Heralding Ostara

Symbols of Fertility
Ostara blessings to everyone!

Day and Night are in perfect harmony again as the wheel turns, the light returns to the land. This spring festival celebrates renewal, rebirth and fertility. Around us we see the land becoming green and plants bursting into life, whist we also sow seeds for summer and autumn crops. The festival or sabbat is probably named after Ostara/Eostra - an ancient German or anglo-Saxon Goddess of dawn and spring who watches over the budding plants and the fertility of the land. Symbols such as eggs and rabbit reflect the fertility of the season, that were then adopted when Christianity arrived and Ostara gave way to Easter: read more on the Origins of Ostara here. It's worth making the connection between Ostara/Eostra and the names of female hormones estrogen and progesterone....
This year we had our own abundant Ostara
Sylvie and Her Babies
surprise, we knew one of our cats Sylvie was expecting in late March but we awoke at 3.30am on Wednesday to find her giving birth to her beautiful and squeaky kittens at the end of our bed - all 6 of them, pretty good going for her first litter! 

There are now 12 cats in the house, himself says it's like living in Longleat! Mum and babies are all doing well and friends and families are clamouring to offer homes.

Ostara Primroses
 at Coldrum Long Barrow

To celebrate Ostara I met with some friends from North West Kent Pagans for a quiet ceremony up at The Coldrum Stones,  an ancient Long Barrow high in the hills of the North Downs. This ancient burial place has amazing views across the Medway Valley - what a beautiful resting place. As it's only a few miles from where my family appear to have their roots I have often wondered if I have a connection to any of the ancient tribes buried there, maybe they really are my ancestors! I certainly feel a connection to this place and always feel as though someone is near.
I know I've mentioned it before but they there is a beautiful Clootie Tree there, bedecked in fluttering ribbons all year round - unusually there is no well nearby as is usually the case, legends also suggests these places are the homes of nature spirits and Goddesses. Maybe that's the attraction? 

Coldrum Clootie Tree
Yesterday I went a bit earlier to the stones than the rest of the group and sat in peaceful meditation asking the ancestors for healing for someone very precious to me before tying a ribbon on the tree. As always when I visit, I felt that I wasn't alone, sitting deep in thought, there were several occasions when I thought I heard my friends approaching, only to find I was still on my own apart from the deep barks of a nearby pheasant somewhere in the hedgerows. When they arrived we held a simple ceremony, calling in the 4 quarters and elements, honouring the God, Goddess, the Ancestors and The Spirits of the Place as well as sharing food and drink before offering some back to the land and discussing what the herald of spring meant to us all on our paths. I tentatively voiced my theory on the ancestors buried there being connected to me and was delighted that others who were local also felt the same!  My contribution to the ceremony was a  a short poem that I had written. Which I have shared with you below.

The Return Of Spring                    

Wrapped in it's blanket of the cosmos, the earth turns again.
Night and day resume their eternal dance in equal balance.
Light returns to our skies and lengthens our days.

Whilst spring winds blow life over the land,
Warming the earth and awakening it's cradled seeds
That unfurl and stretch themselves skyward.

Birds return to the trees amidst cheerful bird song to nest.
Lambs gambol playfully through newly green fields,
A joyful celebration of rebirth.

Trees and hedgerows burst into bud, 

Resplendent in their leafy finery 
And their frothing heads of blossom.

They herald the fruitful return of the Goddess,
Revelling in the abundant fertility.
The land calls joyously to us -

I have awaken,
I am renewed
I am reborn.

I've still got some things planned for Ostara which I will share with you next week - have a wonderful time celebrating whatever you do!

Have  a Blessed Week x x 


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