“So, that was a standard community church experience,” I tell Jim after we drive away
from Trinity Temple.  (Bearing in mind that aside from the occasional funeral or wedding,
I’ve never really gone to a church.)

“Not my church,” Jim tells me.

“So that was what a standard community church experience should be like?” I say.

Jim smiles, “Exactly.”

For those of you who missed the news, I went to my very first Ostara celebration at the
Trinity Temple in Albany, NY on March 24, 2007.  Ostara is the celebration of spring and
is celebrated by Wiccans, Pagans, and other nature oriented faiths.  Now, I’m a severe
seasonal allergy sufferer, so perhaps not the perfect holiday for me, but I can
appreciate celebrating the end of winter.  I’m going to give you all a rough play by play
of our time at the event.  I apologize for any chronological errors that may follow…. I
wanted to enjoy and be a part of the celebration so I didn’t take notes during, but
instead frantically tried to remember every little thing after.  So, if I put things ritually out
of whack, it’s my memory, not the folks at Trinity Temple, to blame.

Trinity Temple is essentially a house that has been turned into a house of worship.  You
walk into a wonderfully comforting wood paneled main room.  They have all kinds of
wonderful occult goodies for sale at the entrance, and then it’s a large open space with
an altar and raised platform towards the back.  We’re welcomed by Pastor Stan and
Associate Pastor Lee, who invite Jim and me to head down to the basement and have
some coffee or tea.  I’d like to step off the path of events to talk a little bit about Pastor
Stan.

According to Pastor Stan, he was in his workshop in Florida when he felt the Goddess’s
call to come to temple.  His wife, who has been a solitary practitioner, came out to his
workshop and asked him when they were leaving.  Obviously, Pastor Stan is a man of
faith, and if that story doesn’t convince you, how about the fact that he moved from
Florida to Albany, NY in JANUARY!  Either he is greatly influenced by his faith, or he is a
touch crazy.  I think it’s both and in the most complimentary way.  Pastor Stan and
Pastor Lee are a wonderfully fun and kooky pair.  They express a great love of life and
they don’t take themselves too seriously.  Okay, back to the path.

First, in the basement there was egg coloring.  Little kids and adults took turns coloring
eggs.  After egg coloring, the children were given permission to run around doing an
egg hunt.  It had a welcoming feeling of a family gathering.  There were children running
around, adults conversing in small clusters, and older children hanging out in front of
the television.  Then the actual ritual began.

We all sat in chairs in a big circle.  At this point, there was quite a crowd, about 40
people in attendance.  Then Rev. Cassandra Michaels and Pastor Stan got things
started.  And here’s where my chronology may be totally out of sorts, but in the
beginning, not necessarily in this order, we were blessed by the elements, in the form of
water and smoke.  They called the corners and formed the circle.  There was some
meditation and the Ostara ritual, which included a young woman, Dolores, singing, “Here
Comes the Sun” accompanied by drums.  The group then charged eggs with energy
and they were distributed to everyone in attendance.  Each egg had a message on it for
you to focus on until the next full moon.  Mine said “Believe” and Jim’s said “Joy”.  

At this point, a couple that drove in from Maine got hand fasted, which was a beautiful
event to witness.  (And thanks to Shira’s recent
10 Questions, I was totally prepared!)

Then they empowered seedlings for us to plant with our intentions so they can grow and
bloom.  At this point, they said farewell to the corners and broke the circle.  We also got
to eat a yummy brownie and have a cup of juice!

Then everyone went around hugging and wishing each other a happy Ostara.  No one
hesitated even a moment in coming up to Jim and me to give us hugs.  Finally the group
started setting up tables and working on bringing up food for a big feast that
unfortunately we didn’t get to stay for as Jim and I were both recovering from colds and
were exhausted from all the excitement of the day.

Let me tell you, this brief rundown doesn’t do justice to the folks at Trinity Temple.  The
Trinity Temple, in my opinion, embodies what the traditional community church going
experience should be.  There was a lot of love, faith, and laughter to be had there and
they welcomed us with open arms.  If you are in the Albany, NY area I encourage you to
visit them.  They are a self-described metaphysical church and community center
dedicated to providing a harmonious environment for worship, learning, and fellowship.  I
would agree.

To learn more about Trinity Temple and all their wonderful events, visit:
http://www.
trinitytemple.net/index_tt.html.
A Movable Feast: Ostara at Trinity Temple
The Magical Buffet
Trinity Temple
Our Eggs