Magickal Connections

Tarot & Witchcraft ~ with author, Amythyst Raine


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Resurrection ~ The Rebirth of Spring ~ Ostara’s Personal Connection for Me

The Spring Equinox:  Ostara
(March 21)
The Goddess manifests her treasures in the material world, and Mother Earth marks this event with the emergence of plants and young animals, setting the stage once again for future harvests, both those of the physical world and those of the spiritual realm.  The miracle of birth is highlighted, and the miracle that is womanhood confirmed.  Within the celebration of Ostara, fertility is emphasized and celebrated.  Nature’s womb, filled with the seeds of life, embellishes the earth in productivity and prosperity.

Ostara is a day when the period of light and dark are equal, heralding springtime planting and the promise of warmth returning for the summer months.  Sunlight is going to reign supreme starting the very next day, second by second, minute by minute. This is also a celebration of the Saxon goddess of fertility…Eostre. Eggs and rabbits are symbols belonging to this Goddess and are incorporated into the festivities and celebrations. Sound familiar yet?  It’s all about bunnies, fertile eggs, and growing things.  Now’s the time to start those seedlings in egg cartons, time to start planning your herb garden, digging out those pots and diving into a bag of potting soil.  Smell the earth women, get your fingernails dirty, follow that natural instinct that you know is there, the one you’ve probably been trying to ignore…Grow Things!

A noteworthy tidbit: Easter is always celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox.

(The Goddess is smiling now.)

My Celebration:
The biggest part of Ostara for my family has always been coloring Easter Eggs (we decorate about 4 or 5 dozen– often with witches, animals, and other very un-Eastery images).  The magickal nocturnal visit of the Easter Bunny is also a yearly tradition at our house, complete with pretty baskets of goodies.  With seven children, putting all those baskets together, dividing all that candy, has been quite a process.

But this celebration has a deeper meaning for me, one that was made indelible upon my soul.  The year was 1969, I was 12-years-old, and it was the traditional Christian Easter Sunday that my family was celebrating:

The night before, my Aunt was glowing– beautiful and striking looking at thirty-two.  She was helping my sister and me color Easter eggs, finishing up by combining all the colors to get an interesting brown egg.  I’ll never forget the sight of her holding the egg up in the air so we could all get a look at it, laughing out loud.  This was to be the last truly happy day this woman would know for a very long time to come.  The next day, her husband (my uncle) would suffer a massive heart attack and die in her arms in the foyer of their home.  It was just after a beautiful Easter Sunday meal, and we were all there.

Every year since, when we color eggs for this spring celebration, I remember  coloring eggs with my aunt the night before Easter Sunday 1969.  It’s a crystal clear memory 44 years later.  The symbolism of this holiday is brought home to me in the idea of rejuvination, resurrection, a return to life– life in the form of warmth, sunshine, growing plants, small animals, and souls.

“Everything is connected.” the goddess is telling me.

Ostara Correspondences
Herbs: cinquefoil, rose, violets, tansy, celandine
Altar Flowers/Herbs: honeysuckle, iris, lily, daffodil, crocus
Feast Foods: eggs, fish, honey, sweet food, leafy vegetables
Animals: chicks, hares, rabbits, swallows
Incense: honeysuckle, jasmine, lavender, lotus, magnolia, rose, violet
Rituals/Spells: planting/sowing, rejuvenation spells, consecration of tools, grounding work, Earth blessings, spring cleansing

Ostara Recipes
Magickal Egg Salad
6 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. minced onion
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
Lettuce leaves

Reserve 4 center egg slices for garnish, if desired. Chop remaining eggs.
Mix mayonnaise, lemon juice, onion, salt and pepper in medium bowl. Add chopped eggs and celery; mix well. Refrigerate, covered, to blend flavors.
Serve on lettuce leaves; garnish with reserved egg slices.
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Honey Baked Ham
18 to 20-pound smoked ham, water added, ham hock removed
One 16-ounce box light brown sugar
1 cup (8-ounce jar) clover honey

Adjust the oven racks to accommodate a large covered roasting pan. Fit the pan with a shallow rack. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Unwrap the ham and rinse it in cold water. Place it on the rack in the roasting pan. Cover the pan with the lid and bake for half the estimated cooking time (Total cooking time is about 20 minutes per pound.) Halfway through the estimated cooking time, add the sugar and honey to a saucepan, cooking over medium heat until smooth and sugar is dissolved. Pour the mixture over the ham and continue baking the ham, basting occasionally with the drippings in the roaster.

Check for doneness at the end of the estimated cooking time by inserting a meat thermometer at a meaty point (not into fat or touching the bone). It should register 160 degrees F.

Allow the ham to stand for 15 minutes before slicing to allow the juices to set.

