Winter Solstice

Celebrating the Seasons (31)

Wednesday, 29 January 2014 05:56

Brigid Chants

Written by

brigid-altarby Selena Fox

 

Brigid Circle

Circle of Brigid Power, Circle of Brigid Light,

Circle of Brigid Magic, Circle of Brigid Bright!

audio: http://circlepodcasts.org/brigid-invocation-chant/ 

 

Brigid Calling

Brigid, Come to Us!  Brigid, Be with Us!

Brigid, Be in Us!  Welcome!

 

Brigid Attuning

Brigid, We call to You!  Brigid, We attune to You!

Brigid, We celebrate You!

 

Brigid Fire

Brigid Fire, Come, Inspire!

 

Brigid Sacred Flame

Lady of the Sacred Flame,

Bless Us as we call Your Name: Brigid, Brigid, Brigid.

audio: http://circlepodcasts.org/brigid-blessing-chant/

 

Brigid Sacred Spring

Lady of the Sacred Spring,

Heal Us as your Name We sing: Brigid, Brigid.

 

Brigid Sun Chant

Brigid Sun Shining Bright,

Bless Us with Your Sacred Light.

 

Brigid Helping

Brigid, Hear Me.  Brigid, Hold Me.

Brigid, Heal Me.  Brigid, Help Me.

 

Brigid Healing

Brigid, Hear Me.  Brigid Heal Me.

Brigid Help Me be Well.

 

Brigid Bring Healing

Brigid Bring Healing

Brigid Bring Healing

 

Brigid Peace

Brigid Peace around You (Me/Us)

Brigid Peace upon You (Me/Us)

Brigid Peace within You (Me/Us)

Brigid Peace.  Inner Peace.

audio: http://circlepodcasts.org/brigid-peace-chant/

 

Brigid Thanking

Brigid, We honor You.  Brigid, We Cherish You.

Brigid, We thank You.

audio: http://circlepodcasts.org/honoringbrigid/

Friday, 15 March 2013 15:44

Cherry Blossom Magic

Written by

selena-cherry-blossom-treeby Selena Fox

Since ancient times, Cherry Blossoms and the non-fruit bearing trees that produce them, sakura, have been revered in Japan.  They continue to be an important part of Japanese culture, and appear in paintings, haiku poetry, anime, songs, and other creative works.   They are symbols of beauty, good fortune, and the cycle of life.  The brief time of beautiful blooming is a powerful reminder of the transience of life.   Each Spring, hanami, or blossom viewing parties and festivals are held throughout Japan.

Cherry Blossom Trees and the custom of viewing them in bloom also are in other parts of the world, including the United States of America.  One hundred years ago this Spring, a gift of 3,020 Cherry Blossom Trees from Japan arrived in Washington, DC and were planted around the Tidal Basin and surrounding areas.  In subsequent years, additional trees were added. 

One of the largest Cherry Blossom viewing events in the world today now happens every Spring in Washington, DC.  Thousands of locals and visitors from around the world converge on the Tidal Basin to delight in the beauty of the blossoming of the multitude of ornamental Cherry Trees in the city.  This year, early warm weather brought the blossoms out in time for Spring Equinox and the start of the five week Centennial Cherry Blossom Festival.

My husband Dennis and I decided to do our personal celebration of Spring Equinox this year with a journey to Washington, DC to experience the Cherry Blossom Trees in peak bloom.   In addition to delighting in the beauty of the blossoming trees themselves, this year’s journey was also one of ancestral remembrance for me.  My great grandfather Peter Bisset (1869-1951) was part of the team of horticulturists involved in importing, planting, and caring for the Cherry Blossom Trees one hundred years ago and in years that followed.

Although ornamental Cherry Trees commonly live between forty and fifty years, there are a hundred of the original trees planted in 1912 still living and blooming among the many that now surround the Tidal Basin.  It was moving to connect with these originals.  In meditative rituals, I paid tribute to them and my great grandfather, and I honored the spirit of international peace and friendship that brought this wonderful Cherry Blossom Trees community into being in my homeland.

