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This article was written by Sandra Kynes on November 28, 2006
posted under Ostara
Items needed for this Ostara ritual include: Four green altar candles for the directions; Two lavender or purple altar candles for the Goddess and God; At least one cut flower for each participant in the group ritual. For solo ritual, have a minimum of four flowers to mark the cardinal directions or more to mark your circle on the floor. (You can allow space between the flowers); Flower seeds—daisies, if possible, as this flower is associated with spring, light and the sun; A small flower pot or small paper cup filled with potting soil. You may want to decorate it with Pagan symbols such as a pentagram, spiral, or a circle with a dot in the center; One or two long scarves; Taped music or drumming with which to dance (optional).
This ritual has been written for daytime to enjoy the warmth, light and greening earth. Ostara celebrates both the sun and the earth. It is a day to celebrate the balance of all things; female and male, the spiritual and the physical. The spiral you walked at Winter Solstice took you down inside yourself. Now is the time to follow that spiral of energy up into the light.
As Persephone re-emerges from the Underworld, animals return from their winter hibernation. One such creature is the snake, an ancient symbol of the Great Mother Goddess. Snakes dwell in both worlds: Ours and the Underworld. Because they live underground, they carry the power of Mother Earth. Into the time of ancient Greece the snake was a symbol of earthly powers especially for healing. Even today it is included in the symbol of the medical profession.
Lay the flowers on the floor as you cast your circle as you say:
Equal is the light and dark,
With these gifts my circle I mark.
As warm sunlight greens the earth,
The Maiden and Lord dance with mirth.
After calling each direction and deity light a candle on the altar:
Come ye spirits of the North, powers of Earth, hold me rooted by tree and flower. Bring the beauty of your lush green meadows. Be with me this day.
Come ye spirits of the East, powers of Air, sail on golden wings of dawn. Blow away the staleness of winter. Be with me this day.
Come ye spirits of the South, powers of Fire, bring the heat of noon to warm my days. Coax the seeds from the womb of the earth. Be with me this day.
Come ye spirits of the West, powers of Water, let my soul flow with the beauty of your tides. Bless the land with dew-filled mornings. Be with me this day.
Prince of Light, Lord of Spring, you wax to the fullness of youth and bless the world with your bright spirit. Join me in this sacred circle. Be with me this day.
Great Mother who gives the world form, as your web of life renews the earth, light that spark within me to awaken my soul. Join me in this sacred circle. Be with me this day.
Stand in front of the altar. Hold a few of the flower seeds in the palm of one hand, then cup your other hand over it. Close your eyes, and recall that at Winter Solstice you made a wish and set forth an intention for the New Year. Now is the time to start bringing them into the physical world.
Fix that wish or intention in your mind. Let the energy and vision flow from you into the seeds. Visualize your wish coming to fruition. Once you have clearly seen what you want to achieve or receive, place the seeds into the cup and cover them lightly with soil. After your ritual, put it in a place where you will see it frequently and be reminded of your intention.
Call forth the power of the snake to energize the seeds you have planted by dancing around your circle. Unfurl the scarves and shake them to create an undulating motion to simulate the movement of a snake. If you are using taped music or drumming, begin it now.
As you dance, call forth the power of the Mother Goddess with a chant:
Gaia rising, Gaia rising.
Mother of love, mother of life.
You may want to alternate this with the counter chant:
Gaia, Gaia, mother of all.
Gaia, Gaia, we heed your call.
When your energy has been released, bring your dancing and chanting (and taped music if used) to a close. Use your usual method for grounding.
Extinguish the altar candles in the reverse order that they were lit:
Great Mother, I ask that your blessings remain in my heart, and that I live in harmony with all that dwell on this earth. Thank you for your presence this day. Stay if you will; go if you must. I bid you farewell.
Lord of the Spring and budding new life, I welcome the growth and beauty that you bestow upon the greening land. Thank you for your presence this day. Stay if you will; go if you must. I bid you farewell.
Spirits of the West, of Waters that nourish the land, thank you for your presence this day. Stay if you will; go if you must. I bid you farewell.
Spirits of the South, of Fire that provides new beginnings, thank you for your presence this day. Stay if you will; go if you must. I bid you farewell.
Spirits of the East, of Air and precious breath, thank you for your presence this day. Stay if you will; go if you must. I bid you farewell.
Spirits of the North, of Earth that brings forth new life, thank you for your presence this day. Stay if you will; go if you must. I bid you farewell.
Raise your arms as you stand facing your altar, and say:
As all good things must sometimes end,
Go forth with the love the Goddess sends.
For if your heart is always true,
This circle will come back to you.
In my new book, How to Survive Mercury Retrograde (And Venus & Mars, Too), I emphasize that a retrograde planet can be used productively. A planet does not have to be moving in direct motion to get positive results. The backward motion of a planet through an astrological sign gets us to be more reflective and does, to some degree, slow down... read this article