Here in New Zealand, everything is starting to really burst forth in a crazy rush of growth. I can’t keep up with the weeds, and I’m sure that the grass is growing so quickly I can see it happen.
Because I live on a small family farm, I’m fortunate enough to see the changes that are associated with the Wheel of the Year on a fundamental, earth-based level. I don’t need a calendar to tell me that the Equinox is here – I can see it in the earth and sky, and feel it in the air around me.
The season’s lambs are here – seven of them, healthy and whole, after the devastating loss of a set of triplets born too small to live – with one pet lamb to look after. A perfect mix for the kids – my daughter loves giving our lamb her bottles, and playing the role of small mother to the baby lamb.
But on a cerebral level, Ostara always feels a little low-key for me. I’m sure it would feel more important in the northern hemisphere, where it would fit nicely with the massive consumerist nightmare that is Christian Easter. But here, at the other end of the world, there are no chocolate eggs to be found (unless you count Kinder eggs with a plastic toy inside). And although painting eggs is nice, it does feel like you’re rerunning a celebration that has already happened, and doing a rather poor job of it.
So how do we bring meaning to Ostara without making it simply a rehash of the bigger Easter celebration? It’s a tricky problem. For me, I turn to nature, and find my peace celebrating the beauty and life and fertility around me that is so blatant at this time.
As a woman, I also feel very fertile in Spring. Sex plays a bigger role in my life, whether I want it to or not. I’m more aware of my ovulation and the power of my own fertility. I’m awar of being attracted to others, and attracting them. I’m aware more of my physical self, and my connection to the world around me. And – in the middle of all this bursting, blooming, pumping life – somewhat ironically I find myself more aware of my mortality too.
So for me, the equinox becomes a place of balance. As I look forwards I turn outwards with the coming summer. But as I look behind, I also turn inwards with the winter. I’m aware of my place in the world, my significance as well as my insignificance. I make peace with reality. And that’s okay.
I love this time of year. For me, Ostara is the promise of new beginnings built upon the old work of the past year. I look back of the precog work I have done, and some of what is to come is already set in stone, and I’ve seen so many things and so much of what is going to happen whether I like it or not, but still so much of it is shifting. Change is still possible.
Here’s to a happy Ostara for you and yours, whatever the Sabbat means for you. For me, I will light a candle, go to the beach tonight, and make peace with my past before I move on to my future. Whatever your future holds, may blessings, peace and prosperity be yours.