I’m a big fan of using ritual and ceremony to honor new phases, transitions, and shifts (internal and external).
As we enter springtime, we also move through a potent phase of death and letting go. Without death, there is no space or opportunity for things in our lives to be born anew. And through this death we receive ultimate renewal and rebirth.
Ostara is the traditional pagan holiday that celebrates this powerful transition into springtime. Ostara is a Germanic goddess of spring and dawn, wreathed in flowers and surrounded by bunnies. She is also associated with the sumerian goddess, Ishtar, who is the goddess of fertility, love, sex, and war.
It is believed by many that Ostara and Isthar are the roots of our modern spring holiday, Easter.
Regardless of the tradition, we know this time of year is powerful for cultivating the following energies:
- Reclaiming childhood
Holding a ceremony is a great practice for calling the energy of renewal into your life and connecting you with the seasonal cycles of Mother Nature (which is what feminine form yoga and ayurveda are ALL about).
Spring Equinox Ceremony Steps
This is one variation for how to hold a spring ceremony. Please make it your own. The words I’ve chosen to use are a rendition of words from Pixie Lighthorse’s beautiful book Prayers of Honoring.
- Pastel or light-colored scarf or tablecloth
- 4 eggs (a symbol of fertility and rebirth. Dye them if you’d like!)
- Choose a goddess to work with and print an image of her out. If you have a statue, even better! (For goddesses, your options include Mother Mary, Kuan Yin, Ostara, Ishtar, Guadalupe, Gaia, Persephone)
- Essential oils such as rose, jasmine, chamomile, lavender, or patchouli
- 4 crystals such as quartz, citrine, or rose quartz
- Bright spring flowers or potted plants
- 2 bay leaves & a marker
- A lighter
- Incense, sage, or palo santo
- A ceramic or wooden bowl full of purified water, essential oil fragrance, flower petals, and a pinch of sea salt for absorbing any negative energy
Entering the Ceremony
Hold your ceremony as close to the spring equinox as possible. If the weather is nice, consider having your ceremony outdoors – in your yard, the woods, on a patio, etc.
Set up your altar, facing east (the direction of spring):
Lay down your scarf or tablecloth
Place flowers in a circle on the altar
Add your candle, incense/smudge, goddess statue or image, and bowl of water to the center of the circle. Add essential oils, salt, and petals to the water bowl.
Arrange your eggs and crystals around the candle and water bowl in the four directions (north, east, south, and west)
Add in any additional meaningful objects you’d like to your altar.
If you’d like to, you can dress in pastel clothing and wear flowers in your hair.
Sit comfortably, and call in the energy of the four directions, your guides and helpers, angels, ancestors, and the goddess you’re working with to hold space for your ceremony.
Welcome them in and invite them to support and guide you.
Welcome and invite in the energy of spring by taking in a few deep breaths, focusing in on building active inhalations. Sigh your breath out.
Light your candle and incense.
Light your smudge and smudge yourself, allowing the smoke to cleanse through your field.
Find a reading, poem, or prayer that calls forth the energy of spring. I’ll attach the one I used below. You could also write your own words.
Calling In Your Desires and Releasing Your Limitations
Light your candle and incense.
Take a bay leaf and write your wishes and desires on the leaf. Focus less on physical outcomes and more on how you want to feel and be.
Hold the bay leaf in your hands and begin to call in the energies you are cultivating. Say them out loud.
Bury your bay leaf, giving it to the earth. Ask that your intentions may be received for your highest good and for the highest good of all.
Consider any limitations holding you back from actualizing your intentions. Write them out on a separate bay leaf.
Burn the bay leaf, while saying out loud what you are letting go of.
You can place the residual bay leaf parts into your bowl of water, allowing the water to cleanse you of any lingering heaviness or darkness in your system.
You may wish to smudge again at this point.
Pause here for as long as you’d like. You may wish to put on some essential oil, hold a crystal, draw and oracle card, or sit and meditate for a few minutes. Feel the support of your guides and goddess holding space for you.
Closing Your Ceremony
Give your altar’s nature objects back to nature.
Chant or listen to the prayer of light from the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad:
Asatoma sat gamaya
Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya
Mrityor ma amritam gamaya
Lead me from ignorance to truth
Lead me from darkness to light
Lead me from mortality to immortality
Thank the four directions, your guides and helpers, angels, ancestors, and the goddess you’re working with for holding space for your ceremony. Invite them to guide you in life and let them know the ceremony is closing.
Take a few breaths, blow out your candle, and find a bow.
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