This is a ritual plan that was designed for an Ostara ritual for Pagans and the respectful public. The ritual was held outdoors on Ostara last year. We planted sunflower seeds in honor of Ukraine which was in the middle of a war at that time. I wrote the ritual plan and led the ritual.
I spoke about and invoked the Goddess Eostre. Many sources link this Saxon goddess to fertility, dawn and Ostara. One source mentioned that her name closely resembles the word estrus. I had to admit that her name and the word are very similar. Months after the ritual I happened upon a source “Eostre: The Mystery Goddess Who Gave Easter its Name” which is listed below in Suggested Investigation. It says that the 7th Century monk Bede mentioned Eostre in his work. He wrote that Eosturmonath attributed to Eostre is aligned with the month of April. Well, Ostara is in March, so that is the wrong month! Credible information about what pre-Christian Pagans practiced is scarce. And information about Eostre from that time is very scarce. So there is a lot we do not know about her. What I think we can say is that at one time Eostre was once considered a modern goddess. And today she is once again a modern goddess on whom we can call. This is a great time of year to research her and some of the deity duos of the season like Demeter & Persephone, Ishtar & Tammuz, Inanna & Dimuzi and Cybele & Attis. When it comes to mythology, it is good to know your facts both past and present.
You may create sigils as suggested in this this ritual plan. Feel free to use your own words reflecting your intent. This is a great time of year to plant seeds as suggested.
Doing a public ritual requires a good plan, and that plan is different from that of a solitary ritual. This plan needs to be more detailed because you have a familiarity with what you are doing privately. Also good notes are helpful when doing public speaking and leading an event. One can have the best of plans but run into difficulty. It was a beautiful day but it was also very breezy. I knew from experience that candles would certainly not stay lit. So I made the decision not to light them.
We planted sunflower seeds. Note that I planned for up to fifty people. I cut fifty cups, prepared and packed supplies ahead of time.
Ostara Ritual Plan 2022
Set up 11:05 am. Gather at 11:30 am.
11:33 am marks the Spring Equinox. Yay, Spring!
This will be a soft circle so you can go indoors and wash your hands. Point out where the restrooms are. Note that masks are required inside and will be provided.
I will be invoking the Saxon Goddess Eostre today. Her name is pronounced “oostra”. She is a goddess of the dawn, spring and fertility. Her name is closely tied to the word “estrus”. Estrus means “a recurring period of sexual receptivity and fertility in many female mammals”. (See online dictionary in Suggested Investigation.) In other words, “heat”.
Calling the Quarters will start in the east because this is a time of renewal.
The “cakes and ale” will be cookies and juice.
I need volunteers to do the Quarter Calls.
The purpose is to acknowledge the equinox, welcome spring, plant sunflowers, and use intent to stand in unity with Ukraine, end the war and start the healing process.
Circle up. Purify the circle using a maple besom.
Cast the circle with this verse:
I create a sacred space
the mode of time
and the mode of place
of the everyday erase.
East: I invite the element of Air, sometimes calm, sometimes blustery. Please grant this circle your powers of breath. So mote it be.
South: I invite the element of Fire, flames licking, always on the move. Please grant this circle your powers of transformation. So mote it be.
West: I invite the element of Water, sometimes splashing, sometimes rushing. Please grant this circle your powers to cleanse. So mote it be.
North: I invite the element of Earth, rocky and full of fertile soil. Please grant this circle your powers of stability. So mote it be.
Oh, Eostre, goddess of dawn, spring and fertility.
Eggs and seeds, seeds and eggs.
I invite you and your powers of vim & vigor and renewal to this circle with great humility.
Eggs and seeds, seeds and eggs.
Please join us in your sacred rite
in this time of balanced dark and light.
So mote it be.
Project and observation:
I would like to begin by thinking about spring, renewal, and the war in Ukraine. The moon was full two days ago, so we will be working with banishing energies. You will each be making a sigil with words like these: Cease Fire or End War. Use one to three words and keep it simple. A sigil is a symbol of power. It can be a dot, straight lines, curved lines, shapes and runes. Write your words on a piece of paper and cross out duplicate letters like this: (Demonstrate on large piece of paper.)
Try putting letters together to create a symbol. Play around with the letters, use some or all of them, and use capital or small letters. Here are a couple of examples: (Demonstrate on large piece of paper.)
This is one way to create a sigil. Once you have a sigil, get a marker and draw it on a cup. Demonstrate how to use the cups and plant sunflower seeds. Plant two or three seeds. (See video below.) Note that seedlings will come up in seven to ten days. They like full sun as their name suggests.
Time for work.
Ground with “cakes and ale” (cookies and juice). While serving say, “May you never hunger.” And say, “May you never thirst.”
Eostre, goddess of the dawn, fertility and renewal,
maiden of the light.
Thank you for your presence and the magick of this season so bright,
and for joining us in this joyous rite.
You may stay or you may go.
We give you our blessing and thank you so.
So mote it be.
Thank the Quarters: Start from the North and go counterclockwise.
North: Thank you Earth for attending this circle on this fine day and for your firm magickal aid on this search for peace. I give you my blessing and farewell for now. So mote it be.
West: Thank you Water for attending this circle on this lovely day and for your fluid magickal aid on this search for peace. I give you my blessing and farewell for now. So mote it be.
South: Thank you Fire for attending this circle on this special day and for your energetic magickal aid on this search for peace. I give you my blessing and farewell for now. So mote it be.
East: Thank you Air for attending this circle on this wonderful day and for your breezy magical aid on this search for peace. I give you my blessing and farewell for now. So mote it be.
Open the circle with this verse:
Around, around, around,
May the circle be unbound.
Lead everyone in song: Sing “May the Circle Be Open” three times with the words “joy of the Goddess”, “peace of the Goddess” and “love of the Goddess”.
Notes: What went well? What did not go so well? What would I change? Would I lead this ritual again should the war in Ukraine drag out that long?
Enjoy learning more about rituals for more than one person!
I will continue to post on Wednesdays.
Blake, Deborah, The Everyday Witch’s Coven: Rituals & Magic for Two or More, Llewellyn, 2023.
Online Dictionary: Estrus.
You Tube: Robert Gass & On Wings of Song – “May the Circle Be Open”.
Morris H. Lary, “Eostre: The Mystery Goddess Who Gave Easter its Name”, History Cooperative, December 9, 2022, https://history cooperative.org/eostre
Paxson, Diana, “Ostara: Lady of Spring”, Sage Woman, Issue #41, Spring 1998.
Rankine, David & Sorita D’Este, The Isles of the Many Gods, Avalonia, 2007.