Welcome to Ostara, the Spring Equinox, when day and night are equal once again. The mornings are now light again when you wake and the nights are pulling out nicely. We can at last look forward to warmth and sunshine as another winter has been laid to rest. The winter will have one more fight left as March can be stormy…it came in like a lamb, so, according to folklore, it will go out like a lion!! Night and day fight over dominance, so the 2 weeks both sides of the Equinox can be changeable and only after then can we look forward to summer. When the days begin to lighten, so do our moods, hope and optimism. We feel reborn and rejuvenated, exactly what this time is about. The Earth springs to life: trees blossom, the daffs and bluebells brighten our gardens and the birds and the bees get busy, all excited that the light has returned and there is work to be done. It is time to get the winter out of our homes and bring in the spring… any housewife or husband will know that when the sun shines, it highlights all that dust & grime and just look at those cobwebs!! Time is precious these days with most of us women out at work and we have much more to do than the housework, but even I get guilted into cleaning the windows and washing the carpets!! It’s Spring… it does that to people! It awakens the energy from the depression and hibernation of winter and springs it into the light and action…it is just a matter of us tuning into nature…that’s all!!
What to do at this time of action…
This is a time of balance and looking at your life to see if work, rest and play are in equal proportions. I suspect for most of us, they are not equal, so this is the time to try to re-address that. Spend more time outdoors walking amongst nature, watching the transformation. Take the kids and let them see nature waking up. Visit the same places over the next few months so they can watch the transformation. Let them help you with your Ostara altar. Plant some spring bulbs in a pot so they can watch them and tend them. Have a bonfire in the garden to burn any debris from the winter winds and give the garden a tidy ready for the season ahead. This is a perfect time for any little ones to connect with the mystery and marvels of nature and let the activities recharge both them and you whilst having fresh air and fun at the same time…win, win!!
Place spring flowers around the home to cheer up your abode and invite the sunshine in. Daffs are the most sunny and cheerful and these days, they are sold for Cancer research so again win, win! Give the home a thorough clean, and then smudge it to spiritually purify too. I like to clean with Frankincense at this time to not only purify but to also uplift. As the oil is ruled by the sun, you are filling your environment with hope and a hint of mystery. You can add citrus oils too if you want sunshine, or pine is lovely and fresh and promotes an energising feeling of wellbeing. Burn oils and/or incense daily to keep the positivity flowing. Bergamot, Melissa, Grapefruit or Lemongrass are all uplifting oils to help you greet the sun, so clean and fill your home with aroma and you should feel the difference.
Another thing to do at this time is recycle what is not needed. Pass to charity that which is no longer relevant but can be used by someone else. If it hasn’t been used in 3 years, it isn’t needed (unless it’s a posh frock). If it has sat in the ironing basket or shoe box for 3 years, it is excess to requirements; time to pass on.
Also at this time, I change my eating habits from porridge and stodgy winter stews to muesli, fresh fruit, salad and vegetables to help spring clean my body too. Get an exercise plan into action now that the weather is improving and the feeling of hibernation is lifting. This is time to shed not only the dust from our homes but the winter coat from our bodies too. There is sun, sea and sand coming so begin to moisturise the body daily and let’s allow the skin to freshen and revitalise in preparation for the better weather…I am always an optimist!!
A Spring bath-time ritual…
At some point over the Equinox when you have an evening to chill, light some candles (fire) and incense (air), run a hot bath (water) to which you have added some Himalayan salt (Earth) and favourite oils or bath bombs! Back in the kitchen, add cup sea salt to a bowl and stir in oil such as olive or sunflower to make a scrub. Scent with geranium or juniper oil (or another indulgent favourite) and stir. Take into bathroom along with a piece rose quartz, and get yourself undressed and into the bath. Rub salt scrub into your skin and rinse, to exfoliate and moisturise, then lay in the water and relax, with the rose quartz on your heart. Close your eyes and spend 5 minutes just contemplating your life and what changes you can make at this time. Now say with conviction 3 times:
Fears and woes, you will take flight,
Worries and cares, you’re out of my sight.
