Ostara Rites and Charms

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Ostara aka Eostre is the Neopagan High Day associated with the Spring Equinox, and thus takes place on or near March 21st. We have no evidence that the ancient Celts celebrated this holiday, but we do know that in Wales the holiday is called Alban Eilir or Mid-Spring. Similar themes are shown to us throughout many cultures - acknowledgment of the lengthening day, the greening of the Earth, hares, eggs and special flowers to name a few.The original feast of Oestre at the Vernal Equinox was a time for ritually blessing the fields and seed. If you wish to participate in the old traditions, try any of the following: Wear the color green, ritually plant seeds, draw water from a running stream before sunrise, dye eggs and decorate with magic symbols to exchange with friends and loved ones.-Taken from The Wheel of the Year at Muin Mound Grove, ADF by Rev. Skip EllisonGrove of the Seven Hills Spring Equinox 2007
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Processional: Folk Process to Earth Mother Mound singing the Earth Mother ChantHonoring the Earth Mother: BrendaProceed to Nemeton singing Come We NowStatement of Purpose & Words of Welcome: Alfred"The folk of the Grove of the Seven Hills gather to celebrate the Equinox, the time of balance, the time to exhale after the long darkness. We gather to welcome the time of light, of warmth, of growth. We gather to honor the healing energies that are beginning to flow through the soil beneath us, in the plants around us, and in the heavens above us. As our Ancestors have done before us, let us pray with a good fire."(light the fire)Prayer for Bardic Inspiration: Chris invokes the Awen Ren"I will pluck the yarrow fair, /That more benign shall be my face, /That more warm shall be my lips, /That more chaste shall be my speech, /Be my speech the beams of the sun, /Be my lips the sap of the strawberry."(offers yarrow to the Fire.)(Re)Creating the Cosmos: Richard"In the deep flow the Waters of Wisdom and Rebirth. Sacred Water flow with in us" (pour offering into Well)."Bright burn the Fires of Inspiration, Transformation, creation and destruction. Sacred Fire, burn within us." (pour offering to Fire)."From the depths to the heights spans the World Tree, the sacred axis of all the realms. Sacred Tree, grow within us" (make offering to the Tree)James will make the sacrifices.Folk will sing Fire, Bright FireOpening the Gates: WolfJames will call on Mananan MacLir as our Gatekeeper Folk chant, "Open the Gates" as Nancy says, "let the Well open as a gate, let the Fire open as a gate, let the Tree span the worlds...Let the Gates be open!" All repeat, "let the Gates be open!"Outsiders: Jeff will deal with the Outsiders. Take offering to Outsiders alter and say "Outsiders, you whose work is not our own this day, you who would disrupt this rite; we make peace with you. Accept this offering and trouble not our working."Inviting the Three KindredsNature Spirits: RenAncestors: (light the lantern) James FireboyShining Ones: AlfredCall to the Ancestors of our Path: Nancy"We remember the pagans who have gone before us; those who honored the Gods we now honor, those who treated with the spirits of nature with whom we today treat, those who trod the Earth, and felt Her call. Those who taught us how to listen, how to pray, how to live within the Sacred cycles."I will pluck the tree-entwining ivy,/to put milk in udder and gland/ with speckled fair female calves,/As was spoken in the prophecy,/On this foundation for a year and a day,/Through the bosom of the [goddess] of life, and of all the powers." (this is said as the honeysuckle vines are passed out)"Where did the snakes go? They went nowhere, they shed one skin and grew another. The path turned, and those who walked it turned as well. We walk that path today. The Earth reminds us that skins, like bark may fall away, but the person, like the plant, endures. We honor the Pagan Ancients, their shed skins enrich the soil that strengthens our roots."Invitation of Beings of the Occasion: Nancy will tell the story of Airmid and Miach and call to them to join us.Praise OfferingsSeasonal Customs: The folk will dedicate and plant a garden plotPrayer of SacrificeJayna: "Miach below us, Airmid above us, we call from the center of the realms. We stand ready to learn the secrets of healing, we stand ready to work the ways of healing, we stand ready to receive the gifts of healing."Chris: "As we reach into the soil, we pray to Miach, he from whom the herbs of healing spring. Mighty physician, bone-mender, strength-giver, hear us and bless our labors."Jayna: "As we set our seedlings and tend these herbs we pray to Airmid, she who knows the end of ills. Shoot-tender, cure-finder, hear us and help us relearn that which has been forgotten. May we heal by root, by leaf, by bloom. Airmid, Miach, accept the gift of our efforts."Nancy: "For luck of men,/For luck of means,/For luck of wish,/For luck of sheep, For luck of goats,/For luck of birds,/For luck of fields,/For luck of shell-fish, For luck of fish,/For luck of produce and kine,/For luck of progeny and people,/For luck of battle and victory,/On land, on sea, on ocean,/Through the Three on high,/Through the Three a-nigh,/Through the Three eternal,/We plant thee now,/we plant thee now."The folk plant their seeds/seedlings.Omen: Nancy will take a Ogham reading and then call for the BlessingFolk will Affirm the BlessingLitany of the WatersNancy will Hallow the Blessing and the folk will share it.Working: folk will sprinkle the Waters over seeds to bless them and fill them with the healing powers of Airmid & MiachThanking the BeingsClosing the GatesThanking the Earth MotherClosing the Rite
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