March / April 2014 Issue
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Ostara: A Time to Recreate Yourself
This article was written by Edain McCoy
posted under Pagan
After writing one book covering all eight of the sabbats (Sabbats), and another one about the Ostara sabbat, I wanted a “fresh” angle for Ostara 2008. Most Pagans become familiar very early in their studies with the primary icons and concepts of our solar celebrations. Most of us know Ostara is the celebration of the spring equinox, a day of balance between dark and light. I don’t think many of us can tolerate reading one more dry description about the symbolism of the egg in springtime, but that word “fresh” kept going through my mind, eventually bringing me back to “fresh eggs.” (I won’t do that to you, I promise!)
I also wanted to avoid the cliché in the word “renewal.” I don’t care how many Persephones, Kores, or Inannas arise from the underworld to “renew” the earth at Ostara. The word “renewal” has been done and over done until it has little mystery left for us, and the word also implies repetitive actions rather than growth with permanent change.
Yet, Ostara is a time of balance, a calming energy we need in our overworked, overstressed lives. We understand these energies on the macrocosmic level, but Ostara energy can do just as much for us here on the microcosmic level where we live. We can take the renewal imagery, call it recreation instead of renewal, and apply it to ourselves with excellent results.
Using the energy of Ostara we can begin to recreate or reinvent ourselves into the people we want to be. Whether the desired change is spiritual, emotional, or physical, Ostara is here to help grow our wishes. Think of this sabbat as a second New Year for Pagans. In Pagan Rome, March 25th was the New Year, the date on which the equinox occurred at that time.
A few days before Ostara, take time for some serious introspection. Decide what you like most about yourself and embrace it. Be honest about what you don’t like about yourself and ask yourself whether you really want to change each negative aspect. Some people who admit their flaws find they have no desire to change them. You are allowed to be selective. You can change one thing about yourself or several things. It all depends on you and your lifestyle. Only you know how much time you can put into recreating yourself.
As Ostara approaches, begin to visualize your life in your new self. Envision your looks, poise, interaction with others, or whatever situations your recreation will affect. If it’s your job situation that needs changing, it’s always best to begin with the changes you have under your control. If it’s a romance, make sure you’re recreating yourself for yourself and not to please someone else. Being what you were not meant to be or want to be will only backfire on you. If it’s a physical issue, such as an illness or a problem related to appearance, be sure to work with a doctor, dermatologist, or cosmetologist who knows how to add some modern science to your magick.
Also, you must absolutely, without hesitation, embrace yourself as more than raw material. Look into a mirror and see the face of the person you want to be. Take note of all the things you do like about yourself and tell yourself positive things. You may be a good parent, an outstanding student, a dedicated employee. You may have an artistic gift you want to celebrate, or have a physical feature of which you are proud. Everyone has something they like about themselves. Start your recreation by focusing on your best aspects.
Keep up with the positive thoughts and words. No change will come to anyone who is caught up in a pattern of negative self-talk. Listen to yourself. Really listen! You will be surprised at how many times a day you say something deprecating about yourself. Some people do it to get a leg up on the people around them whom they perceive as thinking your negative self-talk is correct. Blow them off. No one knows the real you except you.
Avoid focusing on the negative. Focus instead that the thing you want to banish will be taken from you, and, in its place, you will draw in the characteristics, traits, and other necessities for success in your Ostara recreation-of-self ritual. Write down what you want to be. Tell no one about your plans and—whatever you do—don’t let anyone else see your list. Even non-magickal people can be threatened by change and their counter energy can get in the way. You also risk exposing attributes others might think you cannot have, and they will tell you so, damaging your efforts. Not all people see positive and negative as you do. You may need more aggressiveness to deal with people at work, but aggression is a trait many find intimidating, especially if they don’t know how you plan to use this trait.
The next step is to mentally create a map to take you from the current you to the ideal you. Magick is a potent tool, but it cannot work without you backing it up with actions. For example, if you want to lose thirty pounds, it won’t happen if you do magick by night and spend the day sitting on your backside and eating anything you want. As Ostara approaches you must keep your positive visualizations going in your head. If a negative thought pops in, dismiss it and return to good thoughts. Only by getting back in balance can you pass through to change.
On the day of Ostara, when the day and night are equal—twelve hours each—begin the day with a cleansing shower or bath. Allow all negative thoughts, energies, and other garbage to be washed away, leaving only you in your purest form. Mentally connect with the energy of balance inherent in Ostara. Breathe it into your body as you inhale, and allow it settle within you as you exhale. If you can get outdoors and do this in the clean spring air, it will be all the more invigorating. You can also hold out your hands to the energies of dark and light. Visualize them clutched in your fists, and draw them into your center. Keep in mind that after this night you will have more light than dark, a perfect three months ahead to wax bright with the warming sun.
As the sun sets on the day of Ostara, go in tranquility to a place where you can have some privacy. You will need two black candles and two white candles, something to hold the candles, and a mirror of any size. The bathroom is often the best place in the house to ensure that privacy, and your mirror is part of the package. If you don’t have white candles, you may choose two of another color you feel best represents your recreation goal. Examples are: blue for tranquility and rest; violet for spirituality and prayer; blue-violet for healing; green for prosperity, beauty, balance, and calming; red for courage, stamina, and passion; orange for attraction and stimulation; and yellow for mental prowess, concentration, and getting a job done.
Stand or sit where you can see yourself centered in the mirror. Once you can see the real you, place the black candles on either side of you. They do not have to reflect in the mirror if you are using a small one. In fact, it is preferable that they don’t reflect. You want to be mesmerized by your reflection, not by dancing candlelight.
Light the black candles and say:
On the night of balance of dark and light, Sit and gaze at your reflection for another ten minutes if you can. Don’t dwell on the negative, but rather on the negative being absorbed and burned away with the black candles. Contrary to popular folklore, there is nothing negative or evil about black. Black is no more than a color that does not reflect any light in the visible spectrum. Black truly is a black hole, not dissimilar from those in space. When light is pulled in it does not come out.
I recreate myself to be who I like;
All negativity that follows my back,
Be taken now into the candles black.
Allow any trait, habits, or other flaws to be drawn into the candles. At this point you will begin to see changes in your reflection. They are very subtle, but you can see them as you begin to introduce positive recreation of yourself.
When you feel the time is right, or when the candles have burned themselves out, take them away to be thrown out or buried later. Place the two white candles in their place on each side of you. Again, it does not matter whether the candles are reflected in the mirror, but it is better if they are not.
The color white is has many associations with purity and spirituality. In truth, the color we call white is not a color, but the reflection of the entire visible spectrum. That’s a lot of energy with which to work.
As the white candles burn, visualize them bringing in the desired traits you need for your positive recreation. As you light the white candles, say:
White reflects all on this balanced night, Stay with your reflection for as long as you are able, or until the candles burn out, or until you have seen the vision of the you you wish to be. Inhale deep of the full spectrum of all things positive as you see them.
The dark shall recede and the light take flight;
The positive qualities I call into me,
I am recreation! So mote it be!
Pocket your list so you can recharge this spell at will, with the paper being your talisman and reminder of your goals. As you douse the white candles say:
Ostara the barer of balance and light,
Bless my work on this, your sacred night;
As your sun continues to rise and grow,
Into this change with it, I go.
By earth, water, air, and fire,
Who bring me what I desire;
By the light of Ostara in me,
As I will, so mote it be!
Edain became a self-initiated Witch in 1981 and has been an active part of the Pagan community since her formal initiation into a large San Antonio coven in 1983. Edain has researched alternative spiritualities since her teens, when she was first... Read more
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