The best way to connect with the beauty and magic of the Cherry Blossoms of Washington, DC is through direct encounter.  Viewing photographs and videos of the Blossoms online, in print, and on screens can give a glimpse of their splendor but the most powerful experiences come through spending time with the trees and their blossoms. 

I perform rites to honor these beautiful trees each time I visit.  These rituals take the form of Nature communion meditations with blossoms, trees, and landscape.  Here are some of my favorite ways of doing spiritual work with Cherry Blossoms in the Tidal Basin of Washington, DC.  Some of these rites can be adapted for work with Cherry Blossom Trees in bloom in other places. 

Blossoms Community.  Find a bench underneath one or more of the Cherry Blossom Trees and meditate on the beauty of the blossoms individually and then, collectively.  After a time, expand your focus to also include meditating on the colorful convergence of people of many paths and places appreciating the blossoms.  Be part of the multicultural, international, multilingual, interfaith blossom viewing that is happening daily, dawn to dusk, during the Cherry Blossom Festival time. 

Aged Tree Communion. Visit one of the oldest Cherry Blossom Trees, honor it as you place your hand on it, commune with it, experience its wisdom and memories.  When you are done, give it thanks and envision it thriving.   Some of the original trees are along the walkway by the water by the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial.  They are easily identified because their trunks are darker and thicker with more signs of pruning than younger ones, and often their branches extend over the walkway by the water.

Cherry Blossom Star Meditation.  Stand by a flowering branch with fully opened blossoms.  Select an individual blossom and look into its depts.  See the five-pointed star at its center.  Let this Cherry Blossom Star be a focal point for your meditation.  Meditate with your eyes open for a time. Then close your eyes briefly and internally visualize the image.  Repeat several times to memorize the image.  Then, with eyes closed for a time, envision it.  Now become one with the Cherry Blossom Star.  Experience serenity, balance, and the magic that is within the bloom and within you.  Then, open your eyes and express thanksgiving to the Spirit of the Cherry Blossom.

Moving Waters Meditation.  Rent one of the paddleboats for an hour or two, and paddle out into the waters of the Tidal Basin.  Pause, experience the movement of the water, and enjoy the view of the blooming tress along the shoreline in all directions around you.  Connect with the energy of water, land, sky, light, and blossoming Springtime.

Liberty Circle Walk.  Walk the entire path that encircles the Tidal Basin, visit each of the Memorials along the way, and reflect on Freedom enduring as you delight in the ephemeral beauty of the Cherry Blossoms.  Experience the Jefferson Memorial as a Temple of Liberty as you seek out and read Jefferson’s own words about religious freedom engraved on the wall.  Read and reflect on Freedom words and works at the George Mason, FDR, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorials.  Meditate on the beauty of the world’s tallest obelisk, the Washington Monument, framed by Cherry Blossoms and focus your intentions on Liberty and Justice for All.

Photographic Meditations. Meditatively take photographs of the blossoms as at different times of day and night, and in different climate conditions.  Notice and appreciate the changes in colors and textures of the blossoms.

Falling Blossoms.  Stand near some trees in full bloom.  As breezes blow, appreciate the beauty of blossom petals falling and contemplate the ephemeral nature of Life.  Deepen your understanding of beginnings and endings.

Remembrance.  Give thanks to the Cherry Blossom Trees.  Support efforts to care for them.  Carry with you the memories of your experiences and express them through poetry, narratives, photography, storytelling, ritual, and other ways.   Share your experiences with others.


 

More Information

Beyond the Tidal Basin: Introducing Other Great Flowering Cherry Trees, publication of the U.S. National Arboretum. www.usna.usda.gov.

Celebrating 100 Years of the Gift of Trees.  National Cherry Blossom Festival: The Nation’s Greatest Springtime Celebration.  Washington, DC, March 20-April 27, 2012. www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org

Cherry Blossoms: The Official Book of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, by Ann McClellan, with photos by Ron Blunt.  Washington, DC: National Geographic.  2012.

