Elizabeth Hazel is a professional astrologer, tarotist and author. Her book Tarot Decoded: Using and Understanding Dignities and Correspondences will be released by Weiser Books in May 2004. It is the first comprehensive text on the topic of tarot dignities. Her articles about divination techniques, mythology, and magic have been published in diverse publications. She created and organized the first international tarot-talisman ritual, called King's Triumph, in December, 2002. People from Europe, Central and South America and across the U. S. participated in this event, and the results were a great success. Another international ritual is planned for December, 2004. Liz lives in Toledo, Ohio, and can be contacted at 419-242-1696, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Every year I look forward to Spring Equinox, Ostara, as the season when the Earth is awakening for new growth. The date for Ostara changes from year to year because it is calculated to coincide with the day that the Sun enters the sign of Aries the Ram, the first sign of the zodiac. This sign is fiery and energetic, and ready for anything new and exciting. Plants and trees are beginning to set buds and sprout. Migratory birds are returning from their winter homes, and other animals are bearing their young. Its time to plan a summer garden, buy seeds and get gardening equipment ready for planting and digging.
In 2004, a very rare and special New Moon coincides with Ostara. The Moon aligns with the Sun at 0° Aries. Not only is this degree the signal for Ostara, but in astrology it is called the Aries Point. This point carries vibrations of the world, and when activated by planetary transit, it shows how individuals contribute to humanity and the world. This same vibration is connected with 0° Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn, the degrees the Sun transits on fall equinox and the two solstices. The New Moon on Saturday, March 20, 2004 combines the energies of the Aries Point with the conscious vitality of the Sun, and the unconscious depths of the Moon.
To add to the solar and lunar energies of March 20th , Venus, Uranus and Pluto are forming a rare quintile configuration. Quintiles are aspects that relate to genius, talents, and special gifts. Venus is the planetary goddess that gives blessings in the arts and in love. Uranus is her father, the Titan sky god who mated with the Earth (Gaia) to create the world in which we live, so brings originality and the impulse for creation. Pluto is the lord of the underworld, and rules the wealth buried within the Earth. The combination of these powerful planetary energies brings a unique vibration to this year's Ostara festival.
Because of the special planetary energies on Ostara, I've designed a special ritual that harmonizes with these vibrations an Ostara Egg and Seed ritual. You will need: two eggs, carefully broken to remove contents; a white (or silver) and yellow (or gold) candle; white and yellow tissue paper cut into small strips; a bowl with glue watered down to a loose consistency; and seeds, which are detailed below. You may also opt to use Sun- and Moon- appropriate incenses and oils. If you don't have specially blended Sun oil or incense, use amber, frankincense, or even simple sunflower oil. Moon-appropriate oils and incenses include myrrh, sandalwood, and jasmine.
The two eggs represent the Sun and the Moon. The Sun egg can be filled with various Sun-related seeds: sunflower, grasses, corn kernels, clover, yarrow, or larkspur, to name a few. The Moon egg can be filled with poppy, datura, moonflower, or white Sweet William seeds. You will only need a few seeds for these eggs, and may choose flower or plant seeds that have special meaning for you.
These eggs are consecrated during the ritual by using a tarot deck. Draw these cards from the deck: The Fool to represent Uranus; The High Priestess to represent the Moon; The Empress to represent Venus; The Sun card to represent the Sun; and Judgment to represent Pluto. These are all Major Arcana (or trump) cards. The total number of the numeric designations is 44 (0 + 2 + 3 + 19 + 20 = 44), which reduces to 8, a number of productivity.
Choose a Wish Card from the deck that represents something you would like to grow during the spring. For instance, if you would like financial stability or a new home, the Four of Pentacles would be suitable. If you would like new love to grow, select the Ace of Cups; for harmony in an existing relationship select the Two of Cups. Additional cards are: for overall prosperity, the Ten of Pentacles; for promotions, the Three of Pentacles; for new business ventures, the Four of Wands; for business success, the Six of Wands; for healing or good health, the Knight of Pentacles (who represents doctors as well as physical vitality).
Prepare for this ritual by assembling your wish egg-making supplies in advance. Place the Sun seeds and Moon seeds in separate bowls, have a small bowl of watery glue ready, and cut the yellow and white tissue paper into small strips (1 x ½ is a good size). I've found that little salt or butter bowls are perfect for this. You may also write a wish for each egg on a small piece of parchment. Have the tarot cards nearby, and a bowl of water and another with salt or sand. Prepare your Ostara altar tulips and daffodils are a lovely touch, as are clear quartz crystals. Fix the candles with planet-appropriate oils.
