Newsletter: Ostara 2021
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Education: What are the Origins of Ostara?
The Spring Equinox is upon us this month. For many pagans and/or witches, this means the celebration of Ostara, which falls on March 20th this year. This holiday is named for a spring Goddess of West Germanic Origins. The Goddess’s name is alternately known as Eostre.
This particular Goddess is much discussed in folkloric circles largely for how little is actually known about her. The first and only old writing of Eostre is from Bede’s 8th Century work, The Reckoning of Time, in which he writes of feasts that were held in Eostre’s honor, a tradition that died out and was replaced by the Christian celebration for the resurrection of Jesus.
Jacob Grimm (one half of the well-known folklorist duo, the Grimm Brothers), who is known both for his work in Folk-lore and philology also detailed evidence of Ostara/Eostre largely through philogistic means. Noting in his the first volume of his 1835 work Deutsche Mythologie that “This Ostarâ, like the [Anglo-Saxon] Eástre, must in heathen religion have denoted a higher being, whose worship was so firmly rooted, that the Christian teachers tolerated the name, and applied it to one of their own grandest anniversaries.”
Grimm’s ideas of Ostara along with Adolf Holtzman’s connections between Easter and Hares (a subject for another time, perhaps) played a huge role in shaping modern ideas and associations about Ostara (and Easter).
Ritual: "Relax and Be Happy" Mood Spray
Lately I have been struggling a lot with my mood. If I’m tackling my anxiety symptoms then my depression symptoms become even more present. I made this mood spray with the intent to kill two birds with one stone.
With Spring just around the corner, I really wanted to harness the relaxing feelings the sun gives me and create this “Relax & Be Happy”. I combined the happy and uplifting feeling that both citrus and the sun give to me, with the relaxation I get from lavender, amethyst and the sun's calming rays. I loved experimenting to create this potion and I hope it inspires you to do the same.
Here's how I made it!
What you will need:
I started by filling my mason jar about ¾ the way with Sun water that had been charging in the sunlight most of the day. I added about 25 drops of lavender essential oil, a handful of leaves and stems from dried kitchen sage, and a large amount of orange zests. After my mix was in the mason jar, I put it back in the sun with several amethyst near it to charge up even more. After the sun was set I transferred it into a spray bottle and wrote “Relax & Be Happy” on my bottle while setting the intention again. This spray reminds me of long sunny days relaxing in my hammock.
Whenever I need it, I will spritz my room with a bit of this spray to help me be relaxed and happy.
Shadow Work Prompt: Letting Go of Resentment
“Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” Malachy McCourt
With the winter season coming to a close and the snow melting away, now is the perfect time to let go of past troubles that have built up much like the snowfall and allow them to melt away and become nourishment for new things in our future. Allow this exercise to help you shed yourself of any built up resentment and try to gain new perspective about your situation, allowing you to grow.
Is there a situation you feel resentful about?
Why do you think you still feel resentment about it?
What was the outcome you were expecting? (Describe your dream outcome)
What parts about your dream outcome do you think would’ve brought you the most happiness?
Where are places in your life you can get these things from besides this situation?
What are some things about your dream outcome that are NOT so appealing?
What are some unexpected silver linings that came from the outcome that DID happen in reality?
What is a lesson you learned from the situation?
How can you use that lesson to positively influence your actions today?
Midwest Coven Cast Season 2
Join us for the kick-off of Midwest Coven Cast Season 2 on Wednesday, March 17, 2021! You can listen on all major podcasting platforms OR right here on our website. Just go to our LISTEN page!
Midwest Coven Cast Presents: Weekend Reads
Join Marilyn for a new spin-off Podcast, Midwest Coven Cast Presents: Weekend Reads. Marilyn will read old occult texts (which are in the public domain) to help you learn more about occult history and practice. Season one will focus on Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa's Three Books of Occult Philosophy or Magic (1531).