History of Ostara

Many Holidays, Many Names:

The word Ostara is just one of the names applied to the celebration of the spring equinox on March 21. The Venerable Bede said the origin of the word is actually from Eostre, a Germanic goddess of spring. Of course, it's also the same time as the Christian Easter celebration, and in the Jewish faith, Passover takes place as well. For early Pagans in the Germanic countries, this was a time to celebrate planting and the new crop season. Typically, the Celtic peoples did not celebrate Ostara as a holiday, although they were in tune with the changing of the seasons.
A New Day Begins:
A dynasty of Persian kings known as the Achaemenians celebrated the spring equinox with the festival of No Ruz -- which means "new day." It is a celebration of hope and renewal still observed today in many Persian countries, and has its roots in Zoroastrianism. In Iran, a festival called Chahar-Shanbeh Suri takes place right before No Ruz begins, and people purify their homes and leap over fires to welcome the 13-day celebration of No Ruz.
Mad as a March Hare:
Spring equinox is a time for fertility and sowing seeds, and so nature's fertility goes a little crazy. In medieval societies in Europe, the March hare was viewed as a major fertility symbol -- this is a species of rabbit that is nocturnal most of the year, but in March when mating season begins, there are bunnies everywhere all day long. The female of the species is superfecund and can conceive a second litter while still pregnant with a first. As if that wasn't enough, the males tend to get frustrated when rebuffed by their mates, and bounce around erratically when discouraged.
The Legends of Mithras:
The story of the Roman god, Mithras, is similar to the tale of Jesus Christ and his resurrection. Born at the winter solstice and resurrected in the spring, Mithras helped his followers ascend to the realm of light after death. In one legend, Mithras, who was popular amongst members of the Roman military, was ordered by the Sun to sacrifice a white bull. He reluctantly obeyed, but at the moment when his knife entered the creature's body, a miracle took place. The bull turned into the moon, and Mithras' cloak became the night sky. Where the bull's blood fell flowers grew, and stalks of grain sprouted from its tail.
Spring Celebrations Around the World:
In ancient Rome, the followers of Cybele believed that their goddess had a consort who was born via a virgin birth. His name was Attis, and he died and was resurrected each year during the time of the vernal equinox on the Julian Calendar (between March 22 and March 25). Around the same time, the Germanic tribes honored a lunar goddess known as Ostara, who mated with a fertility god around this time of year, and then gave birth nine months later – at Yule.

The indigenous Mayan people in Central American have celebrated a spring equinox festival for ten centuries. As the sun sets on the day of the equinox on the great ceremonial pyramid, El Castillo, Mexico, its "western face...is bathed in the late afternoon sunlight. The lengthening shadows appear to run from the top of the pyramid's northern staircase to the bottom, giving the illusion of a diamond-backed snake in descent." This has been called "The Return of the Sun Serpent" since ancient times.

According to the Venerable Bede, Eostre was the Saxon version of the Germanic goddess Ostara. Her feast day was held on the full moon following the vernal equinox -- almost the identical calculation as for the Christian Easter in the west. There is very little documented evidence to prove this, but one popular legend is that Eostre found a bird, wounded, on the ground late in winter. To save its life, she transformed it into a hare. But "the transformation was not a complete one. The bird took the appearance of a hare but retained the ability to lay eggs...the hare would decorate these eggs and leave them as gifts to Eostre."

Modern Celebrations

This is a good time of year to start your seedlings. If you grow an herb garden, start getting the soil ready for late spring plantings. Celebrate the balance of light and dark as the sun begins to tip the scales, and the return of new growth is near.

Many modern Wiccans and Pagans celebrate Ostara as a time of renewal and rebirth. Take some time to celebrate the new life that surrounds you in nature -- walk in park, lay in the grass, hike through a forest. As you do so, observe all the new things beginning around you -- plants, flowers, insects, birds. Meditate upon the ever-moving Wheel of the Year, and celebrate the change of seasons.


