Monthly Archives: February 2019

Ostara Ritual for Solitaries

Image result for spring rebirth

Ostara is a time of balance. It is a time of equal parts light and dark. At Mabon, we have this same balance, but the light is leaving us. Today, six months later, it is returning. Spring has arrived, and with it comes hope and warmth. Deep within the cold earth, seeds are beginning to sprout. In the damp fields, the livestock are preparing to give birth. In the forest, under a canopy of newly sprouted leaves, the animals of the wild ready their dens for the arrival of their young. Spring is here.

Ostara Ritual Tips

  • Perform this ritual outside if at all possible, in the early morning as the sun rises, to reconnect with the earth.

  • Consider your own place within the earth, the sun, and the Divine. How do you fit into the grand scheme of things? How do you find balance between light and dark in your own life?

  • Make an offering, and find a sense of balance and harmony between light and dark, winter and summer, warmth and cold.

For this ritual, you’ll want to decorate your altar with symbols of the season. Think about all the colors you see in nature at this time of year–bright daffodils, crocuses, plump tulips, green shoots–and incorporate them into your altar. This is also a time of fertility in the natural world; the egg is the perfect representation of this aspect of the season. Symbols of young animals such as lambs, chicks, and calves are also great altar adornments for Ostara.

What You’ll Need

In addition to decorating your altar, you’ll need the following:

Perform this ritual outside if at all possible, in the early morning as the sun rises. It’s spring, so it may be a bit chilly, but it’s a good time to reconnect with the earth. If your tradition normally requires you to cast a circle, do so now.

  • Three candles: one yellow, one green, and one purple

  • A bowl of milk

  • A small bowl of honey or sugar

Perform Your Ritual

Begin by taking a moment to focus on the air around you. Inhale deeply, and see if you can smell the change in the seasons. Depending on where you live, the air may have an earthy aroma, or a rainy one, or even smell like green grass. Sense the shift in energy as the Wheel of the Year has turned. Light the green candle, to symbolize the blossoming earth. As you light it, say:

The Wheel of the Year turns once more,
and the vernal equinox arrives.
Light and dark are equal,
and the soil begins to change.
The earth awakes from its slumber,
and new life springs forth once more.

Next, light the yellow candle, representing the sun. As you do so, say:

The sun draws ever closer to us,
greeting the earth with its welcoming rays.
Light and dark are equal,
and the sky fills with light and warmth.
The sun warms the land beneath our feet,
and gives life to all in its path.

Finally, light the purple candle. This one represents the Divine in our lives–whether you call it a god or a goddess, whether you identify it by name or simply as a universal life force, this is the candle which stands for all the things we do not know, all those things we cannot understand, but that are the sacred in our daily lives. As you light this candle, focus on the Divine around and within you. Say:

Spring has come! For this, we are thankful!
The Divine is present all around,
in the cool fall of a rain storm,
in the tiny buds of a flower,
in the down of a newborn chick,
in the fertile fields waiting to be planted,
in the sky above us,
and in the earth below us.
We thank the universe* for all it has to offer us,
and are so blessed to be alive on this day.
Welcome, life! Welcome, light! Welcome, spring!

Take a moment and meditate on the three flames before you and what they symbolize. Consider your own place within these three things–the earth, the sun, and the Divine. How do you fit into the grand scheme of things? How do you find balance between light and dark in your own life?

Finally, blend the milk and honey together, mixing gently. Pour it onto the ground around your altar space as an offering to the earth**. As you do, you may wish to say something like:

I make this offering to the earth,
As thanks for the many blessings I have received,
And those I shall some day receive.

Once you have made your offering, stand for a minute facing your altar. Feel the cool earth beneath your feet, and the sun on your face. Take in every sensation of this moment, and know that you are in a perfect place of balance between light and dark, winter and summer, warmth and cold — a time of polarity and harmony.

When you are ready, end the ritual.

