Wordsmithing Magic from the Crossroads

Blessings of the Divine Awakening! Blessings of Ostara and Equinox!

Ostara hare and eggs in candlelight

Glad Bringer of Brightness, hail!
Maiden of Grace, Lad of Laughter.
Gifts of vigor are returning,
Spring’s surprise, rainbow’s embrace.
Quickened be the heart within us,
Opened be our souls to grace,
May the blessing be abiding.
Welcome sit in every face.
Caitlín Matthews, Celtic Devotional: Daily Prayers and Blessings

Welcome Spring!

As you probably know, this is the Vernal Equinox in the northern hemisphere, and it is Autumn Equinox in the Southern Hemisphere.

At 11:06pm, Eastern time, the subsolar point (the place on the Earth’s surface where the center of the Sun is exactly overhead) will cross the Equator, moving northward.

Across the globe, we are all experiencing the same phenomenon: light and the dark are equally in balance.

For our friends below the equator, the months of long daylight now fade, and darkness closes in. I am sure there are many for whom the arrival of the colder season will be an enormous blessing and relief this year. Springtime Ostara image with eggs, flowers and bunnies

Meantime, after today here in the Northern Hemisphere, there will be more daylight hours than darkness. Now the Earth warms, and we make our journey towards the Summer months.

As Winter departs, and Spring arrives for us in the north, the world begins anew.

We celebrate it as the lesser Sabbat named Ostara. “Lesser” Sabbat only means that it is a holiday associated with the seasonal quarters (equinoxes and solstices) of the year. The cross-quarters are considered the “Greater Sabbats.”

It is also known as Lady Day or Alban Eilir (in the Welsh and Druid traditions).

This time has been a universal celebration of the miraculous resurrection of life triumphing over death for many thousands of years, with the Christian God being a rather recent addition to a very long lineage.

The forces of masculine and feminine energy, yin and yang, are also considered to be in balance for this brief moment.

From Pesach to Eostre

Christians around the world will soon celebrate their most important sacred day, the festival of Easter. “Easter” is the name that was given to their rites in some parts of Europe around the 8th century, C.E.

Previously, it had been simply called Pesach, or pascha in Greek, because it was held at the time of the Jewish feast Passover. The reason, of course, is that it was at Passover that the events around their dying and resurrecting God took place. So why the name change, and what does “Easter” mean?

In 325 C.E., the church council of Nicaea decided that the observance of the Christos’ resurrection should be celebrated on the first Sunday after the first Full Moon, on or after the Vernal Equinox.

This meant that they were parting ways with commemorating it during the prescribed dates of Passover, the Pesach.

In fact, as Christianity spread across Europe, many of its Jewish characteristics faded and blended in with the Pagan customs and beliefs of the local populations.

From prehistoric times, people around the world had long held rites of fertility, renewal, and celebration for the return of life in early Spring. Naturally, this fit right in with the theme of the dying and reborn sacrificial God of the new religion.

The English word “Easter” is derived from the name “Eostre” or “Eastre.” Eostre is the Anglo-Saxon word for Ostara, the Germanic Goddess of the Dawn.Ostara by Johannes Gerhts 1884

It is probably no coincidence that the similarly named Greek Goddess of the dawn is the beautiful, chariot driving Eos. And our word “estrus” comes from Her name, as it is one of the more notable signs of Springtime.

Bede the Venerable, a scribe who lived around 673-735 C.E. wrote that the fourth month of the year, “Esturmonath” was named for Her. The month of April, in Anglo Saxon, Old High German, and some modern German dialects, is called “Ostara’s month.” Place names suggest that Ostara was venerated throughout ancient Germany and Denmark.

Sadly, we do not know very much about Ostara Herself. As a Goddess of fertility, She was also a grain Goddess, so offerings of bread and cakes were made to Her.

And we believe that the Anglo-Saxon Pagans made offerings of colored eggs to Her at the Vernal Equinox. They placed them at graves especially, probably as a charm of rebirth.

Egyptians and Greeks were also known to place eggs at grave sites.

Rabbits are sacred to Ostara, especially white rabbits, and She is said to be able to take the form of a rabbit.

The source of this may be in one myth that tells of how Ostara found a bird dying from the cold, because She had been late returning the warmth to the land. Filled with remorse, She changed it to a white snow hare, to save its life. Yet it was still able to lay eggs like a bird. Thus, some stories tell us this is how the Ostara Bunny brings eggs to children on Easter.

