Ostara Ritual

This is the spring equinox. Night and day are equal length, as the sun begins to win out over the dark of winter. It is a time of exuberance and fertility, a celebration of the abundance of nature. In fact, a time for the celebration of just about everything. Winter is over! We've made it! Huzzah!

Tools: Candles for the quarters, and one each for Goddess and God. Nothing else out of the ordinary. Set your altar according to custom.

Supplies: At least one pomegranate, and a knife for getting into it (a major pain, if you've never tried). One of these will go a long way, but if your group is particularly large, you may want to bring a spare, just in case.


Cleansing: Whatever you're comfortable with. Mine can be found on the  Rites and Blessings  page.

Casting the circle: Begin facing East, then turn to each direction as you call its guardians. "Reader" can be assigned, or passed around. I like passing better, but no one should be forced to speak if they're not comfortable with what's happening.
 

Turn to the altar now, and address the candle for the Goddess:
  Turning to the God candle:
  If possible, all should hold hands around the altar for this:
  Okay, now we have a little bit of casting to do. Select one person to be Hades, lord of the underworld; another to be Demeter; and another to represent Persephone, her daughter. These are all speaking parts. The Reader gets some lines here also. Again, if folks are comfortable, share the wealth. The more people who wish to participate, the more powerful the ritual. Staging can be as realistic or as stylized as you wish. As long as you identify your characters, it is enough to place them at the points of a triangle, perhaps with the Reader in the middle. The rest of the group can sit around the outside of your circle. The ending of this section gets pretty tricky, so make sure people are familiar with their parts. Rehearsal ahead of time is great, if you can make the necessary arrangements. While everyone is getting into their places, the Reader or another narrator can begin with the following.
  At this point, the drama is ended. Distribute one or two pomegranate seeds to each person in attendance. You may all eat together at the end, or one at a time as you receive your seeds, whatever feels right to you. As you eat, feel your kinship with Persephone. Feel the strength that comes from your community, and feel yourself as a part of the great and endless cycle of death and life. Distribute the following lines as you see fit, but find a way to distribute them somehow. It's important.
 
  The simple feast: Eat, drink, be merry! We have all survived another winter! When you feel you're through (or when all your candles burn out), open the circle according to your custom, bidding thanks first to the Goddess and God, and a hearty farewell to the Guardians. Here's a matching set if you need them.
  For the Guardians, I normally use Starhawk's, because they're simple and beautiful. Here's how they go:
  And one more thing:
  There you have it. May it speak to you in the doing as much as it did to me in the writing. If you use this, or even any bits of it, let me know how it goes. I'd love to make your acquaintance.
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