Ostara Blessings

Ostara Primroses
Ostara blessings to you all! 
I hope you all had a wonderful time celebrating with family and friends if that is your custom or are simply enjoying the return of longer days and the returning light if Ostara is not on your path.... 

We started celebrating early this week with a 'quiet' Saturday night of family bowling as the start (the only one she thought) of my wonderful Mum's 70th Birthday celebrations. Not that it was never going to be quiet with 10 of us laughing and shrieking our way through the multi lane breakdown and move to another lane, all 3 hours of it, topped off by a celebratory take away! It was at this point that we broke the news to her loveliness, that despite her no fuss/no party embargo on promise of actual and severe bodily harm, that we had sneakily arranged a lovely weekend away with all the family next weekend in the beautiful Ashdown Forest, just over an hours drive away. Strange, I got the blame for arranging it, me, really ? - despite my protestations of blame at my Dad and Brother! I guess one look at our faces and she knew the truth straight away! Just how do Mum's do that?Luckily she was delighted at the thought of it, even more so that we are taking the dogs too. She think's that there are 8 of us going, I 'forgot' to mention the 6 other beloved family members driving down from Yorkshire and Norfolk......  I may actually burst with excitement before then!

Despite all the shenanigans (I love that word)
Pre Sunrise Medway Valley.....
on Saturday I managed to haul myself out of bed at 4 on Sunday morning to pick my friend Shelley up to meet our friends from NWK Pagan Green Circle to watch the sunrise at the Coldrum Stones at nearby Trottiscliffe (pronounced Trosley). We arrived about 45 minutes before dawn and were lucky enough to be greeted by haunting owl hoots echoing through the darkness as we made our way to the stones and then the rustling and cackling of some lively nearby pheasants, hidden in the undergrowth next to where we were seated on the top of the mound. Now when I say we watched the sunrise, I mean it in the loosest British sense and I mean it got lighter, slowly! 

Rain Energy
We'd had a conversation earlier about an ancient presence that someone had felt before there, a presence who had been watching people holding ceremonies on the mound with wry amusement that they were on top of the mound as opposed to lower down at the entrance to the burial chamber, which stayed with me whilst I took time to ground myself again before our simple ceremony where we called in the 4 corners and elements of the circle and offered hot cross buns and mead to the Goddess and God of the land - as I've said before this particular group is an eclectic multi path group and we all respect each others beliefs and incorporate all in our very simple ceremonies. How the world could use that principle at the moment. 
I love this photo of the stones in the half light, it was spitting with rain as I took it, but has left an amazing image - odd where they start and end though! The distant lights of Maidstone on the horizon looked to me  like the
The Clootie Tree
curious peeping eyes of giants... it must have been the early start getting to me!

The clootie tree there always confuses me, part of me loves it and part of me worries about the environmental impact of the offerings left on it's boughs. Traditionally these were rags dipped in the sacred waters of springs and applied to the bodies of those seeking healing, later they were hung in trees to honour the spirits of the land and the ancestors, a practice continued after Christianity came at saint's wells as well as the practice of leaving offerings or votives, which in turn lent it's name to votive candles etc. 
Today however, the ribbons, wind chimes and tokens festooning the tree felt like part of the site, I was particularly taken with this hand made dream catcher that spun in the early morning light. As the final part of our simple ceremony we planted some sunflowers to take home mark the Spring Equinox and to reflect and the growth of personal ideas and projects. 
Ostara Altar
After a quick power nap and a stint as Mum's taxi, I headed off to Cheriton near Folkestone for the afternoon as I had been invited by the lovely Jenny to join her local group of like minded ladies for their Spring Equinox Ceremony and to spend some quality time connecting with Goddess as well as exploring and celebrating the Spring Equinox energies and blessings - how could I refuse an invitation like that? 
A warm welcome awaited me from friends yet to be made and after introductions we added our contributions to the altar - I had found some beautiful 'easter' butterflies, not very traditional I grant you, but the whole cocoon and change concept felt egg-like to me - new beginnings, transformations etc.  We called in our circle, all of us taking our place in the wheel of the year, mine being the Mother, The Grain Goddesses - of course as well calling in Goddess in all Her guises especially related to Ostara/Spring Equinox.
The name that I had been pulled to from
Roman Goddess Flora at Pompeii*
the list I was offered and chosen to research was 
Flora a minor Roman Goddess of flowers, youthfulness and fertility, depicted her on the walls at Pompeii. She was particularly connected with blossom and fruit bearing plants - appropriate offerings to her being fruit, honey and grain - of course! She was also called upon to protect the crops from the fungal infection known as rust which has cropped up before on my path, back in April and my post 'Connections'. Wry smile here, I might have known! 
A beautiful afternoon ensued, discussions about our precious maiden selves, lovingly looked back on with tenderness, humour and forgiveness,  as well as a few head shakes and plenty of ribald teenage energy! We followed this with intentions for the future and seeds sewn, all frankly discussed and nurtured in the womb room of our circle as it became
Ostara Eggs
apparent and known as for evermore! 

Personal goals and wishes moved forward from secret thoughts hidden away in the deepest part of our psyches to potential possibilities, all the way to 'why the hell nots?'!! We lovingly and playfully decorated eggs for the altar and also egg shells which we planted cress seeds in as well, now adorning my window sill altar at home! We finished the afternoon by being led in a wonderful meditation, before sharing a yummy feast together - what a perfect afternoon with some amazing women, proper legitimate Goddessing! 
Thank You Ladies - Just what I needed!!

Wishing You All A Wonderful Easter, however you are celebrating - I will be nestled in a beautiful farmhouse with my wonderful and beloved family celebrating Mum's 70th Birthday in style - chocolate and scrumptious food will be eaten, wine will be drunk, board games will be played, dogs will be walked whatever the weather and more precious memories will be made and stored in our forever files. 

Have A Blessed Week x x 

* Photo courtesy of Pinterest


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