Ostara - 2020
These are strange and difficult times. This is the first occasion that we remember where we will not be celebrating a sabbat together. It is disappointing but should remind us, in a very real way, that we operate in a spiritual world as well as a physical one.
We are priests and priestesses in our own right. Anything that can be done in person can be done in the mind. To that end we should celebrate Ostara separately, but as one mind, and one group.
We would like to offer a simple ritual to honor this day. Incorporate into your personal practice as you will. The aim here is simple and sincere. All you need is sage, and one small candle.
As always, smudge, then ground and center.
This is a time of equal day and night. We cannot have one without the other. Call the Goddess and God, and light a single candle in honor of them both. This is appropriate for this time of year when the wheel is balanced.
Meditate on the fact that this is a time of new beginnings. With the current chaos in the world, we can be certain that things will never be the same. This IS a beginning, although not necessarily one that we would have chosen. We do, however, have the chance to plant a seed for the type of world we would wish for.
Reach down into your subconscious, to the water, to the compassion within you. Form this into a single mote of intent wishing peace, health and safety for us, our families, and the world as a whole. Make it real, and make it tangible.
As we go from Pisces to Aries, we will take this intent and join it to the flame as the Goddess is to the God. Water does not extinguish fire... Fire energizes and evaporates the water, sending it up to the heavens. As it rises, it carries our intent with it.
Ponder that even though the world has come to a standstill, the wheel turns inexorably. The grass grows, the seasons change, and life goes on. We will continue.
There is no reason to release the deities. During ritual we invite and thank them, but they come and go as the wish. Thank them for their attendance and allow the candle to burn out on its own.
So mote it be.
The Wheel of the Year
|February 1st (Saturday)
|March 19th (Thursday)
|May 1st (Friday)
||Beltaine (May day)
|June 20th (Saturday)
|August 1st (Saturday)
|September 22nd (Tuesday)
|October 31st (Saturday)
|December 21st (Monday)
There are 8 Sabbats throughout the year. We celebrate them on that day or as close as possible to the day. We start to gather at 6:30 PM, with the actual ritual starting closer to 7:00 PM.
Honoring the Solar or God energy
Most cultures recognize the changing energy throughout the year. Honoring the Sabbats is a way of honoring that flow. These Sabbats are set 6 weeks apart, almost to the calendar day. They are broken into two categories- Lesser and Greater, neither being better than the other. The lesser match the equinoxes and solstices. Spring and Fall Equinox (Ostara and Mabon) are a time when the days are equal with the nights and therefore are a time of balance, or reclaiming your balance. Winter and Midsummer Solstices (Yule and Litha) are a time when the days are the shortest and the longest, marking a turning point in the solar energy.
By connecting and remembering the Sabbats, balance is maintained internally to match the balance of the Universe. The importance of these holi - days is to allow the individual to recognize the natural changes that occur in his/her live and the lives of those around. the other purpose is to give us a chance to stop from our hectic lives and take a moment to look around and see what is happening, both universally, and personally. It is a time to collect ourselves. AS ABOVE. SO BELOW.
Our Year starts with Yule- Winter Solstice. ( Somewhere around December 21st.) The days are the shortest, and winter is upon us. We have been dormant since Samhain ( October 31st) and are still sleeping. Yet, this is a time when we are re-birthed, re-awakened. We symbolize this through the birth of our God who has died the previous fall. He is reborn. Christians honor this time by claiming Jesus to be born. They call it Christmas. The energy is the same- re birth. Renewal. Hope that the dormant times will end even if we do not see anything happening yet. There is faith that the sun will come back to warm our planet and ourselves. Yule is a celebration of the darkness, just before it starts to turn to light. for darkness is necessary for us to grow as individuals. Nothing can successfully grow unless it has a time of dormancy first.
February 1st is Imbolc. The sap is running in the trees. While we are still cold and deep in winter, the growing season has started. Baby animals are being born and the days are growing in length, not quite to a point of balance but to a point of realizing that the nights are not quite so long. Christians call this Candlemas. Candles are lit to symbolize the return of the sun and the return of fertility and productivity. Bridget, our goddess, is now a young maiden, pre- pubescent.
Spring equinox- around March 21st. We are finding balance in life. The days and nights are equal in length and the Sun is making a remarkable headway towards warming the earth. In our area, we are usually still deep in winter, but the chill is not so pervasive. There is a warmth to the cold. Christians celebrate Easter during this time, focusing on the death of their god for the resurrection into something greater for the good of all of us. We celebrate the balance of life, focusing on the greater good for all involved.