Ostara, also known as the spring equinox, is a traditional pagan holiday that falls around March 20-22. A celebration of springs arrival and the perfect balance of night and day being the same length of time.
There’s plenty of Ostara rituals, traditions, and celebrations that you can choose from to honor the day in your own way. I would like to share some with you, but first, lets go over what Ostara is.
Spring has sprung
This is a day to celebrate the new season as well as the awakening of the maiden goddess from her winters’ slumber (I soooo wish I could just hibernate all winter) to see the new life begin to sprout around her.
Everywhere you look there is evidence of lifes ability to regenerate. The trees are starting to bud with fresh greens, flowers start to bloom, and the sky is full of the birds singing the praises of spring.
Take time to create a sacred space outside to honor the deities and the land spirits that dwell in the area as well. Decorate a little corner with handcrafted items such as mobiles, painted flower pots, prayer flags, wind chimes, or even an altar on which you can leave offerings of little shells, flowers, or pebbles.
No outside space to call your own? Bring the outdoors inside with plants, flowers, and herbs placed on windowsills, shelves, and kitchen counter tops allowing spring to takeover your home.
The world itself takes on an awakening of fresh possibilities and a pureness to life. Spring fever takes hold and passes through making the desires for fresh starts to take hold. Few feelings can compare to the excitement one feels on the edge of something new. Potential is everywhere. The earth returns to her colorful shades of life.
Eoestre is the goddess of light, who brings the spring and fertility. Her representation is usually seen as a young maiden carrying a basket of eggs, the symbol of rebirth. The goddess is accompanied by a hare or rabbit, representing abundant fertility.
Now that the maiden has awakened from her winters’ slumber she recognizes the sun god who was born on winters’ solstice has grown into the perfect consort for her. No need to rush things, this is just the dating period between the two. Ideal and innocent is their love. Not yet to be consummated until the Beltane flames are lit on the first of May.
The balancing act
The spring equinox is the first day of the year that day and night are exactly even. A period of both growth and balance, to work on balancing ourselves and the subtle energies within us as well.
This is a time to recognize the dual aspects of the world around us as well as within us. The balance of night and day, light and dark, masculine and feminine.
One of the most recognized symbols of Ostara is the egg, not to be confused with the easter egg (technically ostara was celebrated long before the christian holiday began).
Legends say that long ago, many animals attempted to win the favor of the goddess Eostre, but as she is so difficult to impress (seems like my inner goddess lol), all of them failed miserably. However, one day the rabbit decided to make an attempt to impress her by taking an egg from a hens nest and decorating it beautifully with paint. Eostre was extremely enamored by the beautiful gift that she gave the rabbit the task of creating and delivering such lovely eggs, which he carried in a basket, to everyone in the local villages on the same day every year.
Traditionally, the last of the winters’ storage of food was eaten as part of the springs celebrations, sometimes there wouldn’t be much left so the people would hunt for the many colored eggs of the wild birds nests to add to the feasted celebrations.
The egg represents aspects of both god and goddess. Its rich golden yolk is seen in likeness of the sun that shines high in the sky, representation of the sun god. The creative powers of birth and the maiden goddesses youthful womb are represented in the fertile egg. The dual nature of the egg makes it a perfect emblem for the day of both equal light and dark.
On ostara night write your intentions on a raw egg (fertility, prosperity, health, love, happiness). Then bury your egg and plant a seed or flower above the egg and watch it grow.
Another is an Ostara egg charm. Think carefully of a wish or desire. Blow out an egg (take a needle and poke a tiny hole in opposite ends of the egg and place mouth on one end and gently blow the raw egg out the other hole). Decorate your eggshell with colors, symbols, runes, words or pictures that represent your desire. Insert some embroidery thread through the two holes and secure with glue and a bead. Hold your egg charm and enchant it by saying the following:
Goddess of the Earth and Moon, I ask you to grant this boon. By water, air, earth, and fire, give to me what I desire. With harm to none, this spell is done!
Another fun way to celebrate ostara is with some divination through eggs. No you don’t have to break an egg and read the fragments (although I wouldn’t be surprised to know that some can). This is a way you can get a little artsy if you wish.
Hard boil 24-25 eggs then use the clear wax crayon that comes in the egg dye kits (or a white wax candle for a cheap substitute) and write a rune or ogham sign on each egg. Then mix them up and pick three. Dye those three that you “blindly” chose to see what blessings will come to you in the spring.
Bonus: dye all the rune designed eggs after your own personal reading and hide them. Have a fun adult style of egg hunt and inform everyone of the blessings they will receive from the egg-runes.
I like to freshen up my altar at this time with items that reflect on Ostara. Set up your altar with whatever resonates in your soul but here are a few ideas you can pick and choose from if you need a little help:
Balance/symmetry-set up with equal amounts of light and dark, male female
Eggs/chicks- new life/seeds/fertility/growth/rebirth
Birds- robins and other harbingers of spring
Lambs- new life
Flowers- daffodil, dogwood, honeysuckle, iris, lily
Incense- Jasmine, light florals, wildflowers
Colors- white, greens, pastels of yellow, pink, blue, and purple
crystals- aquamarine, amethyst, rose quartz, moonstone, bloodstone, red jasper
I hope that this post was helpful and informative to you. Thank you for taking the time to read and please feel free to leave any questions or comments below or just to spread some good vibes around.
Love and Light