Traditional ritual, March 19-20th, 2012:
Vernal Equinox occurs at 10:14 PM Pacific
- Cleanse your body (See Purification Bath Recipes)
It’s important to prepare yourself as well as your space. On the day of your ceremony take a shower or bath. For Ostara, to a bathe you will traditionally add some violet or rose petals, jasmine, or cinnamon essential oil- a few drops is plenty. Take time to align your energies by meditation, prepare your energies for the spiritual experience ahead. Light fragrant candles before you relax. You can hold your favorite crystals, burn a soft incense, lightly coat a candle with fragrant oils, whatever feels right for you.
This ritual can be performed by a solitary, or by a coven or group. Participants can share bringing the items to use in the ritual celebration. Decide who brings what items before the ceremony, and who will speak parts of the ritual.
Ostara Incense Recipe:
2 parts Frankincense
1 part Benzoin
1 part Dragon’s Blood
2 part Nutmeg
2 part Violet Flowers (or Violet Oil)
2 part Orange Peel
2 part Rose Petals
Altar decorations: Colored eggs, seeds, earth, flowers and herbs and irish moss are appropriate. Cloth of spring colors, lace or other decorations.
Various recommened celebration items :
- Eggs, apples, water, salt, candles- colors lemon yellow; pale green; rose pink.
- Feathers in same pastels.
- A fire if possible, safely contained if necessary.
- Smudges of lavender or cedar.
- Place gift offerings and libations with pure thoughts in celebration bowls.
- Drinks: Eggnog, wines, lindon teas, hyssop tea.
- Perform an area Cleansing Ritual before your altar set-up
- Prepare altar: Lay-out your offerings, gifts, and light prepared incense.
At sunrise greet the morning with the following preparations
Steps used to prepare for casting a circle:
Find compass North, where the ritual will begin with calling in the quarters starting with the EAST. It is customary to lay a broom where you enter the circle, but not necessary. Set your circle according to the directions. If you are conducting the ceremony alone, you might choose to use a rope of natural fibers to outline your ceremonial circle, or chalk on a hard surface. I use a hand-made rug with a woven circle that is 7 feet across for an indoor ritual.
For protection, lightly sprinkle salt around the circle, beginning east, and moving deosil (clockwise).
You should set up a Door Between the Worlds by raising the vibration of the area. Close your eyes and imagine a divine white light emerging from your solar plexus, or of each person, and then raising up toward a center point over the circle. Many call this establishing a “cone of power”. Imagine this light spinning clockwise rising your energies and awareness. If you’re a solitary witch, you will imagine the light beginning at your solar plexus and then moving out to fully encompass your ritual space. Some witches will turn in place, in a spiral movement when there is space enough to do this. Like when dancing, energies are raised along with your spirit.
Begin casting the circle:
Light a candle for each direction as you chant
Spirits of the East, spirits of air,
Awaken life with the Spring breeze
New beginnings, join this circle
In celebration of the endless renewal of light and life. (light candle, ring bell once)
Spirits of the South, spirits of fire,
Warm the earth with the rising sun
Quicken hearts, join this circle
In celebration of the unfolding of the Earth. (light candle, ring bell once)
Spirits of the West, spirits of water,
Wash the world in gentle rain
Revive the longing, join this circle
In celebration of boundless possibility. (light candle, ring bell once)
Spirits of the North, spirits of earth,
Clothe earth in fine new growth
Support earth energies, join this circle
In celebration of a world made green again.(light candle, ring bell once)
Set bell on altar. Light your prepared smudge, hold it up to honor the goddess.
“I inhale the fragrance of this offering with the God and Goddess, and pray for a fertile year and blessed union of our physical lives with our spiritual desires.”
The circle is cast, the ritual begun.
May the powers of the Ancient One,
Source of all creation,
May the powers of the Goddess, bright lady of the moon,
And the God, horned hunter of the sun,
May the powers of the guardian spirits,
Rulers of the elemental realms,
May the powers of the stars above and the Earth below,
Bless this time, this place, as we (I) celebrate here.
At this time use the name of a spiritual guide (choose one or more), to invoke assistance: (my guide)
“Isis, I call upon your guidance and love to assist me during this spiritual celebration, to help me maintain focus, energy and alignment for divine purpose and work.”
(Ring bell 3 times for each deity you choose to call.)
Extinguish or blow-out smudges and place in bowl on altar where they can slowly smolder.
Long was the Winter Wolf’s reign,
Yet now messengers of Spring abound.
Day-fire on hearth and high harrow flames.
Yellow is to welcome the rise of sun,
Green honors rebirth of earth and life.
Pink is for the petals of adornment,
for the season of fresh beginnings.
Giving of Love and Passion and Beauty,
And of the promise for the future.
Life everywhere returns anew
As we (I) drink now to the Lady;
Hail Ostara mighty maid most fair.
Hail Eostre enduring thru all time.
Hail Aostar witness our words.
Raise your chalice to drink half, lift it to give thanks.
“I give thanks to the Maiden Goddess for the compassion and patience with ourselves and with those in our lives as we all move forward to enlightenment.”
“I have come to honor the nature kingdom, the balance of spirit and the Warrior within. We honor the God and give thanks to the season of renewal and honor the many blessings yet to come.”
Take the bowl of seed, holding it up, lift up fruit offering:
“I give great homage the courtship of the Warrior and Maiden. We honor the love spirit and the balance of all things within our daily lives as well as our spiritual journey. We send thanks and gratitude to each of you for this spring season. We honor you all as the world renews it flowering beauty once more.”
Replace the bowls on the altar.
Face the altar for a moment of meditation. This is where you, or each person can give individual thanks to their spirit guide. Hands in front of you, like in prayer, except with the top slightly open like a bowl. Call the name of your spirit guide and thank them for their wisdom and guidance as you embark on this new year.
Important final step: Closing the circle.
Mentally and verbally close the circle. You don’t want to leave the gateway between worlds open for several reasons. You could be inviting forces you don’t necessarily want around you. You can also be maintaining a state of heightened perception. While this is great for ceremonies and ritual work, it isn’t necessarily good for daily activities. If you find yourself saying “I feel out of it today”, then you need to close your senses and get grounded. This is another reason for closing the circle.
Imagine the “cone of power” you established at the beginning of the ritual, slowly coming down and dissipating back within your solar plexus, or of each person. Move to the center of the circle, holding a ceremonial sword or knife. Starting in the North, turn counter-clockwise and state:
“I give thanks to the God and Goddesses once more. I honor each in this state of divine experience. And close this circle that binds me to spirit, and can never be broken.”
Snuff out the candles (don’t blow them out, you blow away positive energies).
My customary close is to bend deeply to touch the ground with both hands, saying: “Power Down, to the ground”. This simple step works every time for me, I get a real sense of “grounding” and power returned to the earth.
Physically close the circle by exiting over the broom if you used one. Pick up the broom and sweep away any energy that may have been left over. Clean the area, and sweep the floor to finish.
Enjoy the fruit, be sure to save a portion. What is left should be buried in the ground to complete the offering.
For the solitary, now is a good time to record the events and make notes about what you felt, what you did and didn’t do that you might like to do next time.