Cherry Blossoms Photographs by Selena Fox on Facebook, March 2012: 

www.facebook.com/pages/Selena-Fox/50006939284

Selena Fox on the Power of DC’s Cherry Blossoms. Guest post by Selena Fox on Pagan Newswire Collective’s Capital Witch blog, Monday, March 26, 2012, www.capitalwitch.com


 

This article was first published in the Spring 2012 issue of CIRCLE Magazine

Selena Fox is Senior Minister of Circle Sanctuary and founder of the Circle Craft Tradition.   Her lifelong love of Nature is an essential part of her personal and community spiritual practice.  Like her great grandfather Peter Bisset, she honors Nature and capitalizes it.  Selena teaches Circle Craft through writings, in workshops and rituals across the US and elsewhere, and via her weekly internet radio show, “Circle Craft Study with Selena Fox” on Tuesday nights, 8-9 pm central. Podcasts are archived: http://circlepodcasts.org  More about Selena and her work: www.selenafox.com

Friday, 15 March 2013 15:38

Spring Emergence Journey

Written by

by Selena Fox

This journey can be done in a group setting or as a solitary working.  It can be a ritual or part of a longer ritual.  For group work, all taking part should stand in a circle and face center.  If working solo, face North.

Begin by standing in a quiet place, free from distractions. 

Breathe deeply.  Center yourself.  Relax. Envision a circle of radiant light around you.  Call upon the Divine according to your own spiritual path to bless this inner journey. Call upon the Divine within, your Inner Self, to manifest fully in your being and guide this inner journey.  Connect with and honor the Spirit of the Land at the location you have selected for this working.

Now, call to mind some negative and inhibiting habit or self concept which you seek to dispel.  Your Inner Self knows what change is best to work on at this time.  Let your Inner Self speak to the rest of your being and bring forth an awareness of what you seek to have transformed through this journey. Now begin focusing on what you seek to dispel in order to transform and grow.

For example, connect with limiting self-doubt in order to dispel it and bring forth greater self-confidence.  Or, connect with limiting procrastination in order to dispel it and bring forth greater initiative.  Or, connect with limiting dynamics of rashness and short-temperedness in order to dispel this and bring forth greater patience.

The success of this journey depends on getting in touch with a part of your psyche you have chosen to transform– the more fully you get in touch with the selected problem area targeted for transformation, the more powerful will be the working. 

Review in your mind situations in the past in which you have exhibited the characteristic/habit pattern you now wish to transform and grow out of.  Feel the force emerge fully in your being at this time – do not hold back – for to change, it is necessary to connect with that which needs changing.  You have created a safe space for this working and you have called forth your Inner Self to guide you in this work – let that Inner Self help you probe your psyche and bring that which needs to be transformed to the surface.

Spend as much time as you need to bring forth the essence of what you wish to change.  Then as you feel totally embraced with the energy of that essence to the point you feel you are about to be consumed with it, kneel on the ground, put the palms of your hands flat on the ground beside you, and touch your forehead to the ground, and work with the healing power of the Land to discharge what needs to be released and transformed.   

(If in a group situation, the facilitator should wait until all participants have moved to the ground and begun discharging before proceeding.)

Feel the Power of the Land. Feel the Power of Mother Earth flowing through the Land and you.  Let this grounding process neutralize all those energies whose time has come to pass from your psyche.  Discharge all that energy you have called forth for transformation.  Keep discharging until it all passes from you. Experience your old habit pattern dying.  Let it die.  Feel the death.  Breathe deeply … Discharge … Let the old habit pattern that needs to die, Die.  Feel the clarity that comes from discharging.  Breathe deeply.  The old must die to create space for the birth of the new.  Breathe deeply.

Now experience yourself transforming into a caterpillar.  Shapeshift into this form with your imagination, and if you wish, move your body along the ground to deepen your experience.  The more you enter into this process, the more powerful this working.

