Belated Ostara

I actually really like the equinoxes though I know many people who struggle with them. I like the fall because, well, it’s my birthday (specifically, the 22nd), and I can’t think of a better way to spend it than ritual and feasting afterwards.

The spring, I enjoy because I love that moment of balance and quiet before the spring starts bouncing out in all due force. Minnesota is weird: some months, spring comes quickly, and if we’re lucky, it falls on a weekend. Some years, winter drags its feet about leaving (like this one, apparently: it was 35 and clear and melted snow on Thursday. Friday? 3+ inches of snow.)

Anyway, Thursday, before a busy SF con filled weekend, we did our first Sabbat ritual. Have a photo of the altar after we dyed eggs. You can see the altar here – it’s had a little photo editing done, as I am apparently incapable of pouring red wine into a cup on a white cloth without spilling some.

ostara.jpg

You can see the eggs on the left: we each wrote words or designs in wax pencil on the egg, and then dyed them whatever color seemed appropriate (using a ‘dowsing’ sort of method: hold the egg over the dye cups briefly and see which way they feel pulled.) We then used them as a divinatory/oracular source; what did the color + design suggest to us?

Some of them were fascinating: the red one, for example, says “Remember this color”, and it’s a gorgeous bright red. (Or was.)

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This is the picture of our feast afterwards. One of our group goals/desires is good food and drink. This is what happens when you clear off the altar desk and use it for a dinner table. You see here, left to right:

  • green beans, tomatoes (from my covenmate’s garden last summer) and garlic
  • challah bread (same loaf as on the altar, obviously. It did try to take over the world, but was delicious. Recipe in Reichart’s Breadbaker’s Apprentice)
  • The glass bowl has chicken salad – it had parsley and other green herbs in it, and tasted absolutely like spring. (We made sandwiches using the challah bread.)
  • devilled eggs (in this case, made with mayo, mustard, and dill, with more dill as a garnish. I like dill. So does L.) Made, of course, using the eggs from ritual.

And liquid – wine from the same bottle as for ritual for L, who wasn’t driving shortly, and water (in the horse mug on the side of the table) for me.

We are currently alternating hosting rituals: this is my tiny little house: the curtains behind the altar lead into my bedroom alcove (big enough for my bed, a bookcase, a freestanding closet, and the desk when it’s not being an altar. Which altar tools we use depend a bit who’s hosting; whoever hosts mostly provides things like the water/salt/incense holders from our own tools right now.

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