Monday, March 23, 2009

Ostara, the Fulfillment

I hope this new spring season is treating everyone well.

This was my first Ostara celebrated with my friends and family of Shadow Grove. The plan for the day involved egg hunts for the children, and painting wooden eggs, little bird houses, and flower pots. All around, the Grove was showing signs of the new life of spring, and we were surrounding ourselves with its symbols.

The ritual in the early evening did not involve a bonfire as it often did. This time, we were led in a meditation and when we opened our eyes, we were each holding a brightly colored egg. Mine was orange, and I first thought that was not a relevant color to me, but soon came to realize it was perfect. At Imbolc, we each had charged a seed and were told to bring it back with us. During the ritual, while we held on to our eggs for a later purpose, we planted our seed in little peat cups with a little flag marking our names. These seeds will be cultivated and germinated and will later be planted in the Grove garden as a sign of our community, our family. Those who wanted one received a gift of a blooming Narcissus, that many of us planted in the pots we had painted.

The eggs we were given had a special purpose. After the ritual, we trudged back up the steep hill. We were told to draw upon the egg, dividing it into quadrants lengthwise. On either end, we put our name and a symbol that represented our faith (this was a pentacle in my case). We then thought of four things that we wanted, needed, or hoped for and wrote or drew symbols to represent them in each of the quadrants. The task from there was to roll the egg down a hill. When it stops, the quadrant facing up contained what we needed to focus on. Mine was happiness, which I represented by a glowing sun. This is also a feeling I get from the color of my egg, and in line with my wish last Esbat. I then opened up my egg and threw it into the woods so the critters of the Grove could have something to munch on.

After all of that was the feasting and gaiety I've come to expect with this wonderful group of people. Many of us were noting that this was the largest amount of people for a Sabbat that we've yet had. It is so nice to see this ministry growing, though we are near out-growing the ritual space. We have some thinking to do about that dilemma.

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