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
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,
(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.
- Melt - The melting brings rivers of snow cascading down the mountains. Welcome, Melt!
- Thaw - Thawing ice and snow mix together with the soil to become thick clinging mud. Welcome, Thaw!
- Flower - Colors burst from every flowering tree and shrub shivering with the excitement of spring. Welcome, Flower!
- Flood - Waters pouring rampant, cooling the earth in a flood of mingling waters. Welcome, Flood!
- Sunbeam - The world warms to a vibrant glow under the shimmering light of a sunbeam. Welcome, Sunbeam!
- Eggshell - Fragile is the colored porcelain as the eggshell shatters apart toasting the warming of the earth. Welcome, Eggshell!
- Down - Soft as silk down-covered chicks break out from the womb of the egg. Welcome, Down!
- Dew - Small pearls of dew clinging to each green shoot of new grown grass. Welcome, Dew!
- Mud - Comingling the earth with the melting creating the fresh, cool mud that squishes between my toes. Welcome, Mud!
- Rain - The pitter patter of rain drops soothes the mind as it brings life-giving moisture to the thirsty earth. Welcome, Rain!
- Breeze - Gentle breeze, wash over me, whisper your sweet secrets of the awakening earth. Welcome, Breeze!
- Desires - The passion of our desires rises anew as each warm day brings us close together. Welcome, Desires!
- Laughter - The tinkling laughter of children spreads throughout our souls until the whole world laughs along. Welcome, Laughter!
- Pollen - Each sneeze makes me more aware of the free-floating pollen from the newly opening flowers. Welcome, Pollen!
- Birds - Swooping trills of song fly through the air spinning around me as the birds sing all around. Welcome, Birds!
- Song - The melody comes from the melting snows, just listen, the song of spring reverberates through the air. Welcome, Song!
- Young - We are young as the fresh tilled earth when the sun returns for spring. Welcome, Young!
- Sap - Sticky and sweet, the forests sing as the running of the sap brings each tree back to life again. Welcome, Sap!
T-shirt - Soft cotton brings new life back into tired limbs as people throw off their sweaters seeking the light airyness of a T-shirt. Welcome, T-shirt!
- Brook - The bubbling brook grows from a trickle into a torrent of swirling tides and melting ice. Welcome, Brook!
- Babble - The voices of the earth and all her creatures rise up in a babble of excitement awaiting spring. Welcome, Babble!
- Dance - Feet fly, hair spirals and arms are thrown wide as spring's air entices all to dance. Welcome, Dance!
- Begin - The earth and her children begin anew every year in the spring. Welcome, Begin!
- Fruit - The luscious fruit of the vine fills my mouth with tangy juice as I stuff in handfuls of new spring berries. Welcome, Fruit!
- Awaken - The world stretches as the coming of spring awakens our souls as one. Welcome, Awaken!
- Eggs - The perfect oval cradles tiny new lives before they are strong enough to break free from their eggs. Welcome, Eggs!
- Fiddle music - Jaunting, laughing notes of fiddle music cause every toe to tap with joy and happiness. Welcome, Fiddle Music!
- Sprout - New green tendrils sprout up from the moist and fertile soil. Welcome, Sprout!
- Buds - Each tree is covered with new buds waiting to spring forth into bright green leaves. Welcome, Buds!
- Seeds - So small, who could tell that such beautiful plants grow from little dry seeds that take root beneath the warm earth. Welcome, Seeds!
- Sudden Snow - People run for cover shielding their confused eyes from the bitter chill of sudden snow. Welcome, Sudden Snow!
- Rainbow - Fairies and pixies dance through the rainbows of spring. Welcome, Rainbow!
- Melt - Power of the future held within! Release! Spread yourself! Welcome, Melt!
- Thaw - Dust off the cold. The dirt is fertile again! Welcome, Thaw!
- Flower - Start small, stand up tall. Show your blossom, you're so awesome! Welcome, Flower!
- Flood - Socialist irrigation, remind us to be cautious. We do not control the powers of water. Welcome, Flood!
- Sunbeam - Illuminate! Ruminate! Open the gate, yeah, the gate to spring! Welcome, Sunbeam!
- Eggshell - Soft. Ephemeral. Delicate. In weakness we find the great strength to bring forth life. Welcome, Eggshell!
- Down - We shed the soft warmth of our winter coats to enter the soft chill of spring breeze. Welcome, Down!
- Dew - The fool returns! Rain flows from the ground up! Just dew it! Welcome, Dew!
- Mud - Mud, luscious mud! Cover me in your soothing mess. Bring forth innocent life and dirty fun! Welcome, Mud!
- Rain - Rain, rain, come today / Wash old cruft right away! Welcome, Rain!
- Breeze - Rustle my hair and I know you're there. No longer shall we freeze; come forth, spring breeze! Welcome, Breeze!
- Desires - No more hibernating in a cave, bring forth the things we crave! Welcome, Desires!
- Laughter - Hahahhahah heheheheheheeehee hohohoho hahahaha hehehe oh hoohoohoo! Welcome, Laughter!
- Pollen - May we gather together and cross-polinate our minds, feeding the creativi-bees! Welcome, Pollen!
- Birds - As we welcome the birds on their return journey, we must also turn from the warmth of the hearth and direct ourselves outwards. Welcome, Birds!
- Song - I'm singin' in the spring / Just singin' in the spring / What a glorious feelin' / Donāt worry 'bout a thing. Welcome, Spring!
- Youth - Release your inner child. Don your outer child! New ideas, new creatures, new opportunities. Welcome Youth!
- Sap - Ooooze. Sssssstick. Leeeeeht the bloooood ouuuut sloooowly and paaaatch wiiiinteeer's wooounds. Welcome, Sap!
T-shirt - Calling all beautiful people. You have the right to bare arms. Let the slogans fly! Welcome, T-shirt!
- Brook - Laugh! Giggle! Babble! Impregnated by the snow gods, may you deliver gaity and calm. Welcome, Brook!
- Begin - A journey of a thousand miles begins with a good breakfast. The five hundredth mile starts with a bright morning and a dry biscut. Begin new projects or take a refreshing look at ones in progress. Welcome, Begin!
- Dance - The slow dance of an opening flower. The show tunes of courtship. The rave of a thunderstorm! Shut up and welcome Dance!
- Babble - Electrify the air! Language wants to play too! O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! Welcome, Babble!
- Fruit - You tempt us, so beautiful and young. We must wait for summer ripening, but the thought of our sweetness brings joy to our mouth. Welcome, Fruit!
- Awaken - Done, season of hibernation. Now is time for recreation. Awake! Arouse! A rose! A rosy nose? Welcome, Awaken!
- Eggs - Protect your treasures. For soon they shall break free, giving wings to your deepest self. Welcome, eggs!
- Fiddle music - Draw a bow, strike a tune. Away with snow, dance up the moon! Welcome, Fiddle Music!
- Sprout - Take care! Destroy not your hope for the future! Protect and nourish your garden, and she shall protect and nourish you. Welcome, Sprout!
- Buds - Such promise! Such excitement! When it is your time, declare yourself to the world -- "I am alive!" Welcome, Buds!
- Seeds - From seed to plant to seed, yin and yang are one with two faces! It's turtles all the way down. Welcome, Seeds!
- Sudden snow - White, wet mountains surrounded us yesterday. Today, I see only molehills and mud. The lady changes clothes well. Welcome, Sudden Snow!
- Rainbow - There's a pot o' green at the end of the rainbow. Grow! Grow! Grow! Welcome, Rainbow!