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Easter and Spring Rituals

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Easter and Spring Rituals

Spring is a time of renewal, growth, and sowing seeds, making it the ideal time to get rid of old, stagnant energies in your life and home and welcome in warmth and brightness. This time of year is also chock-full of holidays, each with their own unique observances. As the daylight hours grow longer and the weather warms up, here are some suggestions for Easter and spring rituals:

Good Friday

Good Friday takes place on the Friday immediately before Easter weekend. In the Catholic religion, it is one of the most important holidays -- the day that Jesus died on the cross. His death is viewed as having saved Christians from sin. It is a somber day of prayer, mourning, fasting, and gratitude.

Many people fast during this day, wear black, and abstain from work or school. The most sacred hours of this day are between noon and 3 PM, when Jesus was on the cross. If possible, you may wish to be silent during this time. Light candles -- either white for cleansing, or black for mourning. Rather than petitioning Jesus for aid, say prayers of thanks and remembrance, like:

Oh Lord Jesus, death could not contain you.
Because of your sacrifice, we, too, can live.
Because of you, the grave is but a stop on the journey to God's presence.
Because of you, death has no sting, and life is empowered and eternal.
Thank you,
Amen.

In some parts of Europe, it is traditional to clean the entire house on Good Friday and the days leading up to Easter. For a thorough spiritual cleansing, begin by giving your home a good decluttering, dusting, and scrubbing. When it is physically clean, light a House Cleansing candle in a safe place in the heart of your home. Mop your hard floors with Spiritual Cleansing Big Al Bath & Floor Wash, going from the rear of your home, to the front door. If you have carpeting, sprinkle your carpets with a mixture of sea salt, lavender, and rosemary, then vacuum up.

Easter

If you wish, after a thorough Good Friday cleansing, you can decorate a sacred space in traditional Easter motifs. Use candles, altar cloths, and flowers in these colors:

  • White, for light, innocence, purity, and triumph.
  • Red, for blood, sacrifice, and martyrdom.
  • Purple, for penance, humility, and power.
  • Pink, for joy and love.
  • Green, for resurrection, growth, and eternal life.

Light your candles and reflect on what they mean to you. If you are inclined to do so, you can offer a simple prayer of thanks:

Jesus, today we remember your sacrifice.
Your love brought light into the darkness, created hope from devastation, and found freedom beyond imprisonment.
You brought us forgiveness, light, truth, and hope.
Thank you,
Amen.

Ostara

Before Easter spread through Europe, people celebrated their own traditional springtime holidays. Today, Wiccans and many Pagans celebrate a modern version named Ostara on the spring equinox. Equinox means "equal night," and is one of two days when the day and night are equal length. After this time, daylight hours begin to get longer, and the northern hemisphere of the Earth experiences new growth and rejuvenation.

Ostara altars often use traditional springtime colors, like green, pink, blue, white, and yellow. Flowers, flower bulbs, seedlings, eggs, and images of rabbits are all appropriate decorations. For a simple spring equinox ritual, set your altar with a yellow candle, to represent the returning sunlight, and two green candles, for regrowth. Before them, place a bowl of honey, and a bowl of milk (or a milk substitute, like soy or rice milk).

Light the first green candle, and say...

On this day, light and dark are equal.
The soil begins to warm.
The seedlings begin to emerge.
The Earth awakens, and life begins again.

Light the yellow candle, and say...

On this day, the sun triumphs over the cold.
The air fills with warmth and light.
The soil begins to warm.
The seedlings begin to emerge.
The Sun returns, and life begins again.

Light the next green candle, and say...

On this day, spring has come.
The light and love of the Divine is all around us.
The soil begins to warm.
The seedlings begin to emerge.
I thank the universe for all it has given me,
for I am blessed to be alive to see this day.

Add some of the honey to the milk, and stir with your dominant hand. As you do this, visualize new growth, leaves turning green, and flowers opening. Take the bowl outside, and pour it on the soil. Say...

I offer this to the Earth in thanks for all of the blessings I am given.

Snuff the candles, and end the ritual.

Spring is the ideal time to remove winter's stagnant energy, and welcome in the warmth of the sun, the fresh air, and the energy of new growth. No matter which religion or set of traditions you follow, open your doors and windows and welcome in the sun's return.

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