Official Publication of the Reformed Druids of Gaia
Earrach YGR 01 - Imbolc / Ostara 2007 - Vol.5 No. 2
as pale green lunar moths
who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that
will endure as long as life lasts.
There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature -
the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter."
~~ Rachel Carson ~~
FROM THE ARCH-DRUID
"Bride with her
white wand is said to breathe life into the mouth of the dead Winter
and to bring him to open his eyes to the tears and the smiles, the sighs and the laughter of Spring.
The venom of the cold is said to tremble for its safety on Bride's Day,
and to flee for its life on Patrick's Day."
~~ Alexander Carmichael ~~
Interview with a Living Pagan Icon
By Jillbe Badb, Contributing Editor
OBERON ZELL-RAVENHEART, (1942- ) is a Founder of the Church of All Worlds and a leading figure in the Neo-Pagan community. A modern Renaissance man, Oberon is a community creator, transpersonal psychologist, metaphysician, naturalist, theologian, shaman, healer, seer, author, artist, sculptor, lecturer, teacher, and ordained Priest of the Earth-Mother, Gaia. He sums all this up in the designation of "Wizard."
First to apply the terms "Pagan" and "Neo-Pagan" to the newly emerging Nature religions of the 1960s -- and through his publication of the award-winning Pagan magazine, Green Egg (1968-1976; 1988-1996; he is currently Publisher Emeritus) -- Oberon was instrumental in the coalescence of the Neo-Pagan movement, which for the last third of a century has been reclaiming the religious heritage of pre-Christian Europe.
He has written the widely read "Grimoire for the Apprentice Wizard" (with Grey Council; New Page, 2004), plus "Companion for the Apprentice Wizard" (with Faculty of the Grey School; New Page, 2006) and "Creating Circles & Ceremonies" (with Morning Glory; New Page, 2006). His writings and creative spirit can also be found on the web at: http://www.CAW.org, http://www.GreySchool.com, and http://www.MythicImages.com.
Here is my interview with a Living Pagan Icon, Oberon Zell-Ravenheart himself.
DE: What form will Church of All Worlds be resurrecting itself -- phoenix-like -- in the future?
OZ: This time around (our 3rd resurrection!), the main central operations and focus will revolve around a vastly expanded website -- http://www.CAW.org -- which will include everything that's there currently, plus interactive forums, a wiki, research and ritual resources, membership applications, clergy applications, nest applications, affiliate and subsidiary order applications, etc. The Membership Handbook will be substantially revised and updated, to be printable in PDF, and a new Operations Manual will replace much of what is currently in the Bylaws. When this is in place, the Bylaws will be considerably streamlined for long-term viability.
The biggest change from our previous conceptual Vision is that in this new phase we are separating the inward progression through the 9 Circles from the process of Clergy application and ordination. Now 3rd-Ring members will no longer be automatically designated as "Clergy," but as "Beacons." So the 3 "Rings" will now be: 1. "Seekers" (Circles 1-3); 2. "Scions" (Circles 4-6); and 3. "Beacons (Circles 7-9).
As soon as we have all the current revisions to the website in place, we will begin an active outreach program to welcome new (and old) members, Clergy ordinations (primarily an application and review process), Nest charters, Order charters, and affiliations with other groups who may wish to be chartered under CAW's Group Exemption. Each chartered entity will then have its own page/section and links on the CAW website.
And eventually -- what so many have been asking about -- we hope to be able to scan and put up online printable PDFs of the entire run of back issues of Green Egg, all the way back to 1978. And then a new Green Egg will be reborn as an online publication...
DE: What role will the future CAW have in intentional communities and schools?
OZ: This I cannot say at this time, as I don't expect to be as centrally involved in CAW this time around as I'd been for the past 44 years. My primary work at this time is writing books and being Headmaster of the Grey School of Wizardry. I do certainly expect that CAW will continue to pursue the establishment and networking of intentional communities in the future as it has in the past. And, of course, I'm deeply involved now in the creation and operations of a school such as I'd always dreamed we could have...
DE: The whole Pagan world is buzzing with news about The Grey School -- what can you tell us about it?
OZ: The whole Pagan world? Wonderful! I hope many come check us out! The Grey School -- http://www.GreySchool.com -- is absolutely the finest work I have ever been involved in, and I am very proud of it. I spent nearly a year designing everything it should be with a top-notch Pagan web designer (Steven Day). He managed to implement all of my ideas, and came up with many more I'd never have thought of. I recruited some of the best teachers in the magickal community (and by the way, we are still accepting applications...). We created a foundational curriculum of functioning classes, and we opened our virtual doors on Aug. 1, 2004 to an initial rush of students who'd heard of the Grey School from my 2004 book, "Grimoire for the Apprentice Wizard."
