Tag Archives: Ostara

The Spring Equinox (And Spring Has Actually, Finally Shown Her Face)

Hurray for the Spring Equinox!  It’s finally, officially Spring!  The ‘official’ Equinox occurred on Thursday, March 20th,  at 12:57 pm EST.  Our daylight length here where I live – 12 hours 10 minutes.  I love it!

But I knew ahead of time that spring was on its way.  How?  I SAW BEARS!!!  I did, I did!  I was driving back from delivering Saver of Bugs to school when I noticed some black blobs at the bottom of a tree in a fairly open area.  I did a double take and stared.   BEARS!!!   They were very close in size and not all that big so I figure they are last year’s cubs.  Momma must have been in the tree line.  Regretfully, I was driving on a main trucking route at speed.  Stopping for pictures would have put me on foot going back to get pictures at dusk.  Getting smooshed by a truck was not on my agenda.  Or as my son said, “Hit by a truck?! Seriously?!  How about EATEN by a freaking BEAR?!”  🙂

But back to Spring!  The following is a partial reblog from a post I did last year.  I just couldn’t think of anything more I wanted to add to this:

“…Once Upon A Time Long, Long Ago… when I was working horses and gardening and nature loving on a daily basis and was in tune with the seasons, this part of spring was expected and accepted. It was known as March Madness (and had nothing at all to do with basketball) or Spring Fever (and had nothing at all to do with big retail sales). This really hit me in the face since I have been struggling for several weeks now.

Between the lengthening days, more noticeable now, and the dramatic swings in the weather (that barometric pressure going up and down affects your body), animals and people alike are restless, moody, depressed and ecstatic all at the same time. Life can swoop from awful to wonderful from one step to another. It is just that time of year.

Those believing in Fairies say the upheaval is the passing of seasons from one Fairy Queen to the next.

Greek mythology talks of Demeter (in brief, Goddess of the Harvest), cursing the world and taking life from all growing things; when her daughter Persephone is taken to the underworld by Hades.  The deal to bring Persephone back is that for 4 months of the year she must return to the underworld.  During that time Demeter grieves and nothing grows.  Persephone’s return marks the beginning of spring.

Pagans and Witches have celebrated Ostara for hundreds of years (It’s the precursor to the Christian holiday of Easter).  This holiday is celebrated on the Spring Equinox when the hours of day and night are equal.  It is a celebration of rebirth as the world awakens from its winter sleep and “life” begins anew.

It’s all about Change.  From our seasonal sleep we are thrust fairly abruptly into our “awakening”.  There is a primal need, often unacknowledged by us humans, to take advantage of the cycle of growth, resulting in “March Madness” or “Spring Fever”.  When I was working on the farms, allowances were made for man and animal alike. “This too shall pass.” (Or in some cases, “Aw hell, it’s spring again.”)  In this “modern” civilization we forget that we, too, are creatures of Mother Earth and thus subject, to a certain extent, to her whims. We may forget our “roots” but our bodies don’t. We need to be patient with ourselves and others right now.  Acknowledge and accept the unsettled feelings as part of life’s cycles.  Remember that with this huge burst of Mother’s Earth’s creative energies, things are bound to be unstable for a while.  Just hold on tight!”

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The symbolic rebirth of Mother Earth after a long, hard, cold winter was supposed to be cold and nasty.  So I decided two days ago, with warm beautiful weather as company, to once again go looking for Spring outside.  I also decided it was time to start cleaning up out there and started by bringing the plants out of the garage.

Daffodils, weeks late, finally poking up through the grass!  YAY!

Daffodils, weeks late, finally poking up through the grass! YAY!

More Daffs in the garden!

More Daffs in the garden!

Mini Iris

Mini Iris

Hyacinth

Hyacinth

Buds on my small Amelanchier Laevis.

Buds on my small Amelanchier Laevis.

To save money, I grow a lot of things from seed and shop the clearance racks, especially at Lowe’s.  And life being what it can be not everything has made it into the ground.  The Dump (aka our garage) is too full for a car, so the back of the driveway is a convenient place for plants in pots.  This winter I put plants I knew wouldn’t survive outside in pots in the garage.  Unfortunately,  there were still a lot of pots in the driveway that had to deal with an unusually severe winter.

My mint survived it's winter in the garage and is starting to grow.

My mint survived it’s winter in the garage and is starting to grow.

And my Lemon Balm.

And my Lemon Balm.

The coreopsis on the left was in the garage.  The one on the right is still asleep.  Or dead!

The Coreopsis on the left was in the garage. The one on the right spent the winter in the driveway.  It is still asleep. Or dead!

But my Monarda in the driveway is still alive and awake!

But my Monarda in the driveway is still alive and awake!

So whether you celebrated the Spring Equinox on the actual Equinox or whether you celebrate on the calendar Equinox (the 21st), I wish you a happy beginning to your Spring!

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March Madness And Spring Fever. No, I’m Not Talking About Basketball Or Big Retail Sales

Random Thoughts

As for all the spring funks that seem to be going around, a conversation with a ‘found’ relative that joined us for Easter Sunday snapped something back into my brain. (A lot of dusty file cabinets in there.)  Once Upon A Time Long, Long Ago… when I was working horses and gardening and nature loving on a daily basis and was in tune with the seasons, this part of spring was expected and accepted. It was known as March Madness (and had nothing at all to do with basketball) or Spring Fever (and had nothing at all to do with big retail sales). This really hit me in the face since I have been struggling for several weeks now.

