I love spring. I love the Celtic spring holiday Ostara. When day and night stand as equals. Also known as the Vernal equinox, this festival/holiday celebrates Re-Birth, the life from death theme so imbued in cultures living in tune with the rhythm of the earth. There is an auspicious flavor to all endeavors seeded at this time as the rare magic of such equality balances and cast equilibrium about like fairy dust.
Looking out at the dark brown earth newly damp from last night’s rain and seeing the little green shoots of garlic poking through is indeed a magical scene. Knowing we put the garlic cloves to bed there in the autumn and they are now waking up to the ever warming sun overhead is so satisfying.
The hens lay the most eggs in spring. No coincidence that the Christian Easter contains the dyeing of eggs….ancient symbol of the fecund mother Herself. And rabbits…we all know the joke about a kid that got two ‘girl rabbits’ then suddenly the house was overrun with fuzzy baby bunnies everywhere, another symbol of unabashed fertility.
Life from death, re-birth… This theme rings true for me on many fronts today. Eight years ago, I was not sure I would live a long life. The journey of breast cancer brought many changes, and oddly, many gifts. Two of the best gifts have been a level of self acceptance that did not exist before bc, and a tenacious determination to live fully each day. Another more comical is that once you’ve been cue-ball-bald, you can never have another bad hair day in your life…whew, glad that’s done.
Tonight the family will celebrate Ostara by sprinkling the ashes from the fires that kept us warm all winter on the garden. This is not simply a token, wood ash helps to bring the soil ph into balance. We will also change the garden altar items to reflect the coming season. Some of the new offerings will include seeds, feathers, objects that represent the sun, written notes of our personal hopes and dreams for the coming season, and of course, eggs. I believe that making a tangible connection between the spiritual and physical parts of our lives with physical action helps to manifest those thoughts/dreams into reality. I’ll be making a quiche from the hens’ eggs and I’m sure I can find some more ‘creasy greens’ (we ate up a big batch the other day, yum) or maybe even a few nettles growing round about the homestead to add for some real spring flavor. While we love growing a bunch of different kinds of food, wild food is by far one of my favorites. I don’t have to plant/tend/weed or anything, just show up, give thanks to Spirit and have a feast!
Ostara offers the gift of balance. This is one of the two days in each calendar year that day and night are perfectly in balance. On that note, I wish you all a day of balance and beauty.