Ostara celebration near Vancouver BC

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Ostara celebration near Vancouver BC

Post by John T Mainer on Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:58 pm

http://www.mapleridge.ca/EN/main/residents/935/4323/m/maple_ridge.html

Easter (Ostara)

Please join the Heathen Freehold on March 20 2011 at Maple Ridge park (see link above) at noon for the blessing of the eggs, the sanctifying of the offerings that each of us will make to Ostara at the equinox.

One of the most sacred of heathen times is Ostara. At the Charming of the Plow we ask the earth and its Freyr for blessings in the year that was born at Yuletide. Until Easter, the land sleeps, and all of its riches lay locked beneath the cold earth.

Modern man knows that seeds do not grow on their own, the planting has never been enough, for seeds sleep in the earth until they are keyed to germinate; until they are wakened. Many famines have known well planted and watered fields, have seen shoots rise up in promise never fulfilled, because they were not awakened into bountiful life. Our ancestors knew that either the earth would be properly awakened, or the summer would bring no bounty. A thousand years later, science caught up. Our ancestors knew the long dark to be a depressing time, and yet it is only recently that psychology has recognized our electric lights do not bring our minds the release that the spring sun alone promises us.

At Easter season, the rabbits dance to wake the earth, their mating dance renewing the life affirmations that we celebrate at the Maying. In reverent joy we make our offerings to Ostara or Easter, that most potent goddess of the spring and renewal, that she share with us her favour and renew both our lands and our spirits. In token, we offer eggs, sacred to her, and a symbol most potent of the life promise of the seeds that we have planted in the earth, and upon whose success our own line’s existence hangs.

In latter centuries, her celebration has become a time of joy for the children of the folk, and their laughter and joy drive the last of the winter-dark svartalfar from the lands where winter has held spiritual sway since we revelled at Yuletide to drive back the dark. This is right and just, for the laughter of children is the renewal of the spirit, and the promise of the life of our folk. Let their joy and wonder at this season open our eyes to the sacred joys of the wakening world, let their wonder at the little magic we make for them open our souls to the greater magics the blessed gods and holy ancestors have fashioned for us.

We invented the light to hold the dark at bay, but through the winter months how many have fought the depression that comes when the land lies dark under Ymir’s icy get? Ostara brings not only a renewal of the land, but of our spirits as well. At Yuletide we stood defiant in the heart of the dark, wassailing to hold back the night with the gods promise of the sun’s return. Soon we will dance joyously in the Maying, under Sunna’s dominion and Freya’s bright burning, but now we stand at Ostara, with the promise of life stirring beneath us, and the promise of light gentle upon our face.
Easter is the turning of the tide, the sign of Yule’s promise kept, and the first stirrings of the song that will dance us through spring time. Hail Ostara! May the sun light your coming, may the laughter of children fill your ears and your heart with our praise for the waking of the world.

John T Mainer
Freyr, Heathen Freehold Society of BC

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Re: Ostara celebration near Vancouver BC

Post by John T Mainer on Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:05 pm

http://www.bclocalnews.com/tri_city_maple_ridge/mapleridgenews/community/119026894.html

Cheryl Price leads a Galdor Runesong with members of the Heathen Freehold Society of B.C. to mark the end of the celebration of Ostara, or Easter, to the Saxons, at Maple Ridge Park on March 20, the vernal equinox.
Colleen Flanagan/The News

Maple Ridge News

By Monisha Martins - Maple Ridge News
Published: March 31, 2011 3:00 PM
Updated: March 31, 2011 4:07 PM

On the skin of a white rabbit, the Norse goddess Ostara is surrounded by brightly decorated eggs each marked with a rune or wish waiting for a blessing, while spring breaks through the clouds.

A seaxe, a traditional sacrificial knife, and bottle of honey mead rest in front as the Heathen Freehold Society, friends and family gather to celebrate Easter, on March 20.

It marks the Spring Equinox, a time when day and night are the same length.

"At Ostara, we ask for the blessings of fertility, we gather to celebrate the renewal of life and at the same time, we remember those who have passed in the dark of the year," explains John Mainer, president or freyr of the Heathen Freehold, a confederation dedicated to the contemporary revival of the culture and religion of ancient Germanic, Teutonic and Nordic tribes.

It's a day celebrated much like the Christian Easter. There's an easter egg hunt, a blessing, a feast.

"We heathens like to joke that we do the same thing as everybody else does, we just happen to remember why," Mainer adds.

Easter is the only Christian holiday that still has a pagan title and beautifully blends both traditions.

For pagans, it is a time to honour the goddess of fertility and springtime, Eastre or Ostara, whose companion animal is the rabbit or the Easter bunny.

Eggs are offered because they hold the promise of life.

Mainer asked for the blessing of fertility when he put his egg at the altar, a wish for someone in his family who is trying to get pregnant.

The egg hunt symbolizes an exchange of gifts.

"As we offer eggs to Ostara, she in turn offers eggs to the children. Much the same way as, you give to the earth and the earth gives back to you."

• To learn the story of the Godess Ostara, click here.

John Mainer of the Heathen Freehold Society places an egg at the altar marked with a rune for fertility. It is a wish placed for a family member who is trying to get pregnant.



Krystalynne Wolsey catches a raw egg during an egg toss game while celebrating Ostara, or Easter, with the Heathen Freehold Society of B.C. at Maple Ridge Park Sunday March 20, the vernal equinox.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGq3TXG0Ydk

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http://community.bc-freehold.org/news.php

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