Blessings of Ostara and Spring Equinox To You All!
I love the fact that here in the Northern Hemisphere it's a moveable feast and can be anywhere between 19th to 21st March. To me it feels very flexible and fluid and If I can't do anything in particular to mark it on the actual day, I feel quite at ease doing something a day or so early or late. Day and Night, Light and Dark are equal in hours, harmonious in perfect balance, it all has a wafty quality for me as though the Sabbat itself really is on Pagan Time! The aspect of duality always appeal to me, every year I say I am going to do some shadow work around this time but as usual what I think I am going to do ends up being a completely different experience to what actually happens!
|The Start Of My Ostara Altar|
This time of year, my altar always builds up slowly, adorned with gifts from the Earth Mother Herself as they are bequeathed to me, and this year was no different. Last Friday I found myself heading off with my lovely friend Neene, who like me is always up an Adventure with a capital A. She'd seen a workshop advertised last year - A Goddess Creation Workshop to be exact and wondered if I might be interested, to be fair she had me at Goddess Creat... and the fact that Himself bought it for me as a Yule present was an added bonus.
So after a super early start of 5.45 am, relishing the fact that Lady Moon was still high and watchfully witnessing the Sun Rise - what a beautiful and apt Equinox moment in itself, we arrived in the wilds of Suffolk. The reason we were so excited? Literally our idea of heaven, hidden away in the woods we found this...
We really were that excited!
|Our Venue For The Day - Will's Earth Lodge|
I think we were both actually squeaking with excitement at this point! We finally stopped squeaking long enough to go and introduce ourselves to our host for the day Will Lord. More squeaking ensued as we discovered the inside of the Earth Lodge....
|Squeak, Squeak, Squeak....|
|More Squeaking then I can type!!|
The one on the left is a resin copy of the Venus of Willendorf and the mounted one is Will's own carving. For those of you who are scratching your heads here, The Venus of Willendorf was a Goddess carving called a Venus Figurine made approximately 25,000 -30,000 years ago most likely symbolic of fertility and The Mother Goddess. So, that's why we were there, to create our own...
Now, other than stylising my mashed potato into a volcano complete with gravy lava and killing off a village of peas, I've never really carved anything before. Daunted? A little. After discussing all things Stone Age with Will, his carving Supremo friend Scott and the other intrepid souls that had joined us, fortified by Tea, we discussed carving, flints and materials found in the nearby Grimes Graves, including a Goddess carving found there dated about 5000 years ago, thought to have been left as an offering along with an ahem, phallus shaped carving to either thank the Goddess for her flint that was mined or maybe to encourage more 'to grow'. No one quite knows and for me that's the wonder of it all!
|My raw block of Chalk from Grimes Graves|
So this is what I started with! Not the creme egg, that was soon demolished and not by my snazzy flint tools that were cut especially for us, dangerous or what, and they let me and Neene loose with them? Already in the sun we were starting to see the difference of the light and the dark in the lines and the shadow, something not lost on us as we approached the Equinox.
Look how sharp they are!! It didn't really occur to me what I was handling until Will said that we were carving chalk that had been cut away 5000 years ago in the flint mine and piled up. 5000 years!! So the hands that cut this chunk out, lived at the same time roughly as 200 generations ago, the same time as my 198 times Great Grandparents.... they were the last hands to touch these! How freaking awesome is that! I sat there for a little while just holding this damp lump of chalk, letting the shape form in my head. For some reason the word replete came to mind, so my Goddess slowly emerged from the rock, scrape by scrape, first tentative and then with more conviction and purpose and you know what, I'm pretty darn impressed with myself...
I did manage to utter the immortal words " I just need to smooth my breasts out" which made us giggle a fair bit, but I decided to leave them as she had been crafted by me, which is a whole lesson in itself for me! Perfectly imperfect.
It really was a beautiful spring day and the changing light lit up the carvings we had crafted, really bringing them to life. What a lovely medium to work with. As we drove home, we were once again blessed with the newly Full Moon Rising in The East and The Sun setting to our West - in almost perfect Harmony. It was truly surreal and exquisite.
So here's my Goddess, all replete on her Oak Disk Throne - gifted to me by the fallen Oak Tree that sadly came down on the Village Green in the recent storms and Ivy that grew up my path and needed trimming back.
|In Her Rightful Place...|
My Ostara Altar is slowly evolving and being gifted to me by the Earth Mother Herself - light and dark, the shadow side of life and death, all in the turn of the wheel, perfect for Equinox.
Have A Blessed Week x x