Spring is in the air in the Northern Hemisphere – and I’m feeling it! Perhaps you are too; it might feel like a bounce in your step, or the warm sun on your skin. Spring is coming, and celebrations such as Ostara and Spring Equinox are opportunities to integrate our personal values with the turning of the season.
Ostara and Spring Equinox
This year, March 19 marks the Spring Equinox and beginning of spring in the Northern hemisphere (autumn in the Southern hemisphere). During equinoxes, the amount of daylight and night are equal to one another. Many relate this to the merging of light and dark, the union of the Divine Feminine and Divine Masculine, and finding balance in our lives.
The Pagan celebration of Ostara is one of the solar festivals within the Wheel of the Year. It’s widely thought that the festival is named after the Germanic goddess Eostre, goddess of the spring and dawn. Ostara venerates the coming of spring, fertility, birth, rebirth, creativity and manifestation, fresh beginnings, and balance. Common symbols and correspondences include eggs, rabbits, flowers, seeds, pastel colors, and fertility/spring deities.
A Deeper Cut
Sabbats and solar/lunar events are brilliant aids to clarify and anchor our values. They invite us to pause, reflect and get clear on our “why.” Why do I want to celebrate this sabbat? What do I really desire for this?
Historically, people imbued these annual focal points with correspondences and activities that helped them understand their relationship to nature, life, death, hope, and fear. When we immerse ourselves in a sabbat or solar/lunar event, we merge with the collective pulse and spirit of that event.
And while we may weave these collective associations into our own practices, there’s also the opportunity to call forth what’s personally true and valued for us. In this respect, we contribute our unique thumbprint to the collective mosaic.
This year, I’m experimenting with creating values-based practices and traditions. Values reflect our beliefs and ideals about what holds importance for us. They’re lenses that shape our priorities, behaviors, and actions.
Tradition is defined as “the handing down of statements, beliefs, legends, customs, information, etc., from generation to generation, especially by word of mouth or by practice.”
The values we hold have their own journeys. Some are absorbed from external sources, such as family, community, and societal influences. Others are forged by personal experience or something more ineffable. These bubble up through the crannies of our inner knowing and flow from our soul into the rivulet known as “my, me, mine”.
Some values are the life of the party. Others are quiet and nuanced. Some values become more brazen with time, while others slink away.
The practice of bridging our personal values with the collective story ascribed to the sabbats and solar/lunar events is an opportunity to draw ourselves closer to the life stories of the values we hold dear.
How Do I Create a Values-Based Practice or Tradition?
So, how do we bring this perspective into actual practice? Please know that arriving here has many paths. That said, I offer these suggestions for getting started:
1) Clarify your personal values and intentions for Ostara/Spring Equinox. Some questions you might ask yourself:
- What about Ostara/Spring Equinox calls to me?
- What do I truly desire to bring forth?
- What values do I most want to nourish at this time?
You can make this inquiry while walking in nature, meditating, journaling, washing dishes, showering, or whatever modality quiets your mind and invites your intuitive self forward. If you need a more concrete starting point, feel free to search for values lists online. Brene Brown’s Dare to Lead List of Values is a good example.
2) Familiarize yourself with the correspondences and traditions typically associated with Ostara/Spring Equinox. Note which ones stand out to you.
3) Create a practice or tradition that combines what you discovered during steps 1 and 2.
Here’s an example:
1) The vibrancy of spring and how it expresses itself in the natural world calls to me. I desire to renew my relationship to the spirits of the land that I live on. I want to amplify my values of gratitude, stewardship, nature, and family.
2) I’m most drawn to the spirit of spring, rebirth, new beginnings, creativity, eggs, and flowers.
3) My Values-Based Tradition:
- My son and I will make compostable eggs (see recipe for DIY Compostable Play Dough).
- The first egg will represent something we want to create and will be placed on our seasonal altar.
- A second egg will represent gratitude for our home and will be placed on our hearth altar.
- A third egg will represent our reverence for the land and nature spirits. This egg will be buried in the yard as an offering to these spirits and to bless the animals and plants.
- I will work closely with Brian Froud’s “Faeries Oracle” deck and include fresh flowers on our home altars.
Play around with this if you’re curious. Remember, there’s no right or wrong when it comes to working intentionally with your values as you honor the turning of the wheel. The field is wide open for your creativity and intuitive flow!
About the Author: Krista Harrison is a mother, writer, healer, solitary witch and animist practicing home-based spirituality. She’s a licensed transpersonal psychotherapist and certified hypnotherapist. Krista studied Depth Hypnotherapy, applied shamanism and shamanic counseling with Dr. Isa Gucciardi at Foundation of the Sacred Stream. She’s also certified as a postpartum doula and is a graduate of the Mothering Arts Community Supported Postpartum program. Krista currently studies spiritwork with Ren Zapotek and is training in the Akashic Records with Josephine Hardman at Purefield Healing.
Among Krista’s many interests is reigniting her magickal practice in a way that supports her busy life as a mom to two young children. She writes about hearthcraft, spiritwork, animism, mothercraft, postpartum and maternal wellness and personal/spiritual development. Krista’s writing can be found on her blog and her Instagram, as well as on Medium.com where she writes personal essays.