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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Ostara

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Crazy Slumber Birthday Party!

There are those who pooh-pooh the notion of nostalgia. You can't go back, you shouldn't go back, blah blah blah. But sometimes an urge to recapture one's youth hits, and it hits strong. This may very well be the throes of midlife crisis – but so what? Wouldn't it follow that those who seem to truly age gracefully, who are forever young at heart, indulge in a bit of good old-fashioned silliness now and again? Heck, yeah! That is why I am hosting a Spring Equinox Crazy Slumber Birthday Party this year. Let me show you how:

First, you need to load up on all of your favorite snacks. If this means Doritos and Skittles, so be it. I am going the somewhat healthy route and substituting the organic equivalent of Doritos and dark chocolate covered cranberries for the Skittles. Popcorn is always healthy if you have an air popper (my grandparents' still works from the 80s, for Pete's sake), and there is always no-cal Zevia soda, after-all. No slumber party would be complete without pizza, so I am bringing home an all natural Connie's za. The one thing that will be on hand that I did not have readily available when I was teen, is wine. But if one is going to imbibe, that is the healthier way to go, after all. I also plan on offering up some berry smoothies to sip while we whip up some homemade facials.

Since I don't expect anyone past the age of 20 to attempt sleeping on a the floor in a bag again, I will have spare bed, roll-out futon, or even an inflatable air mattress available, if need be. Also, don't feel bad if your slumber party is small – not everyone may be willing to go there with you. Quality, over quantity is always the better route.

Next up, entertainment. I am still a proud vinylphile, and to recapture the thrill of youth, it doesn't get much better than breaking out the vintage 45s and 33s and dancing with some abandon. If you start to feel amazingly carefree and childish, play a 33 on 78 rpm and let the giggles roll.

Another absolute must: movies! There should be one scary, one comedy, and one iconic coming-of-age flick. Go with what rocked your world back in the day. I myself am opting for the original "Hellraiser," "Ghostbusters," and the forever young, "Sixteen Candles." Sorry "Breakfast Club" fans, but I always thought "Candles" was edgier.

For good measure, and depending on who is game to go the whole distance with you, these activities can be thrown in for good measure: gossiping about boys (these can be celebrity crushes, significant others, or husbands), turning out all the lights and telling ghost stories, a 1 a.m. Jane Fonda workout session (yes, the original JF workout is actually available on DVD on Amazon, leg warmers and all), and perhaps some freshly baked chocolate cake for breakfast because, well, why not? In the age of Caller ID, I'd skip the crank calls, though. Here is the facial mask recipe I will be using, from organicwish.com

HOW TO MAKE AN OATMEAL AND ROSEMARY FACIAL SCRUB OR MASK
3 tablespoons ground oatmeal (To grind the oats just pulse in a blender until you have fine oatmeal)
1 teaspoon ground, fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
water or milk or cream (see below)
    Add oats to a jug or medium sized bowl.
    Add fresh, ground rosemary.
    For a delicious scent, add cinnamon powder.
    Choose which liquid you want to use depending on your skin type: cool boiled water for oily skin, milk for normal skin or cream for dry skin.
    Add enough wet ingredients to form a paste with the dry ingredients.
    Dampen face, and spread the paste all over. To use as a scrub wash off straightaway; to use as a mask, leave on for 20 minutes before washing off.

The beauty of making your own skin care products is that you know exactly what is in your product, and many recipes, like this one, are made from basic kitchen ingredients. The cost is minimal, but the results are fantastic. Creating your own beauty products as part of an organic lifestyle is fun, entertaining and effective. Enjoy!

At any rate, have a blast at your party. What made your teen sleep-overs that way? Get the wheels turning, and make a list. I promise this will be more enjoyable than the awkward high school reunion with extras you don't care to meet up with again. Totally awesome!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6t1vaF50Ks0

Photo by imagerymajestic from freedigitalphotos.net

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

The spring equinox this year falls on the 20th of March. This is a time of youthful exuberance in nature, when all of the green world seems to be springing back into life. March wind and rain may still keep many of us indoors on some days, but if we venture out into the wild we will be surprised by what we encounter. Blossom will be erupted from every tree and hedgerow,  and the forest floor begins to be carpeted with primroses and anemones, celandine and of course daffodils, which spring up everywhere along verges and gardens as well as the wild with equal ease and sunny glory.

Mad march hares can be seen sprinting across the brown fields, and boxing off unwanted lovers as the mating season gets underway in earnest. One of my favourite places to see the hares is at Uffington White Horse in Oxfordshire, though they can be found all over the UK.  Sighting the hares is a regular part of my spring pilgrimage to this exposed but beautiful ancient site.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Now The Green Blade Riseth

Down the years, it's become the leitmotif of our spring evenday (equinox) celebration.

Now the green blade riseth from the buried grain:

wheat that in the deep Earth many days hath lain.

Love lives again, that with the dead hath been:

love is come again, like wheat that springeth green.

 

The tune is a 17th century French noel, with lyrics written by an early 20th century Anglican clergyman. Now the pagans sing it when, having descended into the underworld, we find Spring and bring her back. As a round we sing it, vining, intertwining, calling forth the green.

 

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
In like a Lion, Out like a Banshee

It has not necessarily been the easiest of winters. We had fair warning. We were told it was going to be a doozy. In my part of the world, we were expecting record snowfalls which thankfully did not come to be. Instead we got record freezing temperatures. Day after day of minus 40 Celsius (which actually puts the US and Canada on par). In our household, we went through weeks of frozen pipes, washing dishes in the bathtub, and burst pipes during a brief temperature respite. I heard similar tales from many corners, not least from the incredibly busy plumbers who arrived to save the day, darting from one home in need to another.

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Rejoice, for the Light‘s Returned!

Blessings and good tidings, fellow Witches and Pagans!

After the long winter (or short winter, if you’re from the U.S. West Coast) spring has finally come, bringing with it the renewal of the earth and the flowering of life. Today is Ostara, better known as the root word of “Easter,” and the Spring Equinox, representing the point in time at which the balance between night and day switches decisively in favor of the latter. Of course, if you’re in the southern hemisphere it’s the opposite, Mabon, as winter approaches after a long summer. Either way, it’s an important point in the year!

As per usual we’ve gathered both all of our articles on spring as well as several stories we thought you might find interesting. We hope you enjoy!

-Aryós Héngwis

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Everywhere, Spring is being celebrated. I feel it, too: the warm air on my arms (hey, sweater season gets annoying!), the heavenly scent of jasmine, the first buds on the jacarandas. But underneath it I feel a sense of dread. Here in Los Angeles, rainy season is over.

Last month I got a price quote from a vegetable gardening service, hoping to finally get my garden in shape. But it's been weeks and I can't bring myself to pull the trigger. What if the guy comes out and the next day, restrictions go into place? Even if they don't (and our lackadaisical municipal governments aren't making any move to ration), can I really justify expanding my garden when water is so scarce? Everyone knows lawns are bad, but are tomatoes okay?

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  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    I think you'll probably be doing this... http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/cities-are-now/los-angeles-imports-nearly-85-percent-of

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Finding Spring

When we enter the temple, she is gone.

We light from the altar fire and go out to look for her. Up and down we look. Everywhere we see signs of her, and these we gather into baskets; but she herself is nowhere.

We regather. There is only one place she can be. With our fire, we descend.

We walk the winding ways of below. Even here we do not find her.

We enter darkness. In darkness, even fire dies.

While we wait, we sing. In darkness, it ends and begins.

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