Thursday, April 5, 2012

An Ostara Prayer and a Poetry Giveaway

First, the giveaway: I have four copies of the April 2012 Poetry magazine to give away to the first four readers who ask. All you have to do is let me know you want them. I'll send you an e-mail asking for a mailing address. I'll also include bookmarks from author Katie Salidas.

Today on some Christian calendars is Holy Thursday, known in the Church of England as Maundy Thursday. It commemorates Jesus' last seder meal, the Last Supper. Modern Christian celebrations of Maundy Thursday often involve foot-washing ceremonies. In the Catholic church, this is day for the yearly blessing of the holy oil used in baptisms and other sacraments.

Some Christians mark Maundy Thursday with a tenebrae (Latin for "shadows" or "darkness") service, a special service in which a series of readings are read aloud in church and a candle is extinguished after each reading, the last of which leaves the congregation in near darkness. (Some Christian denominations observe tenebrae services on Good Friday.) Tenebrae services are meant to recall the betrayal and anguish of Jesus.

Public domain image
The mood of anguish and betrayal lasts no more than four days, however. Easter, whether one observes the Christian traditions, the Pagan ones or both, is triumphant. The following Ostara/Easter prayer written by Diana Paxson comes from the publishers of Witches&Pagans, Crone and SageWoman magazines. It captures the change in mood that accompanies the spring holidays.

Ostara, public domain image

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Hail Ostara, eastward arising,
Laughing goddess, Lady of Light —

To dawn, dominion over darkness
Thy glory has granted, gone is the night!
Winter’s wrath by winds of warmth
The maiden’s might has melted here
Everywhere green plants are growing,
Flowers flourish, she-beasts bear;

Let Thy light’s illumination
Banish sorrow, blessings bring,
Grant success, and a good season
To those who seek thee here this spring!
You are the sunlight on the leaves,
You are the music of the stream,
You are the scent upon the wind,
You are the dreamer and the dream.
You transform sorrow into joy,
You transform darkness into day,
You transform winter into warmth,
And death’s dominion fades away.
You are consistency in change,
You are the patterning of chance.

You are never twice the same,
You are the dancer and the dance.

This article is an excerpt from “Ostara, Lady of Spring” first published in SageWoman 41, Spring 1998.

Diana Paxson is a leading loremistress, author, and seer in the Pagan and Heathen communities; her column “She of 10,000 Names” appears regularly in SageWoman. Find her at 

Paxson is the author of Taking Up the Runes: A Complete Guide to Using Runes in Spells, Rituals, Divination and Magic. When her mentor Marion Zimmer Bradley's health began to fail after she wrote Mists of Avalon, Paxton took up the series and wrote the sequels. 

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1 comment:

Lisa Weidknecht said...

Thank you for linking up with the Planet Weidknecht Easter Weekend Hop!