CONTRARY to what one might expect the most creative period of the year is winter rather than spring or summer. Ostara is a period of manifestation, of the coming into form of various things. Winter Finding is the entrance to creativity and to form within what needs to be formed and to unite that with the fertility which brings in the following spring the forms that are now created.
What then is creativity and what happens when we create? If we were able to view a chair in a truly spiritual manner we would see that it is vibrantly living. It is not simply an inanimate object even though it is manifested to us through a restricted atomic structure of fabric, and whatever is involved in the construction of the chair. But if we consider its origin as being in the sun, whose energy and vitality went into the creation of the different components of the chair, we can perhaps begin to appreciate the meaning of spirituality as applied to such a static object as a piece of furniture.
We can discover within ourselves the same energy and vitality which gives us the zest for life, the joy or the anguish of existence. So the physical plane must reflect whatever exists on the inner. When Summer Finding comes with the apparent return of life to things that had given the appearance of being dead we might spare a moment to ask where all this life comes from. We see the shoots coming up out of the soil, the buds bursting forth, and they are not materialising out of nothing. It is the visible manifestation of a long process of cell division, nourishment and drawing in the life force and containing it within the heart of Earth, within form, and allowing it to build until at last it takes the shape that we can recognise.
If winter was not a time of death and none of these processes took place, then we could not have a time of life. There would be no Summer Finding. Thus Winter Finding is a festival that represents the creative impregnation of the physical Earth Mother with spiritual energy. With it the essence of wisdom and experience that has descended through countless generations is gathered together.
The consciousness that we are expected to achieve in the Odinic Rite is a consciousness of being able to tap our infinite creativity, to be able at all times to embody within ourselves the Mother-Night, Summer Finding, Winter Finding. The energies represented in nature by these four cardinal points of the year are brought into the timeless state of our own spirit and made perfectly available to us so ‘tea we become creators. Our Gods enable this apparent miracle to take place. They are constantly active in nature, all about us and active in our own consciousness. We stand symbolically at the gateway to a new year beyond which is the most creative period of the year, when all the inner processes, go on that make apparent physical creation possible.