Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Ostara: The Beginning and End

With today’s blog, I will have completed musings that I have published on each of the eight Holy Days. This is not to say that I have done an entire calendar year, that won’t occur until May. If you want to read any of the previous Sabbat posts they are linked at the bottom of this blog.

Ostara, or Spring Equinox is about many different things, many of which I have no plan of getting into with this post. There are enough other people posting about the flowers, spring, eggs, bunnies, and the whole lot. All of which is great, don’t get me wrong, but not the whole story. I, however, like talking about this other stuff too. Generally, when I have strayed into talking about other parts of the mythos I have done so wrapped in a cloak of symbolic language. Whereas I can’t say that I won’t have some of that in today’s post, I’m at least going to attempt to expound upon the thought process.

It is our tendency to take the various Sabbats and attempt to lay them out into a neat straight linear line whereby the process of enlightenment is exposed. This of course is all in folly. After all, the Wheel isn’t the whole of the sphere but only the marked circumference. In truth, each and every point is the beginning and the end. Understanding the nonlinear intrinsic meanings that are each the sum of the rest is done by experiencing the relationship between the various points. In Contemporary Pagan Witchcraft* we do this via myth** and points keyed to specific cycles, processes, times of the year, life, and the human experience as a reflection of our Lady and our Lord.

Let’s start this analysis at the beginning, or at least one of them having already established that every point is a beginning (and end), and that beginning shall be today, as are all beginnings. Did I ever mention that all time is now? Anyway, I digress.

Today, Ostara, is the beginning. It is the beginning of knowing. Please take a moment and note that Ostara on the Wheel is cardinal East and is associated with the principal of the mind.

It is also when the Morning Star, which is the planet Venus and associated with the Goddess Venus and also our Lady, rises just before the dawn and is the brightest “star” in the sky as if heralding the arrival of the Sun, which She is. At this point, in our lives, She has returned from the Underworld, the place of inner reflection and is announcing, “Behold.”

Looking back at Yule, we see that our spiritual spark, the Lord Sun Child, was born from the darkest night of the Dark Night of the Soul. This same flame had to be nurtured and tended through the Winter onslaught through Imbolc, or else it might die. This aspect of us, the process, any process, and everything else from Yule until this morning with the rising Sun has at its center the Black Heart of Innocence. This is to say that the Child had not yet reached the age of reckoning; the first identity of I had not yet happened. In other words, the spark that was born and has been tended had not yet developed into a life of its own. This morning, all of this changed and so ended the innocence of not knowing.

Let us not confuse today with Beltane, though the spiritual self has emerged from the womb of the heart, sovereignty via marriage with the Land does not happen until Beltane. So no kingly Crown on the head just yet; still a divine Prince though.

In the beginning, now, the emergence of the Sun from below the horizon, which is the movement of the sun associated with Ostara, and the simultaneous return of our Lady with Him brings forth the fervent fertility, excitement, and exuberance of youth. Previously, life descended into death, but today the rebirth of the new has been reflected from a solely internal process into the outwardly. In regards to all of this, think colored eggs (rebirth), flowers (youth), and bunnies (fertility)***.

The knowledge of oneself, a.k.a the understanding of having come to know our inner divine, begins today. From here it will move around the rest of the Wheel until in silence it manifests itself into the physical and earthly plane of our existence. In time, we are able to take the spiritual and reflect it into the rest of our lives. This is demonstrated by continuing to follow the points deosil around the compass. The mind having become aware and knowledgeable (East) when having had the fire of Will added (south) mixed with the courage to apply that knowing towards our Will (West) manifests itself into the Here in which we keep close (North).

So yes, today is about spring, bunnies, flowers, and colored eggs, but it is also about a whole lot more. Life is a complex myriad of depth. All of this, of which I have written, is only a small portion of what today, Ostara, now, the beginning and end is about.

Boidh Se!


“Lost in a thicket bare-foot upon a thorned path.”

*Not all Contemporary Pagan Witches follow an eight-spoke holiday wheel.

**This should not read: myth = lie. For a good basic and general introduction to myth check out The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell.

*** Each of these has a whole host of other meanings which I am not going to delve into at the moment.

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