“I am the spring, the holy ground/The endless seed of mystery”
March 20, 2007 marks the Vernal Equinox/Ostara. This year this Equinox falls on a Tuesday (Tyr’s day) with an absolute 1st quarter moon in Aries. Tyr is the Norse god of war, filled with fiery energy. An absolute 1st quarter moon is one in which no sliver of moon can be seen. It marks the beginning of Lady Moon’s cycle. This combination reflects the balance of masculine warrior energy and feminine nurturing energy that is a basis of our Equinox celebrations.
Decorate your altar and your festive table in pastel shades. Any and all pastels may be used, although pale yellow, pale green, and pale pink are the most common choices. Encourage your guests to follow your example and dress themselves in pastel colors also.
Lord Sun continues to grow in strength, but he requires continuing encouragement on his journey out of the dark of winter. Hence, Ostara is a fire festival. If weather permits, celebrate outside and make a fire the centerpiece of your gathering. Whether in a chiminea, a barbeque pit, or a Weber grill, fire is a most welcome addition to the gathering. If weather does not permit, build a fire in your fireplace if you have one or light many candles or make a small fire in a cauldron as a centerpiece of your dining table. Another important part of this festival is living plants. If you can celebrate outside there will be many living plants to see; if you celebrate inside, use potted plants as part of your decoration. These must be rooted plants, not cut flowers.
The Vernal Equinox is also a fertility festival that celebrates the union of Lord and Lady/God and Goddess. Eggs form an important part of this celebration. The shell of the egg represents the Earth; the eggs’ membrane represents Air; the yolk represents Fire; the white represents Water. Earth, Air, Fire, and Water are the 4 elements that create all and everything and they are all represented in the egg. Decorating eggs can be not only fun for you and your guests but also provide party favors to take home. Wooden eggs, boiled eggs, or egg-shaped ovals cut from construction paper can be covered in creative designs with Magic Marker pens or art pencils. Cascarones* can be incorporated into your festivities — be sure to say a blessing (“Live long and prosper”, “May you live a hundred years”, “Happiness and Joy Forever” are just a few examples) when cracking them on someone’s head.
Eggs in many forms are the center of the menu for this festival. Devilled eggs, custards, and quiches can join seeds, sprouts, fish, nuts, honey, ham, green leafy vegetables, and nuts to delight your guests. Remember that an attractive presentation of food refreshes the soul just as nutritious food refreshes the body as you arrange food on the table.
The Equinoxes are the 2 times a year when a raw egg can be balanced on its larger end. The myth that this must be done at midnight is only a myth. If your guests are interested, let them try this at the end of the meal.
*cascarones are confetti-filled eggshells. They are available at this time of year in Mexican specialty shops. In Austin, that includes Tamale House and Fiesta Mart.
Reminder: There is a Body Mind and Spirit Expo on April 21 and 22 at Palmer Events Center. Hours are: 10 AM – 7 PM Saturday, April 21; 11 AM – 6 PM Sunday, April 22. $8 entry fee good for both days. $7 all-day parking in the Events Center parking garage; free parking in the lot at First American Center, on the corner of S. 1st and Barton Springs Rd. Look for Kate in booth 217.