Ostara Ritual – Blessing the Elements of Springtime

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In the Northern Hemisphere, Ostara falls on March 20th this year.  This event is commonly known as the March Equinox or Vernal Equinox and marks the official first day of Spring.  It’s identified as the time when the Sun crosses the equator line, heading north in the sky.  From this day onward, the planet becomes more tilted toward the Sun, which results in longer days and warmer temperatures.  If your curious about the etymology of the terms, Vernal translates to “new” of “fresh,” while Equinox originates in old Latin combining aequus (equal) and nox (night).  On Ostara, the day and night are of equal length.

The origin of Ostara, like most of our modern pagan celebrations can be found with our Celtic and Saxon ancestors; the latter group used the occasion to celebrate planting and springtime.   The Celtic peoples did not celebrate Ostara as a holiday, but they did mark the time of year as significant.  Since then, Ostara has been “Christianized” into the modern holiday known as Easter.  It is celebrated sometime between March 19th and March 22nd in the Northern Hemisphere.  Ostara is also known as Lady Day, Egg Day, or Alban Eiler (Druidic).  Modern-day celebrations include, but aren’t exclusive to fertility rituals, celebrations of new growth/planting, spring, and the sacred marriage of the Goddess and the God.

As always, the rituals found on this website are free for anyone to use.  Feel free to use some or parts or add something of your own in.

ostara 2021

This ritual is designed for a group and is intended to be performed outdoors with a central bonfire or fire pit. (Please use caution and be aware of windy conditions when working with fire).

What you’ll need to prepare for this ritual (as written)

Alter with green cloth or other Spring color
Quarter Candles (4 total) in these colors – Red (South), Yellow (East), Green (North), and Blue (West)
Goddess Candle – Large White Candle (I use a three wick candle for the Goddess)
Sacred Drinking Vessel filled with clean water
Bowl filled with rich organic soil
Yellow candle to represent the sun

Any portion of the ritual that is bracketed with <> refers to instructions and should not be spoken aloud.

The Ostara Ritual

<Opening Statement – A call to action for the participants to stop talking, gather, and prepare to begin the ritual>

“Let it be called, let it be cast, this sacred circle of present and past; a learning place, a joining space, welcoming all from the human race”

Join Us as We Call the Ostara 2021 Quarters

East
In the East we look to rising sun and the dawning of a new day; the direction from which sunlight breaks across the horizon and floods the fields with golden rays of warmth, light, and hope.  We honor the direction from which the great Air spirits ride the winds to share their message with the mortal world.  We keep our ears tuned to the changing sounds of the winds in hopes of hearing the answers to our earthly questions and to carry away that which no longer serves our greatest and highest good.  <light yellow candle>

South
From the South we look to the perpetual flames that burn endlessly, allowing life as we know it to exist.  Of all the spirits, we find ourselves calling in the Fire spirits most often; not only for heat in the cold months, nor for light in the darkness, but to stand as a pillar of guidance in all that we do.  Fire presents us with a great icon of balance.  It both creates and destroys and can be managed, but never fully controlled.  Staring deep into the red hot coals, our memories are stirred and another part of our lives are revealed. <light red candle>

West
The West is the direction of closure; an end to each day, a time when the toils of labor are completed and the period of rest begins.  The great Water spirits are cyclical in nature, with the tides rushing in and then later departing, sharing space just as the night and the day share the same space.  And yet, water also teaches us that repetition is only useful when it serves us, and sometimes things must take a new path in order to continue moving forward.  <light blue candle>

North
Turning to the North, we commune with all that surrounds us.  The spirits of the Earth are many and spread across the land; mostly hidden except to those who are trusted with the second sight.  As we move into the season of light, the many gifts we enjoy are put on full display for all humans, regardless of status or origin, to enjoy, to use in moderation, and to marvel at.  Today, on this day of balance and equality, we must open our eyes further to see that transformation is everywhere, no just in the seasons of the lands.  Our hearts and our souls are transforming to reach higher and higher plains of existence, where universal knowledge can be revealed. <light green candle>

