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(for the Spring Equinox)
By Steve and Lisa Wilson
(Note from Jordsvin: some see Eostre/Ostara as an aspect of Freya (as do the Wilsons); others see her as a German and Anglo-Saxon Idunna (myself and Thorr and Audrey Sheil); still others as an independent Goddess in her own right.)
Set up harrow with gandr, drinking-horn, blessing bowl, evergreen tine (or tine of freshly-cut new grass bundled into tine), vessel with ale, and bowl or basket with boiled eggs, died yellow and painted with spirals, runes, and other appropriate symbols in red. If desired, harrow can also be decorated with a rabbit-figure, and blooming potted spring bulbs. Recels can be lavender or other floral scent. The harrow should face east.
OPENING: Horn-blower should sound the moot-horn to the aetts. The folk should then gather around the harrow.
HALLOWING: Godi should charge recels with the elhaz-galdr, then circle stead three times, sunwise, with smoldering recels. Returning to the harrow, godi should pick up the gandr and make greeting to the aetts, beginning in the east and moving sunwise, using the elhaz-rune:
"ELHAZ, HELGA VE THETTA OK HINDRA ALLA ILLSKA!"
Godi should then return to the harrow, face the east, and hold gandr high overhead:
"I HALLOW AND MAKE HOLY THIS HARROW AND STEAD
BEARING GOOD FOR MY FOLK I BANISH ALL BALE
MAY OUR HEARTS BE MADE WHOLE
MAY OUR MINDS BE MADE OPEN
AS HEIMDALLR BRIGHT WARDS BIFROST BRIDGE
BE THIS STEAD WARDED FROM BANEFUL WIGHTS!"
INVOCATION: Godi stands in elhaz-stodhur, facing east. All
participants should also face east, and raise their arms in
"HAIL, OSTARA, EASTWARD ARISING,
LAUGHING GODDESS, LADY OF LIGHT--
TO DAWN, DOMINION OVER DARKNESS
THY GLORY HAS GRANTED, GONE IS THE NIGHT!
WINTER'S WRATH BY WINDS OF WARMTH
THE MAIDEN'S MIGHT HAS MELTED HERE;
EVERYWHERE GREEN PLANTS ARE GROWING,
FLOWERS FLOURISH, SHE-BEASTS BEAR;
LET THY LIGHT'S ILLUMINATION
BANISH SORROW, BLESSINGS BRING,
GRANT SUCCESS, AND A GOOD SEASON
TO THOSE WHO SEEK THEE HERE THIS SPRING!*"
All the folk should greet Ostara with godi:
"HAIL OSTARA! HAIL OSTARA! HAIL OSTARA!"
GODI'S REDE: Godi opens with the call to listen:
"HEARKEN TO MY HOLY REDE HAIL TO HIM WHO HEARS MY WORDS!"
Then godi should offer thoughts about the coming of spring.
OFFERING: Godi fills drinking horn from vessel of ale:
"LADY OSTARA, AS OUR FOREFATHERS DID IN DAYS LONG AGO, WE GATHER IN YOUR HONOR AND OFFER YOU OUR SACRIFICE! NOT OF BLOOD, BUT IN THE FREE GIVING OF OUR HUMAN EFFORTS, OUR STRUGGLES, AND OUR DEVOTION! MAY IT AID US, GODS AND HUMANKIND ALIKE, IN OUR STRUGGLE AGAINST THOSE WHO WOULD WAR AGAINST ASGARDHR, OR SEEK TO BRING GRAY SLAVERY TO MIDGARDHR!"
Godi raises filled horn and holds it aloft in offering:
"OSTARA, ACCEPT OUR GIFTS, NOT AS FROM SLAVES, FOR WE HAVE NO MASTERS, NOR AS AN APPEASEMENT, FOR WE STAND IN GOOD STEAD WITH YOU, BUT AS A SIGN OF OUR KINSHIP AND FELLOWSHIP!"
When godi feels the offering has been accepted, he will pour three small libations into the blessing-bowl. For each libation, he and the folk will say one of the following lines:
HAIL ALL THE GODS AND GODDESSES!
HAIL TO THE HOLY, ALL-GIVING EARTH!"
Godi will then place horn back into its stand, and add more ale to ensure it is full.
LOADING: Godi should make the berkano-rune over the horn and eggs three times, then hold his hands over the ale and eggs:
"OSTARA, YOU HAVE RECEIVED OUR SACRIFICE, SYMBOLIZED BY THE ALE IN THIS HORN. POUR NOW INTO THIS ALE AND THESE EGGS YOUR MIGHT AND YOUR BLESSINGS OF NEW BIRTH, NEW LIFE, AND NEW GROWTH, THAT WE MAY GROW CLOSER TO YOU AND TO EACH OTHER BY SHARING THEM AMONG US."
BLESSING: When godi feels the ale and eggs are charged with Ostara ' s might, he should place tine into the blessing-bowl and pour a small amount of the ale over it into the bowl. Godi then uses the tine to sprinkle the harrow on all four sides, then sprinkles each of the folk:
"I GIVE YOU THE BLESSING OF OSTARA!"
Godi then picks up the horn and carries it to each of the folk, offering it to them to drink, refilling it from the vessel when necessary:
Each person, if they desire, may offer a toast to Ostara before they drink. After everyone has drunk, the godi returns to the harrow, drinks, and pours any remainder into the blessing-bowl. Godi then picks up the eggs:
"ON OSTARA'S FEAST THIS WISH I BRING,
THAT WITH LOVE AND JOY YOUR LIFE WILL RING;
AN EGG I GIVE TO YOU TODAY,
THAT PEACE AND GOOD WILL EVER STAY!*"
Godi will then carry eggs around, giving one to each of the folk.
CLOSING: After handing out eggs, godi returns to harrow and speaks:
"THIS BLOT IS DONE. MAY IT STRENGTHEN US IN OUR DEVOTION TO THE GODS AND GODDESSES OF OUR FOREFATHERS, AND RENEW IN OUR HEARTS OUR DETERMINATION TO LIVE AS WORTHY SISTERS AND BROTHERS OF OSTARA. MAY WE GO FORTH FROM HERE WITH ALL THE GREATER RESOLUTION TO LIVE FREE AND TRUE: WITH COURAGE, WITH TRUST IN OUR STRENGTH, AND HONORING THE BONDS OF KINSHIP, UNTIL WE BE GATHERED TO THE GODS."
Godi then stands in elhaz, facing the east:
"BRIGHT OSTARA, LADY OF SPRING, WE THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRESENCE WITH YOUR KINFOLK TONIGHT, AND FOR THE GIFTS YOU GIVE TO US. AS YOU WEND HOME TO ASGARDHR, BEAR WITH YOU THE PRAYERS AND HOPES OF YOUR KIN WHO DWELL HERE IN MIDGARDHR. OUR PRAISE TO YOU, OSTARA, AND FAREWELL!"
As godi raises gandr to each of the aetts, the folk should repeat after him:
"HAIL, OSTARA, AND FAREWELL!"
After the rite, the blessing-bowl should be emptied onto the earth. Feasting and celebration are appropriate afterwards.
*The poetry used in the call and blessing are adapted from Diana Paxson's book, Dragons of the Rhine.
last modified 07/19/2003