The Grey School teachers Wizardry -- not Witchcraft, or even Paganism, per se. That is, we are teaching the Wisdom of the Ages, which transcends any particular faith. The Grey School is not a school of religion, but of magick and wisdom, and we accept students of every religion (or of none).
The Grey School is set up with seven "year-levels," designed to be the equivalent of junior high through high school. Graduates will be certified "Journeyman Wizards" (and yes, we are planning a college-level Journeyman to Master program for later). About 1/4 of our 650 or so students are youths (ages 11-17), and 3/4 are adults (ages 18-70s). The School is highly interactive, with four Elemental "Houses" for youths, and "Lodges" for adults. Each has both a Faculty Head and a Student Prefect. We have competitive programs for earning both credits and merits, plus a "House Hat" and "Lodge Cup" are awarded at equinoxes.
We have about three-dozen brilliant and highly qualified teachers, and currently around 200 classes in 16 color-coded "Departments," each with a Dean, clubs, etc. These are: Wizardry (indigo), Nature Studies (silver), Magickal Practice (gold), Mind Magicks (aqua), Healing (blue), Wortcunning (green), Divination (yellow), Performance (orange), Alchemy (red), Lifeways (pink), Beast Mastery (brown), Mathemagicks (clear), Cosmology (violet), Ceremonial Magick (white), Lore (grey), and Dark Arts (black).
Each House and Lodge has its own forum, each class has a forum, and there are other forums for clubs and such -- even a campus tavern (adults only!). There is also the "Great Hall" forum, where all students can communicate directly with each other. We have a system of student leadership for the Houses and Lodges, and a quarterly student-run School newsletter in printable PDF format that is larger than the Green Egg ever was! The Library and School store ("Magick Alley") have many resources available to students at any time.
The motto of the Grey School of Wizardry is: Omnia vivunt; omnia inter se conexus. "Everything is alive; everything is interconnected." (Cicero)
DE: How does it feel for you that CAW has given birth to more spiritual groups in North America than any other Neo-Pagan founding organization?
OZ: Really? Have we indeed? Cool! It is good to leave a lineage... One is glad to be of service.
DE: What is your favorite passage from Stranger in A Strange Land?
OZ: "Love is that condition wherein another person's happiness is essential to your own."
DE: What are some of the ways "sharing water" can change the world?
OZ: Deepening our connections with each other -- and every living being -- beyond the traditional narrow boundaries of blood, family, and tribal kinships. Humanity must come to embrace connections of global kinship, and water-sharing is an important means of encouraging this expansion of our affiliations. "Perfect love and perfect trust." And this will lead to the Awakening of Gaia...
DE: What is your most vivid Sidhe encounter and how did it change your life?
OZ: Unquestionably the great "TheaGenesis" revelatory vision of Gaia as a living planet, that I had on Sept. 6, 1970. (See http://www.caw.org/articles/theagenesis.html and http://mythicimages.com/product_page.php?product_id=1). That changed everything -- not only in my own personal life, but the ripples spread throughout the Pagan community and far beyond...
DE: What are your thoughts on how different Neo-Pagan, Wiccan and Druid organizations can communicate and work with each other more effectively?
OZ: Attend festivals! Go to each other's rituals and workshops; hang out around each others' campfires and hospitality rooms; read each other's literature; find romance with members of other groups. Then get involved with community networking organizations and interfaith groups serving the wider community interest.
DE: What do you believe lies in the future of Mother Gaia?
OZ: The Awakening. Then the great Diaspora, "flying Mother Nature's silver seeds to a new home..."
DE: Any bit of advice to others on the Pagan path?
OZ: Sure. Always spell "Pagan" with a capital "P"! Remember, Paganism is a religion! Indeed, I personally feel that Paganism is not merely *A* religion; it *IS* "religion" itself, in the truest sense of the word.
the very process of the restoring the land to health is the process
we become attuned to Nature and, through Nature, with ourselves.
Restoration forestry, therefore, is both the means and the end, for as we learn how to restore the forest,
we heal the forest, and as we heal the forest, we heal ourselves."
~~ Chris Maser, Forest Primeval ~~
RDG "OFFICIAL BARDS" NAMED
The Mother Grove is pleased to announce that George and Annwn Leverette have been named "Official Bards" of the Reformed Druids of Gaia.
