Yesterday was the Vernal Equinox–Ostara if you lean toward paganism as we do. We’re nonpracticing pagans for the most part, but it gives us a nice excuse to add extra holidays to our year. As a young woman in my twenties, I declared myself Wiccan. I was a solitary practitioner–no coven for me–but I would have rituals on the full moons and the equinoxes and solstices.
I’ve since lapsed a bit, although I’m not sure that’s what I would call it. J and I still celebrate the solistices. In fact, we prefer the winter solstice over Christmas (although we celebrate that with family as well). A few years ago we started frequenting the Unitarian Universalist (UU) church in our community and discovered that we loved it. There, we had a women’s circle that was into all kinds of goddessy/pagany things, so for the first time, I had the opportunity to experience rituals with other women. It was beautiful, empowering, and so deeply spiritual. We loved those gatherings.
Lately, spirituality is so far from my mind. I get stuck in my head, which is easy to do as an academic, but I think J and I need to get back to our roots, spiritually speaking, as shallow as they may be. We both decided that we would like to raise our children in the UU tradition because the churches here in California tend to be really great for teaching kids about all religions. They get a sampling of everything. The adults, on the other hand, get an opportunity to discuss spirituality from an intellectual perspective, something J and I savor.
We’ve had discussions about what we’ll do regarding the major holidays. Once in awhile, one of us will ask about a Christian holiday. Recently, J asked me, “Easter: yes or no?” regarding our kids. My answer: Ostara. So many of the kid-friendly rituals surrounding major holidays are pagan in origin anyway, so why not give them the purer form? We’re certainly interested in celebrating spring and new life and possibilities, but that doesn’t have to come in the form of a crazy chocolate buzz or frothy dresses and bonnets. I’m sure we’ll work it all out, but for now, it’s interesting to ponder.
This spring does bring for J and I a new hope–hope that we’ll get to start our family soon, hope that our last three attempts with Mr. G will amount to something great, even hope that we’ll soon be stable in our new home and have the careers we want. For now, we’re enjoying watching the flowers bloom and our tiny cilantro seeds sprout.
Indeed, spring is here.