a bit early with a St. Patrick’s Day Snake Wreath or a basket of naturally-dyed eggs.

Make a Miniature Greenhouse for Ostara
Make a Spring Weather Station
Spring Snake Wreath
Naturally Colored Ostara Eggs
Tie Dyed Ostara Eggs
Make Magic Crystal Ostara Eggs
Make an Ostara Tree for your altar
Seed Packet Greeting Cards
5 Easy Decorations for Ostara
7 of the Best Ostara Crafts on Pinterest

Ostara Recipes  
No Pagan celebration is really complete without a meal to go along with it. For Ostara, celebrate with foods that honor the the coming of spring — eggs, early spring greens, shoots and sprouts, and of course, the all-important marshmallow Peep.

Surprise Lemon Bread
Spring Sprout Salad with Homemade Honey Mustard Dressing
Marshmellow Peep Ambrosia
Deviled Eggs
Mint Chutney
Roasted Lamb
Hot Cross Buns

By Patti Wigington on About.com

5 Ways to Celebrate Ostara in 5 minutes of less

I just love the ideas that Tess Whitehurst comes up with!  Her latest blog post talks about ways to celebrate Ostara in 5 minutes or less.  I love the simplicity of her ideas.  If you are swamped for time…try one of her ideas!

The blog post can be read at the following link:

http://tesswhitehurst.com/5-ways-to-celebrate-ostara-in-5-minutes-or-less-2/

©03182016 Wolf Woman Ways

The May Queen and The Greenman

“Three cheers for the May Queen!” they cried out as they carried her triumphantly to the waiting arms of the Greenman, newly emerged from the deep wood.
“It has been a long time, Mabellique le Fey,” the god of the forest remarked lovingly.
“T’ long, m’ Jack O’ the Green.” She felt like a young maiden in his strong, knotted arms. He pressed his lips to hers and they were like flesh and tasted of sugar maple. Tonight the bond between fairy-kind and the natural world about them would be consummated as it had every spring since the beginning of all things rich and good.
fr.  Travers McCraken The Prince of Knocknafay 

Brightest Blessings Sisters and Brothers,
SunRay Sorceress

5 Easy Decorating Ideas for Ostara

Eggs

In many cultures and societies, the egg is considered the perfect magical symbol. It is, after all, representative of new life – in fact, it is the life cycle personified. Decorate colored eggs to place around your home, place a bowl or basket of them on your altar, and include them in your Imbolc meal plans!

More »

Spring Flowers

For hundreds of years, the plants that we grow have been used in magic. Flowers in particular are often connected with a variety of magical uses. Grow them in your garden each spring by planting bulbs in the fall, and you’ll have fragrant, lovely blooms to cut and bring indoors. You can also pot some seedlings, and keep them around as a daily reminder of the beginning phases of the life cycle. Use them on your altar, or just put cuttings in jars and vases around your house. You can also hang them to dry, and then use them in spellwork all year long!

More »

Bunnies, Chicks and Lambs

It’s spring, which means that the animal kingdom is bouncing along, full speed ahead. Rabbits are everywhere this time of year, and newborn bunnies might appear in your garden on any given day. Chicks are popping out of their eggs, and on the farms, the lambing season has begun. It’s a time of new life and rebirth, so celebrate by decorating your home with symbols of our animal friends. More »

Colors of the Season

Traditionally, there are a number of colors associated with the Ostara season. In many magical traditions, this is a time of soft pastel shades – pale blues and purples, light yellows, and pinks. Think about the things these colors can represent to you. A light green is reminiscent of the beginnings of new life in the earth, as the winter begins to wane. Pinks and yellows remind us of the bright crocuses, daffodils, forsythia and hyacinths that are blooming as the spring moves in. Use pastel cloths to drape your altar, and light colored candles around your home. More »

Symbols of Balance

Ostara, like Mabon, is a time of balance. There are equal hours of darkness and light on the equinoxes, so symbols of this polarity can be incorporated into your decorations. Use a god and goddess statue, a white candle and a black one, a sun and moon, or even a yin/yang symbol. If you’ve got a set of hanging scales, drag those out, add some eggs to it, and cover it with spring flowers and ivy as a centerpiece!

For many people, this sense of balance makes Ostara a good time to focus on meditative exercise, so try one of these if you’re feeling off-kilter right now:

For more ideas for Ostara and Spring Equinox go to this link in the articale by Patti Wigington on ABout.com: http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/ostaracrafts/tp/5-Easy-Decorating-Ideas-for-Ostara.htm?utm_content=20160315&utm_medium=email&utm_source=exp_nl&utm_campaign=list_paganwiccan&utm_term=list_paganwiccan