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Author Topic: How to properly celebrate Ostara  (Read 2360 times)

Gore

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How to properly celebrate Ostara
« on: March 15, 2012, 08:27:18 pm »
What would be some good traditional ways of celebrating Ostara? What foods would we eat? What drinks would we drink? What tales should we tell? Just about anything you can lend would be helpful! Thanks! :D:

GaiaDianne

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Re: How to properly celebrate Ostara
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2012, 11:06:09 pm »
Quote from: ToddGrove;45991
What would be some good traditional ways of celebrating Ostara? What foods would we eat? What drinks would we drink? What tales should we tell? Just about anything you can lend would be helpful! Thanks! :D:

 


GAIA:

Hi and Merry Meet, Todd --

Great question -- I'm so sorry that  i'm probably getting to it a bit late for your purposes, but perhaps the info will be helpful.

Some of the answers to your questsions will of course be colored by the preferences, interests, and concerns of the person answering / celebrating -

I find it helps to start by asking, "What is the Wheel of the Year in general, and especially this particular Sabbat *about*, and how does it relate to the other Sabbats, and the Wheel in its entirety?"


(Please forgive if any of this is review for you!)

WICCAN SABBATS: CYCYCLES of RENEWAL:


The sun cycles through fullness at Summer Solstice (June 19-23), yet that is also the moment of its simultaneous "death", because it immediately begins its long journey toward Winter Solstice (the longest night, shortest day), when it is "renewed" and begins its long journey back again toward fullness -- around and around; -- Renewal, Regeneration.

Spring Equinox is midway between those two points, and it marks a moment of Balance -- equal light and darkness. Thus Pagans celebrated it las "Ostara" or "Eostre" -- which also happens to be the name of a Pagan (AngloSaxon) fertility Goddess, (from whose name we also get such words as "estrus" and "estrogen", the female hormone)-- and to whom the Moon-Hare or bunny rabbit is most sacred. Since Ostara celebrated the renewal of life after the long winter, it was turned into the Christian "Easter".

The scheduling of Easter every year reveals its Pagan origins: it is the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Equinox -- all very Pagan holidays; and its symbols (the egg, flowering trees, the bunny rabbit) are all symbols of fertility, birth or re-birth, and renewal.



Ostara has several "meanings", here are just a few (please forgive if this is review for you!) --

a)  The return of Spring and re-awakening of the Earth from winter "slumber";

b)  Balance - equal day and night, but other kinds of "balance", too;

c)  Mythologically, many see it as the second in a series of three (or even four) Spring "fertility" festivals, as the youthful God "born" at Yule grows to manhood and courts the youthful Maiden Goddess.  

  - Imbolc / Oimelc (February 2) is the first, heralding the lengthening of daylight after Yule;
  - Ostara is the second,
  - Beltane (May Eve)  is the third,
  - and some include Summer Solstice (Litha) as the fourth fertility Sabbat, before the Harvest Sabbats of Autumn.

Traditionally, Ostara is often seen as the "playful", flirtatious courtship of the youthful God and Maiden Goddess -- and in traditional Wiccan Ostara rituals, a flirtatious dance is often re-enacted between them....(Beltane is usually understood as more specifically and overtly sexual -- their first "Tryst", so to speak).

Another myth that works very well with the Ostara ritual is that of Persephone, the daughter of the Earth Goddess Demeter, who became the Queen of the Underworld/ Dead, and who returns every spring, thereby prompting Demeter's joyful celebration allowing new growth.  
This story can be understood as the (spiritual, emotional and mythic) journey we all must take to separate and individuate our selves from our Parents, and find / make our own identities and follow our own Path(s) in life, later (hopefully) to reconcile with those Parents as fully-recognized adults.


Yet another way to understand Ostara is to remember that it celebrates the Balance of equal day and night -- and that Balance is only possible if one keeps moving, accepting and working with the Cycles and energies, rather than against them, or trying to hold back the changes that will inevitably come.....


This is part of what is so fun and rich about these Sabbats: they can be understood in so many different ways and on so many different levels, and they offer such richness and diversity of interpretation --

So look at your own life, and consider what themes (mythic and otherwise) you're dealing with right now, or expect to do so in the next few weeks, and consider how you might co-ordinate those themes with the various themes and myths of Ostara: rebirth, renewal, re-awakening;  growth, fertility, abundance; who are you becoming, what have you learned (and what do you yet need to learn) about yourself?  In what ways could you be more "balanced"?  Any one of these (or still others!) could offer a wonderful theme for an Ostara ritual.



The symbols of Ostara – eggs, bunnies, seeds, budding trees and flowers -- are all related to fertility, birth, new potentials and new beginnings.


 
OSTARA RITUALS:


http://www.paganwiccan.about.com/od/ostarathespringequinox/ht/OstaraSolRite.htm
http://www.home.earthlink.net/~josquin88/ostara.html
http://www.llewellynencyclopedia.com/article/7825
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Acropolis/2007/ostara_ritual.html
http://www.moonpathcuups.org/rituals/ostara98.htm


RESOURCES On OSTARA Songs, Chants, Activities:

http://www.witchery.wordpress.com/2008/02/11/ostara-chants-poems-and-songs/
http://www.crystalforest3.homestead.com/Ostara.html
http://www.tribes.tribe.net/nycpaganwiccans/thread/c87ed250-71df-45c1-8847-e71e939d0aaf
http://www.iamawitch.com/article.php?story=2009031609304590
http://www.earthspiritpagans.org/documents/pdfs/Ostara2009.pdf
http://www.geocities.com/thespiraloak/ostara.html
http://members.tripod.com/paganparent-ivil/ostara.html
http://www.rosslynhillchapel.com/images/Dec2008RosslynHillBulletin.pdf
http://www.pagandad.com/2008/04/teaching-children-old-songs.html
 

I hope that's helpful -- Blessed Be, and Merry Ostara! ~ Gaia

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