Ivy's Ostara Assignment
Ostara is recognized as a feminine festival, celebrating fertility and rebirth and is also known as "Lady Day". It takes place at the time of the Vernal Equinox which is when the sun is as far north as it can go and crosses the celestial equator making the hours of the suns light equal to the hours of darkness. Night and day stand in perfect balance of each other, winter turns to spring. The actual date of this event varies due to the fact that our modern calendar is not a precise measurement of time. Some Witches prefer to use a fixed date usually March 21st but I have also learned that March 25th is a popular date for Pagans. For acurate dates and times of the Vernal Equinox in your time zone, visit: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/3116/vern1788.html
If you are familiar with the "wheel of the year", than you would understand that the story of the Goddess and the God is told and repeated each year with the 8 Sabbats (4 of them the seasons) as the foundation of the story. At Yule (the time of the winter soltice) the Goddess gave birth to the Sun God. This was the time of the shortest day of the year. Since that time the Suns light has been growing stronger and stronger as our days become longer and longer. During the month of February the young maiden aspect of the Goddess and the maturing Sun God were busy courting each other. The Sun God is maturing and has reached manhood... the (Earth) Goddess is fertile... THEN... OSTARA ~ (note* the word ovulation is taken from Ostara) The maiden Goddess concieves. In 9 months, at Yule, she will give birth again! This is a time for joy. The chains of winter are broken and new life "springs" forth! It is a time for planting seeds to harvest later in the year. It is also the time for planting new ideas and for spring cleaning... out with the old and in with the new (not just your home, but your mind and your thoughts too). The most well known symbol is the egg. It is the symbol of fertility and growth. In ancient times eggs were painted with magickal symbols and cast into fires or buried in the ground as an offering to the Goddess. Some eggs were painted red and yellow (the colors of the Sun God) and used in rituals to honor him. Another common symbol is the "bunny" rabbit... need I explain this one... just think "rabbit" and "fertility"... lol In ancient times the hare was also know as the escort to Ostara (name of the German Goddess of fertility).
THE MEANING OFTHIS TIME FOR ME IS THE CELEBRATION OF RENEWAL.THE SIGN THAT THE SUN GOD HAS RETURNED. I TRY TO REFLECT THAT WITHIN MY OWN LIFE. IN TIMES WHEN EVERYTHING LOOKS DARK AND FORBODING,THINGS CAN CHANGE QUICKLY AND THE SUN AND WARMTH CAN TOUCH YOUR SOUL. MY MANNER OF CELEBRATING IS WITH LOTS OF FLOWERS AND SWEET SMELLS OF SCENTED CANDLES.EVEN THOUGH WE HAVE SNOW HERE IN MAINE AT THE MOMENT THE YOUNG GOD IS STARTING TO FEEL HIS STRENGH, AND IN TURN WE FEEL HIS PROMISE.IM PLANNING TO TAKE A WALK IN THE WOODS THAT SURROUNDS OUR PROPERTY AND JUST CELEBRATE NATURE AND ANTICIPATE JOYOUSLY WHATS TO COME SOON. MY HUSBAND AND I WILL HAVE A SOUP WITH FRESH VEGETABLES, A SALAD, AND FRUIT. MY ALTER WILL BE DECORATED WITH FLOWERS AND CANDLES AND IN MY CAULDRON I PUT SPRING WATER. MY PERSONAL RITUAL IS TO PLACE SOME SEEDS THAT I WILL BE PLANTING SOON ON MY ALTER AND ASK THE GOD AND GODESS TO BLESS MY ENDEVOUR.I END WITH MEDITATION,MUSIC AND MAGIC.BLESSED BE!
From some of my reading, I know that Ostara is the true beginning of Spring. The Earth awakens and begins to come alive. Spring has always been my favorite time of year. I was born in April and I always want to be outside in the Springtime. It feels like a new beginning for me, as well. It always has.
What is Ostara?
I have read and thought about this a lot. My belief is that this is time of new beginnings and to shake off the gloom of winter. Rebirth occurs in plants(flowers and trees blooming) and in animals (the young are born and start to make their way in life. The Goddess awakens everything to start anew. The God begins his regrowth. This is a time to celebrate life and the world around us. I plan to spend Ostara outdoors somewhere, watch the sunrise, get in touch with the environment around me, feel the sunset and the moon begin to rise. I also plan to get my garden started (for now in an apartment).
Ostara is a celebration of spring and fertility at the time of the vernal equinox when the day and night is in balance.
The Goddess who gave bith to the Oak King at Yule, has been slumbering as the earth sleeps in winter. At Ostara she is finally wakened with the advent of spring. The young God, has been growing under the blanket of snow as the daylight slowly began to grow. He is now ready to sprout and spring forth with his youthful exuberance as the days will now be longer than the night. Ostara is a time for fertility,and for celebration of the cycle of rebirth. It is a time for planting seeds, nurturing the early sprouts, painting eggs (a sure fertility sign, and for taking a walk in nature to breath in the fresh spring air.
Greetings - This is the first assignment I have done for this class so I might make a few posting mistakes. But here is information I have gathered on Ostara: Ostara is the celebration of the Vernal Equinox [Spring equinox]. it is an astronomical celebration with emphasis on new growth, the return of life to the world, fertlity and the young.
At this point in the solar calendar, the length of daylight equals the length of night - the male Sun balances the female Moon. After the Equinox, the balance will shift in the favor of the growing Sun as he begins to make the days longer than the nights.
