Welcome to the Order of the Sacred Star! This Pagan/Wiccan group, based in Winnipeg, Canada, is committed to teaching the Craft to all those who wish to learn. Our goal is to provide a complete and fulfulling learning experience. Our public classes are offered through the Winnipeg Pagan Teaching Circle.

Friday, March 22, 2013

The Hedonistic and Sexual Nature of Ostara

With the spring comes the irrepressible urge to experience joy and indulgance. The sun begins to warm the earth, and us as well, and we revel in our ability to remove the heavy winter clothing of past months, exchanging parkas for T-shirts. The arrival of the Spring Equinox breathes new life into all of the natural world.

The Atavistic Hedonism of the Vernal Equinox

There’s no doubt about it. Ostara’s arrival causes a primal shift in our consciousness, no matter how hard we might try to repress it. At the first hint of warm spring weather, we move our activities outdoors under the sun. We bask in the gentle caress of the sun upon our bare flesh. And we anticipate the sensual feeling of cool water over hot flesh on a steamy afternoon.

We also rejoice in more practical things, such as the sudden companionship of other that is often curtailed by the cold of winter. We find it easier to get out of bed in the morning as the sun begins to rise earlier. We head to the local swim shop to purchase new bathing suits, and gather on beaches and in parks with those who feel a similar impulse.

These powerful impulses are still with us today, even in a world full of air conditioning, electricity, and convenience stores. Imagine, then, what spring must have meant to our ancestors. The long winter months brought with them the very real possibility of starvation or freezing to death. Spring brought relief from all of this.

There was also very little entertainment to be had. Theaters and libraries, if they existed at all, were difficult to access with the roads covered in ice and snow. Shopping malls didn’t exist in their current form. The only mobile forms of entertainment — poets, storytellers, and musicians — had as difficult a time traveling as anyone else. It wasn’t until spring that minstrels could make their rounds once more. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that music and dance are intimately tied to the rites of spring.

Sex and Ostara

Spring brings with it the necessary impulse of shedding heavy winter clothing. As this clothing is replaced by bathing suits and shorts, we cannot help but feel just a little sexy - sexier than we did in heavy parkas, at any rate. This feeling is implanted in the human psyche, and has been since the time of our earliest ancestors.

We are all a part of the human experience, regardless of our various backgrounds. We all share the same primal coding, though many people in the modern world try to suppress this. Even in denial, it is not possible to ignore the sexual nature of spring. Animals emerge from hiding in search of mates to create offspring. Plants and lowers begin to emerge from the earth. Seeds are planted within the earth, creating new life through an almost miraculous process. Fertility is the one overriding theme of spring. And fertility is inseparable from sex.

Throughout ancient Europe, it was common for a man and his wife to have sex on freshly ploughed fields immediately prior to planting. It was through that this act of symbolic planting would invoke the blessings of the Goddess and help ensure the fertility of the land. Sex was considered a divine process, thoroughly connected to the Goddess and the God. The divine pair were conceptualized as mating in the spring and giving life back to the earth. Spring sex at festivals such as Ostara became a sacrament to ancient man, a way in which to receive divine blessings.

The Use of Symbolic Sex

Sacred sex does not have to involve sexual intercourse. Instead, sex can be a symbolic act, and symbolism can be understood through ritual. Just as the symbol of a stone, glyph, herb, or rune is understood in magick to represent a certain goal, there are many symbols of the joining of male and female. The act of an athame being lowered into a chalice is common in many Wiccan and Pagan rituals. The inverted triangle, often called the Triangle of Manifestation, is the symbol of the masculine and the feminine coming together in an act of creation.

The ritual union of the male and the female, either symbolically or literally, is called the Great Rite. The Great Rite is the foundation of most Pagan belief systems. It is our creation myth, representing the principle of creation that gave birth to the universe. This is reflected in the old axiom, “As above, so below.” In other words, what the deities do in the macrocosm is reflect by what we do in the microcosm.

Spring is a powerful time of year in the human psyche. The atavistic impulses that arise within us should be embraced and appreciated as the cold of winter is banished for another year.

First published at Suite101: The Hedonistic and Sexual Nature of Ostara | Suite101.com http://leigh-ann-andersen.suite101.com/the-hedonistic-and-sexual-nature-of-ostara-a357310#ixzz1lkWsFlSo

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