As the Lord and Lady walk through a field
They bring life, renewed and beautiful
The earth's energies are rousing
And animals are mating
Which they ought to do
The Maiden is hand in hand
With her love, the young Oak King
There is a wonderful balance in the land
Which brings inspiration
And renewal into everything
The God is bringing in the summer
And all is green and sweet
It is time for all to reproduce
To bring about the pitter
And patter of little feet
So I dress myself in shades of green
And cast my circle round
I burn my gorse for protection
And cast away all negativity
By which I'm bound
My altar is covered in flowers and herbs
Of daffodil, woodruff, violet, and iris
I inhale the scent of my tulips,
Crocuses, lilacs, hyacinth,
And even my narcissus
In the middle is a container of soil
And a seed large enough to fit my dreams
I celebrate all of Their nature
Connecting with plants until
My soul is all cleaned
I end my rite by drinking my mead
And eating my egg with the fertility rune
Give thanks to the Lord and Lady
Close my circle, plant my seed
In the hopes that it and my dreams will grow soon.
Assignment # 2: The Wiccan Sabbat, Ostara
When Ostara came around this year, I took this time not only for rebirth, but to also create wishes for the coming year. I took three hard boiled eggs and on each night, the 20th, 21st and 22nd, upon that egg I wrote symbols of coming things I wished to happen. Then, on the 22nd, I went out into the small garden we have here and I planted the three eggs, giving them back to the earth and asking her to give the wishes I so asked for. Three wishes I made, two have sort of come true all ready. ;)
During Ostara, I also took the time to meditate and look within myself. It was a time for rebirth, and I began to do so, more so because it was the first actual holiday I had actually celebrated in my new religion.
Though I am (obviously) new to the Wiccan path, I was born within days of this glorious Sabbat! I 've always felt a oneness with the elements around me and can feel the energy, the awakening of the Sun God as He grows stronger. It is our rejuvination, our promise that everything has its time, and its time will come again. I am sorry that I missed celebrating it as such this past March but next year I plan to take a mini retreat to the mountains (live in the cityy ugh!) and simply share the in the rebirth. I will also ask blessings for the seeds I plant every year, and plan to check out the links on flower dishes. I can;'t think of a more complete way in which to take part in the energy of Ostara!
Blessings of Light & laughter
Assignment # 2: The Wiccan Sabbat, Ostara
As the cycle of the seasons progresses, the Earth is visited by the Spring Equinox, Ostara, a time that finds the Pagan people in celebration of the Rites of Spring. It usually falls on March 20-21st and the day and night are of equal length.
Winter has officially given way to Spring. As the Sun's presence is more apparent upon the Earth, the first signs of rebirth and renewal are seen. The trees and flowers have begun to bud, the grass will start to turn green again, the lambs and sheep have been born, and for the most part the ice melts and the frigid chill in the air is past. The energies of nature subtly shift from the sluggishness of winter to the exhuberant expansion of spring. The Goddess and God impel the wild creatures of the Earth to reproduce.
The holiday teaches us about the renewing of life and about the cycles of life itself. It is the time that the Goddess begins to renew life upon the Earth with her magick and power as she blankets the Earth with fertility. It is the time that the Sun God begins to grow in power bringing the warmth of summer. It shows us how life's coldness can turn into warmth and that the bad and negative do not last. This is a time of beginnings, of action, of planting spells for future gains, and of tending ritual gardens.
This is also a time to treat yourself to a new broom if you are a woman, and a staff if you are a man.
In classical mythology, it is said that this is when Persephone begins her journey back to her mother's side. Demeter, the Goddess of the Earth, in anticipation of her daughter's return, begins to tend to the earth once again. Trees begin to cover themselves with green splendor, grass sprouts up through the barren soil, and birds and creatures rejoice in the warm Sun. It is said that the birds were the first to be aware of the returning Goddess, and herald her coming with their sweet songs in spring.
Ostara, or Esther, the Goddess of Spring, was honored by the old tribespeople of Europe. She has been depicted as holding an egg in her hand while watching a rabbit jump playfully around her feet.
For the Greeks, March was sacred to Dionysus, God of Wine and Ecstasy, and festivals and plays were held in his honor. For the Romans, March was sacred to Mars, God of War.