Goddess
Great Goddess; we stand humbly before you in celebration of the gifts which you have provided us with.  We watch with the eyes of a newborn fawn and the majesty spreading through the forests.  We listen attentively as the air becomes alive with the sounds of springtime and new life.  We bow our heads in thanks, as we see with our own eyes the wonders that you have provided us with.   As we prepare to break the ground and plant the seeds, we give heartfelt thanks to the many blessings you have provided. <light white goddess candle>

ostara 2021

Introduction

On this day of great balance, we gather to exchange ideas, share stories, and to celebrate the coming of Spring.  If you live in a cold area, Ostara seems more meaningful than our brothers and sisters who get to enjoy warm weather throughout the year.   The balancing point has always been seen by human beings as a time of positivity.  A time when all things are, “as they should be”.   It’s something we seek throughout our lives, but can’t always seem to fully get under our control.  Tonight, the world has provided us with a perfect template to learn from, and if we’re lucky enough, we can learn better ways to even out those parts of our lives which have tipped one way or the other.

We all know the history of Ostara, and how the elements of our ancestor’s celebrations have been ‘borrowed’ and repurposed by other religions.  If you are unaware of the story, take a look at last year’s ritual at this link – scroll down to the end and you can read about the Goddess, the egg, and the origins of many of the items used in the modern-day holiday.  It’s a wonderful story that you must share, especially if you have children.  They will adore the references to baby animals, and will learn something at the same time.

Ostara has many different possibilities when it comes to performing a ritual.  Fertility, rebirth, balance, seed and flower blessings, meditations, and the creation of altars are just a few ideas to choose from.  Over the years, we’ve incorporated many of those elements into our rituals, however this year we’ll be deviating from tradition, but in a really cool way.  Tonight we’ll be celebrating Spring and the elements which make it desirable.  Warm sunshine, rich soil, and clean water are integral for planting, so we’ll pay special attention to each one.

Consider this a focused ritual on giving back energy to the planet.  Ritual leaders should feel free to allow time for meditation in between the prayers for each element.

Music of Ostara

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times.  No pagan celebration is complete without music.  Music invigorates the soul, charges the psyche, and eliminates all perceived boundaries between people.  It truly is the most base form of communication.  For tonight, after searching high and low for the appropriate choice, we will be enjoying an instrumental version of the song, “Be Thou My Vision,” which has it’s origin in old Irish.  The video is courtesy of Mína La Voisin.  The song it both soft and uplifting, bringing a feeling of hope, magick, and new beginnings.

Healing the Earth – Both Spiritually and Physically

Most people think that they have no impact on the bigger things in our world.  They are wrong.  History has proven to us again and again that a single individual can change the world, if they put enough heart and soul into the effort.  It’s not instantaneous, but can happen.  Einstein, Gandhi, and Darwin are just a few individuals who made such an impact on the world that they are immortalized in human history.  Others made their mark for cruelty, conquest, and human suffering, but I won’t list them here.   Still others made history by their efforts to conserve and save natural resources, nature preserves, waterways, and keeping this planet clean.  Those folks covered the physical part of conservation.  We’ll cover the spiritual part tonight by offering prayers and blessings to the elements.

Prayer for the Water

<Ritual leader should hold the cup of water above, so that all may bear witness to it>

Great Goddess, Queen of all things which are seen and unseen
As a Springtime Maiden, Summer Mother, or Crone of the Winter
We, the faithful, see you as the one and only truth
A Triple Goddess seen differently throughout the seasons
But of the same substance, the same beauty, and the same power
Your grace and love is universal, to those who accept it
The power of three, the triquetra, the triangle
Water
Whether ice, liquid, or as a great mist upon the land
Water is the universal truth and the true secret of life
That which has no equal nor substitute
We honor you
We sing high praises to the skies
Our voices filled with the energies of the Equinox
On this great night of balance we do pledge
To protect
To preserve
To share
And to teach
For without water, we are without life
Bless the oceans, the lakes, the rivers, and the ponds
Bless the glaciers, the rainfall, and the humidity
Bless those who conserve and those who provide
With reverence and thankfulness
We offer these words of truth

ostara
Magical Water https://www.deviantart.com/crazy-kiwii/art/Magical-Water-173304986