Sabbaths: Ostara

OSTARA (pronounced O-STAR-ah) is one of the Lesser Sabbats, and is usually celebrated on the Vernal or Spring Equinox right around March 20/21 (although because of its origins, may instead be celebrated on the fixed date of March 25). Other names by which this Sabbat may be known are Oestara, Eostre’s Day, Rite of Eostre, Alban Eilir, Festival of the Trees, and Lady Day. The Christian holiday of Easter is very near this same time, and is determined as the first Sunday after the first Full Moon after the Vernal Equinox.

Ostara is a time to celebrate the arrival of Spring, the renewal and rebirth of Nature herself, and the coming lushness of Summer. It is at this time when light and darkness are in balance, yet the light is growing stronger by the day. The forces of masculine and feminine energy, yin and yang, are also in balance at this time.

How did we Celebrate??

ImageFor early Pagans in the Germanic countries, this was a time to celebrate planting and the new crop season. Typically, the Celtic peoples did not celebrate Ostara as a holiday, although they were in tune with the changing of the seasons.

Persian kings known as the Achaemenians celebrated the spring equinox with the festival of No Ruz — which means “new day.” It is a celebration of hope and renewal still observed today in many Persian countries.

Mayan people in Central American have celebrated a spring equinox festival for ten centuries. As the sun sets on the day of the equinox on the great ceremonial pyramid, El Castillo, Mexico, its “western face…is bathed in the late afternoon sunlight. The lengthening shadows appear to run from the top of the pyramid’s northern staircase to the bottom, giving the illusion of a diamond-backed snake in descent.” This has been called “The Return of the Sun Serpent” since ancient times.

The custom of giving eggs on Ostara was known to the early Egyptians, Persians,Greeks Romans and Gauls. The Practice of coloring these eggs also date back to ancient civilization.

In Asia and India, the practice of hunting hidden eggs in spring was symbolic of the belief that we are fully responsible for our actions and reactions, and that we must each find our own way to life renewed. Because this incorporated reincarnation themes, the egg hunt was a time to reflect on the balance of rights and wrongs and how to improve one’s position in the next life.


Ostara Recipes


Ostara Recipes
Violet Salad

1Tbsp raspberry vinegar
1Tbsp minced Shallot
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
fresh ground black pepper
1 1/2 tsp chicken stock, vegetable for vegetarians
1 1/2 tsp virgin olive oil
1/2 lb mixed greens washed
1/4 cup violet blossoms
1/4 cup wild strawberries (optional)

Combine vinegar, shallot, mustard and some pepper in a small bowl. Let stand 5 minutes
Whisk in stock then oil. Toss greens with dressings, top with violets and strawberries and serve immediately.

Green Man Salad and Green Dressing


Toss all ingredients in a salad bowl. Dress with lemon and honey or Green Dressing: 1 cup mayonnaise, 1\4 cup pesto, a pinch of watercress, poppy seeds, and a dash of vinegar.
Dandelion Honey

1 Liter dandelion petals
1 Liter water
3 slices lemon - 1-2 cm thick
1/4 vanilla bean, cut in half
1 kg sugar

Pick the dandelions in full sunshine. Pull off all the dandelion petals and put them in a pot with the water, lemon slices and vanilla bean. Simmer for about 30 minutes.

Let the mixture sit by the side of the stove for 5 to 6 hours.

Strain to separate the petals from the juice. Return the juice to the pot and bring to a simmer. Slowly add the sugar and simmer until desired thickness (takes about 4 hours).

