Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Ostara activities and rituals (LBE and FD)

* Have a traditional breakfast of buns, ham, and eggs.

* Wear green clothing.

* Place a lit green candle in a dish full of moist earth, let it burn down and then bury the remainders (except the dish).

* Create bird feeders.

* Volunteer at a local animal shelter.

* Make Eostre Baskets together. Try planting kitty grass in a small pot to use instead of that fake plastic grass. It looks nicer, plus you're helping save Mother Earth by using natural items rather than plastic, which gets thrown out and then just sits in landfills for all eternity.

* Decorate your house for Spring.

* Read stories about Easter, Passover, or other Spring themes. Meagan's Ostara is a great one for teaching young children about the Sabbats.

* Talk to your children about Ostara. Tell them the myths and celebrations that are customary for your tradition.

* According to Scott Cunningham, another good option is to go to a field and randomly collect wildflowers. Thank the flowers for their sacrifice before picking them and it is also best to leave an offering to the plant and/or the Earth for taking the flowers, such as some milk and honey, a small crystal or even a coin. Or, buy some from a florist, taking one or two of those that appeal to you. Then bring them home and divine their magickal meanings by the use of books, your own intuition, a pendulum or by other means. The flowers you've chosen reveal your inner thoughts and emotions.

* Meditate on the imagery of the seed.

* Meditate on the season's flowers. Flowers are the sexual organs of plants, consider what this says to you.

* Perform magick to give back to the earth. Raise and send energy to return to the Earth, our mother, some of the bounteous energy and fertility She gives to us.

* Meditate on the Moon-Hare, rabbits provide an obvious symbol of animal fertility and see what comes to you about literal or creative fertility in your own life.

* Honor the spring or Earth goddess or god of your choice, or a goddess or god of balance.

* Light a bonfire at dawn on the Equinox to honor the light half of the year.

* Meditate or perform ritual at dawn or sunset.

* Do a ritual denoting the passing of the year's dark half.

* Use the energy of the time of year as you would the first quarter of the moon. You can use the energy of this time of year to fuel any new project or goal.

* Meditate on beginnings, on the East, on air, on dawn. In meditation, note how these symbols connect organically and how you relate personally to them.

* Leave offerings of food and milk for the fairies and other spirits who live in and around rocks and are responsible for the fertility of the land. Leave a few fruits from the last harvest for the nature spirits.

* Perform rituals to ask for balance in your life, and to honor both dark and light.

* Take a walk and look for signs of emerging life in the forests and fields or in a local park.

* Plant early seeds such as peas, lettuce, cabbage family. Start others indoors

* Plan your magickal garden to plant after Beltane

* Pick up litter at your favorite park or beach. Help the earth rejuvenate by getting rid of the mess. Even an hour of cleanup can make a big difference.

* Do a spring cleaning rite/ritual and cleanse your home of negativity and any energies that might prevent you from taking advantage of prosperity in your life.

* Perform oomancy (divination by eggs). To perform the most common form of egg-divination, separate egg whites and yolks. You then drop the white into hot water and divine from the shapes it assumes.

* Celebrate Nawruz, the Persian New Year, which falls on the spring equinox by fixing a special dinner of seven food dishes that begin with ‘S.’ Either look up the names of the Arabic foods that you will want to use or use English words and eat salad, salami, soup, squash, etc. Decorate the table with a mirror, a bowl of water with one freshly-picked green leaf floating in it, a candelabra containing a candle for every child in the house, a copy of the Koran (or other sacred text), rose water, sweets, fruit, a fish, yogurt and colored eggs.

* Draw sprouting leaves on an egg and bury it in your garden to help stimulate your plants.

* Perform magick by planting a seed to grow with your spell. You can use the energy of this time of year to fuel any new project or goal. Think of how you wish to change and grow while planting the seed and watch it flourish as you do.

* Make hot cross buns

* Light pairs of white and black candles, symbolizing dark and light, in different areas of your home. Each time you pass a pair of candles, you can honor the balance of light and dark we find this time of year, and the balance of light and dark within yourself.