In the old syle calendar, four days after th Equinox, March 25th was New Year's Day. And in certain parts of England (particularly the West Country area) is referred to as Lady Day - return of the Goddess. So figuratively speaking the dawn of the New Year is Spring.
Eoestra, an Anglo-Saxon Goddess, - like her Greek counterparts Eos and Aurora - brought the dawn of the day and the dawn of the year. So april was referred to as Eostramonath in Anglo-Saxon history. So Eoestra's name was christianized to Easter and her celebration was turned into resurrection celebration for christian faith. This movable holiday is fixed according to the pattern of the Moon, falling on the first Sunday following the first Full Moon after the Spring Equinox. ( I always wondered how they figured that out) So since we are having a full Moon on the Equinox the Easter celebration will be in late April. The two weeks before and after the two Equinoxes are often times of stress and great tension. This is because all the elements of life are brought into balance. times of transition are potentially both stressful and choatic. Out of chaos, new ways arise. Hence re-birth and resurrection. Symbolically speaking - the Goddess weans the young Sun Lord from her breast but he is still too young to exist on his own yet. He is growing (just like the days are growing longer) and we can celebrate his childhood with the childish delights of Easter eggs, bunnies, dairy products, and sweet cakes and candy. By Beltane he will be the young Phallic Lord, old enought to embody sexuality and take His place as the Goddess consort;
This completes my assignment. Sobeit
What OSTARA Means To Me
Ostara is the beginning of my favorite season. It is the beginning of everything new. I love to see the new growth that is around.So many new beings are born in the spring. New love is born. It is the beginning of everything that I love to do.The beginning of the planting season here on North Carolina. It is the time when new life is concieved. I love to see how my childeren enjoy this time of year. It is a time when new love is born and commitments are made. I am not sure if this is what was needed but this is what the season means to me.
What is Ostara?
Ostara is the beginning of Spring. Is a celebration of life and renewal. It means joy, hope, change, abundance.. fertility. Ostara is one of the biggest celebration in our wiccan calendar because it represents rebirth and with it, the promise of life after the cold winter. This revival of nature is represented with an egg as it symbolizes Hope and the coming of a new season. According to the story, now is time for the God and the Goddess to enjoy their love. On a more personal level, we regard the coming of Ostara as a time to look inside us and get rid of all the negativity in our lifes and find new ways to improve ourselves.
To me OSTARE is the time when day and night are of equal length, when dark and light are equally balanced. When spring arrives. Also a time when the Goddess and God were maidan and youth are both on the verge of sexual discovery. When hibernation anmials are stirring and getting ready to come out from the long winter. This is some of the stuff that I have learned.
The meaning of Ostara
Ostara has a different meaning for everyone. To me it is a time to look forward to the bright future and forget the past. It is about celebrating life, birth and starting anew. It marks the true beginning of Spring. I have always loved Spring as I was born in April. I feel more energetic in springtime and more alive!
Ostara is a holiday celebrating the Spring Equinox. It is celebrated on or around March 21. It celebrates renewal and the rebirth of Nature. Light and darkness and masculine and feminine force are in balance at this time It is a time to renew ones self; our thoughts, dreams and aspirations. It is the second of the three spring festivals.
Ostara is also called Eostre's Day, Lady Day, or the Festival of Trees. It is named for the Teutonic lunar Goddess Eostre. This is a very old holiday. In ancient times, eggs were gathered, usually of different colors, and eaten. Eggs symolize rebirth and the reawakening of life. Appropriate Deities for this time include Athena, Aphrodite, Venus, Isis, etc. Common colors are light yellow, and pale green and pink. Stones to use could be aquamarine, rose quartz and eggs, early fruits and green veggies are foods that should be eaten on this day. Spring cleaning is a popular activity around this time. To me, it represents ridding my home of old, dirty useless things. It is a way of removing the negative ugly things that are inside my house. I also open the windows and feel the fresh breeze. It is a very refreshing time of year for me.
The celebration of Ostara takes place at the same time as the vernal or spring equinox. Is is a time when the light and darkness,ying and yang balance each other. It is a time when the Goddess awakens from her slumber, after giving birth to the young Sun God at Yule, and a time when he begins to grow in strength, with the days becoming gradually longer.the energies of the earth shift from a frozen sleep, and awaken bringing forth new life.
For me Ostara is a time to celebrate the renewal of life, and the continuing cycle of life. Even before I found Wicca, spring was a special time, I could feel the energies of the earth , and the warmth of the sun change. I celebrate the courtship of the Goddess and the God. It is a time to clear negativity out of my life, let the fresh air in to sweep away the stale air from winter. As was done in ancient times, we like to paint eggs, and put them through the house as symbols of rebirth andf fertility. It's a time to clean and purify your home, put good use to the boost of energy Ostara brings. I also like to plant new herbs at this time, indoors, where I live there is still snow. The wonderful thing is even though it is still cold, I can smell the earth awakening!
What Ostara means to me.
To me Ostara is a time of new life. Everything on Earth seems to be coming alive. Flowers are blooming, new growth on trees is sprouting, and the air just smells sweeter. I was born on March 25th and have always loved this time of year.
For the revitalizing myself in relatonships and life......I would probably try something new in my love life. I wouldn't change girlfriends, but make the relationship a step further. Try to have some fun in the relationship. I would light many candles right before sunrise.I would decorate hard boiled eggs, and peel the shell away and eat the egg inside. I would start a little garden at this time and grow some magickal herbs.I would try to get rid of many problems I am having at home and at other places in my life and try to make people happier. I would make a mixture of cinnamon and sage for the incense. I would make meals of fish and egg salad and maybe cheese on some kind of fruit.
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