This acclaimed Celtic duo have been playing together for fourteen years at such diverse venues as Celtic and Blue Grass festivals, Nevada casinos, pubs, fairs, school assemblies and craft fairs. From 1995-2000 they have performed at the "Green Show" of the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, an event rated as one of the top ten events in the United States.
They have a passion for Celtic & medieval music that proclaims itself with each performance. Ancient, traditional and contemporary Celtic music comes to life with their wide variety of folk instruments. Anwyn and George play Irish fiddle, cittern, guitar, mandolin, hurdy-gurdy, zither, hammer dulcimer, bowed psaltery, recorder; but George's main instrument is the beautiful self-made 36 string "Lady Harp" They blend a kaleidoscope of sounds and textures that makes no two songs sound the same.
Their latest work "Altar Wind", combines George's harp with Anwyn's unique collection of medieval instruments to produce delicate neo-medieval instrumentals as well as several haunting vocal tracks.
The duo's music is played on Celtic music radio shows across the US, Canada, Australia, Russia and Brazil, including the worldwide syndicated radio show, Thistle & Shamrock.
Recent news: Word has it that they are currently in the process of recording a new double CD set! When it becomes available, we will definitely carry it in our Avalon Risen online store.
Armenians used the wind to predict the weather for the coming year
by watching the smoke drifting up from the bonfires lit in honor of Mihr.
The Scots also observed the wind on Candlemas as recorded in this rhyme:
night's wind blow south
It betokeneth warmth and growth;
If west, much milk and fish in the sea;
If north, much cold and snow there will be;
If east, the trees will bear much fruit;
If north-east, flee it, man, woman and brute.
"The dandelion lights
Lest Brigid find the wayside dark.
And Brother Wind comes rollicking
For joy that she has brought the spring.
Young lambs and little furry folk
Seek shelter underneath her cloak."
~~ W. M. Letts ~~
From Crone to Maiden
In Celtic mythology the dark season from Samhain to Imbolc is ruled over by the Cailleach or Old Woman. She is said to live on Ben Nevis and on Winter's Night she washes her plaid until it is white and this act brings the first snow to the mountain. She also has a Blasting Rod, or blackthorn stang or stave, which she uses to blast the vegetation, bring the leaves tumbling down, and raise the winter storms. She and Brigid are two aspects of the goddess, the one who dwells below, the Dark Mother, and the one who dwells above, the universal Goddess of the Stars.
Some traditions hold that the Cailleach and Brigid are one and the same goddess. On Imbolc Eve, the Cailleach travels to Tir-na-nog (the Land of the Ever Young) and there finds a Well of Youth, drinks from it and is transformed into a beautiful maiden and her black blasting rod turns into a white healing wand. At a touch of this healing wand the grass turns green and the snowdrops begin to blossom.
the hilarious holiday story that goes with this picture:
"Rich meanings of
the prophet-Spring adorn,
Unseen, this colourless sky of folded showers,
And folded winds; no blossom in the bowers;
A poet's face asleep in this grey morn.
Now in the midst of the old world forlorn
A mystic child is set in these still hours.
I keep this time, even before the flowers,
Sacred to all the young and the unborn."
~~ Alice Meynell, In February ~~
Bardic Writings of RDG Members
our contributing editor Jillbe Badb was the only one
The Mistress of The Mantle
traditional-Welsh-style poem...7 syllables...specifically for
Imbolq for Your Familiar
Jillbe Badb and Bodhi Meow
in a meadow all covered with snow
The little old groundhog looks for his shadow
The clouds in the sky determine our fate
If winter will leave us all early or late."
~~ Don Halley ~~
The Three Mothers from Burgundy, 3rd Century CE
Unknown true name
Champion of the
Send the spark
This white candle offering
lie the sheltering snows, undimmed and white;
And reigns the winter's pregnant silence still;
No sign of spring, save that the catkins fill,
And willow stems grow daily red and bright.
These are days when ancients held a rite
Of expiation for the old year's ill,
And prayer to purify the new year's will."
~~ Helen Hunt Jackson, A Calendar of Sonnet's: February ~~
The Forge in the Forest:
gardener knows that under the cloak of winter lies a miracle ...
a seed waiting to sprout, a bulb opening to the light, a bud straining to unfurl.
And the anticipation nurtures our dream."
~~ Barbara Winkler ~~
Eight Keys to Celtic Magic
by Edred Thorsson
Every folk group has special traditions with regard to magical practice.