The christianized version of this holiday known as Easter also occurs anytime between now and April, depending on their calendar. We celebrate the end of Winter and the return of Spring…a death and resurrection so to speak. The symbolism for both holidays are very much the same. Eggs are usually painted bright colors and in early time were used as talismans, especially witches, to encourage a fruitful and prosperous summer. Coloring eggs is a great activity to do with the children. The practice of egg painting was practiced by the Celts, but later spread to the tribes of Eastern Europe and became an art form in itself. Today, you'll find people who collect the most exquisite eggs for display in their homes. The colors light green, lemon yellow and pale pink are traditional for this holiday.
Flowers should be laid on the altar, placed around the circle and strewn on the ground. The cauldron can be filled with spring water and flowers, and buds and blossoms may be worn as well. A small pottered plant should be placed on
Arrange the altar, light the candles and incense, and cast the Circle of Stones.
Recite the Blessing Chant:
May the powers of The One,
the source of all creation; all-pervasive, omnipotent,
eternal; may the Goddess, the Lady of the Moon;
and the God,
Horned Hunter of the Sun;
may the powers of the Spirits of the Stones,
rulers of the elemental realms;
may the powers of the stars above and the Earth below,
bless this place, and this time, and I who am with You.
Invoke the Goddess and God in whatever words please you. Stand before the altar and gaze upon the plant as you say: O Great Goddess, you have freed yourself from the icy prison of winter. Now is the greening, when the fragrance of flowers drifts on the breeze. This is the beginning. Life renews itself by Your magic, Earth Goddess. The God stretches and rises, eager in His youth, and bursting with the promise of summer.
Touch the plant. Connect with its energies and, through it, all nature. Travel inside its leaves and stems through your visualization- from the center of your consciousness out through your arm and fingers and into the plant itself. Explore its inner nature; sense the miraculous processes of life at work within it.
After a time, still touching the plant, say:
I walk the earth in friendship, not in dominance. Mother Goddess and Father God, instill within me through this plant a warmth for all living things. Teach me to revere the Earth and all its treasures. May I never forget. Mediate upon the changing of the seasons. Feel the rousing of energies around you in the Earth.
Works of magic, if necessary, may follow.
Celebrate the Simple Feast.
The circle is released.
A traditional Vernal Equinox pastime: go to a field and randomly collect wildflowers (thank the flowers for their sacrifice before picking them). Or, buy some from a florist, taking one or two of those that appeal to you. Then bring them home and divine their magical meanings by the use of books, your own intuition, a pendulum or by other means. The flowers you've chosen reveal your inner thoughts and emotions.
It is important at this time of renewed life to plan a walk (or a ride) through gardens, a park, woodlands, forest and other green places. This is not simply exercise, and you should be on no other mission. It isn't even just an appreciation of nature. Make your walk celebratory, a ritual for nature itself.
Other traditional activities include planting seeds, working on magical gardens and practicing all forms of herb work –magical, medicinal, cosmetic, culinary and artistic.
Foods in tune with this day (linking your meals with the seasons is a fine method of attuning with nature) include those made of seeds, such as sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds, as well as pine nuts. Sprouts are equally appropriate, as are leafy, green vegetables. Flower dishes such as stuffed naturtiums or carnation cupcakes also find their place here.
Another fun family activity for this holiday is an egg hunt.
Some of the most common symbols that witches paint on eggs are:
Sun = Young God, God of Light, inspiration
Moon = Triple Goddess, lunar mysteries
Stars = Silver wheel, Goddess Arianrhod
Ram's Horns = Horned God, nature's life force, fertility
Deer or Stag = Prosperity, fertility, Horned God
Encircling Bands = Magick Circle, Wheel of the Year, Eternal Cycle of Life.
Rake or Hoe = Agricultural Growth
Waves = the Element of Water
Oak Tree = Oak King, Merlin, Strength, Wisdom
One of the traditions of Spring Equinox is the baking of a silver coin in sweet bread. The bread is shared by all the Pagan celebrants, and the one who receives the coin is considered especially blessed. He or she will choose a partner, and together they will lead the celebration with a night of games, dance, and song. As the celebration comes to a close, the lady of the Spring Couple will be given a gift of flowers, and both the Spring Lady and Spring Lord will go home with the favor of the God and Goddess.
Some of the other traditions observed at the Spring Equinox are the cutting of the apple, and the blessing of the plants. An apple is taken and cut crosswise in honor of Persephone, exposing the seeds ladi out in the form of a pentagram. The seed are removed and blessed, and planted by the next full Moon. In this time of growth and renewal, many bring a young plant to the rites and ask the blessing of the Deities for its healthy continued growth. After the rites, the plants are carried home and nurtured to fullness, now are the more special for the blessing bestowed upon them at the celebration.
