Posts Tagged ‘Pagan’

Happy Spring Equinox

lavenderwisteriagarden

Spring Equinox, Ostara, Eostre, Easter, Vernal Equinox

By Tara Sutphen

  • 21st March   Spring Equinox marks the mid-point of the Waxing Year, the nights and days are balanced once again; the time when Kore, (Persephone) was believed to have returned from the Underworld where she had ruled throughout the Winter. The spark of light, born at Winter Solstice has reached maturity, and from here onwards, the days progressively grow longer than the nights. Western culture proclaims this the first day of Spring.Older traditions called the Spring Equinox, Ostara; the time of the festivals of the Grecian Goddess, Eostre, and the Germanic Ostara, both fertility Goddesses of Dawn. These influenced the naming of the modern-day Easter Holiday. New greenery bursts forth from sleeping seeds in the countryside, as metaphorically, pagans also plant their own seeds for future goals, future projects and growth at this time.Decorated eggs, being symbols of fertility are symbolic of Ostara. In days gone, Europeans gave gifts of decorated eggs to new brides, in the hope that they would bear many children. Similarly, bowls filled with eggs were given to farm workers by the farmer’s wife, to ensure a rich harvest. Most all cultures see the egg as a symbol of Life; the actual home of the Soul. In Russia, decorated eggs are still given as gifts to loved ones and buried in graves to ensure rebirth.

    The women gathered the eggs only from hens which were around a rooster and decorated them, allowing no one to watch them work as they transferred the goodness of the household to the designs on the eggs, thus keeping evil away. Dyes were mixed to secret family recipes and special blessings placed on each egg.

    Colors of Ostara Eggs:

  • White:
  • Purity
  • Yellow:
  • Wisdom, a successful Harvest, or Spirituality
  • Green:
  • Spring, rebirth, wealth, youth, growth, happiness
  • Blue:
  • Good health, clear skies
  • Orange:
  • Power endurance, ambition, courage
  • Red:
  • Happiness, hope, passion, nobility, bravery, enthusiasm, love
  • Brown:
  • Enrichment, good harvest, happiness
  • Purple:
  • Faith, trust, power
  • Pink:
  • Success, friendship, love
  • Black:
  • Remembrance

Lore:

  • The custom of eating Hot Cross Buns also has pagan origins. The Saxons ate buns that were marked with a cross in honor of Eostre; Ancient Greeks consumed these types of buns in their celebrations of Artemis, Goddess of the hunt, and the Egyptians ate a similar cake in their worship of the Goddess Isis.
  • There are conflicting ideas as to what the cross symbol represents. One suggestion is that it is a Christianisation of horn symbols that were stamped on cakes to represent an ox, which used to be sacrificed at the time of the Spring Equinox. Another theory relates to Moon worship; the bun representing the full Moon, and the cross, its four quarters. Christianity gave new meanings to the symbolism of the buns, saying the cross represented the Crucifixion Cross. Thus, superstitions arose crediting these buns as being charms against evil, so after Good Friday, people would save one or two of them to hang in their homes as amulets. During the festival season and indeed, for a long time afterwards, fishermen would carry these Easter buns in their boats, for protection.
  • The Spring Equinox defines the season where Spring reaches it’s peak, with the powers of light increasing. The God of Light, (Llew), now gains victory over his twin, the God of Darkness. Llew was reborn at the Winter Solstice and is now old and strong enough to vanquish his rival twin and mate with his Mother Goddess. The great Mother Goddess, who returned to her Virgin aspect at Imbolc, welcomes the young Sun God’s attentions and conceives a child. The child will be born nine months from now, at the next Winter Solstice, when the cycle closes, only to begin anew.
  • The Easter Bunny is another symbol which has obvious links to fertility, rebirth, and the abundance of life which is evident in Spring.
  • Eostre was a playful Goddess whose reign over the earth began in Spring when the Sun King journeyed across the sky in his chariot, bringing the end of Winter. Eostre came down to Earth then, appearing as a beautiful maiden with a basket of bright colorful eggs. Eostre’s magical companion was a rabbit who accompanied her as she brought new life to dying plants and flowers by hiding the eggs in the fields.