Serve on toast, muffins or danish Yield: about 1 liter
Apache Acorn Soup

3 lb Stew beef
2 qt Water
1 tsp Pepper
1 tsp Salt
1 cup Ground acorn meal
Cover beef with water and bring to boil in a heavy pot. Simmer until done; add salt and pepper as meat cooks tender. Remove beef and chop on a flat stone until split in shreds. The meat broth continues to cook vigorously while meat and acorn meal are mixed together.
Meat and meal simmer together until the broth bubbles creamy white with yellow flecks, pleasantly acorn scented and flavored.
Calendula Butter

8 Tbsps (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup calendula petals
Blend together in a small bowl. Use right away or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
Spinach (or Broccoli) Quiche

1 9-in pie crust, unbaked
3 eggs, beaten
8 oz pkg of Swiss cheese slices
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp flour
dash pepper
1 cup milk
dash nutmeg
1 small onion, sliced and lightly sauted
10 oz pkg frozen chopped spinach or broccoli, cooked and drained

Cut cheese into strips and toss with flour. In your pie crust, alternate layers of onion, spinach or broccoli and cheese, ending a layer of cheese layer. Mix the milk, eggs, and spices. Pour into crust. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour or until toothpick comes out clean.
Easy Broccoli Quiche

2 Tbsps butter
1 onion, minced
1 tsp minced garlic
2 cups chopped fresh broccoli
1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust
1 1/2 cups shredded swiss and cheddar cheese
4 eggs, well beaten
1 1/2 cups milk
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Over medium-low heat melt butter in a large saucepan. Add onions, garlic and broccoli. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are soft. Spoon vegetables into crust and sprinkle with cheese.
Combine eggs and milk. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in melted butter. Pour egg mixture over vegetables and cheese. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until center has set.
Ostara Quiche

1 unbaked pie crust
4 eggs
1 cup milk
10 asparagus spears, in two inch pieces
1 cup chopped spinach
1/2 red onion, chopped
4 oz shredded cheese

Layer all ingredients except the milk and eggs in your pie crust, starting with about 2/3 of the cheese, then the vegetables, then the rest of the cheese. Whip milk with the eggs until well blended, season to taste and pour into crust. Bake for 45-60 minutes at 350 degrees. Serve hot or cold.
Bewitching Eggs
1 dozen hard-boiled eggs, peeled and cut in half.
3 tsp. sour cream
1/4 onion, minced
1 tsp. brown mustard parsley, for garnish
1 tsp. salt Hungarian paprika
1/2 tsp. white pepper
l/2 tsp. sweet basil
1/4 cup juice from a jar of sweet pickles.

Divide yolks and whites, place the yolks in a bowl and whites on a serving tray. Mash the yolks with a fork then mix everything except parsley and paprika in well. Fill each white section with a heaping tsp of yolk mixture. Sprinkle lightly with paprika and garnish with parsley.
Rabbit Curry

1 Stick butter or Margarine, melted
1 Onion, chopped
1 cup Chicken broth
1 Tbsp Curry powder
1 Young rabbit, cut into pieces
1/2 cup Flour
1 Tart apple, chopped
2 cup Sour cream
2 tsp Orange peel, grated

Brush the rabbit pieces with melted butter. Dredge in flour. Salt and pepper pieces. Bake on rack, turning at least one, until rabbit is tender. Cool and then debone the rabbit.

Saute onion and apple in remaining butter or margarine. Add 1/4 cup of flour. Stirring until lumps are gone. Add chicken broth and sour cream slowly, stirring constantly. Simmer over heat until blended. Add lemon peel, curry powder, rabbit meat and heat thoroughly. Serve over rice.
6 Cups raw honey
6 Cups apple cider Vinegar

Heat equal parts (no more than 2 cups of each at a time) of the honey and vinegar in a large glass (non-metal) saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon. The honey will melt into the vinegar making the mixture easier to stir. Keep stirring about 15 minutes until you no longer feel any heaviness or see any areas of thickness on the spoon. Remove from heat and let cool for 30 minutes. Pour into canning jars and cap tightly. Store in the refrigerator.
(Serves two people, 30-day supply)
Honey Cake Yields: 2 loaves

