Grace Cavanaugh ~ Staff Writer
Last week was the official first day of spring, the Vernal Equinox, Ostara. This year, I wanted to do something, a ritual or “spell”, to celebrate and maybe have that influx of creativity that a ritual on Ostara is supposed to send you.
I realized very quickly that I should have done my research before taking on this last minute thing. The few websites I visited called for a lot of different ingredients, from crystals to feathers to herbs, and every single one needed an abundance of white candles.
Now, I am here neither to confirm nor deny candles in my possession, but it seemed to me like these candles were a big deal. Why were so many of these rituals heaven-bent on getting you to purchase so many white candles?
I decided to do a little digging on why candles were so important to rituals and spells. Of course, candles are not just important to pagan rituals, but Christian rituals too. During Advent in December, candles are lit every Sunday to represent hope, light, love, and eventually, the coming of Jesus Christ. In my church, we had three skinny purple candles, one skinny pink candle, and a large white candle that represented Jesus.
In paganism, candles can also represent deities. When placed on altars, they become the physical representation of who/what you are calling on. They are also used to represent the elements: fire, water, air, and earth. One website, witchcraftandwitches.com, said that “the lighting and extinguishing of candles often marks the opening and closing of rituals.”
My next question was: why white candles? Why couldn’t I use a green candle or a blue candle? This gets more into the color candles that you would use and what those candles represent.
White, for example, represents cleansing, purification, and truth, according to exemplore.com. The purpose of an Ostara ritual is to plant the seeds for a coming year. It’s a flow of creative energy, and for some, romantic energy.
One of the sites I visited looking for rituals, elephantjournal.com, talked about how you planted the seeds that you wanted to harvest throughout the year on Ostara. It’s the time of new beginnings. “There is beauty in the potential of what can be when we allow ourselves to have hope for the future,” the website reads.
This ritual only needed three white candles, but there were other bits I would not be able to gather at last minute, so instead my witch friend said a prayer for me at her own ritual.
You do not need to believe in paganism to use the Spring Equinox as a chance at new beginnings. Set some goals, make sure to take care of yourself, and let your creativity flow this year.