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Sunday, 22 March 2009

Rites of Spring...

Ostara by michelson.jpg Pictures, Images and Photos

Vernal Equinox

The Vernal Equinox, sometimes called Ostara, is celebrated in the Northern hemisphere around March 21 and in the Southern hemisphere around September 23, depending upon the specific timing of the equinox.

Ostara Pictures, Images and PhotosThe name Ostara is from ôstarâ, the Old High German for Easter. It has been connected to the putative Anglo-Saxon goddess Eostre by Jacob Grimm in his German Tales. I have to be careful at this point - whispering about other Goddesses within earshot of the Goddess Wiki herself... She has a tendency to jealousy...

Tell me who doesn't?

This festival is characterized by the rejoining of the Mother Goddess and her lover-consort-son, (...mmmm, bit dodgy that bit, not too sure whether that is feasible?), who spent the winter months in death. (Nice!) Other variations include the young God regaining strength in his youth after being born at Yule, and the Goddess returning to her Maiden aspect. (Too late, too late came Fhina's shrill cry!)

The Spring or Vernal Equinox marks the point when day and night are of the same length - 12 hours. After the Winter Solstice the days lengthen and the nights shorten , and 'Equinox' means equal night and 'Vernal' comes from the Latin for 'bloom', as in the northern hemisphere the Spring equinox marks the end of Winter and the beginning of Spring.

Light and dark are in balance now, but light is gaining. Phew, thank the Goddess Wiki!

The earth awakens... new life emerges, sap rises, buds shoot and spring flowers are celebrated as gifts from nature. Spring returns and rejuvenates our own life force. (I'm waiting... I'm still waiting...)

Ostara, also known as - Oestara, Eostra, Eostre, was the Pagan goddess of fertility and Spring, and the Christian festival of Easter derives its name from her.

Now hands up, particularly those of you asleep at the back! How many of you realised that?

Easter is calculated by the moon, and occurs on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the equinox. This is the time when the young Sun God now celebrates a sacred marriage with the young Maiden Goddess. We celebrate the return of the spring goddess from her long season of dormant sleep. Fhina adores sleep - Did she ever tell you that?

The egg symbolized Eostre's wholeness and fertility - the female hormone oestrogen is named after her - and is offered at this equinox as a symbol of fertility and new life. The golden yolk represents the Sun God, its white shell is seen as the White Goddess.

Godin  Ostara Pictures, Images and Photos

And our lovely mad March Hares were transformed into the Easter Bunny...

'Nuff said? Don't tell the children, you might frighten them.

And there you have it, mes bloggy chums - Spring in a nutshell, or rather an eggshell! And when you exchange painted or chocolate eggs later this spring, please give a thought to the putative origins of this rite of passage...

A demain mes petits! Spring kiss, you say? Mwah!

Ostara Pictures, Images and Photos


jinksy said...

Just the right pictures for The Rites Of Spring!Thank you...

Protege said...

Wow, so much info in such a short time.;))
I love to sleep too.;) That is the only thing that the early raising sun in spring and summer doesn't allow.;) In winter it is ok to sleep your days away, but in spring it is almost a crime.;)
Hope you are having a lovely spring Sunday Fhina.;))

blognut said...

Ah, spring! It's like the rebirth of my soul. It's my opportunity to play outside and act like a fool, too. (That will make sense after you read my spring post, I assure you.)

From the harsh edges of my ice pack to the softened edges of my vicodin-laced mind, I do love your blog, Fhi!

Bloggus Nuttus

Cynthia said...

Beautiful images, Fhina. Appreciate the season information...the bunny...the eggs...will never look the same! <3

Rob-bear said...

The Celts used to take a particular interest in the Vernal Equinox. And this is also the traditional date of "Lady Day."

Woman in a Window said...

I, for one, find it greatly disconcerting when the days are longer than the nights. I much prefer short days, and long darkness, being tucked up in home with reflections at 4pm. Cloistered, warm. Oh, I love spring, but it stays near light here forever in the spring. Hard to sleep with the world stirring.

French Fancy said...

Lovely post, Fhina and in its honour I've just eaten lots of mini easter eggs.

Sink said...

I feel ready now for spring and for Easter. It is no wonder that Goddesses give new life and are so connected to the earth. Thanks for the informational and beautiful post.

Jewels said...

I find it ironic that the name for Christianity's most holiest of celebrations came from a pagan goddess.... especially since they used to light people on fire for worshiping or even acknowledging them.

shabby girl said...

Very interesting! I'll be able to raise my hand next year!
Love those pictures too.

Pearl said...

SPRING! In Minnesota! Where we go MAD when the temperature hits 45 degrees and run into the street, swinging our boots about our heads and throwing our mittens at passing cars.
Maybe that's just in my neighborhood.
Happy Vernal Equinox, my friend!

