Celebrating Ostara & The Return of Spring
The time of the Vernal Equinox is here. FINALLY. The trees are starting to bud, the birds are returning, the grass is greening, the days are longer, the air seems fresher. Spring has sprung after the long, dark, cold nights of winter.
The very name Equinox means equal night, and is the celebration of a physical, solar event, at which the sun crosses the celestial equator and day and night are of equal length, and the earth is about to tip over the threshold to a period of more LIGHT, like an illuminating, sublime reminder that light is returning and always does.. Therefore, the Spring equinox represents new light and life, new beginnings, seeds and paths.
What is Ostara?
Ostara is the Neo-Pagan name for the Holiday we observe on the Vernal (Spring) Equinox. The date slides according the position of the Sun relative to the Earth but will always occur between March 20th-22nd. This Year The Equinox is on March 20, 2018.
On Ostara, when the Sun reaches it’s zenith, it lines up perfectly with the equator. This moment happens at the same time all over the world. This is the very moment Spring begins and when Day & Light begin their feat over Night & Dark. Because are days will be getting notably longer and the Sun warmer, the Earth begins to stir from her long winter slumber. Trees show their buds, plants begin to sprout, flowers burst forth, animals come out of hibernation- The Cycle of Life is starting anew and we get to witness this sacred event.
There is also a connection to the Germanic Goddess Eostre, for which this day bears its new name, Ostara. The English Monk Bede is our only source for this connection, in which he recounts April was called Eosturmonath, & was once called after a goddess of theirs named Eostre, in whose honor feasts were celebrated in that month. However, there is a lot of speculation as to whether Pre-christian Pagans of Anglo-Saxon Origin venerated this Goddess or if she even existed in the first place. Bede was known for making sweeping statements based on his own often incorrect assumptions. It’s more likely that the word Eostre was used to signify a spring festival and season and is POSSIBLE that there was a Goddess with a similar namesake who personified this season.
Unlike other deities, we have no existing ancient myths about Eostre- only modern ones. Regardless of whether or not Eostre did or did not exist, we can all agree that the Vernal Equinox was celebrated by our ancient ancestors from time immemorial.
Spiritual Themes of Ostara
Ostara teaches us about Rebirth & Balance. There are tremendous transformational powers available during this time. When we understand the transmutational properties available during Ostara, we can create great change in our lives. At the autumnal Equinox, we planted seeds for what we intend to manifest in the coming year, they laid dormant all winter, resting and gaining the strength they need to bloom this spring. Refocus your magickal intentions- what of those seeds do you absolutely NEED & WANT to come into fruition? What are you doing or what can you do to create an environment & act in accord with your goals? During the Ostara season, we are able to be reborn, just as Nature is going through her rebirth.
It’s also important to remember The EQUInox is about BALANCE. Just as the Sun & Earth are aligning, so should we take a moment to align ourselves. At the threshold of new beginnings, it’s important to be balanced in both the light and the dark.
How you can celebrate Ostara
1. Spring Cleaning! This may seem simple but if there is anything I have learned in 20+ years of practicing Magick its that a tidy home is a Magickal home. When our spaces are cluttered it's difficult for the magick we're trying to manifest to have room to grow. Like energies attract like energies. If you're looking for your spellwork and intentions to manifest easily this spring, it's time to declutter and dust up
2. Create an Ostara Altar. Dedicate your Altar to the Ostara season, decorate with colors such as pastel purples, blues, yellows & pinks. Eggs of course are not optional! Eggs are THE symbol of rebirth, fertility and New Beginnings so they are a must. Rabbits & Spring Flowers! Rabbits are the totem animal of Ostara, this is because they are fast reproducers but they also bring the magick of attraction! Our Ostara Ritual Set
includes a beautiful Rose Quartz Egg, which is a crystal of balance, balancing our yin-yang energies. Shaped into the universal symbol of fertility, Rose Quartz is excellent to work with at Ostara.
3. Plant Your Garden. If you're in an area where you can start planting, do it for Ostara! there is no better way to welcome the spring than by adding to the beauty of nature. You can even plant a seed associated with what goals and intentions you're growing.
Here is a seed planting chant for this little ritual:
As winter's reign comes to an end
And spring brings warmth and light,
The spirits of these seeds I do call forth
On Ostara's sacred night.
From your rest so dark and long
Awaken now with birth!
You shall, in time, grow green and strong
In the soil of Mother Earth.
4. Color Eggs. No Ostara would be complete without some egg coloring! My Grandfather was ukranian and egg "coloring" in my family was an all out affair of creating elaborate pysanky eggs. You don't have to go this far though! You can even paint or draw pagan symbols on your eggs!
5. Have a Feast! Foods of Ostara include: Ham, Lamb, Asparagus, honeyed cakes, lemon cake, deviled eggs, beans.
Happy Ostara Wild Ones.
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