Ostara ("Easter") Egg Hunt Ritual

Aria and I planned and lead this ritual for Ostara 2003. Ostara is known outside the Pagan world as the Spring Equinox, and Ostara celebrations were the cultural basis of the themes and practices of Easter. You can learn more about Ostara at WitchVox.

I began the planning process by suggesting we have a mud focus -- rebirth and blossoms are fine, but nothing says "spring element" to me like "wet mud." We therefore decided not to follow the standard "four elements, four directions" protocol and instead brainstormed quintesentially spring elements. We wanted to directly honor such important entities as the forces of thaw, the spirits of seeds, and the power of laughter.

Since spring is a time of new beginnings, divination seemed appropriate. Rather than have everyone read Tarot cards for everyone else or something so training-oriented, we decided to provide people with some quotes and let them work it out for themselves. And why stop with one technique? We're eclectic, so why not bring in Tarot, Runes, AND the I Ching?

Since the Easter Egg hunt tradition is so much fun, we decided to work the element calls and divination into that. We decided upon 32 elements, and each wrote a short call for each to make 64. I then gathered the translations for all 64 I Ching hexagrams, rune explanations (triplicating them), and short explanations of Tarot cards. I ran a few perl scripts to gather the data I wanted and turned each thirty-second call, I Ching judgment, rune meaning, and Tarot symbolism into a small strip of paper. We then assembled 64 plastic eggs, each with one call, one I Ching strip, and at least one each rune and tarot symbol. We also added Jelly Bellies, Jolly Ranchers and Hershey's Kisses. This was not done with any intentional pairing of strips -- people would need to draw their own conclusions about the sybol sets they recieved.

One might wonder where the challenge is for adults in an Ostara Egg Hunt. Ours was in the dark. In the snow. Plus, we hid some in rather squirrely places -- at the bottom of dog prints, under evergreen trees, in the midle of areas without footprints. In the end, 10 eggs were left undiscovered for a few days.

Once inside, everyone opened their eggs and read, in an order that seemed fitting, their elemental invocations therein. We then presented art supplies and had everyone write or draw or construct some relation between what the divinatory messages told them.

Finally, what better way to celebrate spring, than with some mud cookies? We mixed four types of cookie dough with several types of seeds, kneaded thoroughly, and dug in. It was incredibly messy and overpoweringly sweet, but lots of fun. After the bowl was in the fridge for a day, though, it was pretty repulsive, so make sure to eat it all at once!

Our thirty-second calls are below. Since the divination slips were based on copyrightten material, I won't post them on the web, but if you would like to run a ritual like this, I can send you the PDFs. Just Ask.