by Isabella @TheWandCarver
We begin the Sabbat of Ostara with heavy hearts on the one hand, with our friends in Ukraine suffering brutal punishment for something they have not done but we can also find inspiration from these brave people to give us a blueprint for how happiness is so precious and must be honoured. And, it can be found in many ways which have nothing to do with chocolate eggs and bunnies.
Usually, we might place sunflowers on our altars for Litha. Let us do so for Ostara this year. If you can buy real sunflowers, that would obviously be best, but it is fine to use fake ones if you live where real ones can’t be found. You could use sunflower seeds in offering bowls, which is representative of farmers planting seeds. If you are an artist, a painting of a sunflower would be a lovely idea as well. As the sunflower is the national flower of Ukraine, it is a wonderful way of keeping our focus on sending healing and loving thoughts going their way.
Eostre, the goddess of Ostara and Spring, is the very representation of Spring and new beginnings. It is also Spring Equinox which of course is a change from the dark half of the year over to the light half of the year. We always hope that new beginnings will be good, however, it may seem to many that the happy new beginnings are not on the table this year. Do not believe it. We are all going through things, all over the world. However, I firmly believe that these things will bring us together in ways that we did not envision throughout the pandemic and political upheavals experienced over the last three or more years.
Remember…it is the light half of the year; a new beginning is afoot. Things will be alright.
Ways to celebrate Ostara
Let us focus then on how we can be the light in each other’s lives and how we can help each other. We can donate money to those who need it most. We can do spells. We can visit people who need some human companionship [but still wear your masks if visiting elderly and/or immuno-supressed folks]. We can join soup kitchens to cook and serve the homeless. This is a good way to celebrate the feasting that is part of Ostara. We can do so many things to reach out to those who may need that little bit of human kindness to get through another day.
By helping others, we help ourselves. Most of us do not go out to help others simply so we get something out of it for ourselves. I have known a few people who did use doing for others to make themselves feel better and funnily enough, it drove them to do more because the happiness they felt for the doing of these things only made them addicted to doing more. I call that a win.
If for your own reasons you can not do any of these things perhaps if you can take the time to put forth healing thoughts for others or just ring up someone you know who might be alone to have a chat. This is just as important, perhaps even more so, as anything else.
What we do not want to do is dwell. We can not sit and dwell on the bad, we must dwell on the good. If we focus on the positive outcomes that we wish to see, we will get at least part of it…maybe much more. Remember the Universe? It listens.
For the children…
Plush bunnies and chocolate eggs, yes please! I am not in favour of sugary treats much for young ones [or older ones, either!] but it is Ostara, after all. As most Wiccan or Pagan families already raise their children with knowledge of Sabbats and the ways of their beliefs and culture, new families of the Pagan community may struggle to help their young ones to understand some aspects of what they believe. This may be helpful – Ostara Worksheets. There are 21 pages and look to be easily used by ages 10 and up, some younger depending on the child. You can find these here – Ostara Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com – KidsKonnect, January 3, 2019
Taking a walk in the countryside with your children is a good way to celebrate. No countryside? Parks are good places to make nature discoveries as well. Even your garden is place of natural discovery. I have no less than thirty naturally growing “weeds” aka worts or herbs, whichever you call them including Chamomile, Nettle, Dandelion, Feverfew and loads of others which I use in my practise, growing in my back garden,. It is how I taught my daughters which ones are useable and which are not.
Whatever you do today to celebrate Ostara, I hope you find joy and peace from the doing of it. Keep the love going all year round!
Many thanks for reading and warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x