Tag Archive for: hope

Ostara 2022: What We Plant

To create the ritual for my upcoming Ostara ceremony, I revisited my research looking for themes. The vernal equinox marks the beginning of spring in the northern hemisphere, which is associated with rebirth, revitalization, growth, and fertility. The equinox is also the time of balance when the daylight and dark are approximately equal. And there is spring cleaning to be done. But none of those themes were calling to me.

hands of two people holidng plant seedling

Image by Shameer Pk from Pixabay

Like the Christian Easter, Ostara is symbolized by spring things like baby animals, eggs, seedlings, and the early flowers that emerge from bulbs such as crocuses and tulips. These symbols represent new life and affirm the hope we cultivated at Imbolc. Although my ritual would be at winter’s end, I was not feeling ready to leave hope behind, and began to think about what we plant with our intentions.

I pulled on the threads of hope, intentions, and planting to create a ritual that felt empowering, then set that aside to work on other things. A few days later, Russia invaded Ukraine, and suddenly the context for hopeful intentions expanded beyond our individual desires.

What if we plant an intention for world peace? Does that seem too big? I wondered if such a lofty intention would have the effect of being ultimately disempowering. After all, some humans have been wishing for peace, as well as slightly less ambitious things like an equitable response to climate change, for a long time without seeing much movement in that direction. Even those of us with a big reserve of hope can feel discouraged.

In the end, I decided to go big. We are, after all, powerful changemakers, so let us have our magic reflect and reinforce that. What we plant matters, not because we will be immediately rewarded, but because the collective force of shared intentions will eventually reach a critical mass. Combining our power is, after all, why we come together for ritual.

The Ostara ceremony for world peace will take place, virtually, on Tuesday, March 22, 2022. Visit the ceremonies page for details and registration.

Podcast Ep. 109: A Prayer For Peace

I set aside my plan for this episode to instead record a meditative prayer for peace. I am following the invasion of Ukraine with a heavy heart, and this is my small offering towards cultivating peace, light, hope, and love in our world. I also pray that I can return to a serious but somewhat lighter topic next week. May this prayer for peace be so.

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Imbolc 2022: Let There Be Hope

herd of sheep in snowy field are a symbol of Imbolc and hope

Image by scott payne from Pixabay

I had wanted Yule and the end of the Gregorian year to feel magical and peaceful, but 2021 refused to leave quietly. Nor did hanging my new calendar create an instant reset. In addition to the kind of drama which is typical when the family gathers for holidays and our old house gets snowed on, surging COVID-19 cases, a string of natural disasters related to climate change, and the lack of progress towards justice on any front left me feeling wrung out and not the least bit calm or bright.

Still carrying that heaviness, I began to create the ceremony I will offer for Imbolc, the Pagan midwinter festival. “Imbolc” is an Irish word that is translated as “in the belly” or “ewe’s milk,” and marks one of the earliest signs of spring: milk coming in for gestating cows and sheep. Imbolc is usually celebrated on February 1st or 2nd, and associated weather divination is believed to be the root of Groundhog Day. Before there was refrigeration and grocers, the middle of winter was a time when food stores might be getting low. Although we can certainly do without it now, the availability of cow and sheep’s milk then could help humans survive the second half of winter. With the flow of milk came hope.

I look around at the pandemic, devastating weather events and wildfires, and system-based injustices, I hear the anguished cries of frustrated and burnt-out activists, and I say, “Let there be hope.”

It is with the intention to restore hope that I am writing the Imbolc ceremony script. While my reach is limited to the number of people my Zoom room will hold, I know whatever work we do there will reverberate out. The ripples of our hopefulness will flow around the world and reignite passion for change. It doesn’t get more magical than that.

Please join us for a virtual Imbolc ceremony on Thursday, February 3rd, 2022, at 7:30pmEST. You will find more details and easy online registration on my ceremonies page. I hope to see you in the Zoom room.