You are now a caterpillar.  Experience this for a time.

Now within your caterpillar awareness, you sense it is time to spin a cocoon.  As you continue this inner journey in your caterpillar form, you find a sturdy branch where you can do this.

Feel the branch you have come to rest upon.  Inch your way along it until you find a comfortable spot.  Grasp it with your lower appendages.  Feel the silken webs starting to form within you.  Now use your front appendages to pull the silken stuff from your solar plexus.  Swirl it around you.  Twist your body according to your Inner guidance.  You instinctively know how to spin a cocoon.  Keep your lower appendages fixed to the branch for stability, and let your front appendages move freely.  Spin … Spin … Spin.  Weave your silken nest.  Weave your home of transformation.  The more you move and get involved with this experience, the more assured you’ll be of your Springtime metamorphosis.  Keep spinning and weaving … building your cocoon … until you have spun yourself completely in.  Feel the comfortable feeling of being nestled in the cocoon.  Now sleep.  You are safe and centered.

Sleep.  Sleep.  Sleep.  Very relaxed … Sleep … Sleep … Sleep.  You are in a comfortable cocoon.  It is a magical place … it is a sarcophagus .... and it is a womb.

Your being as you once knew it has died, but the essence that is You has not.  Your Inner Self is directing this working in the way that is right for you.  Sleep … Sleep … Sleep.  Deeper into a trance of change.  It is a time of rest in preparation for transformation.

(In group settings, the facilitator should pause the meditation until all have settled into a deep resting meditation for five to ten minutes. Then the journey should proceed to its next phase.)

Now become aware that something is stirring within you.  Feel it … Breath deeply and let this energy emerge in your being.  A new Self and way of being is emerging....  A Self instilled with the qualities you seek to channel into your being.  It grows stronger.  You feel the warmth of the Sun through the walls of your cocoon.  You smell sweet blossoms and green grass.  You hear the songs of birds … and the rustle of warm breezes.  You experience the rebirth and renewal of Springtime.

Life is awakening in your being … you are awakening … new patterns of consciousness are awakening.  You feel it throughout your body, mind, and spirit.  You want to move.  You want to emerge from your cocoon, once a home, now an outmoded confinement.  Move your body against the cocoon.  Rub it until the wall ruptures.  Move your body through the opening you’ve created.  Now you are emerging.  Light!  You see it.  Move to the Light.  Feel it.  Feel the energy of Life mounting within you.  Burst forth.  You are free!

What is this?  Your body has changed.  There are wet wings around you.  Test those wings gently.  Feel them dry as you spread them in the warm breezes.  Now stretch them fully and flap them.  Up and down … Up and down … Up and down.  They are getting stronger.  Stand upright and keep flapping them.  Fly!

Feel yourself flying … up … up … up … higher into the sky.  You have been transformed.  No longer a caterpillar … now a butterfly.  You are free.  Dance and feel new qualities you desire in your being emerge and blossom.  Celebrate this.

(If working solo, dance free-form clockwise around your circle several times.  Come to rest facing East.  If working in a group, the facilitator should lead all participants in a butterfly dance, free-form and clockwise around the circle.  Continue until all are fully flying with their spirits and all are experiencing exuberance.)

Now let us end this dance for now.  Yet this dance will go on continuously within us for we have been transformed and freed from our old way of being.

Let us once again center ourselves and prepare to return to waking consciousness.  Let us give thanks to the Land, to Mother Earth, to Nature and Her transforming power.  Let us ever grow in our Inner Self, that which is one with the Divine as One and as Many.  May the Divine continue to guide our paths.  So Mote It Be.

After returning to consciousness, journal about the experience, and then take down the circle/sacred space created at the start of this working.  Keep your experience in mind as you try out new, healthier ways of being in daily life.

 


 

An earlier form of this meditation was first published in 1980 Spring and Summer issues of Circle Network News.

