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Forums -> Misc Topics -> Ostara/Spring

Ostara/Spring
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 1

Hello everyone! I was curious to see what others were going to be doing for Ostara/Spring Equinox. If you feel like sharing what you do around this time of year, Id be very interested to hear.

In the hopes of sharing a bit of my personal life, Id like to share what I am doing for Ostara. As gythia, or priestess, of the Bone Kindred (which is a group that tends to follow Asatru, Odinism, Rokkatru, and study Norse/Germanic practices), I will be leading Ostaras Blot. (Unfortunately we have no gothi [priest] so I will be doing this entire thing by myself). It will take place roughly around 6:00pm tomorrow night. Normally, this blot would take place at dawn. But many people work, and do not wish to get up, so we will switch things up a bit.

Background Info:

Ostara (Anglo-Saxan Eostre) is an interesting Goddess. She is whom this blot is named after. She was a part of Germanic culture, and in a way this is where the idea of the Christian Easter comes from.

The hare and eggs are important symbols of this Goddess/time of the year. One story suggests that Ostara once found a small bird that was dying from the cold, because his wings had been frozen. Because she was loving, she took this bird with her and changed it into a hare so he would be able to move. He was named Lepus, and he became her pet. Some say that she gave him the ability to run extremely fast, so that he would be able to avoid any and all hunters. She also gave him the ability to lay colored eggs, though only one day a year. Eventually they had a falling out, and in anger she cast him into the stars. However, upon consideration, she later allowed him to return one day a year to give away his eggs.

Ostaras Blot: The Ritual Itself

The ritual will start with music, dancing, and socializing. However, once the horn has been blown the members will all gather together to begin a meditation. A couple of words are said on Ostara, Freyja, Idunna, Sunna. And thanks are given to spirits of nature. Since my kindred is not a High-Ritual type, we will not be harrowing or cleansing the area before we jump into the ritual. (Though there is a member who wishes to attempt the Hammer Rite, so we may be including this in our recent practice). At this point, an invocation to Ostara begins. It will start off by me calling upon her myself, then being joined by each of the kindreds members.

Once this is done, I will personally drink from the drinking horn and say a few words about springtime, and my thoughts on this day. Then I will take the drinking horn and make an offering to Ostara. A portion of the contents of the horn will be poured into the ritual bowl on the altar. Then, I will gather the eggs that I have prepared for this event. The kindred as a whole will call upon Ostara and ask for her blessing. Each member will come up to the altar, take an egg, then say a few words about this time of the year, take a drink, and make a toast. (We will probably do the standard three rounds of toasting). After this we may call upon Thor and ask that he give us a rainy spring.

After this, we will have a feast. Of course, rabbit will be the main dish. And that will end the ritual. We will have some fun and games afterwords. We will probably have an egg hunt, and do the old rolling eggs through the fields type of thing. We may even have a hammer toss! Which I am very excited about. At the end of this we will distribute chocolate eggs and rabbits. In parting, each member will take a seed and make an oath to plant it sometime soon. Then everything is done, and everyone leaves.

On a personal note, after all this is done and the members have left- I will most likely go into the woods next to my home to do some workings. Around this time of year I tend to honor Vidar, whom I see as a symbol of renewal and nature itself. Due to my working with him, I may take a short vow of silence (physical speaking) since he is sometimes called The Silent God.

Hope this was informative and shared a bit of what I do around this time of year. If you have anything to add, feel free.

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Re: Ostara/Spring
By:
Post # 2
Great as usual! thanks for sharing, and best of luck tomorrow.
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Re: Ostara/Spring
By: Moderator / Adept
Post # 3
Here in England Ostara lasts for three days,20-23. But the celebrations are usually held at the nearest weekend.As posted by Personified,most people work during the week.
There is much dressing up. Many blackened faces (that upsets some of the idiots). Parades and dancing through the streets.
And prodigious amounts of cider! This is the time of "wassailing", drinking cider and making a hell of a racket to "wake up" the apple trees!
And, of course, many still celebrate Easter; this year April 7.
Children are still given chocolate eggs at Easter; with not a clue why!
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Re: Ostara/Spring
By: / Knowledgeable
Post # 4
I haven't been on here in over a week! A record for me. Very busy.

Well, I'd like to wish everyone a very nice sabat.

I have the plastic eggs stuffed already for my daughter's egg hunt. When I was a child, it was real eggs! But if you missed one...you smelled it days later, yuck! So I prefer using plastic ones with goodies inside.

I also have the dye and real eggs ready for coloring. We will be having a big fancy dinner and will end the day with a simple family ritual. Inbetween all of that, will be fun family time, whatever spontaneous activity we decide to do. My daughter insists that we plant flower seeds. It's too early for most, but we'll see if I can find some that can be planted now.

I always find such irony in the bunnies and eggs of Easter time. So many Christians hate us, yet continue our traditions. It makes it great for my daughter though because the bunnies and eggs actually mean something in her eyes.

I loved the story about Ostara and the rabbit, Personified! I had forgotten about the rainbow eggs, I remember reading it a very long time ago. I think my daughter would enjoy it, so I will tell it to her as well.

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Re: Ostara/Spring
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 5
Thanks for sharing, Brysing and White!
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Re: Ostara/Spring
By:
Post # 6
I believe you'll find that wassailing takes place much earlier in the year, usually around Twelfth Night, though certainly at the beginning of January.

Source- Chapter two of The Stations of the Sun: A History of the Rural Year in Britain by Ronald Hutton.
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Re: Ostara/Spring
By: Moderator / Adept
Post # 7
Quite true,Nyk! But it still goes on in Spring in various locations, especially in the south of England. Earlier, the nights are dark very early,and cold! But the adults certainly still wassail in January. By Ostara the children can join in!
But, mainly, the parades,etc, are to celebrate Spring.
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