Horny Hour #17
Your prompt this week is:
Oestara is the Wiccan name for the vernal equinox. The Vernal Equinox is celebrated around the end of the third week of March, somewhere between the 19th and 25th usually. The word “equinox” means “equal night,” which signifies that night and day are equal at this time, with the light of the Sun growing in power toward midsummer. It’s the turning point from winter to spring. It is a beginning of the agricultural year, and its rites ensure fertility of crops and flocks; it is a time of planting, nurturing and growth.
This minor Wiccan Sabbat (there are 4 minor and 4 major sabbats in the wiccan wheel of the year) is named for the Saxon Goddess of Spring, Oestre. There are several different translations of the meaning of her name; East, dawn and morning light indicating the returning warmth of the sun’s rays and the lengthening days. In Germany her warm nature is still marked by bonfires lit at dawn on the Spring Equinox. She is the Maiden Goddess; full of potential, representing the opportunity of growth and rebirth after the stagnation of winter. The Maiden Archetype represents purity and the innocence of childhood, where the soul’s dreams, magic and make believe still prevail. The rabbit was Oestre’s sacred animal, which is where we get the Easter Bunny.
Oestara is a day of celebration because it marks the planting time, when the land is finally ready to be tilled and made fertile with seed for food and cloth. Because eggs are a universal symbol of fertility, it is customary to decorate eggs with spring colours and throw them into running water or bury them in the ground to promote the growth of the crops.
This is my second favourite time of year, my favourite is winter solstice. The promise of longer days and warmer weather is very welcome after the winter. There is also an Easter bunny link with the hare, this time of year is the mating season and they bounce about the fields – Mad as a March hare. They also apparently like to stare at the moon. I did a whole ceramics project on moon gazing hares and another on the Green Man, another supposed fertility symbol whose origins have been lost. I’m hugely fascinated with mythology, folklore and ancient history, especially when it comes to anything Pagan and Celtic pre-Christianity. I can spend hours reading about this stuff -festivals, gods and goddesses, boundaries and edges etc. – but this is the first time I’ve ever tried writing about it. I struggled with this, I don’t have the knack or experience to write this way so it’s not great, but I really couldn’t think of anything else.
She stares at the full moon, bathed in its silvery glow, entranced, unaware she is being watched from the shadows. He wants to approach, but he is a creature of the woods, she belongs to the open fields and hills. He takes a step towards her, hesitates again, unwilling or unable to leave the shelter of the woods. His longing increases by the second, his breathing sounding harsh to his own ears, but still she shows no sign of having heard. It’s been the same every night of the full moon forever, at least it seems like forever to him. Centuries and millennia, she arrives and disappears with the full moon, and he watches, this lithe, fey, silvery creature, never speaking. He wishes she would just turn and see him, come to him, touch him, relieve his longing and loneliness, but all she does is stare at the moon.
She knows he watches, she can feel him, even from here, as if his strength flows through the very ground she stands on. The smell of the woods surrounds her too, that damp, musky smell, so different from the open air. She feels drawn to him, wanting to go to him, but as yet unable to resist the moon’s glow. She wonders if this time he will wait, if he will still be there when the time comes. Or will it be like all the times before? She knows he can’t leave the woods, and she can’t enter them, but maybe this time he will wait. She hopes.
This is one of those stories I can see in my head but I can’t translate into words. Of course this time he waits and they meet at the edge of the woods, as night turns to day.
I think I’ll stick to writing what I usually write 😀
And here’s a photo of one of my hare sculptures.
More Horny Hour here.