A very, very belated post. Sorry.
Ostern is essentially my ‘morning,’ of my year. That twilight of dawn that rouses leaves and limps into movement. This year, a blizzard hit, making the day not so spring-like, but I could tell the hours were lengthening.
The twilight days are my days I traditionally honor the bear, as it is these days I typically see bears rise from hibernation, and in September when their numbers decrease as they leave. This year I intend to finish Arta’s maul as a ritual tool (as soon as I have healed; with a woodsman’s axe hopefully coming afterwards). I do honor my Bear Mother as a metalworker (and warrior, healer, dream-walker, mystic, huntress, etc..) and I know that doesn’t fit into the mold of the general Pagan population.
This is just what I do, and how I know Her. My Bear Mother is an Underworld Goddess, so to me – it makes all too much sense.
A candle or lamp is lit in every room of my home, the windows are opened, and a deep cleansing is done to remove the winter stagnation. We await the first signs of the rabbit and/or hare, as they in our little tradition are the heralds of the official coming of spring. We saw three skitter by, and with joy welcomed the belated spring, albeit knee deep in snow.
I filled an elm basket I made with jarred jellies, eggs, fruits, and fresh biscuits as an offering and shared meal with my Kin in the morning in a sacred meal. The day was spent letting light in, and chasing the dark out with loud noise and incense. An offering of Whiskey also was given (can’t forget the whiskey!).
The season of the dead has faded, with the season of life and renewal now upon us. I am finalizing the ‘adopted cub,’ which represents the year itself, and will be tended to and cared for in our home until it is time for the cub to ‘leave,’ us in the Autumn. I’m still in the works of making various Osternstraunch, which are decorations hung around the home this time of year; however, mine are more talismans that mere decor.
We were given fresh farm eggs by a family friend Mr. Warner, and with various rituals of fertility done, I thinks this Ostern has turned out quite nicely. My onions I planted to winter last year are sprouting, and I gathered my seeds and blessed them for the coming gardening. This year we’re going to try our hand at growing culinary mushrooms, as well as our more traditional herbs and vegetables.
In the evening, oven roasted venison and wintered potatoes donned our plates, and with the wind howling outside we sit contented. The heralds of spring arrived, though briefly.
I hope everyone’s spring is a good one, and I do hope you’re having better weather than we are!