Spring Equinox Blessings

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Ostara Blessings to all. Today is the Spring Equinox, when night and day are both at equal length. If you go out late in the afternoon you might just catch the rising Moon in the sky at exactly the same time the Sun is about to set. Early in the next morning you can also see the Moon in daylight, just as the Sun is rising. In between these two events is a period of complete balance between day and night, Sun and Moon, male and female, light and dark, God and Goddess.

This is a special point of balance. On this day, light and dark are equal, but the light is now surpassing the dark as days will grow longer and nights shorter, warmth is taking over cold, life is taking over death. Today we truly say goodbye to winter.

This is a time of major transformation for the earth. The great wheel has turned as we pass into a new season. We will notice new buds forming on branches, the birds will start returning, and animals will come out of hibernation. Flowers will start to shoot up and fields and grass will become lush and green.

The young horned God is growing stronger and the Goddess is in her maiden form. The young Sun God takes notice of the Maiden Goddess and the stirrings within them seem to be felt in all living creatures. All the world seems renewed, refreshed, and bursting with possibilities.

Ostara is an Anglo-Saxon and Celtic fertility festival worshiping the Goddess Ostara or Eostre, as she is also known. Eggs and rabbits are her fertility symbols. The egg resembles new life and birth, the rabbit signifies fertility.

The Horned Sun God, also known as The Oak King or the Lord of Light; the Gods Pan, Cernunnos, and Sun Gods such as Sol, Apollo, Attis, Ra, and Horus are also worshiped on this day.

Eostre’s feast day is traditionally held on the first Full Moon following the Spring equinox, the identical time as the Christian Easter when Jesus was said to be resurrected from death. The Sun God, Attis, who was born via a virgin birth, is resurrected each year during the Spring Equinox. The Goddesses Ishtar and Persephone were also resurrected from death on Ostara.

Ostara is a time of newness and rebirth. It is a time to clean up and clear out all our old junk, this is where we get the term “spring cleaning” from. But it isn’t just clearing out our homes, it is also clearing out the junk and negative energy that we carry around with us. Let the new energies of the Sun and the Spring rejuvenate us. Welcome in the new. Breathe new life in and look to the future with hope and optimism.

On your alter, add anything to represent and honor the season such as budding flowers like crocuses, daffodils, lilies, daisies, acorns, and seeds. Ostara is a time of balance between light and dark, so symbols of this polarity can also be used. Use a God and Goddess statue, a white candle and a black one, a sun and moon, etc. This is the time of year when animals are bringing forth new life too so put a basket of eggs on your altar, as it is customary and fun to paint them bright colors before adding them. Add figures or pictures of new lambs, chicks, rabbits, calves etc. Add a chalice of milk or honey; milk represents the lactating animals who have just given birth and honey is long known as a symbol of abundance and as bees will start to come out now, offer these as a libation to the God and Goddess.

The Spring Equinox is a time of balance of both light and dark, it is a time to look within ourselves and balance our thoughts and emotions and find balance in our lives. To embrace our dark and our light equally as one cannot exist without the other. This is a time to stop, relax, and enjoy our personal achievements, whether they be from toiling in our gardens, working at our jobs, raising our families, or just coping with the hustle and bustle of everyday life. What we put into life we will get out, what we plant now can grow into something amazing.

May your Ostara be memorable and your hearts and spirits be filled to overflowing.

Written credit: Wicca Teachings

Photo Credit: Various

Edited by: Lisa Marino

Blessings For A Happy Yule

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Today is Yule. It is celebrated on the Winter Solstice, which is the longest night of the year. After this night, the nights will start to get shorter and the days with grow longer. It is the rebirth of the Sun.

Ancient people were hunters and farmers and spent most of their time outdoors. The seasons and weather played a very important role in their lives. Because of this, many ancient people had a great reverence for, and worshiped the Sun. The Norsemen saw the sun as a wheel that changed the seasons. It was from the word for the wheel, houl, or jol, that the word Yule is thought to have come.

Every six months there is a Solstice. On the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year and shortest night, the Waning Sun takes control of the skies and the days get shorter and nights get longer, the cold starts to set in and vegetation on the earth begins to die. On the Winter Solstice, the Waxing Sun takes over and the nights start to get shorter and the days longer. It is a sign that Spring is only a few months away, where life will begin anew and the earth will start to blossom and bloom.

On Yule we celebrate the return of the Waxing Sun. In Wicca it is the birth of the Sun God who has many names; Cernunnos, Pan, The Oak King, Apollo, Sol, Freyr, Horus, Mithras, The Horned God, The Green Man, Lord Of Light, and more. The Goddess gives birth to him on this night. She sacrifices herself to give life to the Lord Of Light to ensure the earths survival.

In ancient tradition, Yule was celebrated with a large fire where townsfolk and villagers would dedicate it to the Sun God. They would fill their home with evergreens and an evergreen tree to show that even though the land was barren and dead; life is still flourishing, They would decorate the tree and their home with shiny objects to encourage the Sun God to shine.

We use Holly and Mistletoe on Yule as symbols of the fertility of the God and Goddess as they grow in the Winter. The red berries of the Holly represent the blood of the Goddess and the white berries of Mistletoe represent the semen of the God to ensure a healthy Spring and harvest to come.

