Spring


In a woodland clearing, spread a clean green cloth. On it place small cakes and flowers, especially primroses, in a circle. Imagine the magic around you and say:

O Fairy Queen,
Upon your white steed,
Within me plant
A magic seed.
From you may spring
Many new beginnings.
Great Queen,
Accept these offerings.

Leave the items and walk around the altar three times, then slowly walk the path back to your home. Listen for the sound of laughter and bells and know you are blessed.

~Nancy Bennett

The Floralia – the festival of Flora, Roman goddess of fruitfulness and flowers – is celebrated April 28 thru May 1st. Here’s a nice group ritual, it can be modified if you are a solitary practitioner.

  • Color: Pink
  • Element: Earth
  • Daily Meal: Vegan. Beans. Salad with edible flowers in it. Flower jams.
  • Offerings: Give flowers to people. Allow a rabbit and a goat to run free in the house.

Altar:

Upon a cloth of pink set a pitcher of water, pots of earth, flower seeds, incense of flowers, a bowl of beans, and many fresh flowers should be strewn around the room. The candles of Walpurgisnacht (if you have been observing it) should remain and be lit, and a sixth added to them, for Odhinn’s journey continues even as we celebrate Floralia.

Floralia Invocation

Hail Flora, Lady of Beauty!
We must have not only our bread,
And our work, and our discipline,
But we must also have beauty in our lives,
That we may never become mere worms,
Measuring out our dull grey lives,
Never thinking to look around
And see the great beauty
That the Gods have made for us.
Let us look upon their gifts
And see in that loveliness
A measure of their love for us.
Hail Flora, who lights up our eyes!

Chant:

Oh, She will bring the buds in the spring,
And laugh among the flowers.
In summer’s heat Her kisses are sweet,
She sings in leafy bowers.
She cuts the cane and gathers the grain
When fruits of fall surround Her,
Her bones grow old in winter’s cold,
She wraps Her cloak around her.

(All come forward and plant flower seeds in the pots of earth, which are afterwards carried outside and transferred to the garden. As they plant, they say, “I plant beauty in my life,” and say what sort of beauty they hope to see. The pots are watered, and the rest of the water is poured out as a libation for Flora. The rest of the day is spent adding beauty to the House.)

Found in: Pagan Book of Hours

Spring is finally arriving, and there’s a different sort of feeling in the air. The frigid cold of winter has been replaced by the promise of new life and growth, and a spring full moon is a magical time. It’s a season that offers a chance at fertility and abundance, rebirth and regrowth. Whether you’re celebrating March’s Crow Moon, the Wind Moon of April, or May’s Flower Moon, the focus in Spring’s lunar cycles is that of the element Water.

Along with the sun, water helps bring life back to the earth. It is the source of much of our existence, and helps to cleanse and purify us. It can both destroy us and heal us. In ancient times, the well or spring was often seen as a sacred and holy place — a place in which we could truly bathe in the touch of the Divine. To celebrate the arrival of Spring’s full moons, we acknowledge and honor the many aspects of Water.

Here’s How:

For this ritual, you’ll want to go ahead and set up your altar in a manner appropriate to the season — spring flowers, fresh cuttings from the garden, packets of seeds. You’ll also need a small bowl of water and a large empty bowl. Ask each participant to bring a cup or jar of water of their own, representing a place that is special to them. Finally, you’ll need a freshly cut flower (if you can’t find one, or if your flowers haven’t bloomed yet, a sprig of grass or a clipping from a newly blossomed shrub is a perfectly good substitute).

Although this rite is designed for a small group, it can easily be adapted for a solitary practitioner, or a larger group. It is best performed at night after the moon has risen.

When the moon is up, everyone has gathered, and you have assembled your supplies, take a moment to get centered, and then hold the small bowl of water to the sky, facing the moon, and say:

The moon is high above us, giving us light in the dark.
She illuminates our world, our souls, our minds.
Like the ever-moving tides, she is constant yet changing.
She moves the water with her cycles, and it nourishes us
and brings us life.
With the divine energy of this sacred element,
we create this sacred space.

Dip the cut flower in the water and walk clockwise around everyone, making a wide circle, sprinkling water on the ground with the petals of the flower. Once the circle is created, return to the altar and say:

Spring is here, and the earth is bursting with new life.
Mornings begin bright and sunny, and afternoon gives way
to blustery showers of wind and rain.
We welcome the water when it comes,
because it nourishes that which has yet to bloom.
We welcome the water from all around,
from places far and near.