According to the scholarly collection of German oral histories and myths, Deutsche Mythologie, published by Jacob Grimm (yes, the same one, who with his brother, collected fairy tales), various traditions throughout Germany were still practiced in the early 1800s in Her honor. From these records we know of the Ostern Hare, Ostara eggs, and Pagan hilltop ceremonies, particularly sword dances and celebratory bonfires, at dawn.

Spring Rites

In climates where Winter was a time of constantly living on the edges of death, the return of the Sun, the lengthening of daylight, the warming of the land, and the birth of new livestock were celebrated with gratitude and joy we can scarcely imagine today.Persephone and Demeter with scepter, based on ancient greek pottery and ceramics red-figure drawings

Thus, despite all the hardships and loss that our ancestors may have endured in the Winter, this was always a time of rejoicing. We would do well to learn to appreciate this gift as they did.

Let us celebrate this day when Persephone returns from the Underworld, ending the grief of Her Mother, Demeter. Now Amaterasu is coaxed out from Her cave of mourning by the laughter of the kami, thanks to the Goddess of the Night and Stars, Amanouzume.

Today we honor the Green Goddess and the Lord of the Greenwood. She blankets the Earth with Her magnificent fertility, bursting forth from Her sleep. And the dazzling young God awakens and grows to maturity.

Thank You, Astrologers Everywhere

Zodiac wheel and signs of medieval mechanism, isolated on white. Detail of ancient clock Torre dell'Orologio, Venice, Italy. Old symbols of astrology on star circle.At the moment of Equinox, the Sun enters Aries, the first sign of the zodiac and the sign of new beginnings. Aries is the ram of fertility, bursting with life and initiatory power. As we arrive at the 0º point of Aries, this is the first day of the astrological year. Thus, it is recognized as International Astrology Day.

Here’s to all those brilliant women and men who, for thousands of years, have studied and interpreted the patterns of the stars. They were the healers and wisdom keepers of ancient times, and entire civilizations relied on their careful calculations and interpretations.

A very special thanks and Happy New Year to all the beloved astrologers I share regularly here, especially the always brilliant Elisabeth Grace and Lorna Bevan, as well as dearest Sally Nurney, Annie Heese, Robert Wilkinson, Ellen Kimble, and my beloved friend and sister priestess, Anastacia Nutt, to name a few.

Whether you practice Vedic, Sidereal, or Tropical astrology, modern medicine and astronomy owe you a great debt. May you continue to learn and advise in your profound service to humanity.

We need you now, perhaps more than ever, as we navigate the chaotic tides of the changing epoch.

A Time for Celebration

The Spring Equinox is the time for fresh new beginnings, taking action, planting seeds for future harvests, and of tending gardens. Spring is a time of the Earth’s renewal, a rousing of nature after the cold sleep of Winter.

Easter bunny and Easter eggs on green grass field spring meadow

This makes it an important time to clean your home to welcome the new season. Spring cleaning is much more than a yearly chore. It is a sacred rite that rids our homes of any negativity or stuffiness left over from Winter.

An energetic and physical clearing for your sacred hearth are ideal at this magical turning time, for clearing clutter and letting to of what is no longer useful.Hindu elephant-headed God Ganesh

Other things to focus on at this time include working with the energy of openings and new beginnings. Thus, you may wish to invoke Lord Ganesha, who Opens the Way.

Spring is associated with the element of Air, so now is a time to work with communication, ideas, stories and songs, and developing new skills.

In addition to Ostara/Eostre Herself, you might want to invite Aphrodite, Athena, Cybele, Gaia, Hera, Isis, Robin of the Woods, the Green Man, Cernunnos, Thoth, Osiris, or Pan to bless your rites. (Maybe not all at once, of course!).

It is also an ideal time for spellwork around fertility and abundance.

The most common colors associated with Ostara are pastels, like lemon yellow, pale green and pale pink. Other appropriate colors include grass green, Robin’s egg blue, lavender, and white.

Stones to use during your Spring celebrations may include aquamarine, clear or rose quartz, amethyst, and moonstone. Rabbits and snakes are frequently associated with this Sabbat.

red primroses in the gardenAll Spring flowers are energetically ideal, although some experts warn that the Faery Folk are insulted by cut flowers, so a living plant on your altar might be more diplomatic. I love the little pots of primroses that you can sometimes find in grocery stores this time of year.

