Ostara Ritual

It's Ostara, and it's a time of year in which many Wiccans and Pagans choose celebrate the balance of light and dark that heralds the beginning of spring. It's a time to celebrate new life and rebirth -- not only the physical embodiment of renewal, but the spiritual as well.

Colors - To get an idea of what colors are appropriate for spring, all you really have to do is look outside. Notice the yellows of the forsythia blooming behind your house, the pale purples of lilacs, the green of new leaves appearing in the melting snow. Pastels are often considered spring colors as well, so feel free to add some pinks and blues into the mix if the idea strikes you. Decorate your altar in any of these colors -- try a pale green altar cloth with some purples and blues draped across it, and add some yellow or pink candles to carry the color up.
The Balance of the Equinox - Altar decor should reflect the theme of the Sabbat. Ostara is a time of balance between light and dark, so symbols of this polarity can be used. Use a god and goddess statue, a white candle and a black one, a sun and moon, even a yin/yang symbol.
New Life - Ostara is also a time of new growth and life -- add potted plants such as new crocuses, daffodils, lilies, and other magical spring flowers. This is the time of year when animals are bringing forth new life too -- put a basket of eggs on your altar, or figures of new lambs, rabbits, calves, etc. Add a chalice of milk or honey -- milk represents the lactating animals who have just given birth, and honey is long known as a symbol of abundance.
Other Symbols of the Season
Seeds and bulbs
Caterpillars, ladybugs, bumblebees
Symbols of nature deities -- Herne, Flora, Gaia, etc.
Gemstones and crystals such as aquamarine, rose quartz, and moonstone
Ritual fires in a cauldron or brazier
Supplies for Ritual:
A bowl of earth
A white candle
A black sheet for each participant
For this rite, the High Priestess (HPs) or High Priest (HP) should be the only person at the altar. Other participants should wait in another room until called. If you're doing the rite outside, the group can wait some distance away from the altar.
"The cauldron of the mother her mysteries wise and deep. Rise now as I call thee this sacred space to keep. The mother supports me, the consort defends me, the guardians surround me, with a web of golden stars. Above and below, around and about I charge this circle, in and out. And legions await my word, so be it."
Walk to the east area "I greet the East, direction of Air: Gentle breezes and strong winds, Realm of the beauty of clouds and birds, Bearer of the weather that touches us all, The breath of life I inhale and exhale. I am a part of all around me."
Walk to southern area "I greet the South, direction of Fire: Candle flame, bonfire, starlight, and sunlight,The energy that warms me and gives life to the world I inhabit, The energy that pulses along my nerves. I am a part of all around me."
Walk to western area, "I greet the West, direction of Water: Rain, snow, rivers, and lakes, The great encircling ocean from which all life first came, The blood which flows through my veins still bearing the saltiness of that original home.I am a part of all around me."
Walk to northern area "I greet the North, direction of Earth: Metal and stone, hill, and valley, Mother who bears and nourishes all life--root and leaf, Fur and feather and scale and skin, Muscle and bone and brain cell. I am a part of all around me."
____________________________________________________________________The first person in the group waits outside the circle, covered from head to toe in the black sheet. If your group is comfortable with skyclad rituals, you can be nude under the sheet -- otherwise, wear your ritual robe. Once the HPs is ready to begin, she calls the first participant into the altar area, cutting an opening in the circle as the person enters and then closing it behind them.
The participant, still covered in the black sheet, kneels on the floor before the altar.
The HPs greets the participant, and says: "Today is the time of the Spring equinox. Ostara is a time of equal parts light and dark. Spring has arrived, and it is a time of rebirth. The planting season will soon begin, and life will form once more within the earth. As the earth welcomes new life and new beginnings, so can we be reborn in the light and love of the gods. Do you, (name), wish to experience the rebirth of spring, and step out of the darkness into the light?"
The participant replies with an affirmative answer. The HPs takes the salt from the altar, and sprinkles it over the sheet-clad participant, saying: "With the blessings of the earth, and the life within the soil, you are reborn in the eyes of the gods."
Next, the HPs takes the lit incense and passes it over the participant, saying: "With the blessings of air, may knowledge and wisdom be brought to you upon the winds."
The HPs takes the burning candle and (carefully!) passes it over the participant, saying: "May the fire of the spring sun bring growth and harmony into your life."
Finally, the HPs sprinkles water around the participant, and says: "With the blessings of water, may the chill and darkness of winter,be swept away by the warm spring rains. Rise! Step forth out of the darkness, and climb into the light. Awaken once more in the arms of the gods."
At this point, the participant slowly emerges from the black sheet. Remember, this is a symbolic rebirth. Take your time if you feel you need to. As you pull the sheet back away from you, remember that you are not only stepping into the light, but putting behind you the darkness of the past six months. Winter is over, and spring has arrived, so take a few moments, as you emerge, to think about the magic of this time of year.
The High Priestess then welcomes the participant, saying: "You have stepped once more into the light, and the gods welcome you. "
Repeat the ceremony until all members of the group have been "reborn". If you are performing this rite as a solitary, obviously you would speak the lines of the HPs yourself, and bless the area around yourself with the dirt, incense, candle and water. Once everyone in the group has gone through the rebirthing, Light and dark are equal, as are positive and negative. Consider, for a while, the polarity of this season. Think about the balance you wish to find in your life, and consider how you may work harder to find harmony within yourself.
Now relax you body and calm your mind. You are about to create a sacred sanctum deep inside your own mind. Close your eyes and visualise a forest clearing or a beautiful garden where you feel good. In one corner of the garden or forest clearing there is a cave.
