At Ostara, it's time to knuckle down, and take massive, determined action to create the vision of Life that we received at Samhain!
We've reached the 4th High Holy Day of the Great Wheel of the Year - Ostara.
We celebrate Ostara each year at the Spring Equinox. From this day forward, Light holds sway, and the increased Sunlight awakens the Earth from Her deep rest. Life is saying, "It's time to grow!!" Branches that have been bare all Winter are now burgeoning with budding flowers and new, unfurling leaves. The Blue Mountains, where I live, are awash with fragile pink and white flowers! The birds are returning, and are busy building their nests. Soon, the foliage created by the new leaves will be too thick for me to see the nests ... but for the moment, I relish the opportunity to see them on my walk each morning. And soon, there will be eggs in the nests.
As they say, "Spring is in the air!"
Part of me wants to wax lyrical about the flowers and the newfound Light that has rushed into our realm. I'd love to discuss how we honour the Germanic Goddess Eostre at Ostara - the Goddess of Spring and Dawn and Fertility. And that it's from Her name that we derive vital fertility words such as 'oestrogen', and an animal's 'oestrous' cycle. (Cool, right??)
And I'd love to tell you that the reason we celebrate Ostara (or Easter) with chocolate eggs and chocolate rabbits (delivered by a great, invisible Bunny) is because Goddess Eostre's primary symbols are those of fertility ... ie: rabbits and eggs!
(I'd even like to fume that Ostara is yet another Pagan Sabbat coopted by the Christian Church for its own use. They even took Her blessed name, Eostre, for the name of their festival, Easter. Don't get me started. I can be quite vitriolic on this subject.)
But instead of writing about any of this, I want to focus on the emotional and psychological demands of Ostara. And I want to touch on the action and courage required of us, now, if we hope to reach our Samhain Dreams.
To be clear, Ostara is an absolutely critical moment in the turning of the Great Wheel.
Ostara is one of two crisis moments in our yearly cycle, and is known as the 'crisis of action' point. It demands massive, determined action from us. If we miss the beginning of growing season for any reason, there'll be nothing to harvest come Lughnasadh.
Okay. Let's recap before we dive in:
We received the vision of how Life could be at Samhain when the veil between the worlds was at its thinnest. At Yule, with the dying of the Light of the old Sun, we identified those aspects of our own Light that needed to die, too. Yule is also when the fragile new Sun is reborn, heralding a new Light into the world. So, too, we were invited to birth new aspects of our own Light into the world ... especially those parts of ourselves that are necessary to bring our new vision to fruition.
So far, so good?
During Imbolc season, which has just ended, we were encouraged to get all our 'ducks in a row', and to carefully plan for the year ahead. Imbolc guided us to make sure we have the time and all the tools & resources we'll need to accomplish our goals. (Click here, if you'd like to revisit my article on Imbolc, before proceeding into Ostara's territory.)
And now, with the Spring Equinox on 22 September, we've officially arrived at Ostara.
Ostara (which goes from 22 September to 8 November this year) is a planting festival. This is when we knuckle down in the garden and get our hands dirty. It's time to plant the seeds we've been dreaming of and planning for so long. And it's time to transplant into full Sunlight the seedlings that we 'started' during Imbolc.
Ostara is when our gardening efforts (however metaphoric or literal they may be) begin in earnest. This is it! No excuses.
We need to believe in ourselves and in the fertile possibilities before us. We need to take discerning, decisive action on these possibilities, if we are to turn them into our lived reality.
We need to challenge ourselves to step up and commit to the plan we created during Imbolc. And we need to find the discipline and will-power to do whatever it takes for as long as it takes.
This is the challenging reality of Ostara season - the 'crisis of action' point.
The seeds we plant now will flower by Beltane - a time of pollination and conception. And ultimately, they will bear fruit that will help us negotiate our lives with greater skill and accomplishment for years/decades to come. We'd be wise to remember the old adage: As we sow, so shall we reap! If we're not prepared to sow the seeds now, there'll be nothing to harvest come Lughnasadh. And, therefore, nothing to build on over the coming years.
Having brought Samhain's vision this far, don't drop the ball now. As Paulo Coelho once said, "Don't be someone who searches, finds, and then runs away."
Let me put it another way.
We SAY we have a dream.
We SAY we believe in it.
We even SAY we want to achieve it.
But when push comes to shove, are we actually prepared to back ourselves??
Can we be completely honest with ourselves, please?
Do we actually believe our Dream is even possible?
Do we struggle to believe in our own rich potential? In our worth?
Do we constantly settle for less than we know we're capable of?
Do we perpetually cop put on ourselves, and make excuses for our lack of progress??
If we've answered,"Yes," to any of the above questions, do we know why?? And in this 'crisis' moment on the Great Wheel of the Year, are we willing to address these questions head on, and seek support with them if necessary? For, to quote another gem from Paulo Coelho, "If you want to be successful, you must respect one rule — never lie to yourself."
Are we going to back ourselves?
Or sabotage ourselves?
We need to believe that we are worth the effort and hard yakka ahead of us.
If not? Another year will pass us by, and nothing will really change. And ten, twenty years from now, we'll read back through our journals and realise (with frustration and perhaps a growing sense of self-doubt and self-contempt) that we've been making the same, tired promises to ourselves year after year without ever following through.
Instead of simply fantasising of the Life we desire (if only we were brave enough; disciplined enough; committed enough; and believed in ourselves enough to create it), let's take massive, determined action toward it! Seriously, if not now, when? Ostara is Life's clarion call each year, urging us forward ... encouraging us to develop our self-worth, strength, discipline, commitment, and courage.
We can tap into the power of Ostara! And if we put in the necessary effort, now, we can radically change our life's overall trajectory!
But, if we hesitate, for any reason, we are lost.
Without wanting to sound like Debbie-Downer, Ostara's clear guidance is to repudiate the structures, beliefs, and habits of our past that no longer serve us. If this repudiation is not definite enough, and we're only half-hearted in our attempts to forge a new way forward, we'll undermine this entire cycle of growth. We'll sap the power required to take the necessary action. I cannot emphasise this enough!
In this season of 'crisis of action', we either sabotage ourselves, or we powerfully surge ahead.
As always, it is up to us. Either way, it's important to remember that whatever we set up during this critical stage of the Great Wheel of the Year is what will develop, for better or worse.
As we sow, so shall we reap.
Ostara Blessings, beautiful people. I hope this has been helpful in understanding the energy of this moment, here in the Southern Hemisphere, and how best to engage it.
If it has been of service to you, please feel free to share this with your circles. If you have any insights to share, or questions, please leave a comment. I'd love to hear from you.
Until next time ... Let's get busy, planting and carefully tending our seedlings!