Ostara Ritual

This is the script for the Ostara ritual that I led this evening. The actual ritual had some changes along the way, as usual, but this is a pretty good representation of it.

Pre-ritual introduction: Welcome to Sacred Circle’s Ostara ritual. I’m Literata, the ritual coordinator, and I wanted to give you a heads-up about a few things that will be happening in ritual. We’ll be using music at a few points: if you know the tune or pick it up along the way, sing along, or clap, snap, or tap your feet! There are a few ritual phrases that whenever anyone says them, everyone echoes: Hail and welcome; hail and farewell, and Blessed be! For the ritual food and drink this evening, we have apple juice and bread with anise and lemon flavors. The bread is not vegan, but the rice cakes on the additional plate are. Any questions? Ok, please turn off your cell phones. I’m going to put on a short song, and you can use that time to settle in, to ground and center, and then we’ll start!

Song: Laydies Bring Your Flowers Faire by Heather Alexander

We are here to celebrate the spring equinox, the midpoint of spring when light and dark are in balance. The first buds are beginning to open on the trees and seeds are germinating.

Circle casting: Weave and Spin by Ruth Barrett as all hold hands.

Quarter calls: Powers of the East, Element of Air, your breeze caresses and refreshes us, and spreads the sweet scents of spring blossoms. Come to this circle to bring us inspiration and wisdom. Hail and welcome! (All echo.)

Powers of the South, Element of Fire, your warmth heralds the oncoming summer, and you give energy to everything that lives and grows. Come to this circle to bring us vitality and passion. Hail and welcome!

Powers of the West, Element of Water, your tides flow through us with every heartbeat, and your spring rains soak the fields to help the seeds sprout. Come to this circle to bring us emotion and intuition. Hail and welcome!

Powers of the North, Element of Earth, your solid form is our constant support, and you provide nutrients to questing roots and grow the food on which we depend. Come to this circle to bring us strength and nurturing. Hail and welcome!

Deity invocations:Gracious Goddess, Mighty God, Beloved Lord and Lady, hear our call to you! We invite you to join us at this moment when the growing light and waning darkness are balanced, as the buds are opening, at this turning point of the Wheel.

Come to us as the Spring Maiden, young and beautiful as a newly-opened flower, whose footsteps awaken the grass to grow again, whose breath is the spring breezes. The Lady is come, and welcome!

Come to us as the power of the growing Sun, the energy of days that are becoming longer than the nights, whose warmth feeds the rebirth of life. Lord of the waxing year, you are young and your power is still developing, spreading warmth and encouraging growth. The Lord is come, and welcome!

Guided meditation: Sit down so that you can be comfortable. Close your eyes and take a deep, cleansing breath. And out. And another. And out. And another. And out. Feel your connection to the earth below you, to the sky above you, to your brothers and sisters around you.

Now see yourself as a seed – a single grain of wheat that was harvested at Lammas and has been stored over the winter. Before you know it, you find yourself planted in the earth. It is dark and cool, and the earth surrounds you, embraces you.

Then the rain comes. It soaks through the soil, and it soaks into you, through your hull, and you begin to expand, as you drink in the water. After the dormant time of winter, your cells become active, beginning to grow, beginning to divide.

You grow so much that the seed hull can no longer contain you: it cracks open, and now you have tendrils that begin to move through the soil, questing, seeking for more water, for the nutrients you need. Although you are tiny, and the earth is heavy, it is moved by your persistence, by the strength of the life that is in you, that begins to grow. Some of your tendrils sink deep into the earth, becoming roots, moving through the earth to find the food you need to grow.

Some of your tendrils begin to feel warmth: the rains are over and gone, the sun is shining again. Your main stalk races towards the light and the fire, shooting up through the earth towards the warmth you crave, and at last you emerge into the air.

Here, you begin to unfold, leaves spreading wide to be caressed by the spring air, getting energy from the sun, drawing on your faithful, sturdy roots as you grow, as you embody the spring miracle of returning life.

Feel how much you have changed since you were the small, hard seed, buried in the earth; feel how the Elements and the power of life have enabled your transformation into a new form, one that is active and growing.

Now slowly begin to become aware of your own body again. Feel its boundaries, its shape. Feel how the experience you’ve just had applies to your own life.

Since we’re not actually plants, we experience the process of sprouting in different ways. But one thing remains the same: the opening up. When we draw down the moon or the sun, when we draw spirit into ourselves, it is a way of planting a seed, a seed of love, within ourselves. And when that love germinates and grows, it opens us up from the inside out, changing us, cracking open our preconceived notions and things that were holding us back, helping us break out of the shell that had surrounded us.