* Dye eggs with natural dyes and try decorating them with magickal or other symbols. Ideas for those you can use include runes, astrological symbols, elemental symbols, the Theban alphabet, zodiac/planetary symbols, Ogham writing, Native American pictographs, lunar & solar symbols,stars, pentacles, Egyptian hieroglyphs, God/Goddess symbols, the triscale and more!

* Create an effigy of the dark half of the year and imbue it with the things of winter you’d like to leave behind. You can then either burn it in a bonfire or drop it in the nearest watercourse

* In ancient Italy in the spring, women planted Gardens of Adonis. They filled urns with grain seeds, kept the in the dark and watered them every two days until they sprouted. You can do this yourself with grass seed in baskets. You can then put your decorated eggs on the altar, etc. in your grass filled baskets. Talk about how this custom persists today in Sicily, where women plant seeds of grains–lentils, fennel, lettuce or flowers–in baskets and pots. When they sprout, the stalks are tied with red ribbons and the “gardens” are placed along roads on the Christian Good Friday. They are meant symbolize the triumph of life over death.

* Have each member of your family/coven select a seed or bulb that they wish to plant. Bless them and visualize your plants in full bloom. Then you may wish to invoke each of the four elements necessary for the plants’ growth. You may either plant your items outside, or if it is too cold place them in a pot of soil and pat down the earth (element earth), poured water on it (element water), breath on it (element air) and then hold the pot over a candle (or up to the sun, if you are outside) (for fire).

* Give a potted plant to friends or family for their garden or window sill

* Take time to notice what birds have returned from their winter homes. Place feeders and/or a bird bath out for them.

* Make a growth charm out of a hard-boiled egg — decorate it with symbols, write on it the quality you would like to manifest more fully within yourself, energize it, and then eat it.

* Create ritual garment. Try our easy robe pattern. Embellish it with trims, embroidery, bells, stones, sequins or anything else that strikes your fancy. Save it to wear until Ostara as it was considered bad luck to wear it before then in ancient times.

* Connect with plant energies. Choose a plant and spend time exploring the leaves and stem in great detail, being careful not to harm it. Use a magnifying glass. Feel the textures and inhale the scent of the plant.

* Let the whole family create a dance depicting the rising of new shoots from the Earth to greet the sun. Create your own music with drums, rattles and whistles, or choose music that reminds you of spring.

* Bundle up, spread out a blanket, and watch the sunrise.

* Eat honey cakes and eggs for breakfast.

* Do a spring rite: Take walks in parks, woods or other green areas. Make the walking a ritual in itself. Wear flowers in your hair, or as a necklace, and strew them around and on your alter.

*Toss crushed eggshells into the garden and say: "For fairy, for flowers, for herbs in the bowers, The shells pass fertility with springtime showers."

* Blow out a few raw eggs, color them and fill them with finely ground herbs corresponding to a magical intent

* Research egg magic

* Get outside with kids or friends and play old fashioned games like red rover and tag

* Start clearing out space in your yard for a garden, or getting your garden beds ready to plant

* Buy a new broom for magical or mundane cleaning

* Practice weather magic

* Make paper flowers and use them to decorate your home or altar

* Take your broom outside and use the handle to thump the earth to "wake it up"

* Have an egg hunt

* Learn about the migration of butterflies or the plight of the honey bee. Vow to take steps to help them on their way

* Eat eggs for breakfast on Ostara morning and bury the rinsed shells in your garden to promote prosperity and abundance of your crops

* Try to incorporate at least one traditional correspondence into your daily life through the spring season: cook with seasonal foods, use traditionally colored cloth napkins, display a vase of wildflowers on your table, burn traditionally scented incense, etc.

***

Sources:
http://witchery.wordpress.com/2008/02/11/ostara-activities-and-ideas/
http://www.ravenandcrone.com/catalog/a35/Ostara-Spring-Equinox-Activities-Lore/article_info.html
http://www.examiner.com/domestic-witchery-in-national/pagan-101-activities-for-ostara
http://www.angelfire.com/wa3/angelline/ostara_activities.htm

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