Traditional Foods

  • Dairy foods
  • Leafy Green Vegetables
  • Nuts such as Pumpkin
  • Sunflower
  • Pine
  • Hot Cross Buns
  • Flower Dishes
  • SproutsHerbs and Flowers
  • Jonquils
  • daffodils
  • Woodruff
  • Violet
  • Gorse
  • Olive
  • Peony
  • Iris,
  • Narcissus
  • spring flowers.Incense
  • Jasmine
  • Rose
  • Strawberry
  • FloralsSacred Gemstone
  • Jasper

Recipes:

Hot Cross Buns

1/4 cup apple juice, beer or rum

1 cup raisins, dried currants, or dried cranberries

1 1/4 cups milk

3 large eggs, 1 separated

6 tablespoons soft butter

2 teaspoons instant yeast

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves or allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 3/4 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon baking powder

4 1/2 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

Glaze:

1 large egg white

1 tablespoon milk

Frosting:

1 cup & 2 tablespoons powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

pinch of salt

4 teaspoons milk

oven 375*

20 mins

Beer Bread

Ingredients:

2 3/4 cups flour

4 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 package active dry yeast

1 cup beer or apple juice

1 tablespoon butter

2 1/2 tablespoon honey

1 egg

9×5 Bread Pan

Dry Ingredients

Mix the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast

Beer or Apple juice and other ingredients

warm the beer/ingredients on the stove.

Add egg last – cover & let raise 30 mins.

Kneed on flour surface, cover & let raise another 20 mins

Grease pan: place in pan, cover & let “another” 20 mins

Oven 375*

30-35 mins

Lavender Goat Cheese Figs

6-10 figs

2 tablespoons cream cheese

1/4 cup goat cheese

1/4 teaspoon dried lavender

1/2 tablespoons honey

cut figs in half, spoon in cheese/lavender mixture

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ps. Happy Fall Equinox to the Southern Hemisphere –

Tara is in New Zealand & Australia until Late April 2017

If you would like a session or attend seminars:

Please contact: +64 021 162 4445

jules.bonny@icloud.com

Winter Solstice & Yule – DEC 21

Winter Solstice & Yule

By Tara Sutphen

Dec 21: The Winter Solstice is a celebration of the heart, vessel of our dreams. Through the darkest time on the planet we are to find solace once again, returning to our inner resting place. Gallantly gazing upon our life’s daily uncertainty and unknowing future. May the earth fold us in comfort away from any harshness. As the light dims we are to harmonize and begin to sincerely replenish our hearts and minds. The pagans called this holiday Yule, where the people of Europe and Scandinavia made festive. It is not considered religious. The pagans were naturalists, such as the Native Americans and other indigenous communities around the world. They followed the course of the sun, the moon and cycles of the seasons for planting food and generally planning survival strategy. As winter comes we recognize our need to rest our minds, hearts and bodies while warming at the hearth. And as we come back out of the darkest day-night of the year and begin to gain more minutes of sunlight and replenishment each day. We linger for a glimmer of light to awaken, reconnecting our spark to life, to the sun and the conviviality of our own beating heart.

Recipes for Winter Solstice & Yule

Hot Apple Cider

Juice Apples or Buy Apple Cider

6 cups Apple Cider

½ tsp whole cloves

¼ tsp ground nutmeg

3 cinnamon sticks

Heat ingredients, simmer, strain & serve hot

Hearty Stew

1 ½ pounds Beef stew meat

water

¼ c. flour

Add tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, onion

1 tsp thyme

2 tbsp mustard

Salt/pepper

Cook until meat is cooked and vegetables are tender

This can be a vegetarian dish if you prefer

Squash Casserole

6 c. diced yellow squash or zucchini

Onion

Garlic

Salt/pepper

Butter or oil

Add into casserole dish

Bake 325* bake until squash is tender 20-45 mins

Alternative added ingredients into squash casserole

Crushed crackers

Cheese

Sour cream

Yule Log Cake

10×15 inch jelly roll pan – line with parchment paper & butter the paper.

Pre-heat oven 400*

4 eggs room temperature

2/3 c. sugar — 7 minutes beat eggs while adding sugar 1 tbsp at a time

Add sifted flour ½ c, to batter – stir don’t beat

Add other ½ c. of flour – stir

Pour into pan – BAKE 10 min. Do not overcook

While hot- put cake into clean dish towel sprinkled with powdered sugar so it doesn’t stick.

Remove parchment paper, still warm – roll the cake with the dishtowel in. Let cake cake cool.

Unroll cake – spread desired filling, jam, or frosting onto cake and re-roll cake.

Frost outside & decorate, Refrigerate to set overnight

 

Winter Solstice Spell

1 white candle

Repeat:

My Heart is the vessel of my dreams

I gaze inward to my inner glow

I look forward to my every need being met

I look forward to all my problems being solved

I look forward to what I seek will be found

I look forward to genuine people entering my life

I look forward to beautiful surprises

Miracles abound, I believe

In darkness I rest and dream

in the light I enjoy my life

behind me and before me

I ask it, beseech it, mark it & so it is………

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www.moonsorce.com