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She Who Hesitates Now is Lost. So, take the Leap of Faith! The Psychospiritual work of Ostara.

Even if your fears and doubts are desperately telling you otherwise, NOW is the perfect time to focus on building your dream. Welcome to Ostara!


A woman taking a leap of faith, against a starlit sky.

Happy Ostara 2023, beautiful people! 🐇🥚


With the Spring Equinox on 23 September, 2023, we officially reach the fourth Sabbat on the Great Wheel of the Year, Ostara, more popularly known as Easter. We'll remain in this season until Beltane begins on 8 November, this year.


And before you cock one eyebrow at me and protest that Easter is half a year away, let me remind you that the Sabbats are not like birthdays that are celebrated on the same day each year, no matter where you happen to be on the planet.


Instead, the eight Sabbats are each aligned with one of the eight major astronomical or seasonal events of the year, i.e. the March and September Equinoxes, the June and December Solstices, and the four cross-quarter days in between them.


And, as we all know, the seasons in the Southern Hemisphere and in the Northern Hemisphere are opposite each other. So, therefore, the dates of the Sabbats are also opposite each other. And when you celebrate them will depend on which hemisphere you're in.


It's Mabon in Japan, Portugal and England, right now - the second Harvest season. They're preparing for the dark of the year. It'll soon be Samhain for them, and then Yule at their Winter Solstice. But it's Ostara here in Australia. We're literally celebrating the Spring Equinox, today! We're preparing for the light of the year. And soon enough, it'll be our Summer Solstice - the height of the Sun's power and strength.


As you've probably heard me say a thousand times, let's be mindful of the actual calendar of the Southern Hemisphere, instead of meekly or mindlessly following the calendar of the North. Let's intentionally connect with the magic and the energetic cycles of where we actually live. Otherwise, we'll be perpetually pushing against the flow of Life and then wondering why everything feels so hard! (Oh, gee, I wonder why??)



Infographic: The Eightfold Cycles


Are you curious about these greater cycles and how they interconnect? If so, I hope you'll find the following helpful. It's an infographic I created to show the correspondences between:

  • the eight seasonal events of the year;

  • the eightfold lunar phases;

  • the eight Sabbats; and

  • their alignment with the Houses of the Astrology Chart.

I'd welcome your feedback on it!


Infographic on the Eightfold Cycles: The Great Wheel of Life and the Lunar Phases
The Eightfold Cycles: The Great Wheel of Life and the Lunar Phases

For the next six months (from Ostara through to Mabon), we'll be in the Light half of the year. The days are longer, now, and the increased sunlight awakens the Earth from Her deep rest.


At Ostara, 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. As they say, "Spring is in the air!"


So, Blessed Ostara, beautiful people!


This Sabbat will stretch from 23 September to 7 November, 2023. Beltane, our next Sabbat, will fall on 8 November, this year, at the Cross-Quarter festival between the Sprint Equinox and the Summer Solstice. (Remember, rather than simply being a one-day celebration or festival, each Sabbat is an entire season that lasts for roughly 6 or 7 weeks.)


Fragile pink and white blossoms on a tree, in Spring.

Ostara: A Little Background


At Ostara, or the Spring Equinox, we honour the Germanic Goddess Eostre (pronounced "Easter"), the Goddess of Spring, Dawn, and Fertility. Did you know that we derive vital fertility words such as 'oestrogen', and an animal's 'oestrous' cycle from Her name?

Hand painted Easter Eggs

Two of Eostre's primary symbols are eggs and rabbits, as these are powerful symbols of fertility and the promise of abundant new life.


And, in case you've ever wondered, this is why we celebrate Ostara (or Easter) with chocolate eggs and chocolate rabbits (delivered by a great, invisible Easter Bunny)!




The Psychospiritual Work of Ostara


Rather than explore the traditional rituals and festivities of Ostara, though, I'd like to focus on the emotional and psychological demands it makes of us.


What is the psychospiritual work of Ostara?


To be clear, Ostara is an absolutely critical moment in the turning of the Great Wheel of the Year. You can think of it as the First Quarter Square (or the Waxing Square) of the entire year.


