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.
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.