Today is Ostara, a celebration of the spring equinox and the return of fertility to the land. Ostara was actually the name of a Germanic goddess. She gives her name to the festival Easter. Fertility and plenty are her domains; as such, her symbols include bunnies and eggs, but she is also associated with dawn, balance, and light.
Welcome the seasonal energies into your day by working in your garden, going on a picnic, walking in the woods, or having an Easter egg hunt with the kids. As a college student with a minuscule budget and an apartment so small it’s difficult to turn around – and as a solitary pagan – in fact, the only pagan I know in real life – I don’t have the space, time, or resources to spend on luxe altar equipment or exotic rituals. [Though how nice that would be!]
Instead, I usually use the sabbats as a time for self-reflection, journaling, meditation, and spending time in nature. My rituals are by necessity simple affairs. Often, I use what I call “skeleton rites,” bare bones rituals that can be elaborated on the fly with the addition of a circle, sigil creation, or anything else that feels necessary at the time.
If you need a simple, bare-bones Ostara rite, try this one for self-improvement:
What you will need:
- Altar adorned with seasonal imagery
- Candles, preferably green
- Pen and 2 sheets of paper. One sheet is for things you want to change, the other for things you want to grow
- Matches and a burn-safe container
- An offering to Ostara
- Anything else you want
Meditatively, prepare to make two lists of nine items. Divide each list into three parts. The first list is for anything you would like to change or get rid of, and they each are divided into three parts: first is for your personal life; the second for your interactions with others; and the third for anything that affects the land.
The second sheet of paper is for things that you want to grow within those same categories.
Now that you have your lists, light one candle, then say:
Spring is here, the sun has come
The land alights with life
Illuminate with rays of sun
Holy Goddess of the dawn
Ostara, hail and welcome
Starting with each section of your list, visualize the changes you desire. Use all of your senses to make the visualization as potent as possible.
Burn the list of things you wish to get rid of and say,
Within the holy light
Solutions come forth
These problems take flight.
As the paper catches fire and curls into ash, visualize your problems turning to smoke to be recycled into goodness by the Air.
Now do the same with the list of things to bring into your life. Say,
To fulfill these needs
And watch them grow
I now begin to sow these seeds.
Contemplate what you can do to further your goals and furthering balance in your life and in the land.
Carry out any spell work at this time.
When you are finished, leave the offering for Ostara as an expression of gratitude for her light and for the life burgeoning within the land.
Bright Ostara blessings to all of you!