Thursday, March 20, 2008


According to the pagan calendar, today is the Spring Festival of Ostara or, as Slavic people called it - Jare (you pronounce it 'yare'), the First Day of Spring.

In the past, the rituals consisted of getting rid of Winter (often with loud shouting, using the whips and rattles, singing and playing loud instruments, and drowning the hay doll symbolizing Winter in the river), and then greeting Spring - people thoroughly cleaned their houses and gardens, washed their best clothing and baked festival cakes. Young boys gathered willow twigs to decorate houses.

One of the most important tradition was painting the eggs (called "pisanki") and then giving them as a gift to bring luck, fertility and abundance into the household. The egg was also used to "charm" the illnesses and cure the sick. The oldest known Polish pisanki come from Xth century!

People created colourful processions to the sacred hills where they feasted and celebrated beginning of Spring.
On the next day they washed themselves in sacred water and visited the tombs of their deceased relatives, bringing them food.

Spring is the time to do some cleaning after Winter, to clean up our houses from dust and clutter, and our minds "weeding out worn ideas and out-of-date beliefs so I can move forward in my quest to follow my bliss, live my passions, and manifest my dreams", as beautifully says Carla from Wings For You blog, which I highly recommend.
That's what I've been doing for the past few weeks - I cleaned and dusted some places in my small shaggy unloved apartment that were not touched for a long time (really long time, believe me!) I even removed the dried up mistletoe I had under my lamp since Christmas... (yes, I know!...) Up till now I wasn't inspired, I didn't like the place so I thought and cared about it as little as I had to. But then I started to think that maybe if I change/clean/refresh/redecorate some small things here and there - my poor existence in this flat may seem a bit nicer.
And it suddenly stopped being such a poor existence after all! *^v^*
Okay, it still isn't my favourite place to be, but living here started to be better and nicer surroundings definitely bring nicer attitude towards, well... everything. *^v^*

As for the "mind sweeping", I love the suggestion made by Violette : "You might even want to buy a brand new eraser to symbolize erasing the past or negative thoughts which tell you you're NOT an Artist." Or thoughts which tell you ANYTHING that keeps you from living your dream life. I bought one. ^^

I've been fighting my depressive negative thoughts and I think nowadays I'm winning more and more. Especially when I see things happening, realizing, fulfilling. There isn't a better dope than the fact that something is working right in front of our eyes! *^v^*

Happy Jare/Ostara/Easter to you! =^v^=


  1. Nice to read the slavic name for Ostara. In preperation of Alban Eilir, the druid ceremony of the spring equinox, my heart reaches out to you. I hope that celebrating spring, looking at growth and blossoming in nature, cleaning house, removing all the dust and other cluttered stuff helps you to get even with the depressive thoughts. It definitely does for me ;-) Brightest blessings!

  2. So True-i need to go thru my whole house and clean and organize and just rearrange better-i dont hate my house but i am just not happy with it righ now and i feel like i just have so much Crap every where. Our first day of spring is very cold and possibly bringing some snow if not today then for sure on the 2nd and 3rd days of spring-looks like Aidan may be hunting for eggs in the snow again-he did last year :)
    I really like your post today, it was nice to read the little tidbis and quotes!
    By the way i really like those knitted eggs.

  3. Hello Joanna - Happy Spring to you! Those knitted eggs are so cheerful and colorful and pretty! I just took a look at some of your other work, and it is so beautifully done... such gorgeous stitch-work and designs! Thank you mentioning my blog:> I want to say that it's good you've done some "cleaning," even if you don't like your apartment too much...the more good you give to your surroundings, the more good you get back. I think if you are happy in the now, you can move towards more happiness.

  4. What a lovely, inspiring post! I'm planning to do some spring cleaning myself this weekend.

  5. a post full of wisdom !