*Instead of “the Universe,” feel free to insert the name of your patron deity or the gods of your tradition here.

••If you’re doing this rite indoors, take your bowl of milk and honey and pour it in your garden, or around your yard.

Set Up an Ostara Altar

Image result for spring ostara altar

If you are gearing up for Ostara, then you are readying for a time of year in which many Wiccans and Pagans choose to celebrate the balance of light and dark that heralds the beginning of spring. It is a time to celebrate new life and rebirth—not only the physical embodiment of renewal but the spiritual as well.

To get your altar ready to welcome the spring equinox, try some—or all—of these ideas to mark the changing seasons.

Ostara Marks New Beginnings

Similar to the symbols observed at Easter, like eggs, rabbits, new bulbs of flowers, and seedlings bursting forth from the earth, many Pagans embrace these symbols to represent the fertility of spring and incorporate them into rituals, altars, and celebratory feasts.

Get Colorful

To get an idea of what colors are appropriate for spring, all you really have to do is look outside. Decorate your altar in any of these colors. Notice the yellows of the forsythia blooming behind your house, the pale purples of lilacs in the garden, and the green of new leaves appearing in the melting snow.

Pastels are often considered spring colors as well, so feel free to add some pinks and blues into the mix. You can try a pale green altar cloth with some purples and blues draped across it and add some yellow or pink candles.

Time for Balance

Altar decor can reflect the theme of the sabbat. Ostara is a time of balance between light and dark, so symbols of this polarity can be used. Use a god and goddess statue, a white candle and a black one, a sun and moon, or you can use a yin and yang symbol.

New Life

Since Ostara is also a time of new growth and life, you can add potted plants such as new crocuses, daffodils, lilies, and other magical spring flowers to your altar.

This is is the time of year when animals are bringing forth new life too. You can put a basket of eggs on your altar, or figures of new lambs, rabbits, and calves. You might want to add a chalice of milk or honey. The milk represents the lactating animals who have just given birth, and honey is long known as a symbol of abundance.

Other Symbols of the Season

There are a number of other symbols that signify the season including insects undergoing transformation or bees busy harvesting honey. Nature deities play a prominent part in the season, too.

  • Caterpillars, ladybugs, and bumblebees

  • Symbols of seasonally appropriate deities—Herne, Flora, Gaia, and Attis

  • Gemstones and crystals such as aquamarine rose quartz and moonstone

  • Ritual fires in a cauldron or brazier

Spring Rebirth Ritual for Ostara

Spring is the time of year when the cycle of life, death, and rebirth is complete. As plants bloom and new life returns, the theme of resurrection is ever present. As Ostara, the spring equinox, arrives, it’s the season for that which has gone dormant to become revitalized, alive, and reborn. Depending on your particular tradition, there are many different ways you can celebrate Ostara, but typically it is observed as a time to mark the coming of Spring and the fertility of the land. By watching agricultural changes–such as the ground becoming warmer, and the emergence of plants from the ground–you’ll know exactly how you should welcome the season.

This ritual includes a symbolic rebirthing–you can perform this rite either as a solitary practitioner, or as a part of a group ceremony. Feel free to substitute the names of your tradition’s deities where appropriate. Also, if you’ve ever thought about rededicating yourself to the gods of your tradition, Ostara is an excellent time to do this.

What You’ll Need

In addition to setting up your Ostara altar for this ritual, you’ll need the following supplies: a black sheet for each participant, a bowl of soil, water, a white candle, and incense. For this rite, the High Priestess (HPs) or High Priest (HP) should be the only person at the altar. Other participants should wait in another room until called. If you’re doing the rite outside, the group can wait some distance away from the altar. If your tradition calls for you to cast a circle, do this now.

Begin the Ritual

The first person in the group waits outside the circle, covered from head to toe in the black sheet. If your group is comfortable with skyclad rituals, you can be nude under the sheet–otherwise, wear your ritual robe. Once the HPs is ready to begin, she calls the first participant into the altar area, cutting an opening in the circle as the person enters and then closing it behind them.