Prayer for the Soil

<Ritual leader should hold the bowl of soil above, so that all may bear witness to it>

Great Goddess, she who walks unseen throughout the lands
She who touches all things in the natural world
Hear our words on this great night of balance
For soon the air will be rich in the smell of turned earth
The dark black tillage, mysterious and captivating
That which we call the land
That which takes the seed and safeguards new growth
That which holds firm under the gentle rain
Hardens under the snows of winter
And yet becomes soft with the energies of toil
That which we call Earth
We honor and praise the land
Our words a testament of our commitment
Our hands proof of our involvement
Our hearts show our love
Unconditional
Unbending
When all things are in balance
We recognize and revere
We appreciate
We offer our unyielding blessings
For that which allows us to provide
To survive
To thrive
With reverence and thankfulness
We offer these words

Prayer for the Sun

<Ritual leader should light and hold sun candle above, so that all may bear witness to it>

Great Goddess, bringer of light to the darkness
On this great night of balance, we feel you
Your ethereal energy surrounds us
Our sight is sharpened and hearing keen
Our senses heightened to new levels
We’ve honored the water
Sung praises to the Earth
And now turn our words to the sun
Oh what a wonder does shine in the sky
Breaking across the horizon with a spectacular rise
Warmth rays pouring forth across the damp mounds
The morning dew evaporating as the temperature rises
Light spilling into every crack and crevice
So that none shall remain in darkness
Words alone cannot state
The importance humankind holds for the sun
We raise our collective conscious
To offer a most humble praise
We raise our open hands to gather the warmth
To share space with the beauty
To be one with the lifegiving sun
If only for but a fleeting moment in time
Yet a moment all are free to enjoy
Again and again
Without ticket or tithe
On this day when space is shared equally
We see the hope of new beginnings
We see growth and accomplishment
With a bright future and golden light
We honor
We cherish
With reverence and thankfulness
We offer these words

Closing the 2021 Ostara Circle

North
Great Spirits of the North, we have offered our most humble blessings on this night of great balance – as we prepare to once again put crops in the ground, we do so with a greater understanding of the gifts that have been bestowed upon us. We embrace our role as a caretaker of the planet and pledge to do our part to preserve it. <extinguish green candle>

West
Great Spirits of the West, we have offered prayers and pledges to take care of the water system and to spread the word that we’re all in this together.  We shall not and cannot forget that water is life and without it, we too shall disappear from existence.  We leave committed to conserve and preserve. <extinguish blue candle>

South
Great Spirits of the South, we cannot forget the importance of fire in our lives and the lives of those around us.  As we ponder all things on this night of great balance, we can see how the mighty flames can both create and destroy and the lessons learned by this truth.  We leave here with a greater understanding of being responsible for that which we set in motion. <extinguish red candle>

East
Great Spirits of the East, we feel you all around us as we near completion of this night of blessings and prayers.  As the days grow and the air warms, the message will not change.  The Great Wheel has turned as it always turns, and we must turn with it or forever be lost to the chaos of confusion.  <extinguish yellow candle>

Goddess
Great Goddess, through our many prayers we have offered our sacred energies back to the land, to the sun, and to the water as evidence that we are more than just participants in this world; we are embedded and committed as members of the fellowship of life.  In closing we once again thank you for the fertile earth that awaits the new seeds, the warmth of the nurturing sun, the refreshing cool, clean water, and the celebration of new life and fertility.  Thank you for your wisdom and love. Thank you for sharing this night with us in our sacred space.  <extinguish Goddess Candle>

“The circle is open but never broken”

“Huzzah!”

ostara 2021

Recommended Reading

I invite you to review our complete library of rituals and ceremonies at this link.

The 2021 Pagan Calendar

Our complete magick archives can be accessed at this link.

 

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