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsps vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 cup honey
2 Tbsp sliced almonds
2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat two 9" x 5" loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except the almonds and beat until well blended. Pour the batter, dividing equally into the loaf pans Bake for about 20 minutes then sprinkle each with the almonds. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes more (total of 45-55 minutes)or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes then remove to wire racks to cool completely.
Chocolate Bird's Nests

chow mein noodles
chocolate chips or brick chocolate
jelly beans
candy coated chocolate eggs
marshmallow chicks
peanut butter
wax paper cut into squares
paper plates (colored plates optional)

Put chow mein noodles in a large bowl. If using brick chocolate, break into pieces or shave. Melt chocolate in the microwave, or over low heat on stove or a double boiler, just until melted. Pour melted chocolate over chow mein noodles, mix together to coat. Place mounds of chocolate/chow mein mixture onto several waxed paper squares. Place on plates and let the children form the mixtures into nests. Be sure the chocolate has cooled, but don't wait too long or it will harden!

Use peanut butter to "glue" down the jelly beans and candy coated chocolate eggs inside the nest cavity. "Glue" marshmallow chick on the edge of or inside of the nest.
Bird Nest Cupcakes

cake mix or scratch cake
white frosting
grated coconut
green food coloring
Marshmallow chicks (yellow, pink, white, blue or lavender)
jelly beans

Bake cupcakes according to directions. Allow to cool completely. Frost with icing tinted green with the food coloring.

Place the desired amount of coconut a plastic bag, add a small dab of green food color. Close the bag and mix and shake until color is evenly distributed. If you use liquid coloring spread the coconut out on a paper towel so it dries a bit.

Sprinkle colored coconut on top of frosted cupcakes and place a chick in the center. Add a few jelly beans around the chick, so they look like eggs.
Chocolate Easter Eggs

Cream filled eggs just like the store bought ones.

    * 1 cup soft butter
    * 2 tsp salt
    * 4 tsp vanilla
    * 1 can condensed milk (Eagle Brand)
    * 10 cups icing sugar
    * 1 tsp. yellow food coloring
    * 1 lb. semi-sweet chocolate
    * 1/4 of a block of canning wax (it comes in 4 blocks to a 1 pound package)

Beat the butter, salt and vanilla until fluffy. Add milk, beat in sugar. Blend until stiff. Dust with brown sugar. Knead til smooth.

Set aside a little more then 2/3 of the mixture. To the remaining mixture add yellow food coloring and blend well. Divide yellow and white into 16 or 24 pieces. Shape yellow into balls and mould white around yellow to form an egg shape. Dry at room temperature on paper towels for 24 hours.

Melt the chocolate and wax in double boiler or in microwave until smooth. Dip eggs in chocolate, let cool then dip the other end or put a toothpick in them deep enough to be secure and dip to the top of the toothpick, fill in the toothpick hole with a dab of chocolate. Once dipped cool at room temperature. Refrigerate after cooling.

When sliced these eggs will have a white cream filling with a yellow filling that appears to be the yolk. They look nice sitting in an Easter basket!!
Strawberry-Rhubarb Cream Pie

1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups fresh or frozen rhubarb, sliced
1/4 cup flour
1 9-inch unbaked pie shell
3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup flour
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened

Stir together first 4 ingredients. Gently add strawberries and rhubarb. Place the mixture in pie shell. Stir together the remaining 1/2 cup flour and 1/4 cup sugar in a small bowl. Cut in butter until the mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle over top of the pie. Cover the edges of pie with foil.5. Bake at 400 degrees F. on the center oven rack for 30 minutes.6. Remove foil. Bake for 25 minutes.
Carrot Cake and Cream Cheese Frosting
3 cups grated carrots
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple with juice
3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 (8 ounce) package Neufchatel cheese
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans/walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan.

In a large bowl, combine grated carrots, flour, white sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir in eggs, oil, 1 1/4 tsp vanilla, pineapple and 3/4 cup nuts. Spoon batter into prepared pan.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool.

In a medium bowl, combine confectioners' sugar, Neufchatel cheese, 1/2 cup butter or margarine and 1 1/4 tsps vanilla. Beat until smooth, then stir in 1 cup chopped nuts. Spread on cooled cake.