The participant, still covered in the black sheet, kneels on the floor before the altar.

The HPs greets the participant, and says:

Today is the time of the Spring equinox.
Ostara is a time of equal parts light and dark.
Spring has arrived, and it is a time of rebirth.
The planting season will soon begin, and
life will form once more within the earth.
As the earth welcomes new life and new beginnings,
so can we be reborn in the light and love of the gods*.
Do you, (name), wish to experience the rebirth of spring, and
step out of the darkness into the light?

The participant replies with an affirmative answer. The HPs takes the salt from the altar, and sprinkles it over the sheet-clad participant, saying:

With the blessings of the earth, and the life within the soil,
you are reborn in the eyes of the gods.

Next, the HPs takes the lit incense and passes it over the participant, saying:

With the blessings of air, may knowledge and wisdom
be brought to you upon the winds.

The HPs takes the burning candle and (carefully!) passes it over the participant, saying:

May the fire of the spring sun bring growth and harmony
into your life.

Finally, the HPs sprinkles water around the participant, and says:

With the blessings of water, may the chill and darkness of winter,
be swept away by the warm spring rains.

Rise! Step forth out of the darkness, and climb into the light.
Awaken once more in the arms of the gods.

At this point, the participant slowly emerges from the black sheet. Remember, this is a symbolic rebirth. Take your time if you feel you need to. As you pull the sheet back away from you, remember that you are not only stepping into the light, but putting behind you the darkness of the past six months. Winter is over, and spring has arrived, so take a few moments, as you emerge, to think about the magic of this time of year.

The High Priestess then welcomes the participant, saying:

You have stepped once more into the light,
and the gods welcome you.

Repeat the ceremony until all members of the group have been “reborn.” If you are performing this rite as a solitary, obviously you would speak the lines of the HPs yourself, and bless the area around yourself with the dirt, incense, candle and water.

Wrapping Things Up

Once everyone in the group has gone through the rebirthing, take some time to meditate on the balancing energy of Ostara. Light and dark are equal, as are positive and negative. Consider, for a while, the polarity of this season. Think about the balance you wish to find in your life, and consider how you may work harder to find harmony within yourself.

History of Ostara, The Spring Equinox

History of Ostara, The Spring Equinox

The word Ostara is just one of the names applied to the celebration of the spring equinox on March 21. The Venerable Bede said the origin of the word is actually from Eostre, a Germanic goddess of spring. Of course, it’s also the same time as the Christian Easter celebration, and in the Jewish faith, Passover takes place as well. For early Pagans in the Germanic countries, this was a time to celebrate planting and the new crop season. Typically, the Celtic peoples did not celebrate Ostara as a holiday, although they were in tune with the changing of the seasons.

“At the ruins of Chichen Itza, the ancient Maya city in Mexico, crowds now gather on the spring (and fall) equinox to watch as the afternoon sun creates shadows that resemble a snake moving along the stairs of the 79-foot-tall Pyramid of Kukulkan, also called El Castillo. On the spring equinox, the snake descends the pyramid until it merges with a large, serpent head sculpture at the base of the structure. While the Maya were skilled astronomers, it’s unknown whether they specifically designed the pyramid to align with the equinox and create this visual effect.”

A New Day Begins

A dynasty of Persian kings known as the Achaemenians celebrated the spring equinox with the festival of No Ruz, which means “new day.” It is a celebration of hope and renewal still observed today in many Persian countries, and has its roots in Zoroastrianism. In Iran, a festival called Chahar-Shanbeh Suri takes place right before No Ruz begins, and people purify their homes and leap over fires to welcome the 13-day celebration of No Ruz.