To the contrary of trends in modern occultism, these traditions
are not merely window dressing on a universal pattern – the
differences reflect real and often profound variations between and
among traditions. In studying the Celtic traditions of magic, certain
unique themes occur that are worth pointing out. These themes help
distinguish the Celtic traditions from others. If these themes are
found inspiring, then the Celtic tradition is a place to explore
them further in the environment of ideas that will lead the seeker
to deeper findings along the same path.
These eight distinctive points of Celtic magic, being aspects which distinguish that tradition from others, should be focal points of research and practice in any program to develop a true magical renaissance of the Celtic tradition.
Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed
The winged seeds, where they lie cold and low,
Each like a corpse within its grave, until
Thine azure sister of the spring shall blow
Her clarion o'er the dreaming earth."
~~ John Davies, 1570-1626, Ode to the West Wind ~~
many, especially in my native New England, the long winter months
are difficult. We don’t get to see much sunshine because we
are in the office all day, and even if we have free time, often
it’s too cold to go outdoors. This is the time of year when
we naturally want to hibernate by staying home, resting and relaxing.
Unfortunately, we do not always have the opportunity to stay in
and rest like Mother Nature would like, so many of us end up with
colds, flus or otherwise feel fatigued. Why not honor yourself at
Imbolc with a special retreat designed to rekindle your energy for
the coming spring?
About The Author: Artemisia is studying to become a Priestess of the Order of the White Moon. She is a graduate student in Natural Health and practices Holistic Rites. She now officiates all Rituals and Rites of Passage at The Griffin Grove Inn.
it the smile of early spring
That made my bosom glow?
'Twas sweet, but neither sun nor wind
Could raise my spirit so.
it some feeling of delight,
All vague and undefined?
No, 'twas a rapture deep and strong,
Expanding in the mind!"
- Anne Bronte, In Memory of A Happy Day in February
Winter Amongst Giants
by Kevin Panton
be the least likely Druid Bard -- a rapper turned poet from London
England -- who followed his intuition to Druidry. I belong to the
Order of The Loyal Arthurian Warband, which has a few titles. A
Bard has all the musical, storytelling, poetic attributes associated
with it, and a Battle Chieftain bestows authority and is usually
a recognition of participation of a road protest (many members of
the Warband protest against the unnecessary building of motorways,
the English equivalent of a highway, often living among the trees
that are due to be cut down and paved over.) A Shield Knight is
bestowed upon one who is believed to be an incarnation of an original
Knight of the Table.
If it wasn't for the fact that I was already acquainted with the Druids, and count myself among their number, it is hard to imagine what I would be doing in the English countryside in the middle of the night on the eve of the Winter Solstice! I was there the night before - I was staying in the car-park nearby with around 60 other people, staying up throughout the longest night round bonfires with guitars and mead, indeed all a Bard could need. (Mead, fermented honey, is sacred to us Druids, and there is an old saying - "ask the wild bee what the old Druids knew.") And layers, it was extremely cold so this bard needed layers! But it was worth it for A LOT more people turned up while it was dark for the sunrise ceremony in the stones. Fifteen-hundred people apparently.
Stonehenge itself is owned and managed by English Heritage and despite many years of battling to have use of it on ceremonial days, English Heritage people are very compliant and allegedly a joy to work with. Stonehenge appears to pre-date the era most associated with the Druids although it is widely accepted that the Druids used it for ceremony. It is widely suspected that the Druids of old had more of an idea what it's use was than we do now. This is made more confusing by the fact that most archaeologists refuse to accept the work of Graham Hancock and countless others who have indicated that what we refer to as civilisation may have existed thousands of years before what was previously believed. The precise astrological alignments and the unique resonance of sound within the stones indicate that it was both a giant, extremely accurate calendar and a sound chamber of sorts. It was certainly built for ceremonial purposes.
Winter Solstice, there was beautiful ceremony in which Arch Druid
Rollo had us all chant for peace. The Druids entered the stones
to the sound of Drums. We did the traditional Druidic chant of IAO,
the sacred syllable, we chanted in the four directions and finally
we turned to the centre of the circle and chanted for peace throughout
Earth. The ceremony was very quick but very heartfelt. Rollo is
also a Merlin, however Merlin is this case is not considered an
individual but a rank and a title. (In this lifetime at least there
is more than one Merlin, and I've met more than one Merlin myself.)
There were affirmations for peace in Iraq and other ceremonies.