In front of the entrance is a huge round stone preventing others from entering. Yet it is no hindrance to you as this is your own special private cave. It was you that put the stone there in the first place. On the stone you see a sigel or special symbol. Only you know what it looks like. See it now; it is your own mark. As you pass your hand across this sigel it glows bright and the stone rolls aside so you can enter the cave.
Once inside you turn back towards the stone and see the same mark on the inner side. Pass your hand across it once more and the stone rolls back securing the cave and keeping you safe. Only you can open it.
As you walk a short distance into the cave you see a flight of steps hewn into the bare rock floor. There are ten steps leading downwards. They lead to your own private sanctum. This sanctum is your Hall of Miracles. Whatever thoughts you create here will soon become objective reality in your waking life.
Count the steps as you slowly descend. 1… 2… 3… 4… 5… 6… 7… 8… 9… 10. With each step you feel more relaxed. As you descend deeper and deeper, you become more calm and relaxed. You feel marvelous!
As you step off the 10th. stair you see your sanctum stretching out before you. It is a great hall with flaming torches set all around the walls. This is your "HALL OF MIRACLES ". Here you will create the things you need. Here you see the things, people and events exactly as you want them to be. You see everything clearly with your inner eyes. You smell all the smells clearly. You feel all the feelings intensely. This inner world is just as real as the outer one.
When you have finished seeing and feeling everything just as you want it to be, dismiss it quickly from your mind with the words "So mote it be!" These words are spoken by your inner self. They cannot be heard in the waking world. Now say, "I love myself, I love myself. I love myself enough to grant myself all the things I have just created. What I have created in the world within, is now becoming just as real in the world without, for this is my Hall of Miracles!"
Now return the way you came, counting the steps from ten back up to one. Walk back through the cave until you see the stone. As you pass your hand across the sigel the stone rolls away and you walk out into the bright sunshine. Remember to close the entrance in the now familiar way before allowing the scene to fade.
When you feel ready, open your eyes. You are back in waking conscious, fully confident that the things you created are becoming objective reality.
____________________________________________________________________Take the drink-filled chalice in left hand and athame in right. Slowly lower athame into chalice, saying: "As the athame is to the male, so the chalice is to the female; And conjoined, they become one in truth. Let the fruits of union promote life.Let all be fruitful and let wealth be spread throughout the lands." Take a sip of the drink. Pass to the next person "May you never thirst"
Hold the plate of cakes in left hand and athame in right. Draw an invoking Earth pentagram over the cakes, saying: "Oh gracious Lord and Lady of abundance, Bless these cakes and infuse them with Your love, Bestowing health, strength, joy and peace." Take a bite of the cake. Pass to the next person "May you never hunger"
Walk to the north "I thank the North, direction of Earth: For metal and stone, hill, and valley, I am a part of all around me.I thank you, North, for joining me today. Go if you must, stay if you will. Blessed Be."
Walk to the west "I thank the West, direction of Water: For rain, snow, rivers, and lakes, I am a part of all around me. I thank you, West, for joining me today. Go if you must, stay if you will. Blessed Be."
Walk to the south "I thank the South, direction of Fire: For candle flame, bonfire, starlight, and sunlight, I am a part of all around me. I thank you, South, for joining me today. Go if you must, stay if you will. Blessed Be."
Walk to the East "I thank the East, direction of Air: For gentle breezes and strong winds, I am a part of all around me. I thank you, East, for joining me today. Go if you must, stay if you will. Blessed Be."
"The web of life is an endless circle never to die only to change form. What was begun is now finished, welcome home these energies borne. This circle is open never broken. It is so."
Daily Habits to start including in your life as part of a Healthier cycle.
*Morning Devotional: wake up, take a deep breath. go to your altar and light a candle/incense and greet your vision of the Lord/Lady. Give thanks, ask for guidance.
*Daily Affirmations: Instead of being a zombie as you get dressed and get cleaned up in the bathroom, try some simple affirmations to put you in the right frame of mind for the day.
*Get Dressed: look at your clothes in terms of their correspondences - what do you want to enhance/project today? Think about what colors/textures/shapes you wear and how you can use them to give you a magickal boost.
*At the end of the day: shake off the day with a workout and some spiritual cleansing to refresh yourself inside and out! Take some time out for yourself: take a magickal bath, read, do a bedtime meditation, enjoy a special herbal tea, write in a journal - whatever you feel like to rejoin your body and mind.
*Have a big glass jar where you see it often. Each time something of pleasure, or good fortune happens in your life, drop a penny or a pebble into the jar. Another pretty idea would be to use those glass pebbles that are sold for use in fish tanks. You will see your 'good fortune' building up.
*Have a special calendar with large squares for the days and put on a special sticker when the good things occur. This could be a gold star or a red heart, or any other symbol you feel appropriate. Or when you meet a goal. Visual aid to showing Improvement.
*Prepare a thank-you candle. This could be a very large white candle and you could also mark it with a rune, eg Gebo which is an X. This would represent the joyful exchange of energies between the Self and the Universe. Light it every day and think of the good things that happened today.
*Leave an offering to Gaia or Her creatures by sprinkling cornflour, grain or bird seed on the ground.
*If you like beading you could also make a necklace and/or bracelet by adding a bead to a cord for each positive event
Cleansing Bath
1st smudge (burn sage) to clear away the negative energy in your home. Then take a spiritual cleansing bath using the 5 senses and the 4 elements. The recipe for this bath is handful of sea salt, a pinch of baking soda, a drip of lavender oil or lavender bubble bath, light a candle (dim the lights), light an incense, turn on some mellow music, and get a nice cool beverage of your choice. Enjoy! Then after your bath spend 20 minutes in the sun to re-energize yourself. I do this like once a week.

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