The Moon is new at 5:41 pm Eastern Standard Time on March 20 th and that is the most desirable time to do this ritual. Begin by casting a circle of protection in the manner most comfortable for you. Light the yellow or gold candle and call upon the Sun for blessings of light, vitality and triumph; light the white or silver candle and call upon the Moon for blessings of peace, understanding and harmony. Light the planet-related incenses you've chosen for the ritual.
Because this ritual takes place with the Sun and Moon at the Aries Point, the seeds being used in each egg should be consecrated by expressing your personal wish as well as a wish for the world. For instance, if you are using sunflower seeds, you may consecrate them for personal triumph and vitality, and for healing the planet. Poppy seeds for the Moon would be for peace in the home, and peace on Earth. (A short list of personal and universal consecrations is given at the end of this article). Consecrate your seeds by each of the four elements by saying I consecrate these seeds by (in turn - fire, water, air and earth), that they may grant my wishes and my wish for the world. Hold the seeds over items that represent each element the candle's flame for fire, a bowl of water for water, the planet-incense smoke for air, and sand or salt for earth.
Once the seeds are consecrated, place the Sun seeds in one egg and the Moon seeds in the other, and put in the slips of parchment with your written wishes. Rub a little oil on the bottom of your seed bowls so you can place eggs in them after they're finished. The oil will prevent them from sticking to the bowl, and the bowls will protect the eggs and prevent them from rolling around for the next part of the ritual. Gently close the egg and dip small pieces of tissue paper into the glue. Use this tissue paper to bind the egg back together, covering the egg completely with glue-soaked tissue paper. The yellow tissue paper is for the Sun egg, and the white tissue paper is for the Moon egg.
When the eggs are finished and in their bowls, clean your hands and pull out the tarot cards the five trump cards and your wish card. Place the five trump cards in a star shape, and the wish card in the center.
Place the Moon egg next to the High Priestess card, and the Sun egg next to the Sun card. You may wish to call on the energies of each card as it is placed in its position: I call on the Fool to bring the blessing of new beginnings; I call upon the High Priestess to give her blessings of intuition and wisdom; I call upon the Empress to give her blessings of love and abundance; I call upon the Sun to give his blessing of light, vitality and growth; I call upon the Angel of Judgment to give the blessing of transformative energy hidden beneath the ground. Place the wish card in the center, and verbally declare the blessings or outcomes you wish to gain from this card. This completes the Ostara egg and seed ritual you may close the circle, or proceed with any other rites or rituals you've planned for this day.
Don't allow the candles to burn down completely. Leave the candles, eggs, and tarot cards in place for three more days, burning the candles for a few hours on Sunday and Monday. If you wish, repeat the calls for blessings from the six cards. On Tuesday, March 23 rd , the Moon enters Taurus, the sign of earth and growth that is ruled by the love goddess, Venus. Complete the ritual on this day. Light the candles for the last time; take the eggs and plant them in the soil in your yard. Choose a place where the seeds are likely to flourish, and don't plant them too deep. Most seeds do well if planted an inch down, so the egg only needs a thin cover of soil. If you are an apartment dweller, place the eggs in a small box filled with potting soil, and take the box to a park. You may leave it at the base of a mature tree if you can't do any digging.
The candles and incense used in this ritual are an offering to the Sun and Moon for their blessings during the season of Ostara. However, if you'd like to give an additional offering, you could send a donation to any organization concerned with preservation of the earth, natural habitats for animals, or world peace. You could also send letters to your congressional representatives that encourage them to support clean energy sources, preserve our national park lands, or to end military conflicts. Participating in any organization dedicated to these goals is a truly heart-felt and genuine offering.
The Seeds and Consecrations for your self and the planet
|For the Sun
||healing the planet
||safety of natural habitats
||food in plenty for all
||blessings for all
||healing strife in the world
||good world leaders
|For the Moon
||peace at home
||prayers for peace be heard
||growth of intuition
||harmony between people and religions
||sweetness and love
You may choose other seeds, depending on the type of garden you have, the weather and soil conditions in your area, or the results you want to cultivate during the Ostara season. Yellow flowers relate to the Sun, while white flowers relate to the Moon. Not all of the plants and flowers suggested above are directly ruled by the planets they are listed for, but are selected because their energies are outward and vigorous (for the Sun), or inner and related to emotional goals or peace (for the Moon). Feel free to adjust this ritual to your personal inclinations and needs. This is a fun project for a group or coven, and could also be shared with children. Your local garden-supply store can advise you about which seeds are easy to grow in your area.