Take the large empty bowl, and walk around the circle. As you approach each participant, pause so that they can pour their water into the bowl. As they do, invite them to share where the water has come from, and why it is special. For example:

This water is from the ocean, from my last trip to the beach
This is water from the creek behind my grandmother’s farm

When everyone has poured their water into the bowl, use the cut flower once more, stirring and blending the water with the stem of the flower. As you mix the water together, say:

Listen to the water, coming together,
the voice of the moon from up above.
Listen to the voices, growing with power,
feel the energy and light and love.

Now the entire group joins in, chanting the words over and over as the water is stirred. Keep the chant going until you feel a change in the energy, or for at least 12 times.

When the water is fully charged, take the blended bowl of water, and invite each participant to step forward. As they do, anoints the individual’s forehead with the blended water by drawing the symbol of the triple moon:

)O(

May the light and wisdom of the moon
guide you through the coming cycle.

Once each person has been anointed, invite each person to refill their cup or jar with the blended water.

Take a few moments to meditate on the magical power of water. Think about how it flows and ebbs, changing all in its path. Water can destroy, and it can bring life. Consider how our bodies and spirits ebb with the tide, and how we connect to the cycles of water and of the moon.

Remind everyone that we are all traveling in the river of life itself, and while we may have different backgrounds and beliefs and goals and dreams, we are all seeking the divine in ourselves and in those around us. By embracing the power and energy of water, we are able to welcome a pool of sacred space — ever constant, yet ever changing.

When everyone is ready, end the ritual, and release the circle. A nice chant to sing at the ending of any ritual is this:

May the circle be open but unbroken
May the peace of the Goddess be ever in your heart.
Merry meet and merry part.
And merry meet again.

Source:Paganwiccan

For this ritual, you’ll need the following:

  • A bag of jellybeans
  • Marshmallow Peeps — chicks, bunnies, etc.
  • A chocolate rabbit for each particpant
  • A glass of milk for each participant

Arrange your ritual supplies on your altar so they look pretty. Kids can do this — typically the chocolate rabbits end up in the center, surrounded by an army of Peeps and several rings of jellybeans. A quick note — you might want to perform this ritual well in advance of mealtime, or all the kids will be too full of candy to eat a real dinner.

First, give everyone present a handful of jellybeans. Point out the different colors in the jellybeans, and what they can represent. As you call out each one, eat the jellybeans in that color. Feel free to be a bit goofy. Say something like:

Behold, little jelly eggs, small symbols of the season,
How we adore you!

Green is for the grass that springs from the land!
(eat all the green jellybeans)

Yellow is for the sun shining above our heads!
(eat all your yellow jellybeans)

Red is for the tulips that grow in our garden!
(eat your red jellybeans)

Pink is for Aunt Martha’s new Easter hat!
(eat your pink jellybeans)

Purple is for the crocuses that sprout along our driveway!
(eat the purple ones)

Continue this until all the colors are gone — if you really want to have some fun, make the kids take turns naming off the colors and what they mean to them. When they’re all gone, call out:

Hail! Hail! to the mighty jelly bean of Spring!

Next, hand out the marshmallow Peeps. As you do, say:

Behold the Peep! The Peep is life, brought back in the spring!
Little Peep chickens, we honor you!
(bite the Peep chicks)

Little Peep bunnies, we honor you!
(bite the Peep bunnies)

Continue this until the Peeps are all gone — it’s probably a good idea to limit each kid to just two or three Peeps at the most. When the Peeps have all vanished, call out:

Hail! Hail! to the mighty Peeps of Spring!

Finally, distribute the chocolate rabbits. Say:

Behold the great chocolate rabbit!
As he hops through the land, he spreads joy and happiness!

O, how we adore the chocolate rabbit and his great big chocolate ears!
(eat the rabbit’s ears)
Praise the chocolate rabbit, and his delicious chocolate tail!
(eat the rabbit’s tail)

Honor this chocolate rabbit, and his chocolate hoppity legs!
(eat the rabbit’s legs)

He is a wonderful rabbit, and he is special indeed!
(eat the rest of the rabbit)

When the rabbits are all gone, say:

Hail! Hail! to the mighty chocolate rabbit of Spring!

Give everyone a glass of milk, and raise your drinks in a toast to these three symbols of the season.

To the jelly beans!
To the Peeps!
To the chocolate rabbit!
We drink in your honor!

Drink your milk, and sit back to enjoy the sensation of being stuffed with ritual candy.

Source: paganwiccan.about.com

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.

Tips:

  • 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.

Source: paganwiccan

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