In other parts of the world, I know they are perennials, but around here, they sulk, suffer, and eventually give up the ghost in our hot, humid Summers.

Stand in the sunlight today (hopefully you are getting some), and feel the sap rising in you; the desire stirring within to form new, joyful beginnings.

Bless your seeds, both green growing ones, and the seeds of your dreams, and let this powerful cusp energize the life and passion within them.

Now is the time to start putting those promises you made at Imbolc into action, and begin physically manifesting your resolutions.

Today, The Wheel has turned and for the next six months, in the Northern Hemisphere, the Light overpowers the Dark. What will you give birth to? What will you grow in your heart’s garden? How will you celebrate this miraculous gift of sparkling new life?

Regardless of the grim news of the day, this is a time most ancient and sacred. We are given a moment of perfect balance in which we can slow down, and realign our Winter-weary spirits with the gentle, beautiful pace of Nature.

The Friend and Helper

This is the time when all of us, regardless of age or world weariness, are called to be young, innocent, and frisky again. No matter what is happening in the human world, birth, hope, and beauty abound in the Real World.

And so, looking back with the gentle wonderment of our childhoods…

…and then, in that utter clearness of the imminent dawn, while Nature, flushed with fullness of incredible colour, seemed to hold her breath for the event, he looked in the very eyes of the Friend and Helper; saw the backward sweep of the curved horns, gleaming in the growing daylight; saw the stern, hooked nose between the kindly eyes that were looking down on them humourously, while the bearded mouth broke into a half-smile at the corners; saw the rippling muscles on the arm that lay across the broad chest, the long supple hand still holding the pan-pipes only just fallen away from the parted lips; saw the splendid curves of the shaggy limbs disposed in majestic ease on the sward; saw, last of all, nestling between his very hooves, sleeping soundly in entire peace and contentment, the little, round, podgy, childish form of the baby otter. All this he saw, for one moment breathless and intense, vivid on the morning sky; and still, as he looked, he lived; and still, as he lived, he wondered.

‘Rat!’ he found breath to whisper, shaking. ‘Are you afraid?’

‘Afraid?’ murmured the Rat, his eyes shining with unutterable love. ‘Afraid! Of HIM? O, never, never! And yet—and yet—O, Mole, I am afraid!’

Then the two animals, crouching to the earth, bowed their heads and did worship.

Sudden and magnificent, the sun’s broad golden disc showed itself over the horizon facing them; and the first rays, shooting across the level water-meadows, took the animals full in the eyes and dazzled them.

When they were able to look once more, the Vision had vanished, and the air was full of the carol of birds that hailed the dawn.Cover of Wind in the Willows depicting the Piper

May the Friend and Helper be ever nearby in the eternal shining sunrise of Springtime.

May the Lady and the Lord awaken and bless the seeds of your desires. May Ostara, the Lady of the Spring Dawn, shine upon you, protecting you from all harm, bringing sweet awakenings, and returning life to all you cherish.

Blessed be!
Ostara Goddess and God Spirits

 

 

Comments on this entry are closed.

lorna bevan March 19, 2024, 2:03 am

absolutely wonderful, Beth…am sharing. Good luck with your computer repairs

Beth March 19, 2024, 10:28 am

Thank you, Lorna! I loved your post today about the New Year. Well, really, I love everything you write. Many blessings of this new beginning. 🐣🌱🪺🌞💚

kathy March 19, 2024, 7:04 am

thank you. blessings to you,

Beth March 19, 2024, 10:29 am

Blessed Ostara, dear Kathy. I hope it’s the beginning of a new and beautiful new year for you. 🌟

nofixedstars March 19, 2024, 9:10 am

happy ostara! i hope that you can celebrate it despite the computer woes, and i hope those are speedily and productively resolved. ✨🥚🌱🌷✨

Beth March 25, 2024, 8:42 am

So sorry for my late response. It’s been crazy.. but thank you for your good wishes. Hopefully, this week will be better. Umm.. before Mercury retrograde starts next week! 😱

Betsy March 19, 2024, 9:24 am

A beautiful way to start my day nd the new season. Thank you!

Beth March 25, 2024, 8:43 am

Thank you, Betsy. May the season shower you with blessings.

