Ostara/Spring Equinox Ritual

Ostara/Spring Equinox Ritual March 13, 2015

10426118_10153102337743232_759997328213281248_nI love Ostara (and even like the name), and it’s long been one of my favorite holidays. There’s just something magickal about Spring being in the air, even when I lived in the Midwest and Ostara often meant snow I could still feel the promise of warmer days ahead.

Like nearly all of my rituals the text below calls for a “High Priestess” (HPs) and a “High Priest” (HP). Certainly if you choose to do this ritual or adapt bits of it for your own needs you can use whatever combination of officiants you want. I write rituals knowing that my wife and I will most likely be leading them. As a result I use the nomenclature of “High Priest” and “High Priestess.”

And as you can see below, I really like the return of the flowers this time of year. Life is about the “little things” and one of my favorite little things is the scent of new blooms on the breeze.

Purification
Everyone prepares for ritual differently. In my circle we perform a ceremonial hand-washing. Some groups prefer to use incense, smudge, salted water, etc etc.

Statement of Intent
“Winter now stands behind us and before us the lies promise of Spring. The Maiden walks the land once more, awakening all that is in her path. The Horned One lurks in the forest, running with the beasts upon the growing/thawing earth*. The world around us is reborn . . . . fresh blossoms, new green grasses , the scent of spring flowers on the wind. Tonight let us look at the Earth as the Maiden with fresh and young eyes! Spring is dawning, let us greet it!”

Casting the Circle
“With sword in hand I now cast this circle thrice round. First pass to stand between the worlds and create sacred ground. Second pass to protect and keep all within safe from harm. Third pass to hold in our energies, magic, and charm. Consecrated in the name of Lord and Lady, the circle is now cast, so mote it be!”

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Calling the Quarters

East: “Spirits of the East, element of air and wind, powers of clear will and knowledge we summon you to join us this sacred sabbat night. Guard, protect, and bless our joyous rite! Hail and Welcome!”

South: “Spirits of the South, element of fire and sun, powers of illumination and desire we summon you to join us this sacred sabbat night. Guard, protect, and bless our joyous rite! Hail and welcome!”

West: “Spirits of the West, element of water and rain, powers of death and initiation we summon you to join us this sacred sabbat night. Guard, protect, and bless our joyous rite! Hail and welcome!”

North: “Spirits of the North, element of earth and field, powers of harvest and home we summon you to join us this sacred sabbat night. Guard, protect, and bless our joyous rite! Hail and welcome!”

Call to the God
High Priest: “Tonight we call upon the young Horned God. We ask Him to grace us with us with his sense of wonder and delight. May we see the world as he does, as new and beautiful and full of magick and wonderment. His power grows in the sky, and his presence stirs the trees, the green of the Earth and our hearts. Great God be with us tonight. Hail and welcome!

Call to the Goddess
High Priestess: “Tonight we call upon the Maiden, the goddess of the dawn and new beginnings. As the Earth grows around us let us bring change and growth into our own lives. Let us manifest your many blessings. You are the jeweled moon in the sky, the breeze that awakens all around us and brings forth new life. Great Goddess smile down upon us and be a part of our circle this night! Hail and welcome!

Charge of the God
I really like to read (and have read) The Charge of the Goddess and The Charge of the God on the sabbats. Not surprisingly I use my version of The Charge of the God.

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Drawing Down the Moon
High Priest: “As Ostara is the dawn of Spring, we shall now call upon She who is the dawn of all things.”

“Blessed be thy feet, that have brought thee in these ways.”
(HP kisses foot of HPs)
“Blessed be thy knees, that shall kneel at the sacred altar.”
(HP kisses knees of HPs)
“Blessed be thy womb, without which we would not be.”
(HP kisses womb of HPs)
“Blessed be thy breasts, formed in beauty.”
(HP kisses breasts of HPs)
“Blessed be thy lips, that shall utter the Sacred Names.”
(HP kisses lips of HPs)

“Sacred Goddess, Mother Earth,
Thou from whose immortal bosom
Gods, and men, and beasts have birth,
Leaf and blade, and bud and blossom,
Breathe thine influence most divine
On thine children me and thine.”

“Hail The Lady! From the Amalthean Horn
Pour forth thy store of love;
I lowly bend before thee,
I adore thee to the end,
With loving sacrifice thy shrine adore.
Thy foot is to my lip (HP kisses HPs’s right foot)
My prayer up borne upon the rising incense smoke;
Then spend thine ancient love,
O Mighty One, descend
To aid me, for without thee I am forlorn.”

The Charge of the Goddess/The Great Lady
This ritual calls for a full fledged Drawing Down the Moon, but includes this Charge of the Dawn as a back-up plan. When doing a drawing down you never know what you’ll get, and if you’ll get anything at all. If the drawing down is successful the Goddess then dictates the ritual and does as She will. This blessing/charge is meant to be used if the Lady doesn’t show up, but if the Lady wants to read it she’s more than welcome to. When we called Eostre last year during this ritual she asked to read my words.

Blessings of Eos/Charge of the Dawn
High Priestess: “Ostara is the dawn of Spring, the entry way to Summer. At the Spring Equinox the Earth stands fresh and renewed. Let us all be like the Earth, let us cast away the darkness of Winter and embrace the wonder of green growing things. May we find delight in that which blooms around us and let us never forget our responsibility to this place we call home. This world is magickal place, may the power of our Lady and the beauty of Nature remind us of that everyday we draw breath.”

