The vernal equinox celebrates the balance of light and dark. At this equinox, a shift takes place from the earth energy of winter to the airiness of spring. From the cold darkness of earth and stone and the roots of trees, sap begins to rise; the breeze begins to warm and soothe us; and the skies become thickly inhabited once again.
No talk of spring is complete without mention of its central image; that of the seed that dies, falls into the dark ground, and is reborn as the sprout, the seedling. Here are a few Ostara activities, including the ritualized action of planting intention:
PLANT YOUR BEAN RUNES
Choose a rune, or two or three, that most closely sums up what it is you wish to grow in your life. Called the I Ching of the Vikings, runes were originally used for divination.
Prepare a pot of soil by stirring it with your finger, visualizing your good energy entering into the soil. Smooth the surface of the soil and then make shallow holes for the beans, about the depth of a pencil eraser. Hold the beans in your hand and breathe into them, infusing them with your hopes. Plant them in the shape of the rune, visualizing concrete things you intend to do during the next few weeks to make your wish become reality. Then water them well, cover the pot with plastic wrap, and put it on top of the refrigerator (the warmth will help the sprouting process).
In a couple of days, check to see if anything has come up. If the soil is dry, water it. Soon your rune will sprout. After the danger of frost is past, you can plant it in your farden. If for some reason your rune fails to sprout, you may want to rethink your goals and try a different rune, or try the same one again.
HONORING THE BIRDS
On Ostara, you might want to clean the hair out of the family hairbrushes and put it out for the birds to use as nesting material. When you do, send loving thoughts to the birds who will use your hair to make their homes.
This simple, satisfying activity becomes a welcome gift to any companion animal. First, find a medium-sized flowerpot, preferably earthenware or ceramic. You can decorate it with paint or ribbons to make it really special. Fill the pot with earth and then plant it with grass seeds, or with catnip seeds if you have a cat. Water it well and put it in a sunny windowsill. In a few days, your animal friend will have something fresh and green to chew on.
Adapted from Celebrating the Great Mother, by Cait Johnson and Maura D. Shaw. Copyright (c) 1995 by Cait Johnson and Maura D. Shaw.
Adapted from Celebrating the Great Mother, by Cait Johnson and Maura D. Shaw.