If you're unfamiliar with that term, a Square is known as a Hard Aspect in astrology, connecting two planets via a 90° angle. It usually indicates a level of tension or friction, and demands enormous growth. Having said that, I'd like to emphasise the fact that "hard" doesn't equal "bad". Many things that are difficult and challenging are extremely good for us; they're worth the effort!


And this is certainly true of Ostara . . .


To be clear, this Sabbat is the first of two crisis moments in our yearly cycle. The other is its opposite Sabbat, Mabon, which aligns with the Third Quarter Square (or Waning Square).


More specifically, Ostara (as the Waxing Square) is known as the "crisis of action" point of the year. (Thanks for this term, Dane Rudhyar!)


What does this Sabbat demand of you?


There are two primary elements to Ostara.


Let's dive in . . .


Firstly, Ostara demands massive, determined action.


I cannot overstate this. The planning phase (Imbolc) has now wrapped up. Hopefully, you've not only committed to your goal for this journey around the Great Wheel, but you've also resourced yourself - you have the necessary tools, and you've scheduled time into your calendar to work on your dreams. If you're not willing to commit even just 30 minutes a day to working on your goal, then you're not really taking it seriously, right?


And now, at Ostara, it's time to actually implement your plan. It's time to knuckle down, and take massive, determined action on your dreams, desires, and goals.


Ostara is a Sabbat of hard yakka and disciplined effort.


To continue with the gardening metaphor that I've been using, Ostara (or Spring) is the beginning of the growing season, each year. And this is when your gardening efforts (however metaphoric or literal they may be) must begin in earnest.


For, as the old adage tells us: As you sow, so shall you reap!


Please understand the significance of Ostara.


If you miss the beginning of this year's growing season, for any reason at all, there'll be nothing to "flower" come Beltane, which is the time of pollination and conception. And, in turn, there'll be nothing to "harvest" come the harvest seasons next year - i.e. Lughnasadh, Mabon, and Samhain.


Ultimately, we rely on each year's "harvest" to help us negotiate our lives with greater skill and accomplishment over the years and decades to come. Each year builds on the one before. If we have nothing to harvest come Lughnasadh, Mabon, and Samhain (and therefore nothing to build on, the following year), it's on us.


As Number 4 always tells us:


Don't be upset

by the results you didn't get,

from the work you didn't do.


THIS.


Whether your goal is to lose 30 kgs; to strengthen your skills in ritual and ceremony; to launch your own business; to learn the Tarot; to start a blog; to earn more income to support your family; to deepen your personal or professional relationships; to become a yoga teacher; to slow down and create more silence and stillness in your life; to learn Ancient Greek . . . whatever it is!! . . . take your first steps, NOW!


Seriously. "Spit-spot!" as Mary Poppins would say. 🌂🎩



A woman is planting a tiny seedling.

And yet . . . 😨


Have you ever found yourself feeling really excited about your goal, and deeply committed to it . . . and yet, not able to actually start work on it?


You know the goal. You know why it's important. You've got yourself all kitted out with the necessary tools and equipment. You name it, you've got the lot - everything you could possibly need! You've got all your ducks in a row, and have even carved out time in your schedule for it. You are super organised! You fulfilled Imbolc's demands, magnificently!


And yet . . . you can't quite get into it.


Maybe, you've even had the same goal for five, ten, or twenty years, now?


What's going on??


Consciously, your dreams and aspirations feel very exciting!


You really are serious about them.


You'll get started on them any day now.


And yet . . . you never seem to.



Ostara's Second Element: You're Invited to Deep Dive Into Your Inner World.


Sometimes, when you actively start engaging your goals - taking steps to shift them from the realm of thought to being your actual lived experience - you may realise that you're feeling quite worried about something. Or anxious? Angry? Or sick to your stomach with fear?? Perhaps you even start to panic whenever you think of them?


Even contemplating what your Soul is asking you to do can feel incredibly daunting.


Does your self-doubt kick in? What if you don't know how to do it properly?? Do you find yourself procrastinating? Making excuses? Self-avoiding or self-sabotaging . . . constantly distracting yourself from actually getting the work done? Maybe you'd rather give up on it, altogether, than experience this uncomfortable, disquieting energy??