Mad as a March Hare

Spring equinox is a time for fertility and sowing seeds, and so nature’s fertility goes a little crazy. In medieval societies in Europe, the March hare was viewed as a major fertility symbol. This is a species of rabbit that is nocturnal most of the year, but in March when mating season begins, there are bunnies everywhere all day long. The female of the species is superfecund and can conceive a second litter while still pregnant with a first. As if that wasn’t enough, the males tend to get frustrated when rebuffed by their mates, and bounce around erratically when discouraged.

The Legends of Mithras

The story of the Roman god, Mithras, is similar to the tale of Jesus Christ and his resurrection. Born at the winter solstice and resurrected in the spring, Mithras helped his followers ascend to the realm of light after death. In one legend, Mithras, who was popular amongst members of the Roman military, was ordered by the Sun to sacrifice a white bull. He reluctantly obeyed, but at the moment when his knife entered the creature’s body, a miracle took place. The bull turned into the moon, and Mithras’ cloak became the night sky. Where the bull’s blood fell flowers grew, and stalks of grain sprouted from its tail.

Spring Celebrations Around the World

In ancient Rome, the followers of Cybele believed that their goddess had a consort who was born via a virgin birth. His name was Attis, and he died and was resurrected each year during the time of the vernal equinox on the Julian Calendar (between March 22 and March 25).

The indigenous Mayan people in Central American have celebrated a spring equinox festival for ten centuries. As the sun sets on the day of the equinox on the great ceremonial pyramid, El Castillo, Mexico, its “western face…is bathed in the late afternoon sunlight. The lengthening shadows appear to run from the top of the pyramid’s northern staircase to the bottom, giving the illusion of a diamond-backed snake in descent.” This has been called “The Return of the Sun Serpent” since ancient times.

According to the Venerable Bede, Eostre was the Saxon version of a Germanic goddess called Ostara. Her feast day was held on the full moon following the vernal equinox–almost the identical calculation as for the Christian Easter in the west. There is very little documented evidence to prove this, but one popular legend is that Eostre found a bird, wounded, on the ground late in winter. To save its life, she transformed it into a hare. But “the transformation was not a complete one. The bird took the appearance of a hare but retained the ability to lay eggs…the hare would decorate these eggs and leave them as gifts to Eostre.”

Modern Celebrations

This is a good time of year to start your seedlings. If you grow an herb garden, start getting the soil ready for late spring plantings. Celebrate the balance of light and dark as the sun begins to tip the scales, and the return of new growth is near.

Many modern Pagans mark Ostara as a time of renewal and rebirth. Take some time to celebrate the new life that surrounds you in nature–walk in a park, lay in the grass, hike through a forest. As you do so, observe all the new things beginning around you–plants, flowers, insects, birds. Meditate upon the ever-moving Wheel of the Year, and celebrate the change of seasons.

Bury Your Old Self Spell

Bury Your Old Self Spell
by Robert Place

If you are bothered by an aspect of your personality that you would like to let go of, then take a new potato and a knife (or your athame) and carve the potato into an image that represents the aspect to you. At midnight, take the carved potato our into a field (or wherever you can find relatively undisturbed dirt) and bury it in the ground. As you do, repeat these words:

“With this image, I
consign this aspect of
myself to my mother the Earth.
As this image returns to the Earth,
this aspect of my personality
dissolves into my psyche
and is transformed into
new capabilities”

You’re done. As the image under the earth dissolves, so will the quality you want to be rid of!

Banish and Resolution Spell

Banish and Resolution Spell

What you need:
2 pieces of paper
ink pen
cauldron, or fire safe dish
candle holder
1 black candle
1 white candle
What you do:On the first piece of paper write a list of all you want gone or to change in your life. On the second piece of paper write out a list of positive goals, achievements, and happenings that you can visualize or see coming to you this coming year. When ready  take the black candle and place it in your cauldron and light it and burn the negative list saying…

“take my burdens from my mind
leave afflictions far behind
help me ease my irksome strife
and bring forth balance to my life.”

