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What is the Spring Equinox?

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What is the Spring Equinox? Empty What is the Spring Equinox?

Post by HypnoDude March 19th 2009, 7:45 pm

Some Pagans call the first day of spring, the vernal equinox, Ostara. It is a day for all to celebrate longer daylight hours, returning warmth and the start of planting.

Ostara is the day of equal daylight and equal darkness. The lethargy of winter is dissipating and there is the promise of life becoming more exuberant. Soon, the fields will be green. The leaves will return to the trees, flowers will bloom and seeds will be sown for the harvesting. It is a time of new beginnings. Animals stir and create new generations. The world feels a sense of rebirth.

For the Pagans, there will be the rites of spring and celebration! All can celebrate this joyous day as is wished.

The Pagan Rite
Pagans decorate their altars with a light green cloth and candles, flowers, a bowl of soil, a wand, a large seed, flowers, parchment and something to write with. March flowers are violets and jonquils. Any flower can be used.

Pagans use a bell to begin the rite of erecting the temple, an imaginary circle. The high priest and/or priestess lead a chant for all to join in and welcome spring. Flowers are held. The group dances around the circle clockwise. Singing may accompany the movements. Three rings of the bell signal the end of the dance. There is another chant to welcome spring and to plant what one hopes will come to fruition.

Meditation follows this with each person deciding what is desired, feeling the need and the attainment of that which is wanted. The need could be to develop a quality such as gentleness or an opportunity or something for another person. When the bell is rung thrice, the parchment is passed from person to person and each writes what is desired. This plants the seed within the mind and helps the person to attain what is wanted. When this is done, the leader takes the parchment to the altar and lights it, allowing the ashes to fall into the earth in the bowl. While doing so, the leader voices a general affirmation. The ashes are mixed with the soil with a special knife. The participants move around the circle, hugging and/or kissing each other. Ale and cakes are eaten. The temple is cleared. A feast and entertainment follow.

The Feast
Traditional foods are eggs, symbols of fertility, ham or other cured meat which signifies that soon, there will be fresh meat and fresh greens, such as dandelion and early ripening vegetable, like asparagus symbolizing no longer having to eat root vegetables that store well.

Ostara Feast Menu
Ham with Mustard Sauce

Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce

Salad greens with Balsamic Vinegar Dressing

Potato casserole

Ice cream parfaits

Mustard sauce: Mix ¼ c honey mustard, 1 tsp. dry mustard, ¼ c salad dressing, and 2 Tbs sour cream until blended.

Faux Hollandaise Sauce: Thoroughly blend ½ c salad dressing, ½ c sour cream, ¼ tsp lemon juice and 1/8 tsp dry mustard. Heat through. Don’t boil.

Balsamic Vinegar Dressing: Mix together ¾ c olive oil, ¼ c. balsamic vinegar, 1 large clove minced garlic and ¼ tsp crumbled dried oregano.

Potato casserole: Lightly grease a 9 x 13 baking dish. Slice 4-5 medium potatoes, 4-5 medium onions and 7 hard boiled eggs about 1/6” thick. Put a layer of potatoes on the bottom of the pan. Dot with margarine. And sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Add layer of onions, then layer of egg slices. Repeat until the ingredients are used, ending with a layer of potatoes. Dot with margarine and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 425º for 30 minutes or until done.

Parfaits: Put favorite ice cream flavor into individual serving dishes. Pour desired liqueur over ice cream

http://paganismwicca.suite101.com/article.cfm/a_pagan_celebration_of_spring

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What is the Spring Equinox? Tina2
Work like you dont need the money, Love like you've never been hurt, Dance like nobody's watching.
~ Randall G. Leighton~


"Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass...it's about learning how to Dance in the rain." ~Unknown
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Post by HypnoDude March 19th 2009, 7:52 pm

Ostara (Spring Equinox) Rituals

Ostara aka Eostre is the Neopagan High Day associated with the Spring Equinox, and thus takes place on or near March 21st. We have no evidence that the ancient Celts celebrated this holiday, but we do know that in Wales the holiday is called Alban Eilir or Mid-Spring. Similar themes are shown to us throughout many cultures - acknowledgment of the lengthening day, the greening of the Earth, hares, eggs and special flowers to name a few.

The original feast of Oestre at the Vernal Equinox was a time for ritually blessing the fields and seed. If you wish to participate in the old traditions, try any of the following: Wear the color green, ritually plant seeds, draw water from a running stream before sunrise, dye eggs and decorate with magic symbols to exchange with friends and loved ones.

Taken from The Wheel of the Year at Muin Mound Grove, ADF by Rev. Skip Ellison

http://www.adf.org/rituals/celtic/ostara/

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What is the Spring Equinox? Tina2
Work like you dont need the money, Love like you've never been hurt, Dance like nobody's watching.
~ Randall G. Leighton~


"Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass...it's about learning how to Dance in the rain." ~Unknown
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Post by Spirit-Being March 23rd 2009, 5:02 pm

Wonderful post i love the fact that the pagans celebrate the spring equinox makes me wonder why more people do not celebrate this day as a national holiday. I love spring and the beauty spring brings, if i can remember i will start celebrating this time of year Yearly. This post also made me hungry Very Happy Good Foods, i stopped reading in the middle to make a snack couldn't help myself i did finish reading Wonderful to know people do celebrate the Renewal of Spring.

Many Blessings

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