Ostara Newsletter 20 March 2019
Welcome to Ostara…the time of Nature in balance. Sun and moon are in equal proportions and from here, the sun and the light gain in strength, as darkness fades. We have had a good run of weather in February and we all made the most of the fine clear days, but this is not good news to Nature! There is an old saying which I was reminded of as I was in the sunshine looking for snowdrops on Imbolc; “If Candlemas be fair and clear, there will be two winters in one year!” The same thing occurred last year and I am desperately hoping we are not in for yet another ‘Beast from the East’ but only the weather knows what is what. I have been telling bees to go back to bed as it is far too early, but maybe they want an early start on this year’s honey because they know what’s coming!!
Nature fights with itself at this time, to shift the balance so-to-speak, hence why it can be very stormy the two weeks before and after the Equinox with those March winds definitely blowing!! There is maybe a lesson in there somewhere: though we often resist it, we need our lives to also be in balance, with work, rest and play in equal proportions, and something I am now personally having to start taking notice of. More on that later…
My shop has been extremely busy lately, which is very unusual for this time of year. At time of writing, we still have no idea if we are in or out, delayed or abandoned! I have no idea what I will suddenly be unable to get but to me, if I cannot get it, it no longer belongs, and I will find something else to stock or use in its place. We witches are very good at adapting and using what we have, rather than worrying about what we don’t! I have also been asked if I am stock-piling? Don’t stockpile or panic buy, as that is what causes the shortages!! We are not battening down the hatches in readiness for war! As Gloria Gaynor says: ‘we will survive’ …whatever the outcome.
So, what do we do at the Vernal Equinox?
This is the time for new beginnings. Ostara is named after the Goddess Eostre, from which oestrogen gets its name. As this is a time of fertility, giving eggs, whether chocolate or real hand-blown eggs symbolically painted, at this time of year, is the perfect thing to do. Also, this is the best time of year to start something new. Get those passions going and brings those dreams alive as this is the perfect time to make and begin new plans!!
Ostara is a great time to get back outdoors if you have hibernated over winter, though with the February we’ve had, you should have already began dusting off those winter cobwebs. This is a great time to see nature coming to life & exercise at the same time. Is the air filled with the scent of blossom yet? Are the trees in bud or beginning to show signs of green? The daffs are out early as are the daisies…but what about those healthy dandelions? I try to spring clean both home and body at this time to rid the winter from both and welcome the sunshine, purifying the home using lemon, orange or grapefruit to freshen everything up. Daffodils, a symbol of hope and new life, will give the home for a sunnier feel. If there is a clear evening, have a bonfire and give the garden a tidy to allow the new growth to come through. I don’t begin weeding or trimming until after Ostara to protect new growth in case there is last cold spell or frost like last year. Everything has begun early this year…but March came in like a lamb!
Spring clean your altar and decorate with sunny spring flowers and yellow candles. Sit down in the sunshine, if we have any before Ostara, and decide what you need to balance your life. Is work, rest and play in equal proportions? What will bring more balance to your life? A new hobby? A new job? More play or less? Do you need a new health regime or a complete lifestyle re-think? Do you need to make more time for you for more self-care or simply to try going to bed earlier with a good book to catch up on reading, staying away from your phone for better sleep? Ostara is a great time for a new programme in your life to make your life the life you want. I know my life needs more balance and I fully intend to set a new programme in to make it happen. Take 5 to get those ideas and thoughts down on paper ready for the Equinox…the time for change is now…so let’s make it happen!!
Although on different days on the calendar, they are technically the same night so you can prepare your list ready for action on this night of Ostara and the full moon…here’s what to do with your list of intentions:
Whether an Ostara bonfire, a symbolic candle in a cauldron or a simple tealight in a holder, sit out in the moonlight on 20thMar after 10pm but before 1.30am when the moon is full. Place a reflective bowl of water to catch the Moon’s rays to which you have added a supportive amulet crystal of choice. Close your eyes and visualise your life-balancing list actually in place and part of your new regime, then simply say 3 times to the Moon…
What was old is now new, what was dark is now light,
What was asleep is now awake, what was dim is now bright
At this time of nature’s balance, oh Mistress of the Moon
Please bring harmony, hope and balance, into my life very soon
Balance is in need and life’s renewal is the key
And as this is my will, Then, so mote it be
Next, dip each of your hands in the bowl of water three times and let it dry onto your hands, whilst thanking the Moon for her help. Take the crystal out of the bowl to carry daily for support to action the changes, then pour the water into a nearby plant or tree. Your intentions have now been set in motion…
A pocket of calm and hope…
When things are not in balance or I feel out of sorts, I use crystals to bring the balance back. We have been selling lots of crystals lately to help people gain control, energy, balance & hope, so here’s my 9 magickal minerals:
Amazonite: dispels negativity to bring harmony, hope, growth and stability into your life
Agate: stone of good fortune and courage, it helps you weather ‘the ups and downs and storms of life’
Jasper: stone of stability and protection in times of transition; red adds luck & hope, yellow balance & success
Aventurine: calms anxiety to allow a sense of independence and a more positive outlook to attract luck & success
Garnet: with a calming energy, it strengthens personal power whilst dispelling negativity
Blue Tiger eye: helps get you out of the rut to soar to new heights (hence why it is called Hawks eye)
Golden Tiger eye: stone of luck & success, calm & strength to help overcome fear and worry over life’s dilemmas
Black Obsidian: attracts luck and keeps life in balance when undergoing transformation and change
Malachite: stone of support and hope when overcoming obstacles and negotiating life’s challenges
Which one do you need? We will offer a lucky dip instore for our customers so you can find out which one you need at this time and take it home with you to help you magickally move your life forward in the right direction!
