Celebrating the Wheel of the Year: Ostara

March 13th, 2019 - posted under: The Farm » Family

Screen Shot 2018-04-28 at 10.26.53 PM

*click the image above to see full size*

On the Vernal Equinox, we celebrate Ostara!

Ostara marks the Spring (Vernal) Equinox, when darkness and light are in harmony. The day has exactly as many hours as the night, and for this one perfect period, there is balance in the universe.

♥ 12 + 12 ♥

Ostara also means that spring is here! The sun gains strength and is showing herself more and more every day. The sun — our incredible celestial life-giver from no less than 92 million miles away — has been traveling on her annual journey, slowly moving north along the ecliptic. And on this day, on Ostara, she will set exactly and directly due west. And I can’t help but think that you don’t need to believe in magick or gods or goddesses, or anything else supernatural, to appreciate the exquisite symmetry of this moment. The natural is super enough, all on its own. Impossibly big and yet still, always — dependably and reliably — in perfect alignment.

If nothing else, I think that’s something to celebrate.


IMG_5666

♥ My Ostara altar, 2018. ♥


IMG_5684

Ostara celebrates fertility and rebirth. It’s the time for the intentions we set on Imbolc to turn into A C T I O N.

The equinox marks the official first day of spring, and everything around us is coming to life. The last of the winter snow has melted, and in its place the world is greening. Buds have emerged from long-bare branches. The crocus are pushing up through the earth, and seedlings dot the landscape. If you stop to listen, you may hear the return of birdsong in the air.

If we imagine the Wheel of the Year as representing the course of one life, then Ostara is the birth! This is a festival of fertility in celebration of spring, which is why the symbols of the egg and the hare belong to Ostara — to the goddess Eostre — and long predate the Christian Easter holiday.


IMG_7298

Ostara baby, 2018.

Ostara has been celebrated in many ways by people of many faiths, for many many centuries. It is perhaps the most universal of the pagan holidays, which means you can adapt it in whatever way strikes your fancy. This year, the equinox falls on March 20th. Some suggestions for celebrating in modern day include:

♥ Reconnect with nature. Take a walk outdoors with no other purpose than just to be in the natural world. ♥

♥ Plant new spring seeds. If you weren’t able to do this on Imbolc, then Ostara is the perfect opportunity to get started on your garden. ♥

♥ For cooking: spring greens or herbs, edible flowers, violet jelly, sprouts, and seeds. (We made veggie risotto and spring asparagus!)
For drinking: sweet wine, warm milk, and flower tea. (We drank French rosé and champagne!) ♥

♥ Ostara is also a wonderful time for “flower divination”. Go to a field (in warmer climates) or visit a florist (in colder climates), and select a flower that speaks to you. Then, take that flower home and learn about what it symbolizes. The flower that you choose, and the magical meaning behind it, will reveal your inner thoughts and emotions . . . because Ostara is the perfect time to get in touch with those inner thoughts and emotions. ♥


IMG_7306 (1)

♥ My witches. ♥

In my own life, last year’s Ostara was a very special night. It was the first of the sabbats that we celebrated as a complete coven — we were joined by our fourth!

Four women, four seasons, four corners of the earth. It felt so powerful to finally be practicing in totality.


IMG_7313

Our ritual lasted for hours, while our children played late into the night. We built a giant group altar, cast and burnt and built and cried, connected deeply to each other and to ourselves. We did big magic that night. Big magic.


IMG_7310

I love this photo. I love the look on Ingrid’s face as she lights a candle and asks for something so, so difficult to speak. I relate to that look. I know that look.

And I love the look on Jennie’s face, just flush with absolute love in that same moment.

God I love this photo.


IMG_7312


The candles burn. The nights shorten. The seasons turn.

However you celebrate Ostara (or not!), I wish you a spring of warmth and light, the birth of new beginnings and a season full of love. Happy Vernal Equinox!

♥ ♥ ♥

Celebrating the Wheel of the Year: Imbolc

January 23rd, 2019 - posted under: The Farm » Family

*click the image above to see full size* On February Eve, we celebrate Imbolc! Imbolc (pronounced ihm-bulk or ihm-bulg) is the festival of Midwinter, beginning on the evening of January 31st and continuing on though February 2nd. If we imagine the Wheel of the Year as representing the course of one life, then Imbolc — [...]

Celebrating the Wheel of the Year

January 14th, 2019 - posted under: The Farm » Family

Last year, for New Year’s Eve 2017 –> 2018, I only had one real resolution. I wrote down: Create family traditions around the 8 sabbats: Imbolc, Ostara, Beltane, Litha, Lughnasadh, Mabon, Samhain, and Yule. Include the coven and close friends. Create community. 8 parties this year! It was an ambitious goal, but for the most [...]

New

January 2nd, 2019 - posted under: The Farm » Family

I’ve been trying to write this post — in my head at least, I haven’t quit made it to the “opening the computer” stage — for almost the entire month of December. Sometimes the words just won’t come. But! I’ve been doing a lot of magic around the Winter Solstice, the full moon, and the [...]

Summer Bucket List 2018

November 23rd, 2018 - posted under: The Farm » Family

I am acutely aware that it’s the day after Thanksgiving, that it’s well into autumn, and I am just now posting this Summer Wrap-Up post. What can I say? It’s been a very, very busy year. I don’t have much time for blogging these day. Don’t have much time for anything really, other than working [...]