However you're feeling, PLEASE don't quit!


Here's the thing . . .


You're meant to feel daunted, or even afraid, or overwhelmed, when you contemplate your desires and aspirations. They should equally excite and frighten you!


They should compel both your passion and your courage.


They should challenge your journey of authentic self-discovery, as much as support it.


(For those who study numerology, can you hear the Number 1 in all of this?? Good! And the Number 4 . . . This is typically what happens whenever we embark on a new goal.)


This is the second critical element of this Sabbat.


Ostara calls you to the deep nadir of your own Being, to your own inner world. This Sabbat, your work is to experience all of that internal noise, and then show up for yourself, anyway.


Even if you're scared. Even if it's messy. Even if you have no idea what you're doing! Even if you fail 100 times. Even if people laugh at you, or judge you, or get envious and start cutting you down. (Ah, the Tall Poppy Syndrome. Don't you just love it?? Not.) Even if you totally f*ck up. And even if you succeed beyond your wildest dreams.


Wherever the fear is, is the greatest opportunity for Soul healing and growth! If you have to choose between two courses of action, I personally reckon you should take the one that scares you more! Seriously. Facing it head on will bring you to your centre, and liberate all that trapped psychic energy that you usually dedicate to repressing your doubts and fears.



A man's silhouette against a starlit sky.  A quote from Walt Disney, "All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them."


How Do You Step Up?


It's usually not as simple as just "not allowing" your doubts and fears to hold you back. If it was that easy, we'd all be living the life of our dreams, right??


Sometimes this work entails delving into olds wounds and fears that may have been sustained many lifetimes ago. Ostara calls us to do deep Soul work!


As I shared in an article on Facing Your Fears, in order to work as a numerologist and teacher, I've had to do (and am still doing) my inner work, as much as I've had to keep showing up for the outer work.


So, I encourage you to seek the support that you need, this Ostara . . . whether that's the energetic healing of a kinesiologist or a Reiki Master; a psychotherapist; an art therapist; past-life regressionist; someone who specialises in Soul Retrieval work; or a somatic therapist.


Again, Ostara is the time for this work.


So, hop to it! Ostara only lasts for a few weeks, and this is the perfect opportunity to start diving into this deeper work.


(I actually think there's another layer to this, but I'll cover that in a separate article. This one's long enough as it is, haha!)


White paper in a vintage typewriter.  On the page are the words, "If not now, when?"

What Happens if You Don't Do This Work?


Well, most likely, yet another year will pass you by, and nothing will really change. And ten, twenty, thirty years from now, you'll read back through your old journals and realise (with sickening frustration and perhaps a growing sense of self-doubt and self-contempt) that you've been making the same, tired promises to yourself year after year without ever following through.


And 56 (??) lifetimes from now, you may still be trying to muster the strength and courage, the self-worth and commitment, to do your work.


Tap into the power of this Sabbat, and take the leap of faith!

For if you hesitate, for any reason, you are lost.


Without wanting to sound like Debbie-Downer, Ostara's clear guidance is to take action on your goals and aspirations . . . and to challenge the structures, beliefs, fears, and habits that stand in your way - to repudiate them. They no longer serve you.


As Dane Rudhyar taught, if this repudiation is not definite enough, and you're only half-hearted in your attempts to forge a new way forward, you'll undermine this entire cycle of growth. You'll sap the power required to take the necessary action.


And, come Mabon, there'll be nothing to harvest . .. and no Soul healing experienced.


I cannot emphasise this strongly enough!


In this 'crisis of action' Sabbat, we either sabotage ourselves, or we powerfully surge ahead.


As always, it is up to each of us.


Either way, it's important to remember that whatever you set up during this critical stage of the Great Wheel of the Year is what will develop over the coming months . . . for better or worse.


Remember: As we sow, so shall we reap. 🌱


A woman gently watering a tiny seedling.

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 this article has been of service to you, please feel free to share this within your circles. If you have any insights or questions, please leave a comment below, or reach out. I always enjoy hearing from you! 🤓


Thank you for journeying with me. You know I'm very grateful for your company!



Peace

Juliette xo






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