Between the lengthening days, more noticeable now, and the dramatic swings in the weather (that barometric pressure going up and down affects your body), animals and people alike are restless, moody, depressed and ecstatic all at the same time. Life can swoop from awful to wonderful from one step to another. It is just that time of year.

Those believing in Fairies say the upheaval is the passing of seasons from one Fairy Queen to the next.

Greek mythology talks of Demeter (in brief, Goddess of the Harvest), cursing the world and taking life from all growing things; when her daughter Persephone is taken to the underworld by Hades.  The deal to bring Persephone back is that for 4 months of the year she must return to the underworld.  During that time Demeter grieves and nothing grows.  Persephone’s return marks the beginning of spring.

Pagans and Witches have celebrated Ostara for hundreds of years (It’s the precursor to the Christian holiday of Easter).  This holiday is celebrated on the Spring Equinox when the hours of day and night are equal.  It is a celebration of rebirth as the world awakens from its winter sleep and “life” begins anew.

It’s all about Change.  From our seasonal sleep we are thrust fairly abruptly into our “awakening”.  There is a primal need, often unacknowledged by us humans, to take advantage of the cycle of growth, resulting in “March Madness” or “Spring Fever”.  When I was working on the farms, allowances were made for man and animal alike. “This too shall pass.” (Or in some cases, “Aw hell, it’s spring again.”)  In this “modern” civilization we forget that we, too, are creatures of Mother Earth and thus subject, to a certain extent, to her whims. We may forget our “roots” but our bodies don’t. We need to be patient with ourselves and others right now.  Acknowledge and accept the unsettled feelings as part of life’s cycles.  Remember that with this huge burst of Mother’s Earth’s creative energies, things are bound to be unstable for a while.  Just hold on tight!

Life At Our House

Saver went LARPing this weekend.  I’m currently sitting here waiting for a text message or Skype bloop announcing her return.

This weekend was spent with Spider Bait’s last high school play.  *sigh*

While doing some sorting and when I was running around the store and some unintentional site jumps on the computer, I kept coming up against Prayer shawls, wraps, and stoles. As I mentioned above, the past few weeks have not been fun for me and having something semi-quick to make (I’m slower than dirt) would help save my sanity and make me feel as if something was getting accomplished.  And it just so happened I had 5 skeins of yarn that have been sitting around for several years waiting to be made into something.  They were clearancing them out and the colors were beautiful.  So now they’re a shawl.  I just wish the photos did the colors justice.

It's roughly 22" wide by 67" long.

It’s roughly 22″ wide by 67″ long.

Shells to cover up my nasty ends.

Shells to cover up my nasty ends.

A close-up in the sun.  Imagine the colors a bit more brilliant.

A close-up in the sun. Imagine the colors a bit more brilliant.

Fur Babies and Other Friends

While Saver was home on Spring Break she combined her 5 gallon fish tank and her 2 gallon fish tank into a 10 gallon fish tank.

I wasn't fast enough to get a picture of the 5 before she started tearing it down.  So here is a picture of the amount of plants that came out of it.  That's a 1 gallon ice cream container.

I wasn’t fast enough to get a picture of the 5 before she started tearing it down. So here is a picture of the amount of plants that came out of it. That’s a 1 gallon ice cream container.

The 2 gallon before tear down.  It's a jungle in there.

The 2 gallon before tear down. It’s a jungle in there.

Ta-Da!

Ta-Da!

Fish are HARD to photograph!  They refuse to sit still!  Here are some of the ‘clearer’ pics:

A Glo-Light Tetra peeking out.

A Glo-Light Tetra peeking out.

Otocinclus.  "Oto" for short. Cute little algae-eater.

Otocinclus. “Oto” for short. Cute little algae-eater.

A Cardinal Tetra on the left and hanging out in the plant is a Kuhli Loach.  A slender eel-like fish.  Can you see him?

A Cardinal Tetra on the left and hanging out in the plant is a Kuhli Loach. A slender eel-like fish. Can you see him?

And, of course, a must have at our house.  A Corydoras Catfish.

And, of course, a must have at our house. A Corydoras Catfish.

And since my tanks are as overgrown as Saver’s, I really should do some Spring Cleaning myself!

Out In The Yard

Spring is finally showing itself!

Rhubarb is peeking!

Rhubarb is peeking!

More crocus!

More crocus!

I’m going to leave you with a quote from Robert Frost:

“I’m not confused, I’m just well mixed.”

Night!

(Squee!  Saver arrived safely back at school as I was checking this after I posted it.  NOW I can go to bed!)

Happy Easter!

Did you know?

For Western Christian countries, Easter is the 1st Sunday following the full moon after the vernal equinox on March 21st (got that?).  And it only took the religious hierarchy  about 1,000 years of squabbling across the board to come to this decision. (Whew!)

Did you know?

Our Easter bunny and painted eggs originated from the Pagan celebrations of Eostara (now known as Ostara), the German goddess of rebirth.

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I’m going to leave you with a poem my daughter posted in comments a couple of days ago and a picture of mini daffodils, the flower that means Easter time to me.  And whatever your faith or celebrations,  I wish everyone a Happy Holiday.  Here’s to good faith, good food, and good company.

“An Old Irish Blessing” May love and laughter light your days, and warm your heart and home. May good and faithful friends be yours, wherever you may roam. May peace and plenty bless your world with joy that long endures. May all life’s passing seasons bring the best to you and yours!