The Wiccan community in the city is getting together to celebrate the onset of spring with Ostara.
It is common knowledge that Wiccans celebrate Halloween with much pomp. But not many know that the community also heralds the Spring Festival before Easter, called The Solemn Spring Ostara Ritual.
“Ostara is all about renewal, rebirth,” begins Reverend Angel Serrao, chief high priest at The Wiccan Shop, which is also the only Wiccan temple in India dedicated to the Triple Moon Goddess. “Ostara is basically celebrating the arrival of spring — of the rebirth of Mother Earth,” he explains.
Ostara is essentially Wiccan Easter. Observed at the onset of spring, the festival is about celebrating the warmth of the season, after the harsh, cold winters.
“We observe the day as the reincarnation of Mother Nature,” explain Rev. Angel.
Angel also explains that Easter (celebrated essentially by Christians all over the world) and Ostara (a Wiccan festival) aren’t all that different. “For Christians, Easter celebrates the reincarnation for Jesus Christ. On the other hand, we Wiccans celebrate the rebirth of Mother Nature with Ostara. Equinoxes are times of balance between day and night, light and darkness. But the balance is dynamic, lasting a day, before shifting into playing a role in that greater balance,” he explains.
At the same time, he adds that it is the Pagan celebration that the Christian church was inspired by. “I believe it is in Ostara that the church got the inspiration for Easter — reincarnation of the entity one believes it — that many centuries ago. And then, they incorporated our traditions in a celebration,” he says.
Reverend Angel tells us more about what the celebrations will be like. “We will begin the evening with a medication ceremony, where we will concentrate on the concept of renewal, and rebirth,” he says.
Following this, quite akin to other community gatherings, Angel says that they socialise amongst themselves. “Wiccans and witches gather under one roof and celebrate life by renewing the promises made at Mabon, the Vernal Equinox. We Wiccans also remember that we are all reborn to complete our karmic dues and to be one with the Divine Consciousness. We exchange chocolate eggs and decorate our homes with spring flowers to remind us of renewal, birth and rebirth,” he says, adding that the ceremony isn’t just meant for Wiccans, but is open for all.
Wiccans, however, like to think of this day as a reboot button for one’s system, says Angel. “We focus towards renewal of commitment to oneself — one faces issues with committing towards weight loss, care for health, issues towards success and love. We hope to promote a rebirth in terms of one’s approach as well. After the ritual, we will have a small sprout salad snack for commitment and growth,” he says.
Today, 8 pm onwards, The Wiccan Shop, Mahim Contact 8080313333