2 1/2 Lbs. Small Curd Cottage Cheese
1 1/4 Cups Sugar
3/4 Cup Chopped Almonds or Pecans
3/4 Cup Chopped Peaches
1/2 Cup Maraschino Cherries or Dried Cherries
1 1/4 tsp. Vanilla
2 Sticks Butter, Melted
1/4 tsp. Salt
2 Cups Evaporated Milk or Cream
2 Eggs

Mix all ingredients except the cottage cheese in a large pan over low heat until it thickens to the consistency of pudding. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Mix in the cottage cheese and beat well for about 3 minutes. Place in a cake pan and chill over night. Decorate the cake with candied eggs, flowers, chocolates, or other spring delicacies. Keep refrigerated.
Candied Flower Blossoms

Good candidates for candying are apple or plum blossoms, borage flowers, lilac florets, rose petals, scented geraniums, violas, violets, Johnny-jump-ups, and pansy petals.

Rinse and dried flower blossoms, separated from the stem
1 extra-large egg white, at room temperature
Few drops of water
About 1 cup superfine sugar
A small paint brush
A baking rack covered with waxed paper

In a small bowl, combine the egg white with the water and beat lightly with a fork or small whisk until the white just shows a few bubbles. Place the sugar in a shallow dish.

Holding a flower or petal in one hand, dip a paint brush into the egg white with the other and gently paint the flower. Cover the flower or petal completely but not excessively. Holding the flower or petal over the sugar dish, gently sprinkle sugar evenly all over on both sides. Place the flower or petal on the waxed paper to dry. Continue with the rest of the flowers.

Let the flowers dry completely 12 to 36 hours or until free of moisture. Time depends on the humidity. To hasten drying, you may place the candied flowers in an oven with a pilot light overnight, or in an oven set at 150° to 200° F with the door ajar for a few hours.

Store the dried, candied flowers in airtight containers until ready to use. They will keep for as long as a year.
Poppy Seed Cheese Bread

1 cup shredded cheese
1 cup biscuit mix
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1/4 cup chopped onions
1 Tbsp poppy seeds

1/2 cheese and the biscut mix in a bowl
Add milk and stir until moistened, pat dough
Combine remaining cheese, egg and onion and spread over biscuit dough
Sprinkle with poppy seeds and bake at 425 for 15 to 20 minutes
Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns are traditionally served on Good Friday (the Friday before Easter) and during the Lenten season, but they are good anytime. This recipe will make 2 1/2 dozen buns.

2 pkg active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 cup warm milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup softened butter or margarine
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
6 1/2 to 7 cups all-purpose flour
4 eggs
1/2 cup dried currents
1/2 cup raisins

2 Tbsps water
1 egg yolk

Icing (below)

Heat the water and milk at 110-115 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl; dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Add the warm milk sugar, butter, vanilla, salt, nutmeg, and 3 cups of the flour. Beat until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating the mixture well after each addition. Stir in the dried fruit and enough flour to make a soft dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 to 8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl and turn over to grease the top. Cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size (about 1 hour).

Punch the dough down and shape into 30 balls. Place on greased baking sheets. Using a sharp knife, cut a cross (or X) on the top of each roll. Cover again and let rise until doubled (about 30 minutes). Beat the water and egg yolk together and brush over the rolls. Bake at 375-degrees F. for 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on wire racks. Drizzle icing over the top of each roll following the lines of the cut cross.