“Now come forward and receive my blessings. May my touch stir your heart and remind you of the magick and wonder inside us all. These blossoms represent the renewal of the Spring, and the renewal we feel within our Spirit every Spring. Put away your cynicism and doubt and embrace I who am the Mother of Us All. Wear this token as a reminder to rejoice in the small blessings we receive everyday we walk this Earth.”

(All participants come forward and receive a gift from the goddess, we are using leis/garlands of flowers. After all have stepped forward the ritual proceeds.)

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Bubbles!
High Priest: “Every morning the sun rises over the horizon, it’s slowly growing light like the top half of a giant bubble expanding ever forward. Inside of that bubble is the promise of another new day. Sometimes in the mundania of our lives it’s easy to forget that every day is magickal and an opportunity for something new. Each sunrise that bubble holds the possibility of a new friend, a great meal, renewal of Spirit, a shared kiss, a kind word, a song that touches the heart, knowledge, laughter, and all the things that make this life worth living.”

“As the sun rises ever higher in the sky that bubble bursts, spreading out all of those possibilities upon the Earth. The energies of the Lord and Lady touch the waking world blessing every rock, plant, fish, fowl, and beast. With Spring now ahead of us the time is ripe to give energy to our hopes and dreams, tonight we will do that by creating, and blowing, our own bubbles.”

(Bubble solution is passed out to everyone in the circle.)

11023520_10153102317078232_5921740660631092732_o“I want you to picture in your head all of the great and wondrous things that are dawning in your life. Picture summer vacations, projects that you are passionate about that never seem to get done, a world of love surrounded by thriving and growing things. Now as you see all of those things, feel them go from your head and heart into your breath. Breathe deeply and make your own bubbles, putting all of that energy and all of those intentions out there. When your bubble pops it represents the energy you put into them going out into the universe to make that which you wish for manifest. Join me in hailing the Spring and creating our dreams with life’s breath.”

Raising Energy
High Priest: “A circle is kind of like our bubbles, it’s a sphere that contains energy, and it will only release energy when we let it ‘pop.’ The Spring sings its promises to us offering us new opportunities for growth and change. Today we take all of that energy bubbling up inside of us, place it on our circle bubble and then send it out into the universe.”

High Priestess: “Tonight we shall chant and welcome in the Spring and celebrate our love of the Earth. Our chant tonight is simple: ‘Spring is here, Love draws near.’ As we recite these words our chant shall grow ever louder culminating in a crescendo of energy.”

(All chant, and this is a great time for movement if you have enough room. Eventually the High Priestess raises one finger in the air signifying the end of the chanting. When the chant ends the energy is released.)

High Priest: “Hail the Spring! Hail the gods! Hail our the Earth! Hail our fellowship tonight! So mote it be!”

481373_10151335159578232_1274706633_nGreat Rite
High Priest: “Life is more than a gift, it is a promise. All that dies shall be reborn.”

High Priestess: “We now celebrate the most ancient of magicks, the magick of joining.”

High Priest: “The athame is to the Lord.”

High Priestess: “As the cup is the Lady.”

Both: “United in life and abundance. Blessed Be!”

(Athame is plunged into the chalice.)

Blessing the Cakes & Ale
High Priest: “In the names of the Lord and Lady we bless this bread.”

(Touches athame to either the bread or the plate it is being served upon.)

High Priestess: “In the names of the Lord and Lady we bless this drink.”

(Touches athame to the top of the cup. The drink is then passed around first with the bread following.)

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Goodbyes to the Lord and Lady
High Priestess: “We thank the Great Lady, Goddess of the skies and seas for joining us tonight in our rites. Look over us as the light grows and change manifests its self in our lives. With love and devotion we walk this road with you. Blessed Be.”

High Priest: “We thank the Eternal Lord, God of the earth and the wild places, for joining us tonight in our rites. We will feel your touch with our every step upon your world. With love and devotion we walk this road with you. Blessed Be.”

Dismissing the Quarters

North: “”Spirits of the North, element of earth and field, powers of harvest and home we summoned you to guard, protect, and to bless our rites. You have served us well and now we wish you hail and farewell!”

West: “Spirits of the West, element of water and rain, powers of death and initiation we summoned you to guard, protect, and bless our rites. You have served us well and now we wish you hail and farewell!”

South: “”Spirits of the South, element of fire and sun, powers of illumination and desire we summoned you to guard, protect, and bless our rites. You have served us well and now we wish you hail and farewell!”

East: “Spirits of the East, element of air and wind, powers of clear will and knowledge we summoned you to guard, protect, and bless our rites. You have served us well and now we now wish you hail and farewell!”

Taking Down the Circle
“With sword in hand I now undo this circle round. First pass to return the sacred to mundane ground. Second pass to release all that kept us safe from harm. Third pass to release our spells, magic, and charm. In the names of the Lord and Lady all has been dismissed and all is now as it once was. The circle is open, but never truly broken. So mote it be!”

Closing Statement
“We have welcomed in the Spring and shared our energies with the universe. May we reap all that we have planted in the world tonight. And now we say Merry Meet, Merry Part, and Merry Meet Again and May the gods preserve the Craft!”


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