… the earth that runs through me…
Celtic Switzerland runs through my veins, by the heart beat of her ancient land. From neolithic Lake Neuchâtel to Sion’s 6400 BC megaliths. A place where remnants of the worship of Inanna and Ishtar have been excavated, and Dana was the goddess of the region; thought by historians perhaps beings the goddess Danu of the Tuatha de Dannan of the insular Celts of Ireland and Scotland.
I’m an Alpine Celt by blood and by bone. An ancestral daughter of an old family who reaches back in time, before feudal kings and popes warred on the fertile lands at the southern foot of the Alps.
The water from my great grandfather’s well was a source of inspiration for magical intentions and healings, accessed regularly in times of need.
As a very small child, I remember my great-grandparents and grandmother practicing the art of honouring the Goddess of Spring. On Ostara, a clear crystal bowl was filled with water. Bright green shoots and yellow buddings of daffodils were placed around it. A tall white candle was carved with our family name into the wax and placed into the bowl of water. We took turns whispering our wishes and dreams into a flower or leaf, then dropped it into the water bowl. Then the candle was lit, and, for me, spring had officially begun.
Ostara, or Spring Equinox, is the halfway point between Imbolc and Beltane, celebrated by the ancient Celts. Vernal (Spring) Equinox 2021 arrives on March 20th at 0537 hours EST.
There is historical documentation of Ostara by Venerable Bede (672/3–735 CE), a monk of Wearmouth-Jarrow in the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria, and Vatican scholar assigned to observe and document the Celtic earth-based religions during the 6th c. christianizing of England.
“March is named for their goddess Hretha, to whom they sacrificed at this time. April has a name which is now translated ‘Paschal month’, and which was once called after a goddess of theirs named Eostre, in whose honour feasts were celebrated in that month. Now they designate the Paschal season by her name, calling the joys of the new rite by the time-honoured name of the old observance.”
As Earth-based practitioners, we acknowledge Ostara as a time for opening the heart to forgiveness and releasing the past. Embracing the new. Letting go, and moving forward into new Earth energies.
Ostara is a time for cleansing and clearings. It is Imbolc continued, to create renewal, self-care, and healing.
Now, we make peace with old energies and release them.
We invoke new energies to bring forth the new manifestations in our hearts that we self-realized at Imbolc.
We create ritual with Mother Earth as the Maiden Goddess of Spring, with the promise of fertility, the lengthening of days and re-emergence of wildlife, and the surge of hormones within all youthful bodies to make love and courtship.
We decorate our homes with fresh springtime blooms, perhaps daffodils, hyacinth and freshly budding greenery.
Now we plant the seeds of our wishes, hopes and dreams for our futures, the tiny wishes in our hearts, to grow strong and full as the sun radiates into longer, more luxuriously plentiful days of warmth in the Earth and our own bodies.
We may decide to plant each wish, sweetly and symbolically represented by perhaps a flower or vegetable seed, even a tree. Seeds lovingly potted into handfuls of fresh soil with strong intent, nurtured daily with the magical breath and incantations from the love in our hearts and the fire and will in our bodies and souls.
We give birth to the newness of our Selves. 🪴
Alpine Celts honoured the water Goddesses of rivers and their tributaries, lakes and steams.
Water brings life, new growth, and the promise of nourishment and beauty.
Water Goddesses of wells, streams, and particularly living springs were so important, the Celtic people kept wells with alters to water Goddesses. A living stream offered divination by scry; observing bubbles, intuiting the future for problem solving, and find practical solutions.
Water Goddesses are honoured at Ostara, or Spring Equinox. It’s the halfway point between Imbolc and Beltane, introducing the warm awakening of Mother Earth, when the ice melts and the water runs free again until crocuses and daffodils emerge from Her terrain.
Neolithic Euroasia had it’s water goddesses. Naria, water Goddess of the Aane River, a tributary of the Rhine, that feeds into the North Sea, was honoured as the Aane River Goddess by the Celts. At the time, the Celts were exploring from the mouth of the Aane to the North Sea, discovering Denmark, Norway, France, Scotland, and Ireland.
Today’s modern Celtic Pagans, Neo-Pagans, Neo-Druids and Neo- Heathens continue the ancient traditions of Ostara.
Blessed be 🌀🕊
The animal kingdom offers us the most fertile and magical of sentient beings. Hares are the optimum fertility symbols of springtime because of their amazing ability to carry a litter, and become impregnated and carry yet another litter within their bodies along with the initial litter. The brown hare will attract and mate during pregnancy, becoming pregnant while pregnant! A male hare can fertilize a female during late pregnancy with the new embryos developing about four days before delivery of the first pregnancy. 🐇 🐇🐇🐇🐇🐇🐇🐇🐇🐇🐇🐇🐇🐇
Leave a Reply