Pagan Blog Prompts wonders:
Ostara, also known as the Spring Equinox was just celebrated yesterday by many Pagans in the Northern Hemisphere. Today's prompt is all about Ostara. How do you celebrate it? Do you have any certain traditions or themes you focus on? What does Ostara mean to you?
For the Solstices and Equinox, I celebrate them for 3 days, like Esbats. So I can usually get a lot done. In this case, I'm utilizing the three days, coming up with family traditions (our son is a great inspiration!); it's a work in progress, but luckily I have some odd years until he's able to actually partake and enjoy the sabbats.
Month of March: Various arts and crafts; teaching of spring and growth. Learning about the symbolism and animals associated. Prepare for gardening, like making green houses or carton pots. Having our kids do some inner reflection concerning Spring. Egg magik. Dyeing eggs. Making treats for wildlife.
Day 1: All about Spring Cleaning. Start the morning with eggs--good protein breakfast and they're eggs--a major symbol of the Spring season. We clean the crap out of our home, even giving the vacuum cleaner wipe down, inside and out. Light a candle or oil burner for Hestia, don on a veil, and go! Dust, straighten, organize, switch, toss out, donate, sweep, mop, vacuum. Toss out the garbage. Shift the shrines and altars to suit the season (if they haven't been done already). End the night with take-out, although last night, I had the energy and inspiration to bake some Lemon Poppy Crisps, Cheddar Jack and Bacon Chicken, Herb and Butter Mashed Potatoes, and Corn. It was tasty tasty.
Day 2: Another Spring inspired breakfast, even if the pancakes/toast are cookie cuttered into fun shapes. Finish what you didn't get to yesterday. Egg hunt. Spiritual cleansing of body and home. Re-charging of the wards. Day 2 and 3 can be a mix of gardening, crafting, hiking, and so on. Don't have a set schedule, plus it would also depend on weather! Seasonal dinner.
Day 3: Ritual, rededication to Hestia (for me), and a seasonal feast. Giving of offerings to our Deities and Spirits.
I think I'm going to learn how to make Rabbit Stew and make that one of our traditional eats, depending on if everyone likes rabbit. I remember not liking it when I was younger, but then that was mainly due to biting into buck shot. Same reason why I don't care for squirrel. Add some honey bread to that short list. But along with Cabbage Soup, I've just been craving Rabbit Stew and I've never even had it. Weird, right?
I don't think that we'll be doing baskets of sweets and small gifts from the "Easter Bunny", nor will we take our children to the mall to have their pictures done. I'd rather take them to the zoo, a park, or even a pet store to see some rabbits. Like Christmas, Easter is more about family tradition and the children in my family. Although my husband and I don't celebrate those two days, as typed, our families do and there is no not involving our children in those days. Remember, no religious aspect, although I don't have a problem with teaching them about those aspects, out of respect. My mom already has a plan for our son's Easter Basket. Sweets for us, infant gifts for him. BUT I don't know that I'm okay with the having pictures done with Santa or the Easter Bunny. WE certainly won't be taking them, but in our home, Odin's probably going to be taking the place of Santa.
Plus I'm down with any day that brings the families together. Since none of them will celebrate our Sabbats with us, I enjoy getting together with them for socialization and feasting for "their" holidays.
I want our dinner to be different than what's traditionally made on Easter: Ham, being the main component. Green bean casserole, too, and deviled eggs.
That being said, the Spring Equinox is all about the season for me. It's about the transition from winter to summer. From cold, brown, and frozen to warm, budding, and wet. Longer days and shorter nights. Energy. Shedding of our winter coats. It's about fertilization, since things generally don't start budding and blooming until May here in Central Ohio (May Day is mainly about flowers, growth, birth, and so on - many of the aspects people often associate with Spring, for me, is celebrated on May 1st). Spring is about beginnings. Cleansings. The Spring Equinox is also a day (3) that I associate with Hestia, due to cleaning of the house and self. It's important for me to renew my dedication to Her.
- Deer Antlers - Nature
- Moon Card and trinket - Sister Moon
- Empress Card (behind the maiden) - Fertility
- Sun Card - Father Sun
- Sun Charm
- Spring Maiden
- Grasshopper (generally assocaited with Summer, but the Spirit within just appealed to me)
- Yellow Candle (Sun)
- Green Candle (Earth)
- Ivory Candle (Moon)
- Yellow Cloth (couldn't find my green altar cloth, I think the Fae may have taken it)
- Venus of Wilendorf (to the far right in the top photo) ~ Earth and Fertility.
This is also our son's first Sabbat, and of course you want it to be special....but how special can it be if he's not old enough to really enjoy it? He's only 12 weeks old (tomorrow). Hasn't noticed his hands or his toys. However, he's more interested in...standing. Moving around. I swear this kid wants to skip crawling and go straight to walking! Therefore my mom got him a jumper/entertainer yesterday. And what a wonderful gift it is! He's able to practice sitting up, holding his head up, and exercising his legs. Day two, some blankets for support and a box to stand on, and so far it's the best gift we've received, made even more special that it was given on the Equinox.
How was your Sabbat?
(also posted on Book of Mirrors)