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Ideas for Eostre

* Take a nature walk and look for signs of Spring-new birds to your area, new growth, etc.
* Color or decorate eggs.
* Have an egghunt.
* Commune with Nature, listen to the sweet sounds, smell the fresh Spring air, enjoy that gentle breeze (hopefully!)and the Sun shining down warming the Earth.
* Start seeds indoors to be planted out in your garden after the frost
* Start early seeds, direct sow, in the garden (should your climate allow)


For the wee witchlings:





Candle Eggs
Eggs (uncooked)
Sharp Nail
Old Candles or Paraffin Wax
Wicks

Hollow out several eggs by gently poking a small hole in one end of each egg. Rinse clean and set the eggshell in the egg carton. Melt the wax and wax coloring in a double boiler over low heat. Place a funnel over the opening of the egg and carefully pour wax into the hollow eggshell in the carton. When the eggshell is full, insert a wired wick into the egg, centering it with a piece of tape for support. Allow the wax to cool and harden, then break off the shell and buff the candle with a soft rag. Heat the bottom end of the candle to soften, then press on a flat surface to make it stand up. or use a candle holder. Variations: You can use several different colors of wax, layering them. Let them cool between colors. Add glitter or metallic confetti to make the egg sparkle. Color the wax with old color crayons instead of buying wax coloring. Be sure shell is dry before pouring in wax.

Source: author unknown-found on an egroup

Papier-Mache Ostara Eggs

Blow up the balloon (large, for decorations and games and small, for party favors and little gifts), tie, and cover with newspaper strips dipped in wallpaper paste mixture.
Lightly dampen the newspaper strips or squares with water first, so the strips lie flat and mold closely.
Leave an opening at the tie for filling the egg later.
Continue covering the balloon with paper mache, allowing each thick layer (2-3 layers) to dry overnight in a heated place.
When dry, fill the egg with candy, notes, poems or small toys. Add confetti or scrunched-up tissue paper to take up space and reduce weight within the egg.
Cover the opening with more paper mache and allow to dry.

Paint the egg in festive Ostara colors, pastels and rhythmic designs.

Finish the egg with tissue paper flowers and crepe paper or ribbon streamers. Or, cover the surface with glued-on squares of tissue paper (first made to stand on end after wrapping over the flat end of a pencil) like an Easter parade float.

Source

Pysanky

Feel ambitious? Try Pysanky-a beautiful Ukrainian (and pre-Christian)egg decorating technique.

Pysanky Instructions for Pagans

Magickal Pysanky -Pysanky are powerful magickal amulets. Traditional pysanky incorporate ancient symbols of fertility, prosperity, and protection.
In olden times, an egg might have been decorated for protection and given to a loved one. Blue lines particularly protected against fire.
Eggs with wheat designs were planted in the soil for abundant crops. Eggs decorated for prosperity were kept throughout the year, and so forth. Encircling bands of color represented the eternal cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. Solar crosses represented the union of male and female, or spirit and matter.
All symbols on the egg had meaning, from the obvious -- wheat for fertile crops -- to the obscure -- ladders for different planes of existence.


Coloring and Crafting Eggs

Scratch Magical symbols, runes, etc for what you wish to have *grow* for the year. A crayon is a quick and easy way to make the symbols of your choice before adding egg to the coloring. Be sure to wash the eggs before dyeing otherwise the color will rub right off due to the eggs natural waxy coating. Add vinegar to the dye to set color.

Natural Egg Dyes

Blueberries: blue
Blackberries: blue-violet
Beet juice: red
Red onion skins: red
Brown onion skins: yellow-orange
Turmeric: yellow
Walnut Shells: dark brown
Cranberries: red
Red Cabbage: purple
Carrot tops: green
Carrot Tops:Yellowish-Green

After the eggs are dyed, dip them into white vinegar to set color.

Patterned Eggs

Fir or Pine needles
Dandelions
Daffodils, buttercups or other Spring flowers

Cover egg with your choice of the above in desired pattern. Cover egg and flowers with brown onion skins and secure everything by tying cotton string around egg. Boil until eggs are hard-boiled.

The American Egg Board also has a great page on natural dyes for eggs, photos included!

