I’d had big plans for Ostara this year. It being the Spring Equinox, a time of celebrating rebirth, the beginning of the new cycle of the Zodiac (Ostara falls on the final day of the final sign, Pisces), and about 1 year since I started on the Pagan path, and a partial eclipse, it seemed to me to be a very auspicious time. I’d planned to find myself somewhere private and quiet out in nature at the moment of the eclipse (signifying the emergence into the light from darkness, the union of the Goddess and the God) and perform a Self Initiation ceremony formally dedicating myself to the Gods and Goddesses. I even took a full day off work to celebrate it. It was going to be a very spiritual day.
Instead, it turned out not to be so spiritual in the conventional sense – but perhaps more meaningful considering what Ostara is all about.
As my sister is off work on maternity leave, I instead decided to watch the eclipse with her and her two sons. We went to Grain, a small and fairly isolated beach, where the Mid-Kent Astronomical Society were there with special telescopes and other equipment for observing the eclipse. But, it being Britain, it was completely overcast and we couldn’t see the Sun at all, telescope or no! At the height of the eclipse, it was perhaps slightly darker, but overall it was a bit of an anti-climax. I did feel for all the members of Mid-Kent Astronomical Society as this was a pretty big event for them and they’d done so much to try and make the experience a fun and educational one for the general public – but all in vain.
Despite all this, we had a lovely time. My older nephew and I enjoyed playing by the sea and finding interesting rocks and shells. And then afterwards, when my older nephew went to pre-school, I looked after my younger nephew (4 months) for an hour while she went to a work meeting, and then spent time playing with my older nephew when he got back from pre-school.
Ostara is all about the young. Eggs, chicks and lambs, all Ostara symbols, remind us that Ostara is about celebrating the miracle of new life, including our own children. Therefore, spending this time with the youngest members of my family was in so many ways more meaningful than holding a ritual all by myself. It reminded me that all time I have to spend with my family is so precious. And in fact, I’ve often found that simply spending time with my family or other people I love can be a more meaningful experience than any ritual. I think there’s a lesson to be had there.