Fill your Yule altar with fruit, nuts, and winter seasonal fare such as fallen leaves, fallen tree branches, acorns, evergreens, and anything bright and shining. Light yellow, green, red, white, or orange candles to ensure a good year and honor the season. Make an offering of wine, grapes, juniper berries, apples, nutmeg, cinnamon, or cloves to the Gods to honor them and wish for a happy new year.

The Winter Solstice has been celebrated by many ancient cultures, one of the most famous being Saturnalia. The ancient Romans held a festival to celebrate the rebirth of the year. Saturnalia ran for seven days from the 17th-23rd of December. It was a time when the ordinary rules were turned upside down. Men dressed as women and masters dressed as servants, the servants were given lavish gifts and their masters made them a big feast. The festival also involved decorating houses with greenery, lighting candles, holding processions, and giving presents. A Saturnalia Tree would be the centerpiece of every home.

Yule is a celebration of light and the Sun, and its life-giving properties upon the earth. It is a time to rejoice and to be thankful for all we have, and to gather strength for the new year. It is a time to contemplate on the year that has gone and look to the future.

The Winter Solstice falls on the longest night of the year (this can fall anywhere between the 20th-23rd of December) and was celebrated in Britain long before the arrival of Christianity. The Druids (Celtic priests) would cut the mistletoe that grew on the oak tree and give it up as a blessing. Oaks were seen as sacred and the winter fruit of the mistletoe was a symbol of life in the dark winter months.

It was also the Druids who began the tradition of the yule log. The Celts thought that the sun stood still for twelve days in the middle of winter and during this time a log was lit to conquer the darkness, banish evil spirits, and bring luck for the coming year. To make a Yule log, cut a log into twelve pieces and burn a piece every day for twelve days. With each piece burned, make a wish for the coming new year.

Today we welcome back the Lord of Light. Blessed Yule to all.

Written credit goes to: Wicca Teachings

Edited by: Lisa Marino

Photo: Various

Decide Today To Make Your Future Brighter…

“Decide today to make your future brighter than your past. Become still and think about what you want to have more of in your life, or what you value most in your life right now. Commit yourself to making this a huge priority. Where your attention goes, your energy flows. Create positive stories in your life every single day. For the next seven days, do not listen to or talk about anything negative that happened to you, or someone else in the past. Allow yourself to bring light where there is darkness; speak peace where there is anger, and infuse love where there is indifference. Create something today that you will be proud of in the future. You have GREATNESS within you!” —Les Brown

Full Crow Moon In Libra

Tonight is the Full Crow Moon, also known as the Worm Moon and the Sap Moon. Called the Crow Moon for the cawing crows that signal the end of winter. As the earth thaws, worms start to appear and it marks the time when maple sap begins to flow and the annual tapping of maple trees begins.

As we move from Ostara, the Spring Equinox on March 20th when both day and night are at equal length, we are reminded to find our own inner balance, focusing on inner wisdom and self-analysis.

This Full Moon is in the sign of Libra, the scales of balance. It is about cultivating and growing, just as the Sun’s energy and nature is doing at this time. Plant the seeds of new ventures, plan for the future, think about what it is you want and need, and set about putting a plan into action. Use this energy for your own personal transformation, rebirth, and regrowth. New life is blooming during this phase of the Moon, as is prosperity and fertility.

This Full Moon illuminates our inner feelings and desires, so emotions can be quite raw and enhanced. The Libra Full Moon means we may be overly critical of ourselves and of others. Try not to see the bad in everything, instead look for the good. The Libra sign is a very hard-working, practical sign, so use its energy for getting jobs done that you have been putting off for a while. Libra is not scared to face deep issues, so tackle any problems and bring them to an end.

This Full Moon brings light to whatever was hidden in the darkness or buried within the subconscious, such as emotional pain or our deepest desires, but once awareness happens you are able to make realistic changes. Our emotional levels move like strong turbulent waves in the ocean during high tide for some during this Full Moon. Emotional reactions may be strong, energies may feel irritable or uptight, but don’t worry, this will pass. We are amidst great times of transformation which are heralding major new beginnings. Change isn’t always easy or comfortable and it’s constant, so we must strive to keep our balance during these changing tides.

The world as it stands is challenged by many opposing forces now. We feel them both personally and collectively, pushing against our own will, raising difficult questions, triggering issues we would rather avoid. How we keep our balance of light and dark and manage our own inner conflicts largely dictates how we manage external conflict. If we struggle with our own anger or hatred, telling ourselves we shouldn’t feel this way, then we will struggle to respond effectively to the anger of others. Allow yourself to feel angry or upset, but don’t let it take over, maintain balance. If we fear our own power, preferring to see ourselves as victim rather than creator, we may succumb to the power wielded by others, adopting their thoughts and priorities, behaviors and lifestyles, without discerning the right path for us. If we refuse to acknowledge our own inner selfishness that demands its own way no matter what, then we may project it on the world around us, pointing the finger of judgment and even becoming a bully. Don’t suppress your feelings, embrace your light and your dark sides as one cannot exist without the other. We need both. Let go of guilt and allow yourself to feel what you’re feeling without self judgment.

Let the energy of this Full Moon wash over you and cleanse your spirit. Use it to heal you emotionally and physically. Let the moonlight bathe and soothe you; mind, body and soul. Seek a balance of light and dark and see the truth in your life, however much it may hurt. Only then can you do something about it.

Have a blessed Full Moon & may the Goddess watch over you.

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Full written & photo credit goes to Wicca Teachings

Edited for content by Lisa Marino