Mar 23, 2016
Some holidays have a more complex cultural context and ritual motive, but the spring High Days have always seemed pretty self-evident to me, and Ostara most of all. No more snow! No more ice! No more blizzards! Hooray!

Granted, in the midwestern United States, Ostara usually isn’t all that spring-like, but it’s a start. This year, global climate change has given us a damn pleasant Spring Equinox. I’m uncomfortable being wholly pleased about that for a variety of reasons, but I can’t deny that temperatures over sixty make my life a much nicer place to be.

When I was observing a pretty strict Irish religion, I neglected the Spring Equinox (and its partner in autumn) because there’s not really much evidence the Irish did any damn thing about it. Ostara has a new connotation for me now, though - it was the first High Day ADF ritual I ever attended, with the local grove whose rituals I can’t usually make it to thanks to my work schedule. I wish I could make it more often, but I will be forever grateful for their invitation and the very welcoming and illuminating experience I had there.

Since I’m celebrating Ostara properly this year as a member of ADF, and not just attempting to shoehorn it in to an Irish ritual calendar, I’m planning an Anglo-Saxon rite. Alaric Albertsson, in his book Travels Through Middle-earth, points out that even if we don’t know much about her, Eostre must have been a tremendously important goddess to the Anglo-Saxons. After all, in most of the other European languages, Easter is called something along the lines of Pasch, from the Hebrew. I met Eostre for the first time at that grove rite last year, and I am looking forward to meeting her again, and letting her know that I am still here. I was in a bad place last Ostara, in a great deal of pain, which has greatly lessened now, and I get the feeling she’d be glad to know that.

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