Think about how you want to experience sprouting in your own life, and settle on one intent. When you have that intent firmly in mind, take a few more deep breaths, and when you’re ready, open your eyes.

We’re going to do a self-blessing based on that idea as a way to plant the seeds we want within ourselves and within our own lives. How we do the self-blessing is to touch each of our chakras, the power points of the body, in a line from the root, near your groin, to the crown, on top of your head. I’ll say a short blessing for each one, and you can personalize your intent for what you want in your life.

Self-blessing: (Touch root chakra.) Lord and Lady, bless our roots, for we draw on them to support us and to nourish the seeds we plant. Blessed be!

(Touch second chakra, on belly.) Lord and Lady, bless our bellies, as your love and ours lets us plant the seeds of our desire within ourselves. Blessed be!

(Touch third chakra, at solar plexus.) Lord and Lady, bless our energy so that it feeds our growth, as the seeds we plant begin to sprout. Blessed be!

(Touch fourth chakra, over the heart.) Lord and Lady, bless our hearts so that as we grow, our hearts are opened to feel love. Blessed be!

(Touch fifth chakra, over throat.) Lord and Lady, bless our throats so that as we grow, our throats are opened to speak the truth. Blessed be!

(Touch sixth chakra, over third eye.) Lord and Lady, bless our vision so that as we grow, our understanding is opened to awareness. Blessed be!

(Touch crown chakra on top of head.) Lord and Lady, bless us, from root to crown, that this springtime nurtures our growth. Blessed be!

We have planted the seeds of love and new life within us again with the coming of spring!

The Great Rite: (Holds juice, lowers wand into juice.) This juice was pressed from apples which were the fruit of last year’s growth.

(Holds bread, cuts bread with knife.) This bread was made from wheat which was the bounty of last year’s harvest.

Seeds and fruits were transformed into food to nurture our bodies and spirits. (Pass bread and juice around circle.)

Song: We Are the Flow by Ruth Barrett

Let these be for us the blessing of the Lord and Lady for the seeds we have planted within ourselves today!

Thanks and farewells: Lord of the waxing year, thank you for your presence here and your blessings within us. Hail and farewell!

Spring Maiden, thank you for your presence here and your blessings within us. Hail and farewell!

Thanking the Quarters: Powers of North, Element of Earth, we thank you for your presence here and your blessings of strength and nurturing. Hail and farewell!

Powers of West, Element of Water, we thank you for your presence here and your blessings of emotion and intuition. Hail and farewell!

Powers of South, Element of Fire, we thank you for your presence here and your blessings of vitality and passion. Hail and farewell!

Powers of East, Element of Air, we thank you for your presence here and your blessings of inspiration and wisdom. Hail and farewell!

Circle Opening: May the Circle Be Open by Robert Gass.

When we actually did ritual, I cut the first and third songs because they weren’t necessary with the smaller group we had. Four people did the quarter calls from notecards I handed out; thank you very much! I know I read the guided meditation much too quickly; my apologies for that. I’ll learn better. A blessed Ostara to all!

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About Literata

Literata is a Wiccan priestess and writer. She edited Crossing the River: An Anthology in Honor of Sacred Journeys, and her poetry, rituals, and nonfiction have appeared in works such as Mandragora, Unto Herself, and Anointed as well as multiple periodicals. Literata has presented rituals and workshops at Sacred Space conference, Fertile Ground Gathering, and other mid-Atlantic venues. Literata offers healing and divination services as well as customized life-cycle rituals. She is currently completing her doctoral dissertation in history with the support of her husband and four cats.
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3 Responses to Ostara Ritual

  1. Mike Timonin says:

    That’s lovely – thanks for sharing! My wife and I have been teaching on Sunday mornings, so I’ve missed the comforting flow of ritual. One of the congregational pagans led service this morning and I caught part of it over the TV in the kitchen. I’ll be glad to be done teaching so that I can get back to that. This helped, though.

  2. Literata says:

    Thanks, Mike! I know what it’s like to miss ritual, so I’m very glad this helped.

  3. Grafton says:

    Excellent guided med, Literata! Just reading it I was able to get a sense of the flow and feel of it. Perhaps recording ahead of time would allow you get a feel for the proper pacing (not that public speaking won’t speed it up, but it might help)? And have the added advantage of yielding a collection of guided meditations you could share with others sometime down the road. ;)

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