The Journey to Spring
Posted on March 27, 2017 at 11:30 AM
Well, Ostara is come and gone… at least here in NJ, spring is getting underway after a late winter snowstorm and a cold snap colder than any this winter. We celebrated the warming of the earth and the lengthening of the day over the week with a ritual of symbols.
The ritual included a lot of singing… three songs because Ostara is a time of celebration!
This ritual was the journey to spring… through the cold and dark to the warm, sunlit springtime. The ritual was all about the symbols of spring replacing the symbols of winter. The journey was symbolized by a small boat carrying the symbols of winter at the start of the ritual. A fan represented the winter winds. A globe of blue light represented the cold light of winter. A blue bowl was full of snow and a small vase of bare branches represented winter water and the winter earth.
We set the boat afloat on a small sea made of a small tub of water (but you could use a pad of felted fabric). We docked our little boat on the east side of the tub of water, where we honor air and exchanged the fan of the winter winds for a nested bird. This was a symbolic trade of the sounds of the harsh winter winds for the beauty of birdsong. We had a box of the symbols of winter and the fan was placed in the box.
Our boat moved to the south side of the tiny sea. South represents fire. Spring brings us longer days and yellow sunshine. We celebrated that by changing the globe of cold blue light. It was turned off and replaced by a globe of golden, warm light. The blue globe was placed in the box of winter.
Now, the boat floated to the west side and we considered the change of water when the spring comes. The ice and snow melt and the rivers run and dance in the warmth. We remove the top of the bowl of snow and sprinkle water to represent rain bringing snowmelt. The top of the bowl went in the winter box.
The brightening of the sun, the gentle winds, and the melting snow bring us to the north where the spirit of the earth is honored. The bare branches in the vase on the boat were removed and replaced by flowering branches to celebrate the greening of the earth. The winter box received last symbol of winter. Tiny seed packages were removed from the winter box and the boat resumed its journey around the sea to bring a seed package to each of the participants.
The ritual ended with raising the power and more singing and poetry.