Thursday, March 20, 2014

Ostara & Spring...2014...

("Charming The Animals", by: Hans Zatzka  c. 1859-1945)

Spring 2014, is here. Temperatures here on the marsh are getting warmer, with a few short resurgences of cooler weather. It was predicted that we would have an extra month of chilly days (according to a gopher), but here in Savannah it hasn’t rung true. Spring has been dueling valiantly (and successfully) with the last vestiges of winter. T-shirt temperatures have been more plentiful than I was expecting.

("Goddess of Spring",
by: Hans Zatska)
As I was getting things together for my Ostara post…oh, for the uninitiated, Ostara is the pagan celebration of the Vernal (or Spring) Equinox…I was thinking about the renewal process that Gaia is going through. For the most part, I describe myself as pagan. I look to nature and the world around us, and beyond.  I have also experienced the centered peace of Daimoku with SGI Buddhists. The incredible energy of a room filled with 300+ people chanting together is beyond articulation. Like myself, Buddhists believe that all life is linked. All life has a place, and purpose. The music of Daimoku really does bring a balance to things. A balance much like the balance of the Vernal Equinox, and the equal nature of dark and light on this day. Thinking about that led me to another belief system.

("Young Hare",
by: Albrecht Durer, c. 1502)
Druid’s have their own celebration of the Spring equinox, Alban Eiler (“The light of the earth”). I think a lot of people think of them as tree worshippers (I've always appreciated trees and have had people ask me if I'm a Druid), but they believe that all life is sacred. They see all things (plants, streams, rocks, etc.) as having ‘life forces’. Plants know when to die, and when to start their growing season. How does a plant know when it is time to grow? Druids recognize this as a sign of consciousness, thus making it a living organism that is more than inanimate.

The technical date is a month away, but Druids also have a connection to the celebration of Easter (most holidays of today are based on pagan origins). The hare is the symbol for Alban Eiler, and the hare protects the mysterious, life-giving Druid’s egg.  Made of stone, Druid’s carried small ballaun or balain (pronounced bah-lawn) with them. The egg communicated concepts via the ellipse. It is a concept in symbolic form, and it represents the cosmic egg of thought. So...the next time you are playing the pagan edition of Trivial Pursuit...*hehehe*

As winter passes the world will become green again. Well, the northern hemisphere, anyway. The warm days of Spring will be a welcome change. Then Summer will follow, and I’ll wish for Fall to hurry up and arrive so we can get a break from the heat. *grin*

Wishing everyone well for their Spring celebrations.

Happy Equinox!
(By: Hans Zatzka...unfortunately, I couldn't locate a title for this one)

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