ICING: Combine 1 cup confectioners' sugar, 4 tsps milk or cream, a dash of salt, and 1/4 tsp vanilla extract. Stir until smooth. Depending on humidity, adjust sugar and milk to make a mixture, which flows easily.
Easter Crown Bread

3 to 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (divided use)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 package active dry yeast
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup warm milk
2 Tbsps softened butter or margarine
2 eggs
1/2 cup chopped mixed candied fruit
1/4 cup chopped blanched almonds
1/2 tsp aniseed

5 raw eggs
food coloring for the eggs
Vegetable oil

In a large mixing bowl, combine 1cup flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Add the milk and butter and beat with an electric mixer for 2 minutes at medium. Add the eggs and 1/2-cup flour and beat on high for 2 minutes. Stir in the fruit, nuts and aniseed, mixing well. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (around 6 to 8 minutes). Place in a greased bowl, turn once to grease the top. Cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and let rise about 1 hour in a warm place until doubled in size.

Meanwhile, color 5 eggs (raw) with non-toxic dyes. When dry; lightly rub them with vegetable oil.

Punch down the risen dough. Divide in half. Roll each half into a 24-inch rope. On a greased baking sheet, loosely twist the two ropes together. Form into a ring and pinch the ends together. Gently split the ropes and tuck the 5 raw colored eggs into the openings. Cover and let rise again about 30 minutes until doubled. Bake at 350-degree F for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the baking sheet and cool on a wire rack.
Pink Dandelion Wine

2 quarts fresh dandelions blossoms
2 quarts water
2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
1 lemon
1/4 tsp cinnamon
4-5 cups sugar
1/3 cake active yeast

Remove the stem and leaves from the blossoms, and boil in water.
Remove from heat and let stand overnight, then strain.
Add lemon, raspberries, cinnamon and sugar (should be overly sweet to the taste).
Warm mixture over low flame until the sugar is dissolved (honey many be substituted in equal proportions).
When the mixture is lukewarm, add the active yeast which has been suspended in warm water.
Cover the pan with a towel and let it set for three days undisturbed.
Each time you check it, visualize the energy in your wine increasing even as the bubbles are forming ( the sign that fermentation has started).
Strain the mixture again and bottle in loosely corked bottles.
Once the corks no longer pop out, taste to see if the wine needs additional sugar.
If so, return it to the stove and sweeten to taste, but bring it to a boil so it kills the yeast. Cork tightly and let age for one year in a cool, dark area for best results.
Dandelion Wine

1 gallon of fresh picked dandelion flowers
3-4 lbs sugar
1 lemon
rind of 1 lemon
1 orange
rind of 1 orange
1 Tbsp brewers yeast
1/4 ounce of compressed yeast

Place fresh picked dandelion flowers them in a large tub, pour 1 gallon of boiling water over them and let it steep for about 10 or so days stirring now and then. Strain the liquid and add 3 or 4 pounds sugar to taste. Then add lemon and orange rind then the rest of the lemon and orange to the liquid. Bring to a boil and boil gently for about 20 minutes or so. Remove from heat. Cool, add brewer's yeast and compressed yeast spread on a piece of toast.(yes, toast)....Cover and leave for a few days. Then put it in a cask and bottle it for 2 months or more.

Welcome, Oh Great Quetzaltcoatl

From the heavens you descend. Welcome, oh great one! Let your energy fill us, purify us and reconnect us with the spirit of our Mother. Winter has been cold and harsh, but your energy will fill us for another season; your light will vanquish the darkness and your power will protect us from all that is evil.

Touch our mother's womb, and bring forth the abundance from which she nourishes us, and feeds us, and protects us. Release us from the negative energies that we have carried and bring us hope for a better tomorrow.

Enlighten us. Fill us with your wisdom. Fill us with your love and protection. Our father, our lord. Feathered snake that descends from the heavens and carries with him the part of our soul that is reborn each cycle. Mighty warrior who protects his children who were made from the same sacred corn as he long ago by the four winds -- listen... listen to the sound of the caracol, rising sounds through the winds.

A new cycle has begun. The Feathered Snake has returned home.


March Esbat -- Chaste Moon

 From "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Wicca and Witchcraft"

Also known as the Seed or Worm Moon, the Chaste Moon is a time to plant mental seeds—thoughts of success and hope. This is also a time of purity and newness. It’s the time to bless the magickal herbs and plants in your garden and to start preparing the soil for the seeds that you will plant. It’s also the time to mentally prepare yourself for new experiences, a new job, pregnancy, taking a trip, or bringing a new animal into your home. 