Ostara is also a time of planting. The Lily has been typically the plant which is usually given as a gift for the Easter season and is used as a decoration for christian altars. Well, Ostara is where the symbol of plants came in; however, not only plants, but vegetables, fruits, and herbs that will be used by witches for potions as well as flowers are planted. So now is the time to start your herb gardens.
Some of the herbs that you would use to decorate your altar, circle or home on Ostara would be:
All spring flowers
Recipes for Ostara
Fellowship Fruit Cup
Many philosophers of old thought that honey was useful for everything from aiding the natural healing process to helping in verbalizations! Fruit appears in hundreds of civilizations as an offering to the gods, or as an important element in local festivals. Yogurt's smooth consistency blends this energy together into a loving harmony. I like to serve fruit as an appetizer because it is light, refreshing and a "happy" energy food. Add or delete fruits according to your personal preference.
2 ripe bananas, sliced
I (8-oz) can mandarin oranges
I (8-oz) can pineapple chunks
2 apples, peeled and sliced
2 kiwi fruit, peeled and sliced
1 cup blueberries
2 cups strawberries, sliced
2 cups grapes
2 ripe pears, peeled and sliced
¼ cup shredded coconut
2 navel oranges, peeled and sectioned
16 oz. Vanilla yogurt
3 tablespoons dark honey
3 cups melon balls, any kind
Place the fruits together in a large bowl, blending in the yogurt and honey as you go. Allow to sit overnight in the fridge for fullest flavor. Yield: 16 servings. Note: Fruits such as apples can be carved into shapes to reflect your magical goals.
Magical Associations: Spirituality, communication, friendship, health, pleasant gatherings, joyful occasions.
Ricotta Broccoli Pizza
The circular nature of pizza makes it the perfect representation of the Wheel of the Year, movement, and change.
I package pizza dough
2 teaspoons basil
I (8-oz) container ricotta cheese,
2 teaspoons oregano
I teaspoon minced garlic
8 oz. Mozzarella cheese, grated
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons butter
I cup cooked, diced broccoli
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare the pizza dough according to the package directions. Spread on a well-greased pizza pan or cookie sheet. Mix the cheeses and the broccoli in a medium-sized bowl. Saute the garlic, basil, and oregano in the olive oil and butter until the garlic is lightly browned. (Browning garlic too much will cause it to become bitter.) Spread the garlic mixture directly on the dough. Spread on the cheese mixture. Top with any additional items you desire. Bake for 15 minutes. Turn up the heat to 400 degrees F.; bake until the cheese and crust have small patches of golden brown, 7-10 minutes. Yield: 4-6 cheese lovers.
Variation: Frozen bread dough also works for the pizza dough. If you feel creative, try shaping the dough like a heart for love or an eye for intuition. Various cheeses can be substituted for the mozzarella. Cheddar works very well with the broccoli.
Magical Attributes: Changing cycles; with broccoli for financial matters, tomatoes for love, peppers for personal awareness and olives to encourage peace.
Burying an egg was sometimes used in folk medicine to "bury" and illness. The eggs in this dish look like they are surrounded by rich earth, making them perfect for any "organic" magical goals.
I lb. lean ground beef
½ teaspoon onion powder
I small onion, minced
6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
2/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
¼ cup milk Vegetable oil for frying
I teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ cup ketchup
Mix the ground beef, onion, 1/3 cup of the bread crumbs, milk, salt, garlic powder, and onion powder. Divide into six equal portions. Form each portion over a peeled, hard-boiled egg so that the egg is completely covered. Dip in the beaten egg; roll in the remaining bread crumbs to coat. Fry the eggs in the oil over medium heat, turning frequently, until the meat is completely cooked and the crumbs are golden brown. Remove from the pan; slice in halves or thirds lengthwise. Pour off the remaining oil in the frying pan. Mix the Worcestershire sauce and ketchup in the frying pan; heat. Return the eggs to the frying pan for 2-3 minutes. Turn frequently until the eggs are well coated with sauce. Yield: 6 servings.
Magical Attributes: Health, grounding, connection to Nature, Earth magic.
Pagan Ways – Finding your spirituality in Nature
Wicca – For the Solitary Practitioner
A Kitchen Witch's Cookbook
The Illustrated Guide to Wicca
Tony and Aileen Grist
Sterling Publishing Company Inc.