The Source for this blog post is my book ~

The Spiritual Feminist

Follow this link to purchase your own copy:

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B004NMWMX4

The Spiritual Feminist, Publisher ~ Moon Books

The Witch’s Corner

Magickal Curios & Infinite Possibilities

http://amythystraine.blogspot.com

The Tarot Parlour

Book a reading with Amythyst Raine:

http://tarotreadingswithamythystraine.blogspot.com

The Tarot Parlour

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Woman Speak: 2-27-2015

The goddess is Aurora…and with this goddess comes the happy anticipation of Spring, new beginnings, second chances, clean slates, rejuvenation. Plant new life-seeds now, and watch your future blossom.  To honor & invoke this goddess, we’re doing a short ritual to The Four Winds (Aurora’s children)…join me.

 


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Spring @ Our House (slideshow)

I’ve been working like a maniac the last couple of weeks redoing the flowerbeds, landscaping, and cleaning up the yard.  I wish I would’ve kept track of how many large bags of mulch and soil I’ve gone through; I can tell you that it is a lot!  I told my husband that I must have been bitten by some sort of ‘landscape bug’.  I’m even fixated enough by it that I notice the landscaping everywhere I go– outside the Dr’s office, in front of the post office, you name it.  I think I’ve spent close to $1000 dollars, and I still have the front yard left to do.  I bought so much mulch at our local Mennard’s that the guy helping us this week asked me on one of my daily trips…”Do you do landscaping?”  I thought a minute, and then I told him, “Yes, I guess I do.”  My girls laughed about this all the way home. 

I’ve taken a few photos and started a slideshow, but keep in mind that I’m a long way from done yet.  As I complete new projects and areas, I’ll take more photos and update this slideshow.  We have a large project planned for the front lawn. 

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Nebraska Rain at Hedgewytch Hollow (video)

We’ve had lots of rain here in Nebraska over the past few days.  These thundershowers have included hail and flash flood warnings in some areas.  For us, it means water in the basement– a huge *mess*!  

But I can’t help admire the beauty of a dark rainy day.  The color of everything is intensified– the trunks of the trees, the leaves, the grass and flowers.  Rainy days are my favorite…I just wish we wouldn’t get so much at one time. 🙂


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Wytchy Chit-Chat: It’s Been a Long Week

I feel like I’m waking from a fog.  This past week I’ve been sick with the flu, in bed most of the time, filled up on Ibuprofen and cold medicine, sleeping off and on, and waiting for the moment I would feel normal again.  Well, that moment has finally come– ta,da!– and none too soon; because I’m scheduled to be at Next Millennium tomorrow to do another book signing and tarot readings.  (That’s Saturday, May 7, noon-4pm, at http://www.next-mill.com )
I really didn’t know, as the week progressed, whether I’d make it or not, so I’m thrilled to be back up and at ’em!  I hope to see you there. 🙂

When I snapped out of my fog and re-joined the world of the living, it was quite a sight to behold.  Our apple trees had seemed to snap into bloom over night.  The air is fragrant with apple blossoms, and so is the house, as we fling open all the windows and let the fresh air run throughout.  This is my favorite part of spring, and I wish that these trees could stay magickally blooming for about three times longer than normal.  I snatched up my camera– and the following photos were taken today, by me, in our backyard:

I’m not the only one who enjoys our apple trees.  As I worked at the table on the back porch today, this was my secret companion.  He made a couple attempts to join me on the porch rails, but the sight of all the cats curled up asleep around me seemed to put him off (wise bird). 

I discovered that the small lilac bushes I’d planted in the herb garden right next to the porch were finally going to bloom– I’d planted them a couple years ago and they seemed to take forever to settle in and get comfortable.  But it was worth the wait…

My carpet of creeping charley (ground ivy), which I just started last year,  has taken hold and is growing like gang busters, providing a lush carpet in my secret garden…

So many of the other plants, from my hostas to the clematis, are very busy and in the process of creating leaves, they’re not ready to bloom any time soon.  But I don’t mind– patterns of leaves in a variety of colors are just as beautiful to me as a hoard of blossoms…

I’m never alone…if I don’t have a child following me around the yard, I have a cat.  Pyewacket, my eccentric black angora, was enjoying this day outdoors just as much as I was, and every time I turned around, there he was…

It was a good day today.  I finished up a good-sized magazine article and got it sent off way ahead of deadline.  I caught up on laundry that I intended to catch up on before I got sick.  I had the opportunity of spending some quality time with my kids and my katz on this gorgeous spring day; and my girls and I even managed a quick shopping run.

Today reminded me of a plaque that belonged to my Uncle, a beautiful plate that my Aunt use to have hanging in her kitchen when I was a child.  It said:

“Good Lord, just give me good health, and I’ll take care of the rest.”


