The main points of Oestara are those of balance and of spring.
This ritual is best performed outdoors. In advance you will need to collect a small handful of old leaves and write on each something that you would like to be rid of. Also take a small number of seeds or seedlings (if these seedlings come from the seeds you planted at Imbolg, so much the better), one for each new thing that you wish to attain.
Silently ask the elements, the Goddess and the God to be with you, then when you are ready, dig a hole large enough to give space to the seedlings you wish to grow and place the dead leaves into it. Say,
‘Lord and Lady of this time of balance, these are the things I wish to be rid of. As these leaves wither and rot, may I let go of those things that might hold me back’.
Next place one or two seedlings on top of the leaves. Say,
‘Lord and Lady, these are the things which I wish to attain in the coming season. Let them grow strong and true from the remains of the old’.
As before, thank the elements, the Goddess and the God.
Remember that for ritual to work, you should give more thought to your preparations than the time you actually spend performing the ritual. In this case, that preparation includes carefully choosing the things you wish to leave behind and the things you wish to take on.
On a more practical level, it will also include selecting plants appropriate to your area and climate outside, as well as a suitable place to plant them. If you cannot perform your ritual outside, then you can either scale down everything and work with a single plant pot or you can dedicate your leaves and plant indoors and go out to plant them at a later date.
Source: Kate West
For this ritual, you’ll want to decorate your altar with symbols of the season. Think about all the colors you see in nature at this time of year — bright daffodils, crocuses, plump tulips, green shoots — and incorporate them into your altar. This is also a time of fertility in the natural world — the egg is the perfect representation of this aspect of the season. Symbols of young animals such as lambs, chicks, and calves are also great altar adornments for Ostara.
In addition, you’ll need the following:
- Three candles — one yellow, one green, and one purple
- A bowl of milk
- A small bowl of honey or sugar
Perform this ritual outside if at all possible, in the early morning as the sun rises. It’s spring, so it may be a bit chilly, but it’s a good time to reconnect with the earth. If your tradition normally requires you to cast a circle, do so now.
Begin by taking a moment to focus on the air around you. Inhale deeply, and see if you can smell the change in the seasons. Depending on where you live, the air may have an earthy aroma, or a rainy one, or even smell like green grass. Sense the shift in energy as the Wheel of the Year has turned.
Light the green candle, to symbolize the blossoming earth. As you light it, say:
The Wheel of the Year turns once more,
and the vernal equinox arrives.
Light and dark are equal,
and the soil begins to change.
The earth awakes from its slumber,
and new life springs forth once more.
Next, light the yellow candle, representing the sun. As you do so, say:
The sun draws ever closer to us,
greeting the earth with its welcoming rays.
Light and dark are equal,
and the sky fills with light and warmth.
The sun warms the land beneath our feet,
and gives life to all in its path.
Finally, light the purple candle. This one represents the Divine in our lives — whether you call it a god or a goddess, whether you identify it by name or simply as a universal life force, this is the candle which stands for all the things we do not know, all those things we cannot understand, but that are the sacred in our daily lives. As you light this candle, focus on the Divine around and within you. Say:
Spring has come! For this, we are thankful!
The Divine is present all around,
in the cool fall of a rain storm,
in the tiny buds of a flower,
in the down of a newborn chick,
in the fertile fields waiting to be planted,
in the sky above us,
and in the earth below us.
We thank the universe* for all it has to offer us,
and are so blessed to be alive on this day.
Welcome, life! Welcome, light! Welcome, spring!
Take a moment and meditate on the three flames before you and what they symbolize. Consider your own place within these three things — the earth, the sun, and the Divine. How do you fit into the grand scheme of things? How do you find balance between light and dark in your own life?
Finally, blend the milk and honey together, mixing gently. Pour it onto the ground around your altar space as an offering to the earth. As you do, you may wish to say something like:
I make this offering to the earth,
As thanks for the many blessings I have received,
And those I shall some day receive.
Once you have made your offering, stand for a minute facing your altar. Feel the cool earth beneath your feet, and the sun on your face. Take in every sensation of this moment, and know that you are in a perfect place of balance between light and dark, winter and summer, warmth and cold — a time of polarity and harmony.
When you are ready, end the ritual.
- Instead of “the Universe”, feel free to insert the name of your patron deity or the gods of your tradition here.
- If you’re doing this rite indoors, take your bowl of milk and honey and pour it in your garden, or around your yard.
Rise before the Sun on the morning of the Spring Equinox. Find several stones and place them on the fence posts that surround your property, visualizing yourself, your home and your life filled with luck.