Michelle said...

I love me some spring. Bright sunlight with brisk but warmish temps. It doesn't get any better does it?? DOES IT???


Derrick said...

Happy Mother's Day Fhina! Hope Grizz is doing you proud.

Lovely Springy post. The moveable feast that is Easter, however, frustrates me a bit. Why don't we fix it, like Christmas? Then we'd all know exactly when we could roll our eggs!

lizspin said...

I love sleeping too, Fhina! But I also love the sun. . . and sleeping in the sun is the best!

Anonymous said...

Isn't it wonderful to feel, as a woman, so very connected to the earth and all of nature? I love spring! Happy Vernal Equinox.

Vodka Mom said...

very cool stuff. And I agree- you totally deserve that rambling award!!


GB said...

Very enjoyable. Thanks. When all I have to offer is thanks and praise I always think that I sound like a school master marking essays. It's not meant to be like that.

Butler and Bagman said...

I did not raise my hands. I never knew the word Easter came from Ostara. Now, can anyone tell me why it isn't the Easter Chicken that hides eggs?

carma said...

You are a font of information! Once I saw the word Oestara, I immediately thought "why is she writing about the fake fat substitute?" kidding :D

Comedy Goddess said...

I love all the Goddesses. Beautiful!

A Woman Of No Importance said...

jinksy: Thank you, la jinks! x

Protege: Sleep is cool, admittedly, although I feel as though I am sleepwalking today - Monday - for some reason... We had some rainier weather yesterday, Z, so it seemed for a time as if spring had fallen out with the earth... x

blognut: Rebirth of one's soul - Mmmm... I heard all about your playing outside, Bloggus Nuttus! Very well done! xxx

I loved this bit: ...from the harsh edges of my ice pack to the softened edges of my vicodin-laced mind... So beautiful, BN! xx

Cynthia: Hi sweet Cynthia, glad you liked it, and glad it gave you food (eggs!) for thought! x

Rob-bear: Being a bit of an auld Celt too, I live pretty close to a Lady's Well that was used for all manner of dowsings, indeed!

Woman in a Window: Preferring short days - not me! However, I do love being tucked up warm in the winter again, but I enjoy sunshine too much to live without it - My skin does not love the sun, but I love the warmth of the earth... I would invest in 'blackout blines' where you live, lovely WiW...

FF: Bless you, FF, a woman after my own heart, and Cadbury's Mini Eggs, probably too! x

Sink: Fancy meeting you here! Thank you for stopping by and taking precious time to comment - I do feel close to plants and the earth, I have to admit...

Jewels: I think what happened, as in so many instances where one religion wants to dominate another, festivals and names are merged, so that you scarcely can see the join, and then the original faith is done away with, often, as you say, by fire... Nice, eh? x

Shabstress: :) x

Pearl: Why you little! So funny, Peaalette, so funny - Thank you! I would love to see you tossing your mittens at passing cars! x

Michelle: Nope, it does not get much better than a beautiful mild spring day! xxx

Derrick: Hah! That'll be the Mother's Day, Sir, when Grizz forgot!!! I know exactly what you mean though about Easter being such a moveable feast - It is crackers! With everyone always saying, 'When is Easter?'... 'Is it early or late this year?'... and so on! x

lizspin: Oohhh, sleeping in the sun - I remember that, although the advent of me wearing soft contact lenses means that this only ever happens by accident rather than by design, Liz! x

Dedene: Salut! C'est vrai, c'est vrai - Vous avez raison, madame! Et, a vous aussi! x

Vodka Mom: Did the bar close, VKMom? - Thank you so for coming over, precious! I am the rambler extraordinaire (together with darling Diane, it's true!) xox

GB: I never mind you coming over here, Sir, either with your red pen in evidence, or without, you are ever welcome! And, your blog is ever educational to boot!

Butler and Bagman: Hellooo! Can't answer the Easter Chicken question, because we are always egg-rolled back to that tricky question: 'What came first, the chicken or the egg?' - Is that not so, non?! x

carma: Have you been eating too many cheesey balls, darling Carma?! Mind, knowing how I write, anything could fine its way in here! ;) x

A Woman Of No Importance said...

CG: You sneaked in just as I was cogitating me comments! Glad you liked the pathway through the Goddesses x

jenniferw said...

Easter ... a new bonnet, a hot-cross bun, pollen tickling your nose, dogwoods blooming, windows open to the fresh air, an adored grandchild's first birthday (4/15), and when Christ arose from the dead ... He who ever liveth to make intercession for the saints ... hallelujah!

Lisa said...

great info- we have just celebrated mabon here xx

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Jenniferw: ...pollen tickling your nose - Indeed! Lovely - Many blessings. x

Lisa: It's hard to get my small brain around you being in a different season! Blessed be, friend x

Something I wrote earlier...

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