Spring has sprung and I can feel my soul rising up to greet the warming sun!
Don’t mind me, I tend to get a bit carried away at this time of year. With good reason I might add!
So for a bit of background, this is the time to celebrate all things new and fresh both in nature and in our own lives. Growth, beginnings, all aspects of fertility and … love! It is time for us to bask in all of Mother Nature’s astounding creations and give thanks for the precious gift of life that has been given to us.
Ostara celebrates the Spring Equinox where day and night are of equal length (being a Libran, I love this balance). The name stems from the Germanic goddess Eostre which was eventually adopted by the Christians as Easter (Ostara originated in the northern hemisphere where it falls in the first part of the year). You will find plenty of parallels between the two celebrations, including the Pagan practice of planting eggs in the ground for fertility, and the association with rabbits and chicks. Interesting, huh?
At this joyful time of year, I like to set my intentions for the next twelve months and focus my sights on new beginnings. A new hobby I’d like to take up? Research and footwork start now. Personal development I’d like to attend to (the list is endless!)? I’m on it.
Most importantly though for me is focusing on the wonder and absolute jaw-dropping beauty of life. I’m always on about every day being a special occasion, and I’m with Aristotle when he extolled that the “contemplation of beauty causes the soul to grow wings.” This is MY TIME of year! I can see the wonder in others’ faces as Mother Nature weaves her magic and I’m not the seemingly only one to be experiencing ‘Hallmark Card’ moments (ie. lots of laughing, crying and everything in between because of the sheer beauty of life).
If you’re curious about how this little witch may go about celebrating Ostara – apart from the above-mentioned starstruck awe – I’m thinking I’ll exercise some Craft Magick and dye eggs that I can decorate the garden with here at Casa Loco. I’m also keen to start a witchy herb garden so that’s also on the agenda. I also count my Hair Bouquets as a tribute to Ostara and a celebration of all things floral. I think it’s perfectly in keeping with this Sabbat to ‘birth’ new creations.
It would be remiss of me not to mention taking flower adorned baths. I do love me a bit of bath magick and it frequently appears as part of Goddess Pampering and Sacred Self-Care rituals. It can be done quickly and easily plus it’s very cost-effective. I just use Epsom Salts, essential oils I have at hand, and my garden or even a nature reserve (if it’s legal to do so) can provide the blossoms (ideally ones that are about to drop). Throw a bit of a coconut/grape seed/almond oil into the concoction, and you have a fragrant experience resulting in silky smooth skin!
In the meantime, I’ve decorated my everyday altar to incorporate correspondences* of this festival, including:
- My hand-crafted Hair Bouquets (coming to my Etsy shop soon!) in place of ‘real’ flowers as I don’t like cutting the little darlings if I can help it. If you want to pay tribute with fresh flowers, look to any spring blooms you may have access to or daffodils, violets, crocus, tulips, jasmine, roses and peonies to name a few.
- The statue of my primary Goddess, Venus from Brigid’s Grove that I adore so much prompted me to add a Triple Moon Goddess on my moon altar (that’s for another post). I’m also keen on adding a spellbinding creation from Martha Silver Breninger (this is her Facebook page for your viewing pleasure!). I’m posting these links as I love the products – not because I get some sort of kickback because I don’t.
Please don’t feel you must run out and buy a goddess statue. If you have access to a printer, run off a copy of your favoured deity or research the correspondences* associated with her/him and use something that speaks to you. Your intuition or possibly your deity will let you know what’s right for you. I don’t believe the deities nor our craft require us to be bankrupted in our pursuits so no cash outlay is required.
- I’m also festooning my altar, the Nook and everywhere else that stays still long enough with white, green and pink candles! I also use white candles in place of coloured as they are pure and universal in candle magick. To go back to my earlier point of birthing creations, I’m researching how to make my own candles so I don’t need to spend a fortune on them in future.
- It so happens that I am a huge crystal advocate so I have also added some amethyst, jasper, aquamarine, rose quartz and moonstone in my altar’s abalone shell. Truth be told, I have rose quartz and moonstone EVERYWHERE – I don’t need to wait for a special occasion!
Again, if funds won’t stretch to expanding your crystal stash, you could print out images of what you’d like to collect or even substitute with something that reminds you of the stone of your choice. Perhaps a pink glass button in place of rose quartz for example. Anything that conjures up the image for you – focus on INTENTION rather than splashing cash.
* Witchy correspondences are various wide-ranging elements, including crystals, flowers, scents, deities, planets, zodiac signs, colours etc that can be included in rituals, altars and spell-casting.
If you want to know more about this vast subject, try googling
‘magic correspondences’ to be inundated with options!
Interesting tidbit; I often use colour correspondences to determine a palette for my clothes and makeup for the day!
I’m also a bit of a ritual fiend (I have one for pretty much everything!) so Ostara is no exception. It’s very basic but fills me with a peaceful joy and a strong feeling of connectedness.
If you’d like to give it a go, take my hand and come along!
- Find yourself somewhere quiet and private outside. Sometimes easier said than done depending on your circumstances, so make-believe if you need to (perhaps a balcony next to a potted plant) but make sure you have your shoes off to connect with the Earth.
- Try meditating briefly or breathing deeply while picturing to yourself why this is such a magical time of year.
- Turn to face the sun (or where you think it should be if it’s not visible), and thank it for coming back to us after the long winter and its many blessings.
- Now it’s Mother Nature’s turn to be thanked for her nourishing abundance and love.
- To seal the deal with her, find a tree or beautiful plant in flower (or imagine you have) and sit next to it. Gently touch it in greeting and gratitude. Imagine both of your energies becoming intertwined and filling you with love and warmth. When you’ve finished meditating on this joy and you feel ready (there’s no time limit here), thank your new friend and express thoughts of good-will and love.
- Finish up by once again thanking the sun, Mother Nature and your tree/plant for all the gifts of this beautiful season and let them know just how grateful you are for their ongoing care and protection.
If you’d like more info about Ostara and the Spring Equinox, I love The Traveling Witch’s post on 3 awesome ways to welcome the sun this Ostara, and Moody Moon’s 9 witchy ways to get ready for spring.
Enjoy your celebrations and the wonder of the season, kitten xo