March is the time for new beginnings, breaking illusions, and seeing the truth in your life however much it may hurt. The energy flow breaks into the open, a good time for growing, prospering, and exploring. Light and Dark are in balance now. 

The Chaste Moon of March (also known as the Lenten, Seed, Sap, Worm and Hare Moon) truly marks the celebration of Spring. It is the observance of the return of the Goddess in all her Maiden glory. At this time of the year we prepare for planting the fields and gardens, blessing the seeds for the crops in the hope that the year’s harvest will be plentiful.

Like the Goddess of the Moon Diana, nature is poised - potential about to burst into life all around us. Just as the Goddess has many faces and forms, so can we. The circle dance never ends, only revolves again and again. Thus as the Goddess ever renews her aspect, so can Her children.

This new journey began with the Storm Moon in February by firming our foundations to prepare for change, and now is the time to discover our potential. On the Esbat of the Chaste Moon, we look deep within ourselves to strengthen our foundations ready to plant the seeds of our new lives, and discover what lies there waiting, like the Maiden, to be fulfilled.

In just a week, the Sabbat of Ostara will be celebrated. The stirrings of Mother Earth are now apparent, with the first spring flowers began to emerge from the earth, the woodlands begin to bristle and rustle with new life and the birds begin to return and serenade us once again – the song of the Robin is now not the only song to be heard. Her Consort now seeks out the Maiden Goddess, and their liaison grows in power and intensity. As this bond develops, so too can we develop and cultivate new strengths to reach our own dizzy heights.

A Chaste Moon Ritual

On the night of the full Chaste Moon, select the symbolic seeds for your personal spiritual growth that you would like to sow. They could be seeds of understanding, seeds of courage, or seeds of tolerance for example.

You can plant these seeds simply with your will, by meditation or, for a family ritual, you could choose to plant some spring bulbs, or seeds to produce the seedlings for your vegetable garden, for example. Give each child a pot and soil, and a handful of bulbs or seeds. Allocate to each of these bulbs or seeds (as many as you need for each person) the quality you wish to nurture. For each bulb or seed that is sown, repeat (if you so wish) the following incantation:

“Plant, sow, energize, and grow,
This is my wish (insert wish)
Goddess Moon make it so.”

Thus in the months ahead you can nurture your seedlings which is a fabulous learning exercise for young children, to watch first-hand the power of nature. This is also beneficial for older children, as by planting their wishes they are personally responsible for their seedlings.

Whichever method you choose therefore, you make a firm commitment that your seedlings will be nurtured and cultivated in the months that lay ahead, so that they will grow, flower and bear fruit.

(To be used as a side column – or not at all as you prefer!)

After performing an Esbat ritual, it is a lovely idea to share a meal with those involved. A great way of doing this, (that is also fun beforehand for the children, and can be part of the day’s preparation), is to bake Moon Biscuits.

To do so you will need:

Moon Biscuits

295 grams flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
120 grams butter
230 grams sugar
1 egg, well beaten
1-teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon milk or cream

Using organic ingredients where possible, firstly sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. In another bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until it has paled in colour. Add the egg, the vanilla and the milk a little at a time and blend until the mixture is smooth. Now add the dry ingredients a little at a time. Put into the refrigerator and chill the mixture for at least 1 hour. Next, roll out the dough to approximately 1/8 inch thick on a lightly floured surface and cut it into circles with a round biscuit cutter, or a floured glass/mug. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake on an ungreased baking sheet at 375 f, 190 c or gas mark 5 for 8-10 minutes. For an extra special treat, melt a bar of dark organic chocolate by the Bain-Marie method, or in the microwave (carefully!) and once the cookies are cooked and cooled, dip half of the biscuit into the melted chocolate to create half-moon cookies. Now, eat and enjoy!


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