Spring is synonymous with flowers. I always like to have them on my altar, especially when I do a ritual.
Those I associate with Ostara are snowdrops, crocuses, daffodils and showy happy faced pansies. Because spring is associated with the direction of East, I am somewhat partial to the yellow forsythia because it just about sings, “Spring has sprung.”
Flowers and budgets can go together.
Look around outside for what nature might be gifting to you. Are there dandelions? Bloodroot? Violets? A pussy willow bush from which you can cut a few branches and force the blooms?
You might consider investing in bulbs that bloom annually. If you didn’t already plant some, you could purchase potted bulbs in bloom for your altar now, then plant them in a sunny location for picking next year.
When visiting my mother’s grave one year, we noticed pots of dead flowers thrown in a trash barrel. My dad rescued some and planted them. Some bloomed the following year. The fall mums everyone has on their steps can be planted in a garden and allowed to grow wild. They’ll come back every year. Without the proper sever pruning, they will grow bushy with small flowers.
I am grateful that the Trader Joe’s around the corner always has a selection of flowers for $3.99.
If you ask Source for flowers, be open to all ways they might come to you. I’ve been able to pick lilacs at a friend’s house and buy some for a couple of dollars from a homeowner having a tag sale. I have come across huge stands of daylilies in the back of an almost empty parking lot and violets growing along the edge of my condo complex. There’s also a crab apple tree that has the most wonderful blooms around Beltane.
Be sure to harvest responsibly. Don’t trespass on private property. Never take every flower off one plant and don’t pick a patch clean. Always ask permission of the plant and thank it. Consider leaving a small gift in exchange: a pretty pebble, water, a song, a handful of mulch, a pinch of tobacco, the removal of litter.
But don’t just think blooms. Eggshells stuffed with sprouts from the produce isle could decorate an Ostara altar.
Blooms, branches or greens all dress an altar as long as you find them pleasing. And afterwards, I would like to suggest you return them to nature if possible rather than throw them in the trash.
Merry part. And merry meet again.