Spring Equinox (Ostara) Ritual
This Ostara Ritual was performed by us on 20th March 2016, the eve of the Equinox. The equinox was in the early hours of the morning of the 21st.
- Sparkling spring water or other drink
- Slices of apple or other food to share round
- Ritual plate
- Possibly candles for the quarters, goddess and god; incense, charcoal disc and holder
Cast a circle and call the quarters, lighting the candles as you go.
Spring has sprung, de grass is riz; I wonder where de boidies is? Mama says de boidies’ on de wing; but dat’s absoid – de wing is on de boid! (Pause) Welcome, everyone. Thank you for coming out on this lovely Spring day to help our group to celebrate the moment when day and night are of equal length. This is a time of balance, when the season tips over from dark to light, and hope blossoms along with the flowers all around us.
This is often a time for clearing away the old to make room for the new; preparing for the warmer weather and cleansing the energies of winter, which may have become stuck and stagnant, for the vibrant, life-giving energies of new spring growth to come in.
One of the easiest ways to connect with the energies of the current season – whenever that may be – is to take three long, conscious breaths with the fundamentals of our planet. So let’s take a long, slow breath with the beautiful earth beneath our feet (pause); one long, slow breath with the clear, fresh skies above us (pause); and one long slow breath with the life-giving waters of the seas that surround this sacred isle (pause).
And now, let’s take a few minutes to clear away any old, stagnant energies within ourselves, to make way for the fresh new things that are waiting to germinate inside us and around us. If you close your eyes, you can imagine yourself in a lovely, one-roomed cottage, in a beautiful natural setting. The windows and door are open to the fresh morning breeze, and sunlight streams into the room. You have a broom in your hands, and with it you gently sweep out every nook and corner of the room, gathering the dust and detritus in the centre of the floor (pause). When it is all collected, you sweep the whole pile towards the open doorway. As you brush it out of the door, the fresh spring breeze catches it, and whisks it away, transforming it, and making it dance playfully in the sunlight. You may even see shapes forming in the dancing particles. Perhaps they are the shapes of the wonderful new things you have made room for in your inner space. Breathe in the fresh air and feel the spring sunshine on your face, as you welcome in whatever you would like to see coming to you, and the new growth this season has in store for you (pause). Take your time, and when you are ready, come back to ordinary reality and open your eyes.
We hope you found that little exercise refreshing. Does anyone want to say anything about it? Perhaps there was something specific you swept out of your cottage, or something in particular you welcomed into it for the coming season?
Allow time for people to say anything they want to contribute.
One of the other lovely ways to connect with nature is to keep a nature diary. I started one last month (a bit late in the year, but better than not at all), and I’ve been noting the things I see on my walks to work, or in the garden, or elsewhere. Next year, I plan to start in January, and I’ll continue to do this from now on; partly so that I can see the seasonal changes occurring when I look back over them; partly to help keep me in tune with the way nature is constantly changing all around me; and partly so that I can become aware of the annual changes in the seasonal cycle. Might I suggest that this is something we could all do to help us feel more in touch with nature?
In honour of the season, and of what we’ve achieved today, let’s now share food and drink.
Pick up goblet and share it around the group. Pick up plate and share it around the group.
Dismiss the quarters and extinguish the candles; close the circle.
Pour some drink and drop some food in honour of the goddess and the god.