When I look up the history of Ostara
, I see that it is currently deep in a lot of discourse. A lot of people claim that it is dedicated Eostre, the Goddess of fertility and new beginnings. However, much like any other religion, you will find many people trying to be purists and investigating what actually happened exactly when and why don’t we do it all exactly like the cavemen did? I don’t know about that, but I do know that how you are doing things today and the intention in your heart is what matters most to the Goddess.
What I like about Ostara is the tradition. I like the bunnies and the daffodils everywhere. I like coloring eggs and putting bowls of brightly wrapped chocolates and candy everywhere around my house (my friends like it to, by the way!) I like the big ritual
circles and sharing everything with my friends and family. The lonely grays and winsome blues of winter give way to the pastel rainbows of Spring
and, I feel more awake and alive after my long winter’s hibernation.
However, many rituals will include the retelling of the story of the abduction of Persephone. I find this story insulting to women and, frankly, mean to men, too. Why is every God a rapist or kidnapper? Why is every beautiful young woman a potential victim? Here we have Hades, Lord of the Dead and Master of the Underworld, snatching women out of flowery meadows, because supposedly, he can’t get a date? Oh, come on! He’s LORD OF THE DEAD, forGodsake! I do not like this story and I do not buy it. Not one bit.
You know what I think? I think that Persephone ran off with Hades and her Mom, Demeter, didn’t like it. This arrangement to visit her Mother for half the year and stay with her husband the other half is a compromise. Popular ideology seems to say that any woman that accepts the dark half of herself must be doing so against her will – according to the themes in this old story – and I, honestly, think we should be a little more grown up about it now. Consider that Persephone might actually want to hang out with Hades. What does that say about her? Why would the people of old regard this as impossible? It comes down to control, in the end. Why can’t Persephone just control her own destiny and make her own choices? After all, she is a Goddess, too.
Ostara is the celebration of planting and fertility. It is an excellent time of the year for all those couples out there celebrating their fertility and looking to add a baby to their families. To all of you dedicated and loving couples, I give you my prayers and hopes. May the Goddess bless you and keep you, grant you fertility, and fun!
Because, Ostara is also a time of the year when ritual is called on to be less structured and more laid back, more fun, if you will. Our coven will sacrifice a chocolate rabbit in a fondue pot and we will all take part with marshmallows and strawberries on the ends of our toothpicks – Hail the Goddess! Yes, it is a bit silly and a bit like the trickster, but the rabbit isn’t a symbol of Spring for nothing, you know!
How many of us approach our ritual like a tomb? Demand complete silence like medieval monks that have taken a vow of silence? Is this really what the Goddess wants from us? Sometimes, maybe, but, in the immortal words of Doreen Valiente speaking in the spirit of the Goddess: “Let my worship be within the heart that rejoicest, for behold, all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals. Therefore, let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you.”
Keeping that in mind, all you solitary practitioners out there can also join in some public celebrations
as well. We have two different Ostara celebrations this weekend. Why not go to both?
(1) Ostara at Matrix A Place of Change: March 20th @ 6:30 PM
Location: 1050 Bardstown Rd / Phone: 502-589-8300 They have this to say about their event: “We offer an open eclectic ritual circle for Ostara for all that wish to attend. Potluck Dinner will follow and food donations are welcome. We hope you join us”
(2) Ostara at First Unitarian Church: March 21 Potluck is at 6PM and Circle starts about 7PM. Location: 809 South 4th Street. They have this to say about their event: “Sabbat Circles are open to the public and anyone with a positive path is welcome. Sabbats are on Sunday night and are held at our church, the First Unitarian Church of Louisville. If child care is needed, please contact the church office for arrangements.”
If you are solitary (or just keep an altar in your home), Ostara and spring cleaning go hand in hand. Take down your altar and wash everything off. Clean out the cauldron! Then, put a clean bright altar cloth on and a bunch of flowers. Take a moment to quietly rededicate all your altar tools and just enjoy a few minutes of peace.
If you have any spring time events or would like me to mention your events in this article, just drop me an email or leave a comment below. Remember, if you like this article, subscribe. Happy Ostara Everyone!!!