We offset our carbon emissions by Eco hosting

Merry Meet Friends

Greetings and Witchy Blessings to you all!

We welcome you to our latest newsletter at this time where dark equals light. Join with us and celebrate as the wheel turns to Ostara, and the spring bulbs brighten our parks and gardens and the Sun's rays begin to warm the air.

Members of the Witchaven Grove were fortunate last month to spend not only an evening with Mike Orwig, Crystal Wizard but also an afternoon connecting with Nature Temples within Cornwall Park in Auckland.

News from the Witchaven Online Shop, we have temporarily closed the online shop for renovation until Beltane. We will reopen in time for the 2006 Calendar release at Beltane.

We are currently working on a new range of goods including CD's, Witchy PC programs and online/CD courses.
Any urgent shop queries to our webwitch@witchaven.com

Ostara Greetings

Ostara, (O' Star' ah) Spring Equinox - 23 September Southern Hemisphere

This Sabbat takes its name from the free spirited Goddess Eostre. Legend has it that she turned a bird into a rabbit and the bewitched animal then laid coloured eggs. This story is the basis for the Easter bunny, spring egg hunts and most other traditions that are associated with this holiday.

At the Vernal or Spring Equinox and marking the first true day of Spring, this sabbat marks the rekindling of life within the Earth.

The Goddess, joyful in the strength and lust of Maiden, begins to blanket the Earth with fertility as the fields initiate their bright flourish of wildflower colours and the trees bring forth new buds. The God stretches and grows to maturity, his strength on the verge of conquering the darkness.

At the Spring Equinox are the hours of dark and light equal, and from now until  Mabon, the new Sun God will rule in strength.

Any Iris or Tulip bulbs that you planted in the ground for winter, should be ready to burst into bloom for spring. You could also try Lobelia flowers - sow lobelia seeds into seed trays or punnets, and plant out when the seedlings are big enough to handle. They'll bloom in mid spring, therefore manifesting Ostara's spring energy, and will give your garden or windowsill a glorious boost of blue.

O spring, beautiful season!
O goddess, beautiful goddess!
Come with joy to us now,
with goodness and plenty,
Come with tall flax that roots deeply in the field.
Come with corn, lots of corn, lots and lots of corn!
Look, we have sent girls to you bearing gifts to make you happy:
Look we have sent them to you bearing cakes made with fried eggs.

- Russian folksong

Associated Deities: Eostre, the Spring Maiden, the Young Lord.
Associated Herbs: Jasmine, Rose, Violet
Associated Crystals: Moss Agate, Green Moonstone, Orange Calcite, Rose Quartz

Decorate Altar with Flowers, buds, and blossoms; cauldron filled with spring water.
Appropriate Foods include seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, sesame seeds) pine nuts. Sprouts; leafy, green vegetables. Flower dishes such as stuffed nasturtiums or carnation cupcakes. Fake carnation cupcakes: make spice cupcakes. Frost with pink frosting and place a fresh carnation petal on top of each cupcake. Stuffed Nasturtium blossoms: stuff the blossoms with a mixture of cream cheese, chopped nuts, chives, and  watercress.

Goddess Wisdom

Where Ostara steps, the earth is covered with new flowers and lush growth. She turns sorrow to joy, adversity to prosperity and despair to renewed hope.

At the time of the Spring Equinox, the cycle of birth, growth, fading, death enters the "birth" stage - we celebrate the emergence from winter and turn our face to the sun as the days become longer than the nights. Plants begin to bloom, new shoots burst forth from the earth, animals begin their bearing cycle, and the goddess' relationship with the earth's fruitfulness is witnessed in front of our eyes.

Spring is a time when Persephone returns from the underworld, Demeter's happiness to see her daughter spills over so that crops flourish, and Ishtar's fertile energy nourishes the earth and helps the nature prosper.

But most of all, it is a time to remember Ostara - the maiden, in German mythology, celebrated during the Spring Equinox when night and day are equal and balanced.

(pron East-ra) was the Anglo-Saxon goddess of the dawn, from whom "East" (where the sun rises) and "Easter" got its name - as the fertility goddess of the Northern European peoples, her legend was manipulated by the invading Romans - newly Christianized, they merged Eostre's spring legend to coincide with the time of Christ's resurrection.

She is also goddess Ostara, the maiden, in German mythology, celebrated when night and day are equal and balanced (the spring equinox for the northern hemisphere). Interestingly, the word "estrus" (referring to an animal in heat) is also derived from Eostra as her consort was a rabbit with an extraordinarily high libido!

According to legend, Eostre became angry with the rabbit and cast it into the heavens. Today we can see the "Lepus" (the hare) constellation at the feet of Orion.

Related gemstones:
Carnelian, coral, agate, brown jaspar (orange stones), amethyst, aquamarine, bloodstone, red jasper

Coming up:

23/09/05 Ostara - Spring Equinox
03/10/05 New Moon - Libra
18/10/05 Full Moon - Aries
31/10/05 Beltane Eve
01/11/05 Beltane

Other Events:

18/19.20 November,
Arrivals from Friday afternoon.
7pm gathering and potluck dinner,
9pm Opening ritual.
PIOPIO is 22 k's from Te Kuiti.
Contact details for more info;
Dawn on 027 403 3678  (text)
snail mail;153 Te Ohaki Rd. R.D.1. Huntly

New Spirit Festival 13th February - Alexander Park, Auckland

Magick Earth Festival is on 19th and 20th March 2005 at Scoutlands, Lake Wiritoa, Wanganui. 

Well on that note we will end this newsletter. Please let us know your thoughts and comments.

Until next Sabbat

Merry Part

Igrewl and Asrteia

For More Information Contact:

PO Box 203003, Waiau Pa, Auckland 1852, New Zealand