An aromatic air of calm and hope…
As mentioned earlier, I like to use different oils at different times of year to improve and balance the ambience in my home. Your nose is always a good tester, and if something smells amazing, and something else not so much, then your senses have chosen which you need. Fragrance oils may make the house smell nice but they do not change the vibration of your home like essential oils can. Every morning, I place a few drops essential oil on a cloth and wipe all my kitchen surfaces, not only to clean them but also to balance me and mine. The oils change, sometimes daily or weekly, others in place for weeks. At the moment, I feel a great need for citrus aromas, as I often do at this time. Usually, it’s Lemongrass for its uplifting, sherbet aroma, but it just ain’t working for me this year!! Instead, I want grapefruit, lemon and orange on my cloth…I usually use Orange in winter but it is still seems to be valid and I love Grapefruit in spring, but never usually Lemon…so what oils can help you at this time for an air of calm & hope?
Lemon:bright, sunny and sharp, making it uplifting and refreshing, dispersing confusion to help focus, thus lightening the burden and helping rescue the mind that is bogged down with decisions and obstacles
Grapefruit:lighter and sweeter than lemon, it smooths stagnant energy, lifting those heavy feelings and relieving frustration, tension and irritability. Great oil for those who ‘comfort eat’ when life is challenging (I know I do)
Orange:warm, fresh and sweet, it’s great for those who work non-stop to find a more relaxed and positive way of living (hence why it is still valid). It encourages adaptability and optimism and a more easy-going approach to life”. As Doris Day sang, ‘Que, Sera Sera, what will be, will be’, definitely an orange oil saying!
Bergamot: sweet, fruity and fresh, this uplifting oil helps release pent-up feelings that can lead to anxiety and depression, encouraging you to relax and let them go, redirecting nervous energy into optimism and spontaneity
Melissa:this herby, citric aroma of lemon balm helps calm the nerves and emotions, especially if you are quite sensitive and sometimes life simply overwhelms you. It can restore a sense of serenity to a confused wee soul.
So how will I rebalance life now I am 60?
Working in the field of magick and mystery as I do, ‘them upstairs’ have a way of getting their point across when I get out of balance. They hurt my hip to slow me down, followed shortly after by my knee when I didn’t listen …so I slowed down! I got the flu late last year, slowed a little, then jumped straight back into full blast, so they knocked me over hurting my shoulder, foiling my plans to learn Nordic skiing 2 weeks later. I am writing this whilst ill again with a now recurring stomach issue…they’re at it again, so I have to listen to the signs telling me I am no longer a spring chicken, and do what I have always done. Life is for enjoying, so Mr Mac and I have had to rethink our life!
Say hello to Meg, our magickal motorhome. Never did I think I would ever do this, but to get a work/life balance, Meg will be our chariot to freedom & adventure. With a few home comforts and a little planning, she’ll become our home-from-home in which we hope to visit every standing stone, fairy dell, cloutie tree, island, beach and historic marker Scotland has to offer, with no magickal witch’s stone left unturned. I am making time for my home life too, and we will take every opportunity to be off into the sunset exploring the magick of this wonderful land we live in!
Shop Closure for Ostara holiday
We will be closed Tue 19 Marchas Mr Mac and I take our usual week’s break from 16thMarch, before my year end and Helen’s holidays. Helen & Emma will be at the helm Wed 20th–Sat 23rd in my absence! Let the balance begin…
Full Moon: Thur 21 Mar @ 01.43 hrs New Moon: Fri 5 Apr @ 09.51 hrs
Full Moon: Fri 19 Apr @ 12.13 hrs Mercury retrograde 5 Mar – 28 March
Bright Ostara blessings from Chris (alias the Green Witch)
Christine Macdonald, Mystique Moments, 59-61 High Street, ABERDOUR, Fife, Scotland, KY3 0SJ