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

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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

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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

Yin Yang symbol

I don’t draw very good.  I decided to look for a Yin Yang symbol that I could color in for the Ostara ritual on Saturday.  I found one online!

yin-yang

I found it online at the following link: http://tinyurl.com/haym7qq

I hope this helps you as you prepare for the ritual!

© 03162016 Wolf Woman Ways

Use Natural Dyes to Color Your Ostara Eggs

Ostara is a time of fertility and rebirth, and few things symbolize this as well as the egg. By coloring them with bright pinks, blues and yellows, we’re welcoming the colors of spring back into our lives, and saying farewell to winter. However, a lot of commercially available egg-dying products are made from chemicals. They may not be toxic, but on the other hand, you might not have a clue what the ingredients are. Why not try using natural sources to get a variety of shades, and REALLY celebrate the colors of the season? It’s fun, and allows you to tap into your creative juices while you’re welcoming spring.

First of all, plan on only doing about 3 – 4 eggs at a time. You’ll need them to have room to bob around in the pan, and not be piled on top of one another. Before starting, poke a small hole with a pin or needle in the end of each egg. This will help keep them from cracking while they boil. You’ll really want to have at least a dozen eggs, just because it’s a lot of fun to experiment with different colors.

Start your water boiling. Use enough to cover about an inch over the tops of the eggs, but don’t put them in the pan yet. Add 2 tsp of white vinegar, and bring the water to a boil. Once it’s boiling, add 3 – 4 eggs using a slotted spoon (helpful hint: do NOT let your kids drop them in the water. Trust me on this one). Next, add your coloring material. Here’s where it gets really fun!

To color your eggs, add one of the following items. You’ll have to experiment a little to see how much to add, but try different amounts to get different shades of each color. Once you’ve added your coloring, allow to simmer for 20 minutes.

  • Red/pink: paprika
  • Purple: concentrated grape juice (Welch’s works nicely, about half a can)
  • Yellow: Skins (only) of a half dozen yellow onions
  • Gold: Curry powder or tumeric
  • Beige: coffee grounds
  • Light green: frozen chopped spinach (1/3 to 1/2 package)
  • Blue: 1 Cup frozen blueberries (with juice)

After they’ve boiled, carefully remove the eggs from the pot with your slotted spoon and place them on a paper towel to dry. If you’d like them darker, you can allow them to sit over night in the pot of dye, but the vinegar can weaken the eggs’ shells. When the eggs have dried completely, dab a little bit of vegetable oil on a paper towel and “polish” the eggs to give them some shine.

Keep your eggs refrigerated until it’s time to hide them, eat them, or show them off to your friends. Remember to never eat eggs that have been sitting at room temperature for more than two hours.

Tips:

  1. If your kids are more into the coloring than the eating of Ostara eggs, consider brushing your colored eggs with a thin layer of glue, and then sprinkling some glitter on top.
  2. Eggs can take on the flavor of whatever you use to dye them, so unless you enjoy coffee-flavored eggs, put some thought into using dyed eggs in recipes.
  3. Use a wax crayon to make designs and sigils on the eggs before dying — the waxed area will appear as white once you’ve finished.      Article by Patti Wigimgton on About.com http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/ostaracrafts/ht/NaturalEggDyes.htm?utm_content=20160315&utm_medium=email&utm_source=exp_nl&utm_campaign=list_paganwiccan&utm_term=list_paganwiccan

Ostara/Spring Equinox and Adept Initiation Rituals on 3/19/2016

Anyone is welcomed to join us!

WHEN:

Saturday, March 19, 2016

TIME:

7:00 to 8:00 PM CT

The Sacred Circle starts at 7:15 PM CT SHARP. Please be considerate and be on time or wait until 7:45 PM CT to join us for visiting after the circle has been opened!

WHERE:

Coven Life Chat Room

For information on how to find and get into the chat room or to figure out your local time please check out the banner on the left side of Coven Life Home Page.

PLAN FOR THE CIRCLE

Just because it says coven does not mean you have to be in the coven to attend. All Pagans are welcome to join us! If you have any questions about the gathering please email ladybeltane@aol.com I look forward to many of us coming together to celebrate this wonderful Sabbat.

OSTARA RITUAL 3/19/2016.

A minute of quite to center and ground before the ritual begins. Anything appearing in bold type is where the entire gathering praticapates.

Lady Beltane: I call upon Ostara and the Oak King to cast this circle with me three times three. To keep all present in it safe. We are now in a sacred place where magick can be worked.