Stronger and happier I will grow each day
Because my soul will find its way
Balance and harmony will spring into life
This is my will so no more strife
Relax with the rose, the candles, the warm water and the aromas until you feel ready to get out. Let the worries go with the bathwater as you pat your skin dry with a warm towel. Once dressed comfy, put the Rose Quartz in your ‘Serenity/self-esteem” corner to remind yourself you are worth a pampering! Repeat this ritual often…
Mother’s Day is a centuries old celebration of Mothers everywhere: a day to show love & gratitude through simple acts of kindness or the giving of a gift or flowers and not the same as Mothering Sunday, which is a Church event that takes place on the 4th Sunday of lent to celebrate the Virgin Mary, something mothers can never actually be!!
Cultures all over the world have celebrated Mothers at springtime. The ancient Greeks would celebrate Rhea, the mother of all Gods and Goddesses, every spring. The Romans celebrated Cybele every March as far back as 250BC Rome had Matronalia, where they honored the Goddess Juno, who protected women and children. Eostre was the Germanic Goddess of rebirth, with symbols of the egg and the rabbit at the time of the spring equinox. Most societies were matriarchal and women were honoured for the mystery of childbirth. It was millenia before men discovered they had a role in producing babies and very quickly, the Patriarchal society became the norm!!
Maiden/Mother/Crone…which are you…and wait for the rant!!
In the magickal world, men are either a young man or an older man, but, like the Moon, women have 3 phases to their lives. Maiden is the waxing moon, where woman is in the Spring of her life, the seductress, the fun-filled party girl. Then we have Mother, the full moon, the pregnant one in the Summer of her life, giving birth to another and becoming carer and teacher to her little ones, overseeing them as they grow. Finally, we have the Crone, the Hag, the old women or wise one, the waning moon, who has now ended her ability to give birth, but now becomes Grandmother and wisewoman in the final phase of her life until the Dark Moon.
It used to be that women in this country retired at 60, having brought up their children and sent them off into the world, but retirement meant their Crone phase, which meant watching over grandchildren and caring for the aging parents. I would have now been looking forward to retirement, as would my friends as we all approach 60. However, as the first generation to become “Superwomen”, working full time whilst bringing up the children and running the home, a lot as single parents, it seems our punishment is to just keep on going!! Now, as well as helping the kids to look after their children so they can work, and try to help in the care of any parents still alive as there is little help available in their homes with the cuts, we still have to maintain full time jobs till we are 66+. Women have to just keep doing everything they have done for 45 years already, until we reach that retirement age, which will probably keep on increasing the nearer we get to it!! I don’t know about everyone else, but I can no longer do everything I have always done at the pace I have always done it. Something has got to give!!
So my life can begin…
The saying was previously “life begins at 40”. It used to be that by the age of 40, your children were independent and women felt they were getting life back as a person and time was now their own. This changed to “50” as women had their family later due to them now working. Today, kids are ‘boomerang’ kids; they seldom leave home or leave and come back, because it’s cheaper to live at home until they need their own space once with a partner. We must keep working because Bank of mum and/or dad gets tapped constantly to keep the kids going, be it as students, or in cars, or flat deposits, phone contracts etc…so when does life begin for us??
Thinking of this question, I opened a book by the side of my chair. It said this by Edward E Hale…
I am only one. But still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something.
And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.
At the beginning, I said this was time to contemplate if your life has work, rest and play was in equal proportions. As part of my own personal Work/life balance, I find, after 40-odd years of working with 21 being in the shop, I can no longer continue my 6-day/5 night weeks. 2 major accidents last year and I vowed to make changes but ended up working as I’ve always done. 3 minor injuries this year due to issues remaining from last year’s injuries, I find I must finally listen to my body as it screams for help, & slow down before I do any more damage!
Beginning with Mother’s Day, to give us witchy women our day of rest back, the shop will now be closed on Sundays.
Helen will transfer her Sunday to Tuesday so I can get an extra home-based day. That way I can attempt to slow down, have extra time off to rest, and get treatment and tlc to repair my weary body. I will now be working just 4 days in the shop whilst helping with ageing parents and grandchildren (present & future) …I’m planning ahead too!!
Saturday 25th March, we will close up and I will head off for a break. Helen will re-open Thur 30th March and when I return on Tue 4 April when we will begin the new opening days of Tuesday till Saturday, so don’t forget…
New Moon: Tue 28 Mar @ 03.58 hrs Full Moon: Tue 11 April @ 07.09 hrs
New Moon: Wed 26 Apr @ 13.17 hrs
Lady Members & Moonies…spend over Ostara and there may be a wee treat in your shopping… until they’re gone!!
Bright Ostara blessings from Chris (alias the Green Witch) and see you soon