Selena Fox is Senior Minister of Circle Sanctuary and founder of the Circle Craft Tradition.   Her lifelong love of Nature is an essential part of her personal and community spiritual practice.  She has a M.S. in Counseling from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Selena guides inner journeys with Nature imagery as part of group rituals she facilitates and as part of individual work with clients in her telephone consultation practice. Selena teaches Circle Craft through writings, in workshops and rituals across the US and elsewhere, and via her weekly internet radio show, “Circle Craft Study with Selena Fox” on Tuesday nights, 8-9 pm central: http://circlepodcasts.org  More information: www.selenafox.com

 

Upcoming Appearances

brigid altar 2011-smallWays of Ritual

audio studies with Selena Fox

Tuesday nights, 8-9pm central on internet radio

http://circlepodcasts.org

 

Selena Fox at PantheaCon

February 15-18, 2013

San Jose California

speaking, rituals, networking

http://www.selenafox.com/pantheacon.htm

Friday, 04 January 2013 17:20

Brigid Chants

Written by

brigid-candleby Selena Fox

 

Brigid Circle

Circle of Brigid Power, Circle of Brigid Light,

Circle of Brigid Magic, Circle of Brigid Bright!

 

Brigid Calling

Brigid, Come to Us!  Brigid, Be with Us!

Brigid, Be in Us!  Welcome!

 

Brigid Attuning

Brigid, We call to You!  Brigid, We attune to You!

Brigid, We celebrate You!

 

Brigid Fire

Brigid Fire, Come, Inspire!

 

Brigid Sacred Flame

Lady of the Sacred Flame,

Bless Us as we call Your Name: Brigid, Brigid.

 

Brigid Sacred Spring

Lady of the Sacred Spring,

Heal Us as your Name We sing: Brigid, Brigid.

 

Brigid Helping

Brigid, Hear Me.  Brigid, Hold Me.

Brigid, Heal Me.  Brigid, Help Me.

 

Brigid Healing

Brigid, Hear Me.  Brigid Heal Me.

Brigid Help Me be Well.

 

Brigid Peace

Brigid Peace around You (Me/Us)

Brigid Peace upon You (Me/Us)

Brigid Peace within You (Me/Us)

Brigid Peace.  Inner Peace.

 

Brigid Thanking

Brigid, We honor You.  Brigid, We Cherish You.

Brigid, We thank You.

Monday, 19 November 2012 06:17

Yuletide Celebrations & Resources

Written by

yule general splashCelebrate the longest night of the year and the return of the Sun with Yuletide events from Circle Sanctuary!  We offer in-person celebrations, live Internet radio shows, articles, podcasts, and much more!

Thursday, 01 November 2012 06:33

Celebrating Samhain

Written by

DSCF1701

Article by Selena Fox

As October turns to November, thousands of Witches, Wiccans, Druids, and other Pagans across America, Canada, Europe, and elsewhere observe the sacred time of Samhain. Samhain is a festival of the Dead. Meaning "Summer's End" and pronounced saah-win or saa-ween, Samhain is a celebration of the end of the harvest and the start of the coldest half of the year. For many practitioners, myself included, Samhain also is the beginning of the spiritual new year.

Monday, 08 October 2012 06:11

Celebrating Winter Solstice

Written by

by Selena Fox

DSCF3399Winter Solstice has been celebrated in cultures the world over for thousands of years. This start of the solar year is a celebration of Light and the rebirth of the Sun. In old Europe, it was known as Yule, from the Norse, Jul, meaning wheel.

Today, many people in Western-based cultures refer to this holiday as "Christmas." Yet a look into its origins of Christmas reveals its Pagan roots. Emperor Aurelian established December 25 as the birthday of the "Invincible Sun" in the third century as part of the Roman Winter Solstice celebrations. Shortly thereafter, in 273, the Christian church selected this day to represent the birthday of Jesus, and by 336, this Roman solar feast day was Christianized. January 6, celebrated as Epiphany in Christendom and linked with the visit of the Magi, was originally an Egyptian date for the Winter Solstice.

