Ostara: Spring Equinox

I love all the sabbats but some are a bit more low-key than others. Ostara has always been like this for me though I usually do a nice Ostara/Easter altar. For a few years we weren’t sure whether to celebrate Ostara or Easter but now we kind have rolled them into one. I still do my ritual on ostara but we have our feast on Easter. It seems to make the non-pagans in the family pretty happy.

For Ostara (which was March 21st, this past Sunday) I had lunch with my brother and his wife here at the house while I burned some pretty candles he had made for me specifically for the holiday. They were blue and pink pillars that I anointed with Ostara oil (that I made myself last Ostara) and I did a small ritual that made use of seeds which we then cast to the winds. Almost as if on cue we had a rainstorm. It was lovely.

Since the altar was somewhat dismantled I don’t have a photo but wanted to show you one I found that I thought fit the spirit perfectly as well as some suggestions for celebrating Ostara and the Spring (which is finally here!).

Setting Up an Altar for Ostara

To get an idea of what colors are appropriate for spring, all you really have to do is look outside. Notice the yellows of the forsythia blooming behind your house, the pale purples of lilacs, the green of new leaves appearing in the melting snow. Pastels are often considered spring colors as well, so feel free to add some pinks and blues into the mix if the idea strikes you. Decorate your altar in any of these colors – try a pale green altar cloth with some purples and blues draped across it, and add some yellow or pink candles to carry the color up. Altar decor should reflect the theme of the Sabbat. Ostara is a time of balance between light and dark, so symbols of this polarity can be used. Use a god and goddess statue, a white candle and a black one, a sun and moon, even a yin/yang symbol.

Ostara is also a time of new growth and life – add potted plants such as new crocuses, daffodils, lilies, and other magical spring flowers. This is the time of year when animals are bringing forth new life too – put a basket of eggs on your altar, or figures of new lambs, rabbits, calves, etc. Add a chalice of milk or honey – milk represents the lactating animals who have just given birth, and honey is long known as a symbol of abundance.

Symbols of the Season

•Seeds and bulbs

•Caterpillars, ladybugs, bumblebees, ducks, eggs, obviously BUNNIES! 

•Symbols of nature deities – Herne, Flora, Gaia, Attis, etc.

•Gemstones and crystals such as aquamarine, rose quartz, and moonstone (I use lots of rose quartz) 

•Ritual fires in a cauldron or brazier (we used candles only since it rained)

some notes above from about.com 

That old black magick…

I often hear from people who want to know why I offer black magick spells. I may have discussed this before but it bears repeating – there is really no such thing a black magick, white magick or gray magick. What matters most is intention. Because we live in a world that applies relative terms to things it is much easier to group things accordingly – thus we name spells of degrees and “colors” to discern the qualities they represent. However for me, the witch, it is quite different. Especially being Buddhist as I try to steer clear of duality whenever possible.

Certainly there are spells that can be used for darker workings and some that are just dreadful if the intention behind it is worked in shadow. It is also unlikely that a “white” spell can be used for darker means since it will not be created to support it. Yet in truth all spells are neutral. You can desire manipulation from a white magick spell as easily as a gray or black magick spell but perhaps it might be more difficult to own up to.

I like the directness involved with black magick. I like that the spells don’t care whether you are self-centered or a beacon of hope. You can be the best person on Earth and use a black magick spell or you can be rotten to the core, it makes no difference. Black magick is straight-forward, no holds-barred and honest about what you desire. If you want control then there is a black magick spell for it. If you want to manipulate others then there is a black magick spell for it. If you want to cause harm – well, you get the idea.

I prepare the black magick spells but I will not cast them for clients. I put it all together so the client can finish it on their end because I don’t particularly want to know what their intentions are. What I prepare is in truth completely neutral until the client adds their intention.

Black magick spells can be used neutrally too – often they are best used for hard-luck cases or for very stubborn situations and people that don’t respond to anything else. Because black magick is totally forthright, clients can get speedy results in situations that might have taken much longer if less stringent methods were applied.

For many situations though, black magick is NOT appropriate. If you want to marry someone or have a life-long commitment it is best to stay away from black magick unless you have tried everything else first. Black Magick should be the last resort as there are so many wonderful gray magick spells and white magick spells that get great results.

There can be karmic consequences with using black magick. This of course depends upon what you are using it for and what kind of person you are. You may not even believe in karma and if you don’t then it won’t matter to you what the consequences are. I believe in karma so I am careful about this, but those are my beliefs, not yours.

I will be adding a few new black magick spells over the next couple of months and I hope you are willing to give black magick a chance for those especially complicated and difficult situations. You’ll be surprised at how the true neutrality of magick can benefit you (as long as your intentions support it!).

The two new spells are LUCKY 13, a powerful prosperity and luck spell specifically made for making money any way you can and for gambling and other less than…well, I’ll leave that up to your imaginations as to what this spell can be used for.

The next is DARK ARTS LOVE SPELL, the first spell of its kind that I have offered that is based on hoodoo rootwork of a darker nature. This is for the most desperate love cases – you will need to email me first as I will only take certain cases that meet the criteria.

Look for these spells in February and March!

Blue Moon & New Year’s Day Casting

Casting went well on New Year’s Eve. I was able to get a great, crackling fire going in the fire pit and it was cool but not freezing cold (like it is tonight). I brought Lucy out in her plush carrier (she is so spoiled) and enjoyed the celebration of casting on the Blue Moon and ringing in the New Year. All my spells benefited from the Blue Moon since this New Year’s Eve version will not occur again until 2028. I enjoyed my time outside and then came in to watch Dick Clark and Ryan Seacrest on TV. Toasted the New Year with Mom and some Moet et Chandon.

There was something smooth about last night – it seemed almost effortless. It must have been all that great celebratory energy all over the planet! It even rained a little but that didn’t put a damper on things, though the fire eventually sputtered out; fortunately the spells were complete.

In contrast, tonight is cold and the fire was the only warm spot. Even the house seemed cold when I came back in. I usually cast at 10pm or so but tonight would be too cold so I cast earlier, right after sunset.

For the Chinese New Year’s Day Good Fortune Spell, I burn the previous year’s results in the bonfire, then prepare the new results. I keep them in my home until the next year. I was happy to see many clients take advantage of this wonderful good fortune spell but I was somewhat disappointed in seeing some of the names from last year’s spell were clients I haven’t heard from in a while. I really do appreciate it when clients keep in contact with me. I like to know how you are!

I’m practically chilled to the bone right now. I’m under a faux fur throw in my bedroom, cuddled with Lucy with fragrant bayberry candles blazing all around. They are soy candles, the first ones I’ve made like this and they smell great. I will be making them next year for the Yule Spell I think.

All results from Yule will be going out on Monday with the New Year’s Eve casting and tonights casting results. Thanks for your patience with me over the holidays. I was very busy this year. I hope this is a good sign for 2010!

Incidentally I always cast the Chinese New Year’s Day Good Fortune Spell for myself every year!