Should I send a pagan flowers on Ostara, or wait till Beltane?
January 12, 2010 8:26 PM   Subscribe

Please help me be culturally appropriate: should I send a pagan flowers on Ostara, or wait till Beltane?

I've been thinking I'd like to do something nice and send a pagan/wiccan lady I know a big bouquet of flowers (or flowering plant) to celebrate the spring. Would it be more culturally appropriate to send them on Ostara, the spring solstice, or wait till Beltane, May 1st? Can you think of any any particular traditions and floral symbols that would make it especially awesome? Last year, I sent her this miniature orange tree which is going to be awfully hard to top in terms of sheer "WTF OMG did she really just send me that" awesomeness. But I'd like to try!

Also, I could use a little help with inventing a better inscription than "Wishing you a blessed [holiday name here] and a happy spring!" I'd like to avoid anything conventional, ordinary, or traditionally "romantic" (e.g. no roses or poetry) and go for something really creative, thoughtful, and unique. In other words, if you were a pagan, what's the coolest thing you could possibly be sent for one of the spring holidays--and when would you like to get it?

I've got some time to get this right, all thoughts welcome...thanks!
posted by anonymous to Grab Bag (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Honestly, I think the fact that you even know what those holidays ARE will win you enough points that you can't go too far wrong.

My own neo-Pagan friend was fond of joking that 'if you get ten pagans into a room you'll get a hundred different opinions," so there may be no one rule here. Although, I think that Imbolc (February 1st) is more accurately the "first day of Spring," whereas Beltane is the "first day of summer".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:19 PM on January 12, 2010

I'm sorta Pagan and I'd agree with EmpressCallipygos's sentiment. Flowers are good anytime.

"Blessed Be" works as a standard greeting.
posted by divabat at 9:26 PM on January 12, 2010

Imbolc is more like Groundhog Day, a late winter celebration welcoming the return of light; Ostara is celebrated at the Vernal Equinox and can be considered the "first day of Spring" holiday.

However, the wiccan/pagan lady is going to be pleased with the gift either way, I'm sure. FWIW, the pagans I know would prefer the flowering plant at Ostara; cut flowers are traditionally used for Beltaine (an analog to May Day).
posted by _paegan_ at 9:45 PM on January 12, 2010

I'd go with the flowering plant for Ostara.

Is your buddy Wiccan, or something else? "Blessed be" has a bit of the specifically-Wiccan about it, although most of us in other paganisms are equally happy to hear it (or, really, anything that acknowledges that we've got a holiday going). "Blessed Ostara" would work too.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 10:04 PM on January 12, 2010

What about some kind of plant that comes from a bulb then, theyre kinda fallow in winter and experience a rebirth of sorts come spring?
posted by Neonshock at 1:40 AM on January 13, 2010

Minature daffodils if she has a window box, and big'uns if she has a garden, would fit Neonshock's bulb idea, and they completely represent spring springing to me!
posted by greenish at 4:21 AM on January 13, 2010

Does she eat meat? Some halal goat for Lupercalia is pretty obscure as far as references go.

On a more serious note, you could lift your inscription from the homeric hymns of Demeter, which is seasonally appropriate and a bit less wiccan for your hellenic friend.
posted by Jilder at 6:44 AM on January 13, 2010

I vote for "either time is fine." Both are springtime holidays, it's appropriate either way.
posted by jenfullmoon at 12:29 PM on January 13, 2010

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