OSTARA – March 20th-21st
↳ one of the eight festivities on the Celtic Wheel of the Year;
↳ it’s the Celtic celebration of the Spring Equinox: this is why a similar festival can be found in a lot of cultures, even if with different names;
↳ in Ancient Greece, for example, this was the period when Eleusinian Mysteries were celebrated: Persephone came back from the underworld, where she had lived as Hades’ wife and Queen of the Underworld during one third of the year, to join her mother Demeter, who made the earth fertile and rich again after Winter to celebrate Persephone’a return;
↳ the name Ostara comes from Ostara or Eostre, Spring and Fertility goddess, often associated with Ishtar, Aphrodite and Venus;
↳ also cardinal point East, Spring Equinox is consecrated to, and the term Easter derive from the goddess’ name; Christian Easter comes from Jewish Easter but also incorporates elements from older traditions connected to natural cycles: an example of this incorporation is the egg, which has always been a life, creation and rebirth symbol, the origin of all things, sacred to ancient peoples, blessed among Christians.
Spring Equinox (March 20th in 2018) is a transitional gate: from Winter to Spring, from an astrological year that ends to another one that starts.
It is a time of awakening and rebirth, a time of balance of the opposites, of dualities that become One;
it is a time for connection and contact with Nature, a time to re-discover our own nature after Winter.
During this time of transition, we firstly want to let go of anything that no longer serves our evolution (Spring cleaning anyone?) to create space for the New.
It is only after we free up space that we can plant the seeds of our intentions, those seeds we are going to look after during the following months by feeding them right and loving them fondly.
The time has now come to leave the lair to go back to running in the fields,
to recognize the smells that every new Spring brings,
to feel the awakening energy, both in the Earth and in us,
to honour and than the Elements, the Earth and the Sky,
to honour and celebrate Life.
This is exactly what I’m inviting you to do, to leave the lair to perform this simple
R I T U A L
You will need:
– food to close the ritual
- Leave the house and find a natural spot – a little city park could do if you can’t fully immerse yourself in Nature, but choose a place or a time of the day when it’s not full of people to avoid losing attention for their chatting (do not worry if there are other people anyway, to their eyes it’s going to look like you are meditating for the whole duration of the ritual);
- Sit in a comfortable position and, if weather allows, take off shoes and socks in order to have your feet (aka your roots) in direct contat with the Earth.
Back is long, shoulders are relaxed. Place the hand on the knees or thighs, and close the eyes;
- Bring the attention to the breath, let it flow freely, spontaneously, through the nostrils. As you observe the breath, your attention is likely to be distracted by thoughts, sounds or sensations: imagine that your mind is the sky, and let any disturbing elements float away like clouds in the sky; then go back to the breath (keep going for at least 5 minutes – if you need some help in this phase, you can use the Guided Meditation you receive when you subscribe to the newsletter);
- Let the lips slightly open: inhale through the nose, sigh through the mouth; every time you exhale, let go of any tension, worry, thought, and anything that no longer serves your evolution. This way you create space (keep going for as long as you need);
- Now bring the attention to the body and particularly to the parts that are in contact with the Earth: how’s the earth underneath you? Soft or hard? Dry or wet? What sensations do you feel in those parts of the body?
Expand the attention to the whole body: how’s the air that caresses your skin? Cold or warm? Gentle or harsh? How do you feel when tha Wind caresses you? Can the Sun touch you with its sunbeams? How do you feel when it kisses you?
- Bring the attention to the nostrils: can you sense the smell of the earth underneath you? What other smeels reach your nose? Are they strong or delicate? Can you identify them?
- Now enjoy the concert of Nature in Spring, bring the attention to the ears: just let the sounds fill you; how do you feel while you listen to the music of the Earth? Can you identify how many different birds are singing all around you?
- Open the eyes, slowly: loads of stimuli are going to activate your sight; maybe you will get details you didn’t notice before, maybe the reality before you will look like it’s in high definition or more three-dimensional than before. Just observe everything all around you: to the North and to the South, to the East and to the West, above and below. Collect beauty in your eyes;
- When you are ready to close this simple ritual, bring the hands before the heart in prayer pose and thank the Earth for the show it has just offered to you. Then, gently move, shake, stretch… do whatever you need to fully awaken the body. Close by eating the food you brought with you and leave some crumbles or little pieces as an offer to the Earth.
Happy Spring Equinox
↟ The Earth and Soul Wanderer ↟
Would you like to celebrate Spring Equinox with me? Come on Sunday, March 25th – here you can find more details 🌿