I had the privilege of writing and forming my circle’s Ostara ritual this year, I do have to say it wasn’t the standard plant the seeds you have already chosen at Imbolc theme. We see the Lady and Lord as the Bright Maiden of Spring and the Divine Youth of the Sun at this time of year, they celebrate the new life sprouting and budding all around us. I really think of the fun and innocence of childhood at this season, it’s a time of beginnings, of promises we make to ourselves and each other. The world is waking up after a long sleep; the secrets and mysteries we discovered in the shadows of winter can now be looked at and appreciated in daylight. The world is filled with hopefulness and optimism for the future, plans are set in motion, the foundations to root, nurture and grow the seeds, projects, changes we want to make are ready.
Spring is a wonderful time, all the drabness of winter transforms into fresh green, bird songs fill the air again, insects return, the creatures of the forest are busy finding or making dens, even the eagles where I live are rebuilding or creating new nests. Every creature is preparing for the growing season, the sun entices us to be outdoors, subtle scents travel on the wind, breezes scatter blossoms, a feeling of excitement and potential just saturates the air. It was this feeling I wanted to capture in our ritual, it is a good thing to have goals and plans, yet sometimes the work involved to create the future harvest feels and sometimes literally is a daunting task. I decided to focus on mirth and stress relief for our ritual, so we played the laughing game, basically the leader starts laughing and the next person has to laugh better than the previous one all the way round the circle. The second round involves laughing about a problem you are experiencing, the leader starts again, it goes something like this… “Ha! Ha! Ha! It’s going to be another financially challenging month! He He He!” The next person goes and so on, all are encouraged to laugh with each other, and it’s a fun way to release stress. During the third round people lie on the floor with heads together and create a laughing wave, it’s almost like chanting with a new laugh picking up while another is fading out. We were all literally rolling on the floor laughing! If you want to learn more about these techniques check out laughter yoga.
For our activity and working we made Bleggs, and we shook our worries out. A Bliss Egg is a fun version of a worry stone, it’s used to shake your worries away, and it just happens to be made with those plastic eggs that surround us at this time of year and a few magical ingredients that fit inside. My eggs had jingle bells for mirth, seeds to grow beyond your worries, googly eyes to see things from a different perspective, various words, stickers, small paper flowers for spring and foam happy faces inside. Our bleggs were empowered with a song and we literally shook our eggs and ourselves to shake our worries out. The idea is to shake the bliss egg whenever life feels more like a challenge than an adventure and to think of the qualities it holds.
I know some “fundamental” Pagans would be horrified at this ritual though there was the usual structure to it. I see the 8 Sabbats as times to celebrate, moon rituals are the time I do “serious” work, and our holy days are family friendly, that means I need to accommodate everyone from our youngest 7yr old to our beautiful grandmother crone. I’m always delighted when our young participants offer to pass out the cakes and drink after they are blessed, it makes it a double blessing in my eyes, though some say it’s because they want to see how much is left over for later. (chuckle) Could be, it doesn’t matter, I just think its way cool that they want to be involved! You know how they say witches are born, some of us discover our truth, and some don’t. I think there be young witches among us!
If you are having challenges, remember to laugh and just blegg it!