MOOD | MANIFEST
Magic comes to us when we bring things together—ingredients, people, hearts. Conjuring up new things is essentially dreams and wishes made manifest. We don’t want it to be work, but it is. By our disciplined efforts, magic grows and a new thing is born. The trick is to adjust our view.
What is work but the small steps in a larger process? We are on a journey, you and I. If I look at the work as the beauty of that journey, the devotion of giving from my heart to yours, then the magic becomes a blessing. It becomes something so much bigger than the work. And then the little steps simply become pure love.
Ostara is about the creation of everything new and fresh and full of magic! I’m giving you some of the mysterious history of the holiday, along with ideas for creating an Ostara altar in this week’s blog. May your dreams, by the magic of your small steps, be made manifest too.
All my love, always.
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OSTARA | A CHRONICLE
Ostara is a beloved favorite holiday in the Wheel of the Year, simply for our long-awaited return to spring. Celebrated on March 21st, it marks the Spring Equinox.
The 7th century text, De Temporum Ratione by the Christian monk Bede, mentions
the “season by her name,” referring to the goddess Ostara. Prior to this time, there is nothing documenting her place in the traditions of the Spring Equinox. This doesn’t mean traditions didn’t exist. They were most likely shared through a long line of oral storytelling. Not until an entire millennium later is the Old High German name Ostern, meaning Easter, crafted as a derivation of Bede’s Ostara goddess by the folklorist Jacob Grimm.
The egg and hare associations with this holiday were introduced later, and written documentation is just as scant. It is true that numerous ancient spiritual practices honored a universal egg as symbol for new life. Most notably, iconic medieval imagery of the Phoenix egg is suggestive of notions of rebirth. Researchers have proposed that the hare or rabbit was a sacred companion to Ostara. Some writings from the early 1900’s suggest a bird which once honorably drew the flying chariot of the goddess Ostara was injured and so transformed into a hare by the goddess. In gratitude, the hare is believed to have honored Ostara by laying eggs as its offering to her.
THE OSTARA ALTAR
Wherever you set it, an altar is an intimate expression of your experience with this celebration. Here are a few items specific to the Ostara altar. There are no rules, only suggestions based on those who have come before us:
• A cloth of yellow, Robin’s egg blue, or lavender.
• Items to represent all the elements—earth, air, fire, water. Some soil, a feather, your candle, & a small bowl of water are simple selections.
• Pots of blooming daffodils or tulips. Vases of birch branches.
• Ostara symbols—nests, rabbits, eggs, lambs, baskets of sprouted grass.
• Freshly grown herbs of mint, parsley, basil, cilantro.
• Stones of citrine, amethyst, moonstone, jasper.
• Personal spiritual items such as deities, amulets, talismans, or images.
• Something to represent both the feminine & masculine.
Above all, make it a delight to gather items and create your altar. Simple is lovely. As is over-the-top elaborate. Let it be who you are.