Jack of Many Trades

Hey Look Its Ostara

Originally posted: 2012-03-19

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Image via Wikipedia"]English: A milk chocolate Easter Bunny.[/caption]

So we're coming up on my first holiday as a Card Carrying Druid - I assume the membership card is used when I need to convince HR to give me certain days off for holidays? - and, well, I've never been a big fan of celebrating holidays. I usually stick to more low key things.

Today, for example, was pretty typical of how I would mark Ostara, the equinox and official start of spring. Amber and I went out to the farmer's market near our house, which opened this weekend. The pickings are a bit slim this early in the season - some root vegetables, free range eggs and honey, flowers, homemade jam, and the usual handful of people selling handcrafts and snacks. Then we wandered around Portland for a while, visiting the recently-reopened Saturday Market and enjoying a day that seemed to swing wildly between bright blue sky, light rain and hail every fifteen minutes or so.

I like visiting the opening market as a celebration of spring - the first flowers are blooming (Amber brought home daffodils for the altar the other day) and people are emerging from their homes into the sunshine. (Or the hail. You know, whichever.)

Ostara is one of those holidays that gets a bit of a side-eye from reconstructionist pagans due to a lack of clear historical evidence. The evidence for the historical holiday and it's associated goddess is slim - Bede refers to Eostre and her month in passing in his De temporum ratione, and Grimm speculates further in Deutsche Mythologie, referring to a goddess Ostara or Eastre and stating that the tradition of decorating eggs is specifically descending from traditional pagan worship. (Hilariously, there seems to be much more evidence for the easter bunny than there is for Ostara.)

Celebrating Ostara is pretty easy, as you get to keep pretty much all the Easter traditions except nailing yourself to a cross in imitation of Christ. Because I associate it with finally getting out of the house, I think of it as a social holiday. It would be a really appropriate holiday to celebrate with a grove, but the local grove is celebrating at a location almost two hours drive away and the local protogrove never returned my email, so unless I find a pagan group celebrating next weekend, it'll be solitary for us. Or, um. Binary, I guess.

If we just knew one more druid, we could start our own protogrove! In the meantime, binary druidry it is. I'll update after the holiday with, you know, whatever we actually do. We only need to do a full ADF ritual for half the holy days, so we may opt to take this first one easy.