Pagan Unity 2014 OSTARA and the VERNAL EQUINOX
Why is the season of Spring so important and special to pagans? I think it's because pagans believe in Immanent Divinity... that the divine lives within us... that the divine spark is present in the created world rather than only in some transcendent "heaven" outside of it. Furthermore, having that divine spark means it's all sacred; people, animals, birds, insects, plants, trees, streams, rivers, oceans, mountains, forests, deserts. When your attitude changes from one of faith in transcendence to belief in immanence, you will recognize our World and all of it's elements and environments as sacred, you finally understand that Nature has an intrinsic spiritual value apart, over and above it's value as a commodity strictly for profit. I firmly believe that's the attitude which will ultimately save our World. So, it's in the Spring, when we so clearly see everything around us growing or giving birth, that the divine and sacred spark of life in Nature is the most evident.
The Wheel of the Year actually contains 3 celebrations that honor Spring and the growing season for pagans. The beginning of the beginning of Spring (known as Imbolc) is actually in February when the groundhog is checking out his shadow and we're all dreaming of an early spring. The second is at the Vernal Equinox when we officially enter the light half of the year and the growing season begins. Snow melts, grass starts turning green and birds start to lay eggs. Pagan Unity's Ostara celebration on March 22nd, had a total of 21 attendees and featured a beautiful craft tree in the center of our altar with decorated Ostara eggs hanging from it's branches. We did a little traditional Spring cleaning by shaking off and sweeping out the stale, cold, stagnant energy of Winter with a Witch's Besom (broom). And, we blessed not only the physical seeds on the altar, but we blessed and energized the seeds of our aspirations. Everyone got a chance to plant a seed in a peat pot to take home and to share their intention for what they wanted to grow with that seed.
The third and final celebration of the Spring season happens in May when leaves have sprouted and flowers have bloomed. The Sun has warmed the Earth and Winter is now a dim memory. Many cultures around the world celebrate "May Day" with ribbons, balefires and Maypoles.
Pagan Unity 2014 BELTANE RITUAL