Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Dying eggs for Ostara

Natural Ostara Eggs, Natural egg-dying is like recycling. It takes a li'l bit longer to do, but gives you a most wonderful feeling. Cover your plant material with about 3 inches of water, bring to a boil, and simmer until the color looks good. You'll probably have to let the eggs sit in the dye overnight, so if you're planning more than one color per egg, start this a few days before Ostara. Experimenting is half the fun, but here are some hints to get you started: Yellows- daffodil petals, saffron, turmeric, onion skins Blues- blueberries, red cabbage leaves & vinegar Greens-broccoli, coltsfoot Pinks- cochineal, madder root Browns - walnut shells, tea, coffee--> Wanna get fancy? Gather some small leaves, ferns, flowers and grasses. Dip them in water (to help them stick) and press them onto your eggs. Wrap each egg in a piece of cut up pantyhose and secure it with a twist tie before dyeing. When you remove the flower or leaf, it's design will appear (either in white or in your first dye-color). Rub your finished eggs with a tiny bit of vegetable or olive oil on a soft cloth to shine them.
Now, plan a fertility ritual for your garden.
Bury an Ostara egg in the east corner of your garden, or one egg for each direction, or dig an entire circle for them (depends on how much you hate egg-salad-- for me -->not my favorite).

Here are some traditional symbols used on eggs.

Circles: Protection, everlasting life, continuity, completeness. The Sun, and cycles of life.
Suns: The life-giving, all embracing nature of God, especially as the Sun is seen as the God. Fire and warmth, enchantment, prosperity, good fortune. It is the most ancient and significant symbol, appearing on almost every Ukrainian egg, from a small circle or dot to an elaborate many-rayed affair.
Dots: Usually represent stars or the Tears of Mary. Also can be the Sun.
Curls: Protection.Spirals: Mystery of life and death, divinity and immortality.
Crosses: These are usually equal-armed crosses, though not always. Represents the four directions, the four ages of man, the four elements, rebirth and eternal life.

Rebirth and nature. Very popular symbols.
Trees: Strength, renewal, creation, organic unity, growth, eternal life.
Leaves: Immortality, eternal or pure love, strength, persistence.
Flowers: Beauty, children, female principles of wisdom and elegance.
Fruit: Continuity, good fellowship, strong and loyal love, love of the Divine.
Sunflowers: Motherhood, life, love of the Divine.
Wheat: Bountiful harvest.
Stars and Roses: Popular symbols for purity, life, giver of light, the eye of God, the God's love for humanity. Also success, knowledge, beauty, elegance, and perfection.

Leadership, victory, joy, masculinity.Horses: Wealth, prosperity, endurance, speed and the motion of the Sun.
Rams: Leadership, strength, dignity, perseverance. Ram's horns symbolize strong leadership, dignity, and perseverance.
Horns: Mobility, wisdom, triumph over problems, and implies manhood and leadership.
Bear paws: A guardian spirit, bravery, wisdom, strength, endurance, the coming of spring.
Birds: All kinds, are messengers of the Sun and heavens, pushing away evil, fertility, fulfillment of wishes, good harvest.
Butterflies: Ascent of the soul, pleasure and frivolity of childhood.
Spiders: Patience, artistry, industry, healing and good fortune.

White: Purity, birth, virginity, and ignorance. Historically, a young child would receive eggs with lots of white.
Yellow: Youth, light, purity, happiness, and wisdom.
Red: The most widely used color, for passion, love, enthusiasm.
Orange: Endurance, strength, power.
Green: Renewal, freshness, hope, victory of life over death.
Brown: Earth.
Blue: Sky, good health derived from air.
Purple: Patience, trust, power.
Black: Remembrance, eternity, constancy, death.
A black and white combination indicates protection from evil and respect for the dead.
Black with red connotes ignorance arising from passion.