The Spring or Vernal Equinox also known as Ostara, Eostre, Easter, Alban Eiler, Lady Day, or Summer Finding falls around March 21 (this year is 20 March 2014 at 11:57 AM EDT) when the Sun enters Aries. It is one of four solar festivals and is the point where day and night are of equal length. A time of renewal, rebirth, new life, beginnings and possibilities, it is the first day of Spring, when the Goddess conceives the baby Sun God born at Yule. Activities: Blessing and planting seeds, decorating eggs, lighting candles or a fire at sunrise, egg hunt, ring bells to help welcome Spring. Some Pagans use this time to fast, after a long winter eating rich and heavy foods they find it helps with cleansing their bodies of toxins and gives them a fresh start for the year. This time of year is also good to either continue or begin Spring cleaning of your home as well. For those of us in the Northern states of US and in parts of Canada now is the time we plant our seeds indoors, to be planted usually in late May (here in northern New England it's typically safe to plant outdoors after the Full Moon in late May). March is when the Earth finally begins to rouse from her long winter's nap. A hum and energy is slowly building as everything returns to life once again.

Craft and activity ideas for you and the wee ones



For your Altar: Drape in a pale green, pink, yellow or white altar cloth, adorn with ribbons, bells, early spring flowers and/or herbs.-my cauldron is filled with crocus, daffodils, tulips or narcissi.
Incense: Rose, Sage, Strawberry, Violet, Jasmine, Patchouli
Magical work: Prosperity/Abundance, Fertility, beginnings, growth, self improvement and improving communication.
Gem & Stones: Amber, Emerald, Malachite, Orange Carnelian, Rose Quartz & Sapphire
Herbs&Flowers: Pine, Woodruff, Daffodil, Iris, Jonquil, Narcissus, Violets, Corcus, Forsythia, Easter Lilies, Cinquefoil and all other Spring flowers.
Colors: light green, yellow, pastels, golds, white
Decorations & Symbols: Eggs, Seeds, Pastels, Spring Flowers, Pussy Willow, Rabbits, Chicks, Lambs, and other baby animals,

Ostara Incense

2 parts Thyme
3 parts Orange Peel
2 parts Lavender
2 parts Honeysuckle
Peppermint Oil
Sandalwood Oil

Equal parts of Peppermint Oil & Sandalwood Oil. Again, remember not to add too much oil to the herbal mixture. You need just a couple of drops of each.

Source

Purification Potpourri

6Tb peppermint
1Tb dried lemon peel
1Tb dried lime peel
1Tb rosemary
1Tb spearmint

Mix into water, charge and let simmer in a simmering potpourri crock or in a small saucepan on the stove, be sure to have a window, door, etc open at least a little to offer an escape route for negativity. As with anything, use with caution and do not leave unattended.

Brooms for Purification

1 tree branch, about 1ft long & up to 1in in diameter-please use a fallen tree branch. Fresh bunches of herbs with cleansing & purifying properties-see list this page. One type is sufficient but you can mix & match. Raffia

Tie bunches to the end of the branch, securing with raffia. To do this start by tying one end of raffia to the end of the branch and then adding herb bunched while wrapping raffia around tree branch. knot and secure ends and tuck away. Add herbs to obtain desired fullness of broom. Once completed you can sprinkle end with water (from a bowl of charged water)and "sweep" the negativity out of the room. For those new to this: empower broom as you are making it-you can state its future purpose-"I wrap, tie, make in purification"-whatever is right for you and then moving clockwise through the house, room; sweep the air above the floor picturing the negativity leaving your room ending at the door. Let the broom sit outside the door for several minutes and then disassemble the broom and either burn or bury it. (peppermint, rosemary, spearmint, cedar, lavender, hyssop, pine, sage)




Springtime Feasting!

Eggs, milk, cream, honey, Spring greens, sprouts, fresh bread or rolls and Spring lamb are commonly served at Spring feasts. Breakfast could consist of an egg dish accompanied by ham and hot cross buns. Any braided bread recipe is appropriate this time of year as the three braids represent the Triple Goddess. Fennel is a favorite of mine, it soothes colicky bellies and helps increase milk production in cows and humans alike. A good choice for this time of year! Ancient Spring feasts were made up of foods readily available at this time of year and included eggs-the symbol of fertility. The equinox brings us equal days and those precious 12 hours of daylight have the chickens laying eggs once again, in the advent of electricity this miracle and wonderful, welcoming sight tends to be lost for many of us but for our ancestors this was reason to celebrate, life was beginning anew!! Tea parties are always exciting for young and old and are quite fitting this time of year. Wonderful finger sandwiches and sweet treats with a warm cup of tea set on a table decorated with Spring flowers is one of the best parts of Spring not to mention one of the simplest ways to honor the Earth on this day. Much of these recipes can be added to one's Bealltainn feast as well.