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Tea-Time with the Witch: Spring Arrives at Hedgewytch Hollow

It seems like Spring has had to labor especially hard to make its presence felt this year, but I found hard evidence that it’s finally arrived when I checked one of my flowerbeds this week.  The last time I’d looked, these daffodils were timid little sprouts shivering beneath last year’s dried oak leaves.

We had new visitors at our bird feeding station this past week, a bird that we’ve never seen before.  It took a bird-book from a friend to put a name to these lovely creatures:  orange-headed blackbirds.   The regular blackbird is my favorite bird, and when these guys were all together and everyone was busy eating with their heads down, rear-ends in the air, they looked like one big flock of blackbirds.  You can imagine my surprise when their heads popped up.

Since I’ve had two witchlets move out of the house and into apartments of their own, the remaining girls have been able to spread out and claim their own rooms– finally– meaning that they’ve outgrown their bunkbeds.  I was going to give these metal framed beds away, but a friend gave me a better idea…Much to my husband’s delight (*cough*).  I’m using the frame and the top platform to create new wildlife feeding stations in the yard, the bottom platform is going to become a trellis in the flowerbeds.  And since I have two bunkbeds, I’ll have enough for the front and the backyard. 

I’m going to get a couple more hanging flowerpots for this station, along with a second hummingbird feeder; and I’ve planted morning glories in the pots sitting by the ladders at either end.  Also, as the birds knock all that seed around, I’ll have sunflowers and other cool plants sprouting spontaneously beneath it.  I’ll take more pictures as the season moves forward.

We love being able to have Sunday morning coffee on the back porch, and we’ve been able to do that in early April this year, which is not always the case.  This was our first Sunday morning outside earlier this month.  Although it sounds like the weather is going to turn nasty this weekend, and I think I’m going to be dragging all these plants and pots indoors.  That’s what I get for being in a hurry!

“Every spring is the only spring – a perpetual astonishment.”

Ellis Peterson


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Happy Ostara!

I’m looking forward to the spring equinox, I can’t wait in fact.  If the weather is going to be stubborn about turning springlike this year, at least the calendar can convince me that the season has turned!  At our house, we color eggs, buy candy and fill baskets, plant bulbs, and celebrate the coming season of fertility and growth.

May the Goddess Eastre bestow fertility and blessings on not only the land, but on all new projects, old desires, and financial endeavors.  May everything you touch flourish, and may all your wishes bloom.

 
"This is the day when the period of light and dark are equal, heralding springtime planting and the promise of warmth returning for the summer months.

This is also a celebration of the Saxon goddess of fertility…Eastre.  Eggs and rabbits are symbols belonging to the Goddess Eastre and are incorporated into the festivities and celebrations.  Sound familiar yet?

It is interesting to note why the date for the Christian holiday of Easter moves every year…Easter is always celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox."

For more information on the pagan holiday of Ostara, including a ritual, click  Here

Correspondences for Ostara
 

 

Gods Adonis, Attis, Cernunnos, Great Horned God, Green Man, Mars, Mithras, Odin, Osiris, Pan
Goddesses Aphrodite, Astarte, Athena, Cybele, Demeter, Eostre, Gaia, Hera, Ishtar, Isis, Minerva, Ostara, Persephone, Persepine, The Muses, Venus 
Colours Baby blue, Blood red, Lemon, Pastel colours, Pink, Shades of light green
Tools Cauldron, Garden Implements
Symbols Eggs, Green Man, Hares, Rabbits
Animals Chicks, Hares, Rabbits, Snakes, Swallows
Herbs Broom, Celandine, Cinquefoil, Elder, Ginger, Jasmine, Mugwort, Sage, St John’s Wort, Vervain
Feast Food Eggs, Fish,  Honey, Moon cakes (Hot cross buns), Leafy green vegetables, Sweet food
Feast Drink Fruit punch, Honey drinks, Milk
Metals Iron, Gold
Incense & Oils African Violet, Honeysuckle, Jasmine, Lavender, Lotus, Magnolia, Rose, Strawberry, Violet
Flowers Broom, Crocus, Daffodils, Easter lily, Gorse, Honeysuckle, Hyacinth, Jasmine, Lily, Pansy, Peony, Rose, Tansy, Violet
Trees Cherry, Dogwood, Forsythia, Willow
Gemstones Amethyst, Aquamarine, Bloodstone, Moonstone, Red Jasper, Rose Quartz
Altar Decorations Basket, Budding boughs, Painted eggs, Spring Flowers
Rituals & Spells Consecration of tools  ~ Earth blessings ~ Fertility Magic ~ Grounding work ~ Hearth & Home spells ~ Meditation, contemplation and celebration of Nature ~ Oomancy ~ Planting/Sowing  ~ Purification with bell ringing ~ Rejuvenation spells ~ Spring cleaning

These correpondences are courtesy of:
http://www.crone-crafts.co.uk/ostara.htm