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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Ostara

 

1500 years ago, the English-speaking ancestors worshiped (or at least, knew of) a Goddess of Spring and Dawn Whom they called (depending on which dialect of Old English you spoke) either Éostre or Éastre.

(Their Continental cousins, of course, called Her Ôstara.)

So: let us say that Her worship had continued, unbroken, down to the present day. If Her Name had remained in constant usage and undergone all the usual sound changes, what would we call Her today?

The question is easily answered. We would today call Her Easter.

Personally, I think that we still should.

 

I know, I know, that name has been co-opted and misused by others. For some, Her modern Name is too tainted by association to be taken back.

I don't agree. The Name is Hers, and—as Her people—it's ours to know Her and call Her by. When I hear non-pagans use the term, the sheer irony of it delights me. If only they knew.

It also rather delights me that, around here, we have (in most years) Three Easters (Ôstarûn, the Old Germans would have said): Pagan/Heathen, Catholic/Protestant, and Orthodox.

Guess whose comes first?

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
For the Love of Succulents

I’ll be the first to admit it. I’ve never had a green thumb. Not even a green pinky. Now I know that succulents have been quite trendy for a spell, but with good reason. They are incredibly self-sufficient and easy to care for. Their leaves don’t tend to shed or leave little leaflets all over your floor. In fact, their often full, pleasing, rubbery leaves are what retain all the water that you douse them with– often as little as one good soak in the sink a week. Another thing that makes them so fun is they come in a vast array of shapes and sizes: viny, cascading, or growing full and upward like a sturdy little tree. Some flower, aloe and cacti fall into the category, and all seem to have whimsical names.

Choosing and Caring for Your Plants

Most like some sunlight, so you should definitely take that into consideration when looking for the right location for your cheery indoor greenery. Two of my recently acquired succulent plants currently reside in my kitchen. The viny ones do especially well as hanging plants, so kitty can’t get at them to nibble something she shouldn’t. One of the longest lasting indoors succulent that I owned survived three moves over a five-year period was a rope Hoya plant. It almost looked fake, but upon closer inspection, you could feel that these twisty, plump, round leaves were definitely the real deal. I believe it would have even survived longer, had I not accidently toppled it after rewatering one day. My replanting attempts definitely need some work, but that’s a tale for another time. When I visited my neighborhood Stein’s Garden & Home in search of more succulents to brighten up my continued pandemic winter this year, alas they had no ropas. One of the saleswomen referred to it as a “grandma plant” that she hadn’t seen in a while.

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Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 

 

As pagans in the Northern hemisphere prepare to celebrate the feast of the Many-Named Goddess of Dawn and Spring, I would invite us all to contemplate Her many titles.

I've written out some here as an extended litany; the list, of course, could be extended indefinitely.

 

 Litany for the Dawn Goddess

 

Many-Named Goddess

Lady of Dawn

Lady of Springtime

Lady of Dawn

Lady of Daily Spring

Lady of Dawn

Lady of Yearly Dawn

Lady of Dawn

Dayspring

Lady of Dawn

Ever-Young Goddess

Lady of Dawn

Undying Goddess

Lady of Dawn

Lady of Color

Lady of Dawn

Lady of Birds

Lady of Dawn

Lady of Birdsong

Lady of Dawn

Lady of Eggs

Lady of Dawn

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

In planning my kindred’s Ostara ritual for this year, which we canceled, I ran across an interesting association with similarly named dawn goddesses. The goddess Ostara may be older than we think.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I remember Deep Space 9 sufficiently to get the analogy.
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Anthony, glad it was clear!

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Aries Spring Equinox: The Ram

Normally, my Spring Equinox post would have a light and airy tone. I'd suggest fun and fanciful ways to welcome spring with friends or solo, and usually some recipes to try. These are certainly challenging times, and Aries the ram, the sun sign under which I was born, usually always rises to a good challenge. Here is mine currently: staying positive in these frightening and uncertain times. A reader that I follow on WaterBaby Tarot recently stated that we should hold on to faith and not give in to fear. She reasoned that when fear wins, we stress out and our immune systems are compromised. This could also lead to more people getting sick. It's a vicious cycle: fear/illness/more fear/more illness. Breaking out of this can be easier said than done. Although I do think it's important to stay informed, periodic breaks from the news and being online are imperative right now. Because once you have the pertinent information of the day, dwelling on things and speculating on where they could possibly go from here are not going to help matters a whole lot.

Fittingly, the Spring Equinox and Ostara is all about balance. As a planet, we need to balance out. We've been leaping forward at warp speed for too long now with industrialization, overpopulation, pollution, and technology that we can't even humanly keep up with anymore. I personally don't feel it's any accident that with the increase of climate change consequences: drought, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, and fires– we're seeing an uptick in disease and outbreaks that we can't control. Mother Nature might just be mightily pissed off at us people, and honestly, can you blame her?

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Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
OH-star-ah or oh-STAR-ah?

The many-hued Lady of Spring goes by many names. The ancient Continental German-speaking peoples knew Her as Ostara.

(The name itself has not been preserved per se in any surviving documents—although we do find it in the plural, Ôstarûn—but the original singular form can be confidently reconstructed on the basis of Her Old English name, Éastre or Éostre [depending on which dialect of Old English you grew up speaking]).

Among contemporary pagans, Her name is usually pronounced with the stress on the second syllable: oh-STAR-ah.

Well, I hate to break it to you, but the ancestors would have laughed to hear you say it that way.

Like the other Germanic languages, Old High German was (for the most part) a stress-initial language: i.e. the first syllable in a word gets the major emphasis. Historically speaking, the correct pronunciation is OH-star-ah (rhymes—kind of—with MOST o' ya).

Well, in language, use determines correctness, they say. So, you can either say it the way the ancestors did, or you can tag along like a sheep after everyone else. You decide. Really, what's so wrong with "Sam Hane"?

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Spring Equinox Spell

Here is a simple spell to welcome back the sun and celebrate the spring equinox. You can light a yellow candle, and simply say (or chant) the spell. Or you can do a little extra magic and etch the candle with runes or symbols for the season, and use focus on the things you want to achieve in the season ahead.

 

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