For my brethren across the seas and the trees. Love, gratitude and appreciation /|\
Hip-Hop Bard and Shield Knight, Kev the Poet
winter's rains and ruins are over,
And all the season of snows and sins;
The days dividing lover and lover,
The light that loses, the night that wins;
And time remembered is grief forgotten,
And frosts are slain and flowers begotten,
And in green underwood and cover
Blossom by blossom the spring begins."
Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837–1909)
Atalanta in Calydon (1865) ~~
She is known as Brigid Bright,
At Cille Dara, at the setting
Nineteen times the earth turns
Twenty times the sun has burned,
Alone she tends her thrice-bright
The Dagda knows Brigid as Daughter,
Poets call her name to inspire.
Wayland too would know her well
A sorrowful cry did she give meaning,
Oh Sacred Fire against darkest
Fire in the head...to quicken
resonance of Earth (Schumann Resonance) has been 7.8Hz for thousands of
Since 1980 it has risen to over 12Hz. This means that 16 hours now equate to a 24-hour day.
Time is speeding up!"
~~ Gregg Braden ~~
Dispatches from RDG's Autonomous Collectives
Our Yule was spent around a lovely stone fireplace with both familiar and new faces. After our ritual and meal, original poems were read and drawings proudly passed around.
Our Imbolc will be held the morning of Saturday, February 3, at a private residence in Medford, Oregon. We are excited to announce it will followed by a Tarot workshop by Arch-Druid Ceridwen.
Please contact us for details!
Blessings, Aigeann firstname.lastname@example.org
Protogrove located in San Diego, CA now has 9 people who have
shown interest in participating in the meetings so far. The first
grove meeting will take place February 25th.
No news this season from:
of Stone Proto-Grove
my life be like a great hospitable tree,
and may weary wanderers find in me a rest."
~~ John Henry Jowett ~~
BY POPULAR DEMAND:
walking through a warm and lush forest setting one's thoughts can easily
take flights of fancy. It is not difficult to shed the layers of modern life and find
one's more subtle or primitive beginnings. Somewhere from deep within the spirit
and majesty of each single tree steps forth and at once one can find oneself
transported to a world of shadow and shade."
~~ Morgan La Fey, Sacred Trees ~~
The Druid's Egg newsletter is supported by our online store:
Avalon Risen is proud to offer members of the Reformed Druids of Gaia a 5% rebate on any order over $30 from our "AG" collection. To sign up with RDG and begin saving with us, surf over to http://rdg.mithrilstar.org/join.htm today!
Members of the Order of the Mithril Star can save even more! We're offering OMS members a 10% rebate on any order over $30 from our "AG" collection. To sign up with OMS, surf over to http://mithrilstar.org/join.htm
(Note: rebate applies to "AG" items only. Avalon Risen cannot rebate on items purchased through our Amazon.com affiliation)
Special offer from Ceridwen:
Spend more than $100 at
and win a
FREE 30-minute reading*
(Astrology, Tarot or Numerology)**
phone only - you record
**Please specify which type of reading and include pertinent info
Collect Your Free Reading
forest is a peculiar organism of unlimited kindness and benevolence
that makes no demands for its sustenance and extends generously the
products of its life and activity; it affords protection to all beings."
~~ Buddhist Sutra ~~
STATE OF THE REFORM
of today 315 Druids have registered
with the RDG:
During the season of Geimredh, we experienced a net membership gain of 20
Groves chartered: 2 (+
"A tree, young or
old, if admired, remains a definite vision, and when after long absence
it is visited again,
the meeting place is approached with feelings of pleasure and curiosity as to how one's friend had fared,
even with thoughts as to what changes may come to tree or visitor since first they met;
this may seem like a foolish sentiment - perhaps it is.
But, after all, sentiment is mingled with most that's best in life."
~~ Charles Eley, Gardening for the Twentieth Century, 1923 ~~
ASTROLOGY FOR PAGANS
an extended break from teaching group classes,
1. She will send you your chart and many other pertinent tables for use in the lessons, and she will set up a private database for you. You will receive a link to a "Lessons 101" page on her website, where she will upload each lesson as you are ready for it. There is homework and a midterm and final exam for each complete session, which you will complete and send to her by email.
2. Your homework is graded and your questions are answered as they come up - lots of personal attention, as you need it. Private Tutoring is based on YOUR schedule and speed of learning, and you can take breaks whenever "life" gets in the way...then you can take up where you left off when you are ready to return to your studies...
3. These classes are VERY EXTENSIVE - much like a college course - with a LOT of material and visual aids contained within the lessons.
