The spring equinox is celebrated around March 21. This is the time when the sun crosses the plane of the equator, making day and night of equal length. This is the actual beginning of spring and the agricultural season. In fact, most of our modern day Easter
■ ■-, - customs come from the older, Pagan, Ostara festival. The most popular of these practices is decorating eggs. In ancient Egypt, Rome, Greece, and Persia, brightly colored eggs, symbolic of immortality, fertility, and resurrection, were eaten at this time.
The spring equinox is a time of balance, equality, and harmony, between the masculine and feminine forces in nature. This is also the time when you physically, as well as symbolically, plant the seeds of your desires. The plants that grow from the seeds will represent what you are working for. When the plant bears fruit at harvest, so, too, should your desire manifest in physical form.
The first physical step in the process is to plant a seed that symbolizes your desire. For example, use marigolds for prosperity, basil for love, thyme for health, and bittersweet for protection. Place your seeds in a plastic Easter egg, bless them during ritual, and then plant them.
Ceremony for Ostara.
Light the right altar candle and then the left one, as you say the following:
Lord of the sky now descend, Move the spirit of my soul.
Renew within the vital force,
Give me energy, make me whole.
Ritual Toolsy Symbols, and Decorations
Altar decorations: Lilac or pastel blue altar cloth, lilac or pastel blue altar candles, lilies tied with lilac ribbon, lilac-scented pillar candle, wand tied with lilac or pale blue ribbon, chalice covered with a lilac or pale blue cloth, rose wine, egg shaped container filled with seeds for blessing.
Plants and herbs: Iris, dogwood, cinquefoil, lily, daffodil, dittany of Crete, mint, orris, violet, daisy, primrose, sweet pea.
Oil: Mix lily, violet, and sweet pea together for anointing, add a sprig of mint or a violet to the master bottle.
Food: Eggs, custard, biscuits, lamb, chicken, ham, mint tea, peas, fruit compote, poppyseed cake, mustard greens, squash, leafy green salad with sprouts.
Symbols: Decorated eggs, baskets filled with eggs, egg shaped boxes, rabbits, bouquets of lilies tied with lilac and white ribbon, wildflower chain necklaces, seeds, and packages of seeds tied together with yellow and light green ribbon.
Lady from the earth now come,
Lead me into the new dawning day. Protect me from the passions of man, Guide me along thy secret way.
Cast the circle and call in the Guardians. Face the altar, anoint the forehead with seasonal oil, and light the lilac-scented pillar candle as you speak the following blessing:
By the power of Air, Fire, Water, and Earth To spring and joy O Goddess give birth.
Pick up the lilac-scented candle and offer it at each of the quadrants. Begin in the East by saying:
Element of Air, power of the mind, Your intellect and wisdom I now bind.
Element of Fire, power of the soul,
Your strength and fortitude make me whole.
Element of Water, power of the heart, Your beauty and grace now impart.
Element of Earth, power of the will, Your force and focus within me still.
Place the candle in the center of the altar. Pick up the egg and ask the following blessing:
White maiden, enchantress, Goddess of Fire
Mother of hearth, home, and desire. You form the passion within the great God's heart,
So that within you the seed of life he does impart. O great lady, you are the queen of spring
Place the egg filled with the seeds on the altar in front of the candle. Take a few moments to meditate on the meaning of the ritual. Relax. Invoke the Goddess and then invoke the God. At this point you will want to energize the lilac candle with your thoughts and desires. Place your hands over the candle, express your desire, and then chant the following:
Blessed be the flower and seed That will grant to me what I need.
Pause and bless the wine and bread through the Rite of Union and the Blessing of the Bread ceremony. Begin your closing segment of the rite by offering this blessing:
Within my heart is devoted feeling Vainly should my lips express. I come before your altar kneeling And pray this time and place you bless.
Pick up the candle and proceed to offer it at each of the quadrants in closing. Begin in the North by saying:
May the spirit of Earth bring me wisdom. West
May the spirit of Water bring me control. South
May the spirit of Fire bring me inspiration. East
May the spirit of Air bring me awareness.
Dismiss the Guardians and extinguish the altar candles beginning with the left one:
Lady, enchantress, mother of the Earth To my dreams and wishes give birth.
Lord, father of light, glowing sun, Let my will and work be done.
Take up the circle, and allow the lilac-scented candle to burn out. When the weather permits, take the seeds out of the plastic egg and plant them. Save the egg to use again next year.
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