Most of the customs, lore, symbols, and rituals associated with "Christmas" actually are linked to Winter Solstice celebrations of ancient Pagan cultures. While Christian mythology is interwoven with contemporary observances of this holiday time, its Pagan nature is still strong and apparent. Pagans today can readily re-Paganize Christmastime and the secular New Year by giving a Pagan spiritual focus to existing holiday customs and by creating new traditions that draw on ancient ways. Here are some ways to do this:

  • Celebrate Yule with a series of rituals, feasts, and other activities. In most ancient cultures, the celebration lasted more than a day. The ancient Roman Saturnalia festival sometimes went on for a week. Have Winter Solstice Eve and Day be the central focus for your household, and conceptualize other holiday festivities, including New Year's office parties and Christmas visits with Christian relatives, as part of your Solstice celebration. By adopting this perspective, Pagan parents can help their children develop an understanding of the multicultural and interfaith aspects of this holiday time and view "Christmas" as just another form of Solstice. Have gift exchanges and feasts over the course of several days and nights as was done of old. Party hearty on New Year's Eve not just to welcome in the new calendar year, but also to welcome the new solar year.
  • Adorn the home with sacred herbs and colors. Decorate your home in Druidic holiday colors red, green, and white. Place holly, ivy, evergreen boughs, and pine cones around your home, especially in areas where socializing takes place. Hang a sprig of mistletoe above a major threshold and leave it there until next Yule as a charm for good luck throughout the year. Have family/household members join together to make or purchase an evergreen wreath. Include holiday herbs in it and then place it on your front door to symbolize the continuity of life and the wheel of the year. If you choose to have a living or a harvested evergreen tree as part of your holiday decorations, call it a Solstice tree and decorate it with Pagan symbols.
  • Convey love to family, friends, and associates. At the heart of Saturnalia was the custom of family and friends feasting together and exchanging presents. Continue this custom by visiting, entertaining, giving gifts, and sending greetings by mail and/or phone. Consider those who are and/or have been important in your life and share appreciation.
  • Reclaim Santa Claus as a Pagan Godform. Today's Santa is a folk figure with multicultural roots. He embodies characteristics of Saturn (Roman agricultural god), Cronos (Greek god, also known as Father Time), the Holly King (Celtic god of the dying year), Father Ice/Grandfather Frost (Russian winter god), Thor (Norse sky god who rides the sky in a chariot drawn by goats), Odin/Wotan (Scandinavian/Teutonic All-Father who rides the sky on an eight-legged horse), Frey (Norse fertility god), and the Tomte (a Norse Land Spirit known for giving gifts to children at this time of year). Santa's reindeer can be viewed as forms of Herne, the Celtic Horned God. Decorate your home with Santa images that reflect His Pagan heritage.
  • Honor the Goddess as Great Mother. Place Pagan Mother Goddess images around your home. You may also want to include one with a Sun child, such as Isis with Horus. Pagan Goddess forms traditionally linked with this time of year include Tonantzin (Native Mexican corn mother), Holda (Teutonic earth goddess of good fortune), Bona Dea (Roman women's goddess of abundance and prophecy), Ops (Roman goddess of plenty), Au Set/Isis (Egyptian/multicultural All Goddess whose worship continued in Christian times under the name Mary), Lucina/St. Lucy (Roman/Swedish goddess/saint of light), and Befana (Italian Witch who gives gifts to children at this season).
  • Honor the new solar year with light. Do a Solstice Eve ritual in which you meditate in darkness and then welcome the birth of the sun by lighting candles and singing chants and Pagan carols. If you have a indoor fireplace or an outdoor fire circle, burn an oak log as a Yule log and save a bit to start next year's fire. Decorate the inside and/or outside of your home with electric colored lights. Because of the popularity of five pointed stars as holiday symbols, this is a good time to display a pentagram of blue or white lights.
  • Contribute to the manifestation of more wellness on Planet Earth. Donate food and clothing to poor in your area. Volunteer time at a social service agency. Put up bird feeders and keep them filled throughout the winter to supplement the diets of wild birds. Donate funds and items to non-profit groups, such as Pagan/Wiccan churches and environmental organizations. Meditate for world peace. Work magic for a healthier planet. Make a pledge to do some form of good works in the new solar year.