Laura – East: We call upon Air to help the bees spread pollen from plant to plant to help them grow with the rebirth of spring and our Devine Maiden so fair.

Mary – South: We call upon Fire in the form of the Sun God to give light that is needed to help our seeds grow with the rebirth of longer days.

 – West: We call upon Water to give nourishment to our growing seeds as you are the bringer of all life.

Lady of the Abyss – North: We call upon Earth the mother of us all to keep us grounded in all things we do.

Ritual for Everyone – Place green candle to your left and the white candle to your right. Leaving enough room in the middle to place your Ying/Yang symbol.

Place the Ying/Yang symbol in between the lit candles. Place the darker egg into the hole in the lighter colored side of theYing/Yang and the lighter colored egg into the hole in the darker side.

Everyone – When done type in “Ready.”

Lady Beltane – We offer these eggs to Ostara as all new life grows from an egg or a seed. Ostara we ask you to bless these eggs to help us renew ourselves as Mother Earth wakens from her slumber. That we may find new life coursing through us as cleansing energy. Oak King we ask that your fertilize the hopes and wishes we have written here so they may grow and come to fruition as the year progresses.

As the Spring Equinox is the balance of day and night as equals so is the relationship of all males and females. We ask Hecate and her Consort to bless our relationships with others be they men or women. That we feel equal to them and not above or below them.

Take the eggs and set them on the side. Tape the circle of opposite color into the now empty holes. (Before breaking the eggs to eat them write the same runes on to the circles now in the Ying/Yang symbol. The side you write them on should be the same color as the egg they are written on.)

We will take 2 minutes to complete the Ying/Yang symbol. When you are done type in “Blessed be”.

Lady Beltane – This concludes our Ostara/Spring Equinox ritual. You eggs can be eaten whenever you want to on Ostara/Spring Equinox which is tomorrow Sunday, March 20th.

We will be doing a second ritual in the circle tonight to welcome four Witches who have gone from Novice to Adept in this coven.

Lady Beltane ( Laura and Mary) – I called upon you as your High Priestess to “stand” and be recognized as adepts of the Coven Life’s Coven. To swear to all present that you will not carry any tales of any member or guest of this coven. That you will uphold the sanctity of the sacred circles and rituals when this coven is gathered. That you will not give out to anyone outside of this coven another members magickal working/coven name. I ask you to remember your brothers and sisters here are more then ready to help you if you ever need them to and welcome you as a part of us. Your position as an adept will be for one year and one day from this date.

Laura and Mary – Do you enter this coven of your own free will?

Laura Answer

Mary Answer

Laura and Mary – Do you so swear to uphold the sanctity of Coven Life’s Coven?

Laura Answer

Mary Answer

Lady Beltane – Laura I welcome you in perfect love and prefect trust into Coven Life’s Coven. I ask what name you have chosen for yourself when attending coven or pagan gatherings and when working magick on your own?

Laura state your coven/magickal working name_____

You shall be known now and forever more in Coven Life’s Coven by this name. Merry meet and merry greet _____ many blessings to you as you continue your journey on your chosen path,

Lady Beltane – Mary I welcome you in perfect love and perfect trust into Coven Life’s Coven. I ask what name you have choosen for yourself when attending coven or pagan gatherings and working magick on your own?

Mary state your coven/magickal workings name ____

Lady Beltane – You shall be known now and forever more in Coven Life’s Coven by this name. Merry meet and merry greet ______ and _______ many blessings to you as you continue your journey on your chosen path.

Everyone – Please welcome our newest coven sisters _________, ________,  _______ and _______. I ask that you give them your help, advice, and/or guidance if they ask it of you. That you treat them with the same respect you would treat all coven members and guest that attend our gatherings 

Lady of the Abyss – North: We thank and dismiss Earth the mother of us all to keep us grounded in all things we do.

 – West: We thank and dismiss Water for giving nourishment to our growing seeds as you are the bringer of all life.

Mary – South: We thank and dismiss Fire in the form of the Sun God for giving light that is needed to help our seeds grow with thr rebirth of longer days.

Laura – East: We thank and dismiss Air for helping the bees spread pollen from plant to plant to help them grow with the rebirth of spring and our Devine Maiden so fair.

Lady Beltane – This circle is now opened but not broken. As you leave here tonight may the Lady and Lord bless you with all that you need and something you just want. I bid you peace and joy. Blessed be brothers and sisters of The Craft. Merry part until we merry meet again.

Look a the post below for the information on the items needed for the Ostara/Spring Equinox ritual.