In the northern hemisphere, we are quickly approaching the time of the Vernal Equinox. The point of perfect balance on the journey through the Wheel of the Year. Night and day are of equal length and in perfect equilibrium – dark and light, masculine and feminine, inner and outer, in balance. But the year is now waxing and at this moment light defeats the dark. The natural world is coming alive, the Sun is gaining in strength and the promise of days becoming longer and warmer has arrived. A sacred time for celebration for it is the first day of Spring!
In ancient times, the Anglo-Saxon goddess Ostara was traditionally honored with festivals to celebrate fertility, renewal and re-birth. Symbols of Ostara include the hare, eggs and hot cross buns or Ostara cake…. In the Celtic tradition, the hare is sacred to the Goddess and is a symbol for the moon and of fertility and abundance. The egg symbolizes the inherent ‘potential’ of itself and all seeds, full of promise and new life. It symbolizes the rebirth of nature, the fertility of the Earth and is a symbol for the whole universe. The egg yolk and the egg white represents the balance of male and female, of light and dark, while its underlying energy is one of growth and expansion.
One can prepare an egg as a talisman or an ornament for your altar. A general rule of thumb is to use a brown egg for wishes involving animals and white for wishes involving people and plants. Preparation of the egg shell is important, no matter how you choose to decorate your egg. You must first empty it of its contents: Using a fat needle, pierce a hole in both ends of the egg, making one hole larger than the other. Using the needle pierce the egg yolk gently and swirl it around to break up the yolk. Place a small drinking straw in one end and gently blow through the other hole to release the yolk and whites from inside the egg.
Last year, our Circle marbled our blown eggs the simple ingredients of using shaving crème, food coloring and vinegar. There is a link below that describes the process… they came out beautifully! We later used fishing line to hang them…. When hanging, clear your mind and focus on your desire for abundance/fruitfulness and its place in your life. An old incantation may be used such as ‘Little charm made of shell as I hang you here may all be well. May all things grow. May all things flow. Blessings for the turning of the Wheel.” Really though, any words will we to express your Intent.
Now for some baking… Ostara Bread recipe provided by “The Goddess and the Green Man” website.
3 mugs (@ 4.5 cups) of flour
500 mls (2 cups) buttermilk
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
3 teaspoons ground almonds (optional)
3 tablespoons syrup or warmed honey
juice of 2 lemons
1 small beaten egg for glazing
Brown sugar for sprinkling
Blend the ground almonds
and flour together in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in the buttermilk/lemon juice and syrup or honey. Mix well. Celebrate this time and “mix in” your hopes, dreams, ideas and wishes for the year to come…
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and pat into a circle. With a sharp knife lightly score the bread into two halves to represent the Equinox. Glaze with beaten egg and sprinkle sugar over the top. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 25 to 30 minutes…Enjoy!
Illustration “Vernal Goddess”, Montage
(2019) B. Donohue. Copyright restrictions apply.