You will learn:
The fees for the private tutoring sessions are as follows:
6. To her knowledge, she is possibly the only one who teaches an extensive college-like course in Astrology that is completely INTERACTIVE with a LIVE Professional Astrologer (much info is available online, but you usually don't get to ask questions of the authors or teachers)...
7. Plus this is Astrology geared specifically toward Pagans...she is the Arch-Druid of OMS/RDG and Cylch Cerddwyr Rhwng y Bydoedd Grove...
If you wish to take advantage of these classes, or need more information about them, send an email to: Ceridwen Subject line: AstroPagan Private Tutoring
If you are interested in a PRIVATE CONSULTATION about your Astrological chart, please visit her home page at: http://hunters-moon.org
Ceridwen has over 30 years of experience with Astrology and Paganism, and her approach to teaching and interpreting charts is intuitive, psychological, spiritual, magickal and logical. She will show that this process uses "both sides of the brain" - which is why Astrology is referred to as both an Art and a Science.
"Trees have from time
immemorial been closely associated with magic.
These stout members of the vegetable kingdom may stand for as long
as a thousand years, and tower far above our mortal heads. As such
they are symbols and keepers of unlimited power, longevity, and
timelessness. An untouched forest, studded with trees of all ages,
sizes and types, is more than a mysterious, magical place - it is one
of the energy reservoirs of nature. Within its boundaries stand
ancient and new sentinels, guardians of the universal force
which has manifested on the Earth..."
~~ Scott Cunningham, Earth Power: Techniques of Natural Magick, 1996, p. 77 ~~
Isn't It About Time?
"We perceive time
"The level of Being of a man attracts
his life, and history repeats itself
I am going to make
a bold statement: Our perception of time is what limits us from
moving gracefully into the next phase of human evolution…and
it always has. But now we are about to experience a quantum shift
in human evolution that will catapult us from being Homo Sapiens
to Homo Universalis…a universal species. These have been
called the "end times," often misunderstood as the end
of the world, Armageddon. Actually, it is just the end of the
perception of time as a limiting feature of our collective reality.
Really, friends, it is about time!
the doors of perception were cleansed,
of time can also have very personal implications. Having a loved
one pass on can feel like an enormous loss, or it can feel like
a new relationship with that same person, depending on your perspective
of time. You feel it as loss when you think of that person as
dying in the "past." You’ll never know of the
relationship that you could have with that loved one now if you
don’t expand your view and relinquish the linear-thinking
stranglehold that you have on reality. By "losing" this
person to the "past," you confine your reality to a
narrow strip of consciousness that denies your own fullness of
being and the experience now of that person in a new way.
our infinite sense we behold multitude;
leads to humility. When a flower develops
into a fruit, the petals drop off on its own. When one becomes spiritual,
the ego vanishes gradually on its own. A tree laden with fruits always
bends low. Humility is a sign of greatness."
~~ Sri Ramakrishna ~~
Today is the eve of Imbolc, or February 1, 2007 CE.
It is the 1st day of the Season of Earrach, and the 1st day of the Month of Mi na hOimelc.
is also Thursday, in the common tongue, or Dydd
Lau in Welsh.
MOONS occur on 17 Earrach, 47 Earrach
and 76 Earrach.
The Sun enters Pisces on 18 Earrach.
Honorary Reformed Druid and environmental hero, Julia Butterfly Hill was born 18 Earrach BGR 31.
Me·n Earrach (March ) begins on 29 Earrach
Order of the Mithril Star was conceived on 44 Earrach BGR 09, at Big Basin Redwoods State Park (Boulder Creek California).
"Bring Back the Snakes Day" observed, 46 Earrach.
Ostara / Alban Eiler, or the Spring Equinox occurs on 48 Earrach.
The Sun enters Aries on 48 Earrach.
begins on 60 Earrach
In the USA, Daylight Savings Time begins on 39 Earrach at 2:00 AM.
The Sun enters Taurus on 78 Earrach.
Earth Day is observed on 81 Earrach.
The Season of Samradh, the first day of MÌ na Beltaine, 1 Samradh YGR 01, the Festival of Beltane begins at Sunset on April 30th.
earth and water will you grow. In the air will your leaves speak
as you reach towards the fire of the sun. We respect and honour
and admire you, O tree, and all trees, for you represent both
Peace and Power - though you are mighty you hurt no creature.
Though you sustain us with your breath, you will give up your life
to house and warm and teach us. We give thanks for your blessing
upon our lives and upon our lands. May you fare well in this
chosen place. Awen."