References

  • Campanelli, Pauline & Dan, Wheel of the Year: Living the Magical Life. St. Paul: LLewellyn, 1989, pages 1-16.
  • Crim, Keith, editor, The Perennial Dictionary of World Religions. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1989, pages 154, 182.
  • Ek, Hildur, Jul Tomtar, Jul Bockar and Sheaves of Grain. Lindsborg, KS: Barbos Printing, 1983.
  • Farrar, Janet & Stewart, Eight Sabbats for Witches. London: Hale, 1981, chapter 11.
  • Funk & Wagnalls, Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology and Legend. New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1979, pages 229-230, 974-975,
  • Royale, Duncan, History of Santa: from 2000 BC to the 20th Century. Fullerton, CA: M. E. Duncan, 1987.
  • Scullard, H. H., Festivals and Ceremonies of the Roman Republic. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1981. pages 205-212.

Friday, 05 October 2012 16:10

Ostara Meditation

Written by

by Selena Fox

Introduction

Ostara is the Goddess of Spring and the Dawn, whose worship goes back to ancient Pagan Teutonic/Saxon cultures. Contemporary Pagans of many paths honor Her at Spring Equinox time. Also known as Eostre, the Christian festival of Easter was named for Her, and the Easter Bunny, baskets, and colored eggs that are part of Springtime and Easter celebrations in America, Europe, and other parts of the world are rooted in Her lore and symbology.

Over the years, I have created and guided Ostara meditations as part of our Welcome Spring Festival at Circle Sanctuary at Spring Equinox time. This form of my Ostara meditation which I present here can be done as part of a group ritual or as a personal meditation. It can be a ritual itself or included as part of a longer ritual. In guiding this meditation for others as part of a group setting, pause between paragraphs and include longer pauses indicated by ...... In guiding this meditation for yourself, you may find recording it on a tape first and then playing it can deepen your experience.

Meditation

Find a comfortable, safe, and quiet place to be for this meditation. Close your eyes. Relax and center yourself by taking deep slow breaths. Now journey inward.

Imagine that you are in a hilly countryside. It is just before dawn at the beginning of Springtime. The land is nearing the end of its Wintertime slumber.
You face the East and watch the Sun as it begins to rise. Rays of light shimmer onto the land and into the sky. Experience the beautiful colors of light that is the Dawn.
Now, as the glowing disc of the Sun becomes visible above the hills, you see the Goddess Ostara appear on the land in the distance in the East. She is beginning to move toward you. As She moves, the land awakens with new life.
You see Her coming toward you in the form of a Beautiful Maiden. You see Her radiant face and flowing gown. She is carrying a golden basket filled with colored eggs. Beside Her is Her companion, a frisky magical Rabbit. As They come closer to you, you see that with each step that They take, the land around them bursts into new life and grows green. New grasses sprout from the ground. Herbs flourish. Trees grow new leaves.
You call out a welcome to Them and to the Spring they bring. As you meet face to face, you see that the Goddess Ostara and the Rabbit are both smiling a welcome to you. Ostara then holds Her golden basket toward you and invites you to chose one of the eggs in it as a gift of Spring. You notice that each egg has a different color. You see the beautiful array of choices. You feel more drawn to one of the eggs than the others and choose it. Now you hold the egg that you have selected in both of your hands.
You first focus on its color and reflect on what that color means to you. ..... Then Ostara invites you to ask this Sacred Egg to give you a message about personal growth. You ask this and then are quiet as you pay attention to whatever words, symbols, sensations, impressions, and/or other forms of message emerge......
Ostara now invites you to take this Sacred Egg and its power of new growth into yourself. You hold it to your heart and as you do this, you absorb it into your being. You experience the renewal of Springtime. You radiate vitality. Be immersed in this experience.......
Continuing to experience vitality within you, you prepare to end this meditative journey. You reflect once more on the color and message of the Sacred Egg...... You bid Ostara and Her Rabbit companion farewell for now, knowing that they continue to live within your consciousness to guide you in your Springtime growth...... When you feel ready, take several deep, slow breaths to aid you in returning to waking consciousness..... Then slowly rise, stretch, and orient to the here and now, as you carry with you the memory of your experiences on the journey you have just completed.
Take a few moments now and note down your experiences, including guidance your received for personal growth...... Now, let the vitality of Spring renewal continue to be with you as you go about your daily life.

