Ostara is the season in which we begin to see new growth from the seeds that were planted at Imbolc. Those seeds grow roots down into the nourishing earth, and they grow shoots up towards the lightening sky. It’s a time when we begin to see the manifestation of the possibilities we’ve carried through from winter dreaming into the material world.
Working Ganesha mantra at Imbolc brought me into a relationship of radical affirmation with what is. It taught me presence. And the responsibility that accompanies it. Lakshmi mantra, my sadhana for Ostara, resonates with a higher vibration – the colours of the heart, of radiance, joy and abundance. Drawing the energy up from Ganesha’s roots, Lakshmi radiates at the heart centre. And she’s teaching me the gift of Gratitude.
Together, responsibility and gratitude are the twin lessons, or gifts, of Presence. Being present to what is means that I must attend to all that I have manifested, giving the energy, time, dedication and commitment required to nurture those manifestations into life. So often I’ve brought something into the world only to reject or neglect it once it’s here. Quick to move on to what’s next, I manifest a possibility into life and then shift away from its reality. I’ll either reject it because it’s not what I really want any more, or hasn’t arrived in the form that I expected, or I’ll neglect it because I haven’t set aside enough time or energy to really make it work – I’ve already started looking for the next thing.
With each new possibility that I bring into the world, like a seed sprouting new growth, it takes time to manifest, and requires nurturing and care to fully grow. How many seeds have I planted that I’ve believed would simply look after themselves, and moved on to planting the next row before allowing time for the first ones to mature? Or assumed that the first sprouts are the harvest, and neglected to wait for the crop to flourish into abundance?
Because each new seed is just that – a possibility. Its manifest form will be dependent on the external/environmental/material conditions it meets on its path to growth. Dependent upon how much time and care and energy it’s given to support it in that process. Utopian philosopher Ernst Bloch (1885 – 1977) argues that the future is full of the potential of limitless unmanifested possibilities, but that in order to take form in reality those possibilities must be shaped by the limiting factors of material reality. Each seed I carry out from the dreamworld and plant into the earth is a possibility for manifestation. Meeting with the external conditions of this world, that seed will be shaped by its birth into physicality. It won’t look exactly as I dreamed it, but will be a physical manifestation of what is possible in the relationship between my dreams and the reality of this world.
Gratitude and responsibility work in tandem with this process. Acknowledging what I have birthed into the world with gratitude I take responsibility to see it through, to nurture it into growth and realise its full potential.
Rather than rejecting what I feel averse to or no longer require/desire, rather than neglecting what I have birthed because I’ve moved on to desiring the next possibility, I take time to recognise what I have made manifest.
I realise with gratitude that this is a possibility I have created, it is an expression of something I have desired and brought into existence. I take time to celebrate this with joy at the reality of each little miracle.
And I take responsibility for nurturing those roots and shoots into life, and tend to their growth to enable them to reach the fullness of their potential in this world.
As a writing practice, this is growing out of the daily practice I began with Ganesha at Imbolc. The practice of dailiness, of presence. Ostara’s writing practice grows both roots and shoots from Imbolc’s seed. Its roots are diving deep into poetry’s origins in ritual and ceremony – working with essential texts such as Jerome Rothenberg’s Technicians of the Sacred to explore the shamanic and spiritual foundations at poetry’s heart. Diane di Prima’s Revolutionary Letters and Anne Waldman’s Fast Speaking Woman & Trickster Feminism are also essential reading for this practice. Each of these revolutionary texts works to carry those roots forward into a contemporary practice with the intention and potential to enact changes in consciousness that might manifest the utopian possibility of a better world in material reality.
So while the roots of my writing are deepening and grounding into the work and words of that have made my practice even possible, its shoots are reaching out in new directions to carry that work into the world in my own unique way.
My new poetry is developing its own rhythms and momentum – it’s evolving and growing through my commitment to daily practice. Writing every day is enabling my writing to find its own form and voice, to grow in its own direction and into its own potential.
Through my commitment to be present with this practice – with both gratitude and responsibility – it is growing into its own strength and becoming the Utopian Poetics that I’d always hoped it would be.
This Ostara, nurture the roots and shoots of your writing practice and begin to realise the full potential of what you are manifesting. This could take the form of starting that project you’ve always wanted to write, committing more deeply to a regular writing practice, or taking the next steps in a larger project you’re working with. Whatever your practice, recognise its roots with gratitude and nurture its shoots with care & responsibility!