~~ Source Unknown ~~
by Nancy Venus
The blessings of the dawn grow
'Tis a time of fertility.
Bless the Earth it's fields and
Bless the Sun with warming rays.
Light and dark, and dark and light
Fairies of the flame return
Fairies of the rain draw near.
Fairies of the Earth now dance.
Ostara Praise unto thy name.
gather up my thoughts
like the clouds in your branches.
Draw up my soul
like the waters in your root.
In the arteries of your trunk
bring me together.
Through your leaves
breathe out the sky."
~~ J. Daniel Beaudry, Breath ~~
Ostara - Mist and Wings
This poem was written after the gigantic Nor'Easter that locked down Boston on April 2nd, 1997. Three feet of snow in 24 hours is pretty impressive, and I wrote this poem after slogging through that snow to go sledding, and then watching it all melt in the 50-degree weather that followed.
Dampness swirling in the lamplight
Barefoot, she leaves no trace
in the snow
She has been sleeping long and
And I went walking through the
The whipping tale of the comet
© Anne Cross, 1997 http://www.watson.org/~juniper/poetry/ostara.html
is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon
men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that
emanation from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and
renews a weary spirit."
~~ Robert Louis Stevenson ~~
Ostara Around the World
- At Ostara, the Teutons honored their Goddess of Spring, Eostre with feasting and ritual.
- The Norse honored their Virgin Goddess and celebrated her mating with the young God. Sexual relations were almost obligatory on Ostara Eve, as was a communal meal featuring foods associated with fertility (cake, honey, eggs)
- The Lily was a symbol of life in pagan Greece and Rome, where it adorned Ostara altars and temples. Young men, playing the role of the lusty young God, would present them to the young women they were courting. Accepting the lily meant much the same thing as accepting a diamond ring does now.
- In Cornwall and Wales, Ostara was renamed 'Lady Day' and was the time of the official return of the young Goddess after her winter hibernation. On this day of balance, they believed she was able to meet her youthful God on equal terms, mate with him, and become impregnated with not only the God who will be reborn at Yule, but with the autumn harvest as well.
- In Slavic pagan traditions this was believed to be a day when death had no power over the living, In their tradition, a personification of Death is symbolically killed by throwing him into moving water to drown. Flowers (symbols of life renewed) are tossed in after him and he is sung to as he floats down river. After Death's drowning, brightly painted red eggs were passed around during a procession to the ritual site where the new life of spring was celebrated with food, dance, and strong drink.
- In Mexico and the American Southwest, there is a pagan custom revolving around cascarones. These are eggshells that have been carefully hollowed out, painted, filled with traditional pagan symbols for spring (perfume, confetti, lavender, sage) and then resealed with tape. The object is to take your cascarones out on the morning of Ostara, catch your loved ones by surprise and hit them over the head with an egg. As the insides rain around you, you are blessed with the love, luck, and new life of the season.
- There is an ancient legend in the Ukraine that tells of a demon monster that would devour the world. This monster is chained and as it strains and pulls, the links of its chains are weakened. But every Spring the chain is strengthened in proportion to the number of pysanky (intricately decorated eggs) that were made and exchanged that season. (The word pysanky comes from the root word pysaty (to write) because the signs are written on the surface of the egg in a rich language of symbols almost endless in number and variation.)
forest is not merely an expression or representation of sacredness,
nor a place to invoke the sacred; the forest is sacredness itself. Nature
is not merely created by God; Nature is God. Whoever moves within the
forest can partake directly of sacredness, experience sacredness with
his entire body, breath sacredness and contain it within himself, drink
the sacred water as a living communion, bury his feet in sacredness,
open his eyes and witness the burning beauty of sacredness."
~~ Richard Nelson ~~
How the Ostara Egg Came to Be
The modern belief that eggs are delivered by a rabbit, comes from the legend of the Goddess Eostre. Eostre was walking one fine Spring day and came upon a beautiful little bird. The poor bird's wing was badly injured and Eostre, feeling great compassion for the little creature, wanted to heal it. But the little bird' wing was so badly damaged that Eostre knew it would never be able to fly again even after She healed it. So, Eostre decided to help the bird by healing it in a way that would give it mobility and a little something more? She turned it into a rabbit!
During the transformation, the rabbit retained the ability to lay eggs. The rabbit was so grateful to Eostre for saving its life that it laid a sacred egg in Her honor, joyously decorated it and then humbly presented it to the Goddess. She was so pleased and so touched by the rabbit's thoughtful gift that She wished all humankind to share in her joy. In honoring her wishes, the rabbit went all over the world distributing these beautifully decorated little gifts of life and continues to do so even today.
lilac trees are old and tall;
I cannot reach their bloom at all.
