Strega Jewellry's Blog

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Wheel of the Year: Ostara


imbolc

Gradually warming days, usually with plenty of rain and mud.  The yard looks a mess but you can get out and work on the days without showers.  Birds have returned and fat robins are nesting.  I put out a mesh bag of yarn scraps so they can line their nests.  They are so busy.   I am sure they can use the help.

The moss in my fairy garden turns greener.   It is time to plant peas.  Peas want the cold ground for a good start and this time of year is the best time to plant them.   I got mine in today just before the rain came.   I always soak my peas overnight so they are almost ready to pop open before I put them in the ground.   Yes, it will get chillier again but the peas with thrive in the cold.   Root crops can go in the ground now.   Time to plan where you are going to plant.

My chives stay green even in the ice and snow, but in March they take on a greenier green.  My crocus have all popped out this week and their bright colors give me a lift.  It’s spring for sure.

crocus

I get excited when I spy the soft catkins of the pussy willows.  I always try to bring some branches inside.   The little grey catkins make me smile.   My spirits are uplifted with the warmth and the sun.

pussywillow

It’s a good time of year to start seeds indoors.  I plant by the moon.   Best time this year is from March 9th until the 22nd when the moon is waxing.  Today I started herbs for the herb garden my son, Mort, built for me last fall.   Horehound will grow every year now and be wonderful in teas for congestion from colds next winter.  Anise will make such great licorice flavored teas for stomach flu.  Burnet is an herbb I’ve never seen in the stores.  I love it in salads with its light cucumber taste.  Parsley, of course and basil are started and summer savory.   I’m going to try  some lemon grass and vanilla grass.  I love their wonderful smells.  And lemon grass, basil and hibiscus make a great tea to give you a mental lift!

Ostara is my second favorite “holiday”. It marks a major change in light and after the equinox, the days are truly noticeably  longer.  More light means more new growth.  Beneath the ground, plants are stirring.  Buds are beginning to form on tree branches.  In our hearts, we are ready to plant new “seeds” also.   We all have projects we look forward to starting.  We have new ideas we want to express.   We begin spring cleaning in our homes.  The windows are open and the pine smell of cleaners replaces the dust and cobwebs of winter.   In our heads and hearts, the dust and cobwebs we have collected over winter are cleared away and we sweep them away to make room for fresh starts.  Getting rid of old angers, fears and habits is the best way to mark the spring.

With increased times of light, the hens begin to lay more eggs.  Did you know that hens lay best when their retina is stimulated by 12 hours of sunlight?   It’s probably one of the reasons  why the ancients used eggs as symbols of fertility at Ostara.   The new layers would begin production when the days grew longer.

chickens

Ancient cultures drew signs and symbols on eggs to aid the sun in gaining strength.  Eggs are still decorated at the Christian Easter but no longer consciously considered fertility symbols.   Pagans drew symbols for prosperity, fertility and protection on the eggs.  Probably the most well known are Pysanky eggs.   These that are most famous are from the Ukraine.

Pysanky eggs designs are drawn on in wax, then the egg is dyed………..lightest color first.  Then the part that is to remain this color is waxed over and the egg enters another dye bath.  The process if repeated over and over.   Designs are animal, vegetable and geometric.  Most have encircling bands that represent the process of life, death and rebirth over and over.   Triangles represent the Triple Goddess, squares, the Earth, ladders represent various planes of existence while pinwheels and 8 pointed stars are ancient sun signs.   Here are some of my favorite designs.  You can understand why these eggs are considered so magical when you realize the amount of time and work that went into their creation.

pysanky1

pysanky2

pysanky3

You can find a lot more designs on Pinterest.   I think some of the designs would make beautiful beads.

 

 

 

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March 10, 2016 Posted by | holidays, metaphysical, pagan, wiccan | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment