Updated: Apr 4, 2021
Our Ancient Ancestors saw Spring as a time to celebrate the return of the Sun and its warmth, after surviving the winter months. In areas with particularly harsh winters, food was scarce and sacred, And when Spring arrived, it brought with it the promise for a new life and happiness, food variety increases as animals are born and come out of hibernation and plants start to grow. The ancient people of Northern Europe would have felt, relieved and joyful looking forward to the coming of the Goddess of Spring every year.
There is very little information on the Goddess Ostara but a lot of her traditions live on in the modern day Easter. As a holiday, Easter actually predates Christianity, it was originally the name for the Spring Equinox. One of Ostara’s name variations, Esotara, slowly evolved into the modern name for this holiday, Easter. The name "Eostre" (Old Germanic "Ostara"), is related to that of Eos, the Greek goddess of dawn, her name can then be translated as East, Dawn or Morning Light. Ostara’s name is also the root of the word oestrogen.
Ostara is said to originate from Northern Europe where it was said that she brought with her rebirth, renewal, and fertility to the land during the beginning of Spring. She was responsible for reawakening the earth and supporting the growth of new life. It was Ostara that warmed the winds, helped the trees to bud, and the snow to melt. Spring was seen as a time of hope after the harsh winters of ancient Europe. Ostara, and Spring, was a sign that no matter what harshness or coldness covers the Earth, it will be reborn again.
My thoughts as we welcome Ostara 2021
This morning as the Sun rose above the horizon on this ancient day , a day that sits between winter and spring, light and darkness, the old and new world, Kin , Clan , Farmers, Mothers, Sons and Daughters, Wives and Husbands, Priestesses, gather and set free a thousand prayers, calling , yet reaching the Goddess, for she stirs in every fibre of our lands , near and far.
For she is remembered , she is not forgotten, never will she, she is remembered and held with a full heart, so to are her songs, stories, we honour the stories of old and breathe life into new threads that are woven from old and new alike , new stories , new experiences, new earth, mirroring old earth is birthed and born.
Staff, Wand, Phantom Quartz , Horn and Chalice raised up and offered to Ostara to the Equinox, Mead flowed and was poured upon the earth, herb and resin, smoke filled the air carrying these thousand prayers. Faces painted with Runes, Ancient Old Magic restored.
We stand in a circle, hand in hand , heart to heart , together or alone , yet beside us stand the dead, those who have gone before us , the ancestors for they never die , they live within us, within our deeds, words and actions, for they never die they live within us , they surround us.
For now there is equal light and equal darkness, it is time to reweave the balance, in doing so we restore, what was once taken and ripped from us and lost yet never ever forgotten , the fields, rivers, the forests. The land is our church.
Our Healing Rite and Blōt
I dedicate this flame to the Goddess, to you Brigid, Freya and our All Father Odin, that stands beside You Freya.
I touch the ground, and reach deep into the earth, as we reach deep into ourselves. With our bare hands, we pull those stories up into the light, like lost seeds that are yearning to be reborn, retold, remembered.
Into the stones, the blood and bones of our Mothers and Fathers Peoples.
Your Blood lies within us, as does your story, words and wisdom.
For friends, for kin and clan, I pour this Mead as a offering of thanks, as we collectively move from harm to healing, for all those that have come before us, and for those that are yet to come. For our children's children.
This Rite, This Magic is held with Ease of heart, for as the light grows, so it may it grow in our hearts, may we continue to move from harm to healing, my words are our words, they are spoke with total conviction, I and we do not stand alone, we are surrounded by the invisible yet visible threads of our Ancestors, of our forbears, this is done for the land and its new stories, for the generations that are yet to follow.
With Love, Care and Truth in our hearts we will now do the work that is required to rebuild from the remains and rubble, to reclaim the sovereignty of the land and its people, for now and forever more..
May the herbs and resin carry a thousand prayers, may the beat of our hearts and of the scared drum see it on its way beyond Midgard and into the 9 worlds..
By the powers of 3 times 3 this is our will so may it be.
Words Shane Christian Gadd woven as I watch the birth of this Ostara.
I will be performing this Blot and offering at around 6pm March 21st GMT if you fill inspired to light a candle and to take a moment to reflect on these words and rite, I will be honoured...
For me since discovering my Nordic ancestry it brings a greater sense of meaning and purpose as I journey the wheel of the year. as my ancestors once did. Our celebrations humble us and brings us together with our Gods, Goddesses and our ancestors, honouring the ebb and flow of the land and its seasons. the Old Norse Germanic word for these rites were known as Blot is derived from the ancient Germanic word for "blessing"
Next up is May Eve known as Waluburgis Night s a holiday celebrated on April 30 , in Finland, Sweden and Germany and throughout the Faeroe Islands. Which also marks the date of my Fathers Birthday. Love you Dad and I give a thousand thanks for all that you share teach and inspire in us.
Something that is very dear to me is this song for many reasons.. Its known as Lívstræðrir meaning Threads of Life preformed by Eivør & John Lunn its beautiful and haunting..
You don’t just hear this... you feel this... absolutely amazing in every way!! it's like I've connected with ancestors from over 1000 years ago.. this music is a bridge between that era and the present. So powerful. The music takes me to faraway lands and far-gone times it is the music of the the Faeroe people, and The Faeroe Islands, my people, 200 miles north-northwest of Scotland, and about halfway between Norway and Iceland. I am forever thankful for discovering the threads that flow through my life...
Spring is here , The Earth renews itself, what was Dead is Now Alive!!
Beloved Goddess, Freya, Ostara and Brigid let our prayers come onto you.
The Mountains sleep, the rivers were frozen and the Trees Dream.
Yet now The White Raven flies once again.
Mighty Odin All Father Spring is here, The Earth Renews itself what was Dead is now Alive!! It is reborn!!
Its time to fill our cups, and horns, to the brim with mead, pick up the Tagelharpa, Shruti Box, drum and flute, Play Music, tell stories and feast.. Raising a horn for all those we hold dear, to the ancestors, to land and its people, and to the new stories that are just about to be birthed and born…
The Earth renews itself what was Dead is now Alive! And for that Our Beloved Goddess we give a Thousand Thanks!
Words Shane Christian Gadd
A twig Tree Dedicated to Ostara, Freya and Brigid and to the mighty All Father Odin.. A tradition and threads flow back 1000’s of years. Birch, Blackthorn, and Hawthorn twigs were gathered around dusk and brought into the house and the dwelling, for these trees are the first to bud and blossom the home is humbly decorated, honouring the return of Spring.