Friday, 05 October 2012 16:05

Egg Rolling Divination

Written by

A Spring Ritual by Selena Fox

Assemble Materials

You need to have an undecorated, unpeeled hardboiled egg and at least one waterproof coloring tool such as a crayon or permanent marker.

New Growth Choices

Pick four things you might choose to do this Spring that have the potential of enriching your life. These things can be options that you already have been considering doing. They also may be things that occur to you as you do this part of the exercise. If more than than four things occur to you, pick the four most intriguing to you.
Write these four possible actions on the back of this paper or on a separate sheet. Choose a symbol or word to signify each action. Mark it next to the fuller description of the four possible actions.

Egg Decorating

Hold the egg in your hands a few moments and silently focus on it being a spiritual helper on your life's journey. Silently thank the bird species that produced it (such as chicken, duck, goose). Acknowledge it as the synthesis of the Elements of Nature -- the Earth which is its physical form, plus the Water, Fire, and Air that hardboiled it, and Spirit, its connection with you as your spiritual helper. When you feel complete with the meditation, begin decorating the egg.
Throughout the egg decorating process, keep your attention focused on it being a spiritual helper. Decorate the egg with symbols as follows:

  • At one end of the egg make a circle and inside it put your name or initials, plus a symbol that represents the Spring season to you.
  • At the other end of the egg, make a circle and inside it put a symbol or word that represents Divinity to you (such as a deity name or a sacred color or shape).
  • Now draw four vertical lines dividing the remainder of the egg into roughly four segments.
  • In each of the four segments put the symbol and/or word of each of the new growth options you are considering.

When you are done decorating the egg, hold the egg a few moments in your hands and imagine it glowing with a spiritual light. Connect again with it as a spiritual helper in this decorated form. When you are complete with this, place the egg on the altar in the divination egg basket for use later.

Divination

After the indoor ritual is completed, get your egg and, weather permitting, journey outdoors to take part in the egg rolling divination part of the ritual. As part of group ritual, present yourself and your egg to the directions and focus on your connection with the Divine within and in all of Nature around you.
After this is done, begin your personal divination. Find a sloped area to serve as the place for your egg rolling. If necessary, clear a way for the rolling by removing by hand sticks, leaves, and other debris.
Once this is done, center yourself and holding the egg in your hands, request guidance by repeatedly saying something like: "Guidance for New Growth, come."
Roll the egg. Keep your eyes on it as it rolls. Notice where it lands.
Go to the egg after it stops rolling and then examine what side and symbol is facing the sky. Focus on the segment that is most predominantly facing upward. Call to mind what this symbol represents. Spend some time meditating on what has shown itself to you. Reflect on yourself putting this option into action in your daily life.
When done, give thanks for the guidance received and take up your egg. What you do with the egg is up to you -- for example, you can eat it as a sacred food, or you can take it home and place it on an altar or other special place, or you can bury it in the Earth, or you can leave it at the Stone Circle or other sacred site at the Sanctuary as an offering. Whatever you choose, keep in mind its sacredness.

Implementation

Make a note about the guidance you received. Write about your experiences.
Manifest the action in your life and notice in what ways you grow as a result of doing this.
Give thanks for this growth and change.

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