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Auspicious Ostara Attitudes
Observing the Notable
This past week has been full of big things for me. Perhaps it is more accurate to say that I am noticing auspicious events as they happen, and appreciating them. These events are happening in a tight timeline, all just before or on Ostara.
What do I mean when I say “auspicious?”
Auspicious, and inauspicious are concepts that I picked up while reading a book series as a child. It was a Chinese inspired trilogy called “Dragon Keeper,” “Garden of the Purple Dragon,” and “Dragon Moon.” The story follows a young girl in an ancient China-like setting as she grows up, assumes responsibility, duty, and creates a place for herself in the world.
This story uses divination such as I-ching, celestial calendar divination, and some marked sticks being tossed (no, I don’t remember specifically what it was called). The calendar divination was used to find auspicious (notable/noteworthy) and inauspicious (obscure/unremarkable) days for everything from celebrations to travel by night.
What makes Ostara auspicious?
Ostara is held on the vernal equinox. This is when the day and night are the same amount of time. Celebrations are held for the goddess of spring, Ostara/Eostre. It has similar themes to Easter. There are egg hunts, chocolate, blessings for seeds and crops, tales of gods returning from the underworld, and stories of resurrection. Rabbits are particularly important, because they - along with chickens and eggs - are associated with the goddess. She is often depicted holding a rabbit in her arms. Well, rabbit, bunny, hare, or some other creature from the largomorpha order.
My Dad used to buy my siblings and I a new outfit for Ostara, to bring us good luck. My mother would arrange for us to have a new woven basket with a stuffed animal inside. The stuffed animal was equally as likely to be rabbit themed as it was not. My siblings and I started a few egg hunt related traditions. The person who found the last egg got bragging rights, the person who had found the most eggs had bragging rights. Finally, we split the loot evenly with each other by type, regardless of if it was a type of chocolate that we liked eating. Then we would trade with each other for the chocolates that we wanted.
This habit of “split evenly and trade” caused my uncle some alarm one year when his daughter participated in our egg hunt, because my cousin could only eat dark chocolate. We all traded part (or all) of our dark chocolate haul in exchange for her milk and white chocolate.
Why is this Ostara auspicious?
This Ostara I feel like I am building towards something. The years after graduation have been rather aimless. The time was full of wanting, wishing, playing, researching, and while yes, it was not wasted time. I felt… un-oriented. Disoriented, really. I had just moved back to my home province, and was uprooted from my peer group. It was no longer easy to connect with them, to visit them, to speak with them about my experiments and “rubber ducky” about future changes. Textile arts are a visceral art. The work must be touched and held to be truly appreciated. So I felt… alone.
What marks this Ostara as auspicious is that I have held my first class! It was a crash course in machine knitting. The students knew that this was going to be chaotic, and we had a blast. They left the first part of the class somewhat bewildered by the onslaught of information, but satisfied that they were able to knit on the machine. The students walked away with their tension sample while I walked away with satisfaction from achieving my learning goals, excitement from enjoying teaching, a renewed value in myself, and in my skills as a professional machine knitter.
This last week has been about building connections with people, and communities. Working towards aspects of my craft that make me truly happy. My two herb plants have been having a comparitively riotous growth since Imbolc, and are on tehir way to becoming respectably sized plants. We also made some delicious cold-smoked salmon, and isn’t that a holiday treat!
What have you noticed this Ostara has built into, or what is it building towards?
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