When you feel the moment is right put out the candle but be sure paper has burned away. Now light the white candle, and read out the positive adding the following…

“I see all of these goals and blessings coming to me, By (your Goddess’s name here) grace, so mote it be.”

Keep the white candle going till it goes out as a small offering for the Goddess’s help. Keep the list of positives on your alter, and read them over every New Moon to keep the spell empowered. When something on your list comes to be, be sure to give an offering of thanks and gratitude for the blessing that you have received. From Halloween by Silver Ravenwolf

Release Bad Habits Spell

Release Bad Habits Spell
Author: Kristin Madden

Springtime is the perfect time to release yourself from unwanted habits and negative energy. To release bad habits, cook with an onion. Before beginning breathe the energy of the earth into the knife. As you cut the onion, say to yourself:

“Here I see into my core and accept myself for all that I am, and I release that which no longer serves me.”

If there are specific habits you want to eliminate, visualize them as you cut the onion. Energize the pan as you did the knife. As you cook the onion say:

“Heat of fire, heat of life; Transform these habits before my sight.”

Visualize your bad habits transforming and see the patterns you prefer filling the onion and the other food. Give Thanks for the blessing of change and release as you eat.

Getting Rid of Bad Habits  

Getting Rid of Bad Habits

What You’ll Need:
A black candle
Anointing oil
Something sharp to inscribe your candle
If you don’t have a favorite oil for anointing candles, I would suggest an oil with strong banishing energy, such as: rosemary , sandalwood, clove or cedar.
Instructions:
Cast your circle as you usually do. Use your burin (or other implement) to write in the wax what habit you are trying to banish. Anoint the candle with your oil. Light your candle, and repeat the following words:

Unwanted habits, please be gone.
Leave me when the candle is done.
Candle burn to remove all ill.
By the power of my will.

Repeat several times as you concentrate on your habits burning away, like the candle. Let the candle burn out on it’s own. You should do this spell during the waning moon phase, on a Saturday, or both, if possible. From:pythorium.com

Addiction Spell

Addiction Spell

Most of us don’t have the will power to overcome addictions on our own; if we did, addiction wouldn’t present the dilemma that it does today. No matter the nature of your problem, please get professional help. Then use the following ritual to help rid yourself of any urges to continue unhealthy behavior patterns.

Ritual to Overcome Addiction you  will need:
paper and pencil
chrysoprase  tumbled stone
wide-tipped black marker
orange calcite or quartz tumbled stone
green candle
fireproof dish or small cauldron
matches or lighter
cloth bag (optional)
hematite tumbled stone
Write your addiction on a piece of paper, then mark through it with a heavy black line. Put it aside. Inscribe the candle with your name. Light the candle and say:
Healing Ancients, I ask of Thee Take this pain away from me. Remove any trace of this addiction, And heal me of all related afflictions.
Hold the hematite to your forehead and say:
Grant courage now and healing power Strengthen my will hour by hour.
Place this stone on the right side of the candle. Lift the chrysoprase to your forehead and say:
Stone of joy and happiness Put my urges now to rest.
Place this stone on the left side of the candle. Hold the orange calcite or quartz to your forehead and say:
Amplifier of energies Magnify their powers, please.
Place this stone in front of the candle. Stand in front of the altar and turn your hands palms up. Say:
Powers of the Earth unite, Bind the powers of this addiction tight, So it will have no hold on me, As I will, so mote it be!

Take the paper in your hands and say:
Chains that bind me, now break free, I am power, strength, and resiliency, I have the courage to overcome This addiction-go now-run! Begone from me! Do not return! Your power over me, I burn!
Light the paper with a match or lighter, then burn it in the fireproof dish, saying:
By flame of Fire, I’m purified, Of your delusionary lies. I’m free of you and all the strife, That you once cast upon my life.  am healed now. 1 am free. As I will, so mote it be!

When the candle has completely burned out, carry the stones with you either loose or in a cloth pouch.  Repeat the ritual as often as necessary to get control of the problem. By Dorothy Morrison