Ostara arrives between Imbolc and Beltane and marks the second of three spring festivals in the pagan tradition. Ostara marks the Spring Equinox when the Northern Hemisphere tilts toward the Sun and flowers and leaves begin to sprout as sunlight increasingly bathes the world in magic.
We can imagine our relationship with the stars, moon, mountains, animals, trees, and plants during Ostara. Imagination is important because we’re trapped behind a mediation of commodities that constantly pours into our senses and orients us to having instead of resting in loving relationship with the natural world.
How do we open space for the natural world to live, breath and speak to us?
The Natural World Is Our soul
Three Souls is rooted in the incredible reality that we live inside an encompassing soul.
The soul is not in our bodies; our bodies are in our soul. The natural world is the stuff of soul, and it carries us. We inhabit our soul in loving relationship with the stars, moon, mountains, animals, trees, and plants.
Tethering our lives to the phases of the moon and the rhythms of the Sabbats awakens the power of our encompassing soul to guide, nurture and sustain us.
Inhabiting Our Soul
There is a twelfth-century Herbal that begins: “Earth, divine goddess, Mother Nature, who dost generate all things and bringest forth ever anew the sun…” You can hunt down the Herbal with British Library reference BMs.MS.Harley, 1585 ff12v-13r. In this Herbal, Precatio Terrae prays to the earth goddess and herbs. Druid Philip Carr-Gomm has taken this twelfth-century Herbal and put it into a sacred nature meditation.
Earth, divine goddess, Mother Nature, who generates all things and bringest forth ever anew the sun which you have given to all lands. Guardian of sky and sea and all gods and powers through your influence all nature is hushed and sinks to sleep. Again when it pleases you, you send forth the glad daylight and nurture life within your eternal being…
Reawakening Animistic Perception
We’ve lost the unique perception that comes with living inside our souls. It is a perception alive among indigenous peoples. David Abram, an American philosopher and cultural ecologist, attempts to reawaken our ability to sense the natural world in his book The Spell of the Sensuous (pdf). Our eyes, skin, tongue, ears, and nostrils can be in loving relationship with our sensuous surroundings. We can exchange possibilities with every flapping form, with each textured surface and every shivering entity.
We can also learn from people like Dylan Pierce, a queer Appalachian witch who writes at Bane & Beauty. There is much to learn from his loving and magical relationship with the natural world, and from his intimate friendship with plants like Dittany of Crete, Mandragora and others.
With its Venusian nature and associations, Dittany is a good plant for love spells. Compared to the flowers of a lot of other Venusian plants, Dittany really does not try to impress all that much with extravagant gestures. Instead it is a deeply devoted type of love, flourishing in rocky mountains. Its tiny flowers and small, soft, furry leaves make it look delicate, but do not be fooled into missing its strengths and ability to protect itself. From growing it, I notice the thick layer of hair on its leaves have made it amongst the least prone to insects of my any of my plants, and I imagine if it were growing in rocky mountains, that fur would also provide a barrier against other offenses and terrain as well. Take into consideration such indicators to a plant’s personality when calling its spirit into a magical working. Perhaps this plant spirit may help protect or heal the heart as easily as it may help with obtaining love.
Blessed Spring Equinox!