They send their perfume over trees
And roof and streets, to find the bees."
~~ Lousie Driscoll, 1875 - 1957, My Garden Is a Pleasant Place ~~
Spring Flower Magick
From the Middle Ages through the Victorian period, flowers developed rich magickal associations and meanings that are still employed in everyday spells. The following are some suggestions for using spring flowers in your own magick:
Rose: Used in Love spells for centuries, the color of the rose often notes the precise meaning of the offering today. For example, red is for passion or romantic love, yellow is for friendship, white for chaste love, and pink for budding romance or to say you like someone a lot. To draw his or her attention your way, strew rose petals over an area where a targeted lover will walk.
Lilac: Lilacs can be added to oil blends that help you see your past lives. Anoint your temples and the area known as the third eye, just above and between your eyebrows, to get the best effect. Place them around your home to ward off evil spirits.
Primrose: Cultivate to attract spring fairies, and carry them to attract a highly- charged sexual love.
Cowslip: This is another favorite of spring fairies: they will gladly come to live in a garden in which cowslip is growing. Use it in spells for seeking wealth and health, and place near the front door when you wish to be left alone.
Violet: This early spring flower has many magickal uses. Add it to spells for protection, love, healing, and sleep. Place it under your pillow to attract a new lover to your bed.
Apple Blossom: Use in love spells and rituals to celebrate lifecycles. In Celtic mythology the apple is the symbol of the Otherworld and of the goddess who has control of the rebirthing process. Also, it is used to carry the Witches' hidden symbol.
Orange Blossom: Add to spells whose goal is not just love, but marriage. This doesn't have to be traditional mainstream marriage, but marriage as you see it is best for you and your partner. Carry at your own wedding to help make yours a sexy and sacred marriage in the image of the deities.
Daisy: Allow daisies to be a central feature of spells to attract love and lust. Don't forget the old folk custom of picking off the blooms of each daisy head while saying, "She o he loves me so" to divine whether someone you love loves you back.
Hawthorn: This is the ultimate fairie plant, and in Ireland many people will not disturb a hawthorn bush in any way, knowing it is the home of fairies who can help or hinder. Tie wishing ribbons to hawthorn bushes so that friendly fairies can assist you in making them come true. Be sure to leave an offering or libation for them too.
Columbine: Add to spells for love. Wear them when you need to fortify your courage or willpower.
Crocus: Add in spells to attract love and use to adorn Ostara altars.
Jasmine: Use jasmine in spells for love, psychic dreams, and to help find needed cash.
Daffodil: Use daffodils to honor the God and Goddess of Spring, to enhance both their fertility and your own. Use them in wishing charms and love spells.
Flowering trees also have their place among the symbols of Ostara and Easter:
The pink blossoms of the dogwood tree have been symbolic of the resurrection of Jesus, just like the lily.
Apple blossoms speak of love and new life.
Hawthorn blossoms begin to bud in England and Ireland around Ostara, and at Beltane they are collected as magickal and sexual talismans.
In the Celtic tree calendar it is the alder tree – which is connected with psychic and regenerative powers - that rules over the month of Ostara.
The natural foods craze has moved into the twenty first century with edible flowers as its latest fad. I admit to having done little experimentation in this area, partly due to allergy concerns and partly due to persistent conviction that I'd like eating most flowers as much as I would dry grass. Even though modern North Americans and western Europeans are just now discovering edible flowers, flower foods have a long history in China and southwest Asia, and they are also eaten by Greeks and Romans.
The edible part of the flower, in these cases, is always just the blossoms of flowering petals. Flowers you plan to eat should never be purchased from a florist or nursery. These are covered with pesticides and other chemicals that are toxic. It should go without saying that you should also not eat any flower that you cannot positively identify. Some of the most attractive and best smelling flowers are poisonous, including daffodils, azaleas, lily of the valley, crocuses, rhododendrons, and oleander.
source: Ostara; Customs, Spells, and Rituals for the Rite of Spring
by Edain McCoy.
in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.
Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years."
~~ Wendell Berry, Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front ~~
Mother Grove wishes all of you
a most inspiring Imbolc, a joyous Ostara,
and abundant blessings throughout the season!
May you never thirst!
Ceridwen Seren-Ddaear, Managing
El Arseneau, Scribe
Jillbe Badb, Contributing Editor
Cylch Cerddwyr Rhwng y Bydoedd Grove
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