Welcome to the Spring Equinox , otherwise known as Ostara, where the ancient Germanic goddess of the spring transformed a bird into a hare, and the hare responded by laying colored eggs for her festival. For this cycle we have included a Widom category, an introduction to Mindfulness and the Celtic Spiritual Tradition.
Ostara represents a point of perfect balance on the journey through the Wheel of the Year. Night and day are of equal length and in perfect equilibrium - dark and light, masculine and feminine, inner and outer, in balance. But the year is now waxing and at this moment light defeats the dark. The natural world is coming alive, the Sun is gaining in strength and the days are becoming longer and warmer.
The gentle whispered promise of Imbolc is fulfilled in the evident and abundant fertility of the Earth at Ostara. It is time for the hopes of Imbolc to become action. The energy is expansive and exuberant. It is the first day of Spring!
Wisdom: An introduction to Mindfulness and the Celtic Spiritual Tradition with relaxing Mindfulness sessions sprinkled with Ancient Irish Blessings, Celtic Triads and Gaelic Proverbs. For the Celts, there was no separation between the world of humanity and the Otherworld, that of the spirits and creatures, or between nature and the subtle process of creation.
Ostara takes its name after the Germanic goddess, Eostre/Ostara, who was traditionally honoured in the month of April with festivals to celebrate fertility, renewal and re-birth. It was from Eostre that the Christian celebration of Easter evolved, and indeed the naming of the hormone Eostrogen, essential to women's fertility. The Goddess Ostara has the shoulders and head of a hare. The Symbols of Ostara are the Hare and the Egg.
In Celtic tradition, the hare is sacred to the Goddess and is the totem animal of lunar goddesses such as Hecate, Freyja and Holda - the hare is a symbol for the moon. The Goddess most closely associated with the Hare is Eostre, or Ostara. The date of the Christian Easter is determined by the phase of the moon. The nocturnal hare, so closely associated with the moon which dies every morning and is resurrected every evening, also represents the rebirth of nature in Spring. Both the moon and the hare were believed to die daily in order to be reborn - thus the Hare is a symbol of immortality. It is also a major symbol for fertility and abundance as the hare can conceive while pregnant. Over the centuries the symbol of the Hare at Ostara has become the Easter Bunny who brings eggs to children on Easter morning, the Christian day of rebirth and resurrection.
One of the inner mysteries of Druidry is the Druid’s egg. Life-giving, it is the egg protected by the hare, which is the symbol of Alban Eilir. The egg (and all seeds) contains 'all potential', full of promise and new life. It symbolises the rebirth of nature, the fertility of the Earth and all creation. In many traditions the egg is a symbol for the whole universe. The 'cosmic' egg contains a balance of male and female, light and dark, in the egg yolk and egg white. The golden orb of the yolk represents the Sun God enfolded by the White Goddess, perfect balance, so it is particularly appropriate to Ostara and the Spring Equinox when all is in balance for just a moment, although the underlying energy is one of growth and expansion.
✤March 21st to 23rd (variable by a day) ✤Quarter Day ✤The countryside begins to stir ✤Our life force begins to flow ✤Plant those seeds ✤Begin to cultivate your hopes and dreams ✤Deepen into your life ✤Build your relationships
A Message from Ostara:
Promote Greener Research: Switch your laptop search engine to Ecosia (ecosia.org), a social enterprise that is CO2 negative, and plants a tree for each search you make. At last count, it had reached 65 million trees. Not bad for a business that only started in 2009.
Ostara Meditation: Spring is well and truly here now. Early flowers grace our woodland floors, taking advantage of the early light before the leaf canopy closes out the sun later in the year. It is time to act, time to look forward to a harvest. Those seeds of emerging ideas that you sifted through at Imbolc... begin to cultivate them. Please enjoy our Ostara wheel of the year meditation.
Ostara Inspiration: There's a vampire on the loose. Whether you're at work, at home or out on the town, this vampire is taking a bite out of your wallet and harming the environment. But, there's no need to barricade the house and stock up on garlic just yet. This vampire works entirely though your electrical outlets and stopping this monster can be as easy as pulling a few plugs.
Recommended App: 5 Calls: MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD. Turn your passive participation into active resistance. Facebook likes and Twitter retweets can’t create the change you want to see. Calling your Government on the phone can. Spend 5 minutes, make 5 calls. Calling is the most effective way to influence your representative.
Recommended Book: Grail Alchemy by Mara Freeman: Mara traces the evolution of the Grail from the sacred vessel of the Celtic goddess to the Cup of Christ, revealing a spiritual path rooted in the mysteries of the Goddess, the Grail, and the Sword. Drawing on folk traditions and medieval Arthurian romances as well as alchemy and wisdom of the mystics of Glastonbury, Freeman reveals the ancient Celtic teachings of the Western Mystery tradition. She shows that attaining the Grail involves achieving full consciousness of the soul. Then, as a Grail-bearer, you can bring the light of the Grail into the world for the healing of self and others.
Recommended Movie: Food Inc: Documentary filmmaker Robert Kenner examines how mammoth corporations have taken over all aspects of the food chain in the United States. Narrated by author and activist Eric Schlosser, the film features interviews with average Americans about their dietary habits, commentary from food experts like Michael Pollan and unsettling footage shot inside large-scale animal processing plants.
Team Profile: Ronan Burke is the founder of Emerald Isle, a website based on Irish Mythology where he has gathered up a collection of some of the finest and most entertaining stories from Irish myth and legend. Along with each story is presented a a map and guides to get there, as well as suggestions about places to stay and knowledgeable tour guides. Please visit his website for many more tales of Irish folklore.
Celtic Living for the 21st Century: Pester Power: Encourage your school or the school your children attend to ban plastic bottles. If your school hasn't already banned plastic drink bottles, get them to do it now. Encourage entrepreneurial and enterprise projects that promote plastic recycling or better yet plastic free schools, and organise a plastic free water bottle branded with the school logo.
Celtic Whispers Shop: If you like the artwork and style of Celtic Whispers we also offer our designs on physical products as well. We invite you to visit our shop and see if any of our Celtic Designs would look good on a t-shirt, mug or sticker.
Winter sometimes seems so long, that we could be forgiven for wondering whether Spring will ever return. But the Goddess of Spring is merely sleeping through the darkness of Winter, and while she stirs at Imbolc, she is truly awake by the time of the Spring Equinox. Gently deepen into your life once more, grasp hold of the life force that now flows freely through all the cosmos and make it your own.
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