Kate Stockman March 19, 2024, 10:15 am

Blessings of abundance and balance to you and yours, Beth! Thank you for always teaching me something new with each of your missives! xoxo

Beth March 25, 2024, 8:44 am

You are so very welcome dear Kate. The feeling is totally mutual, you know. 💚

Amy March 19, 2024, 10:39 am

Thank you for the history of Spring and Easter. It has lighten my day, despite the grim news cycle yet to come. Blessings to all, and especially healing to your computer.

Beth March 25, 2024, 8:46 am

Just remember that we are the Light carriers. We are the golden ambassadors of the turning Aeon. May your spirit be glad and rejoice in the beauty of the real world.💚

Teddy March 19, 2024, 11:14 am

Thank you for helping me find my way home! Happy Ostara and many blessings

Beth March 25, 2024, 8:47 am

Blessings to you dear Teddy. May you always be at home in your world. xoxo

Mary March 19, 2024, 11:22 am

This writing is truly a spring blessing. Thank you 💫💕

Beth March 25, 2024, 8:48 am

Thanks, Mary. That means a lot to me. Spring blessings always to you.

Christiana March 19, 2024, 11:42 am

Such a lovely reading and so full of the sweet essences of Springtime. I am blessed to be born at the beginning of May and it is my favorite time of the year. Your beautiful words have made my heart glad and my soul sing. THANK YOU & Blessed Be

Beth March 25, 2024, 8:50 am

Aha! You are a Beltane-tide baby! You know, of course, that makes you very special and magical. May the triumph of the eternally rising Green inspire you throughout the year, as you carry its essence always. Blessings, beautiful Christiana!

Niamh March 19, 2024, 2:03 pm

Oh Beth, bless you for including my favorite passage from “The Piper at the Gates of Dawn” chapter in The Wind in the Willows. I have tears in my eyes. When I first read those words long ago, they gave me enormous comfort long before I understood why. They still do.
Thank you also for including the beautiful illustration – from the cover of the book, if I recall correctly. I love it so!
💚🌸

Beth March 25, 2024, 8:57 am

Yes, I adore it too, and it always makes me weep. It calls to the very depth of my soul every. Single. Time.

And yes that is one of the covers. Isn’t it lovely?

Actually, I soooo would have preferred to post Arthur Rackham’s Piper illustration, but it is under copyright. A copy sits on my altar in honor of the God.

Pamela Chevalier March 19, 2024, 5:14 pm

Love this

Beth March 25, 2024, 8:57 am

Thank you beloved Pamela. Blessed Spring to you, dear friend.

Aimee March 20, 2024, 7:31 am

Thank you ever so much for this wonderful write-up on the histories of our spring and Easter seasons! I’d always enjoyed the custom my husband’s Slovak-American family had of taking their traditional Easter meal to be blessed at church the day before Easter. A few years ago I read that this is a very old custom that likely has pagan roots (of course) – perhaps offerings to Ostara originally?

And yes to cleaning and decluttering, even if it feels currently feels like winter than spring where I live. Primroses are perennials here, and I look forward to mine blooming every spring.

Beth March 25, 2024, 9:02 am

What a lovely custom. I love hearing about such practices, because yes, almost always they have roots much older than the New Religion. 🙂

Oh you are so lucky to have perennial primroses! They are so dear to me, like colorful awakeners of hope.

Marguerite March 20, 2024, 12:49 pm

So beautiful🦋. Blessings of the Equinox and may we all find comfort, renewal, and strength with the beginning of the year. Let us all move forward with courage and eyes wide open and find joy in our lives!

Thank you for sharing your knowledge and inspiration, Lady Beth❤️

Here is hoping that all computer issues resolve and all your data be intact.

Much love ❤️.

Beth March 25, 2024, 9:04 am

Thank you beloved Marguerite. May this Springtime blossom in waves of joy and abundance for you.

Fingers crossed on the computer mess…. hope to have it fixed by midweek.

Suzanne March 25, 2024, 1:56 pm

Thank You dear Beth! for such an exquisite all encompassing story of the many cultural celebrations of Spring… past and present. 🌟
Wishing you a blessed and blooming Life at this most welcomed “togetherness” of Ostara•Easter•Equinox under the Spring Healing Eclipsed Libra Full Moon!
A Shanti Omen ☮🙏 Namaste

Imperfect
is the new sexy.

~ Andrea Owen

Ready to join the journey plus receive your free Tarot briefing weekly? Sign up here…