Ostara

Diagram showing the half of the Earth reached by the Sun's Rays at the Spring Equinox, also known as Ostara
Diagram showing the half of the Earth reached by the Sun’s Rays at the Equinox

First thoughts on Ostara: Spring Equinox and Balance

This celebration falls between 20th-23rd March at the time of the Spring Equinox. This is when the sun rises directly in the east and sets directly in the west.  Ostara is the second of three Spring Festivals, the others being Imbolc and Beltane.  It is also known as Alban Eilir meaning light of the earth. 

Ostara is a time of equality and balance, a celebration of the balance of light/day and dark/night before the light takes over from the dark as we head into summer.  It is one of two pivotal points in the year from which the world will move on either into more light or more darkness.  At Ostara, the dark is waning, and the light is waxing.  The sun leaves Pisces (mutable water) and enters Aries (cardinal fire), and the moment of the equinox aligning theSun in Aries at a perfect 0 degrees, 0 minutes.

God/Goddess I call you now
Listen to my solemn vow
I choose to walk in purpose and passion
And live my life in an empowered fashion
Assist me now, I call to you
Help me stay balanced in all I do.”

Which imbalance in your life needs to be addressed?  What balance can you bring to a person or situation?  What would be better with more light?  Where will you shine your light until Mabon?

Second thoughts on Ostara: Hare and Egg

The Christian Easter is set on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the equinox.  If the Full Moon is on a Sunday, Easter is celebrated on the following Sunday.  Lady Day, March 25th, marks the Archangel Gabriel’s visitation to Mary.  Gabriel is associated with the moon. 

An animal strongly associated with Easter is the ‘bunny’, either a rabbit or a hare.  The Hare is sacred to the Goddess, particularly the lunar goddesses. The Moon dies monthly and then is reborn, a symbol of immortality.  Hare is a symbol for fertility and abundance, as Hares (Lepus europaeus) can conceive while pregnant.  At one time, it was thought that Hares laid eggs, hence the egg connection.  The Hare of Ostara became the Easter Bunny; Easter also being a time of rebirth and resurrection. 

The Egg (and all seeds) contain ‘all potential’, full of promise and new life. It symbolises the rebirth of nature, the fertility of the Earth and all creation and is a symbol for the whole universe. The ‘cosmic’ Egg contains a balance of male and female and light and dark.  The golden yolk represents the Sun God enfolded by the White Goddess, perfect balance and harmony.

What abundance(s) do you have in your life?  What has diminished during the winter and can now be reborn?  How will you use your creativity?  What potential is hidden within?  Where is your perfect balance?

Third thoughts on Ostara: Things to Do

  • Bake Hot Cross Buns
  • Bury a Raw Egg near your door for Abundance and Protection
  • Declutter your Mind
  • Do something for 12 hours (half of a 24-hour day)
  • Hold an Egg Hunt
  • Make and drink Nettle Tea – a great spring tonic
  • Make Flower/Crystal Mandala
  • Meditate with a Candle
  • Meditate with a Spring God/Goddess
  • Paint/Decorate Eggs
  • Plant Seeds
  • Set your Goals and start working towards them
  • Spring Clean
  • Write a list of what is starting to Grow in your life and how to Nurture it

You might like to use Ostara to do any of these to improve your life:

  • Ask for Fertility to reduce anything that is stagnant in your life
  • Ask for Inspiration about some aspect of your life
  • Ask the God or Goddesses Blessing for Growth in a specific area
  • Ask the Sun how you can access your Personal Authority
  • Awaken fresh Ideas
  • Balance of your Inner Self and Outer Reality
  • Discover what you are Passionate about and do something about it e.g. join a club, charity or organisation, start studying etc
  • Enjoy Life!
  • Gain a Hopeful outlook
  • Help with New Beginnings
  • Join an organisation that promotes Equality, for humans, animals, the environment etc
  • Meditate with the Sun for personal Empowerment and Energy
  • Refresh yourself, home, friends etc
  • See Potential in those around you, including yourself
  • Think of how your life is balanced and where the Tipping Point is, so that you can stay near to the centre
  • Think what you are willing to Sacrifice to gain something you want

You might like to add these, or their representations to your seasonal sacred space:

  • Animal: Hare, Lamb, Rabbit, Snake/Serpent
  • Bird: Blackbird, Owl, Raven, Wren
  • Colours: Bright Green, Orange, Yellow
  • Flowers: spring flowers, Carnation, Catkin, Celandine, Crocus, Daffodil, Dandelion, Gardenia, Honeysuckle, Primrose, Rose Violet (from the blood of Attis)                                
  • Food: Bread and Cakes made with Seeds, Eggs, Milk,
  • Goddesses; of Spring/Fertility/Moon; Blodeuwedd (flower maiden), Eostre (spring/moon), Eos (dawn)
  • Gods: of Resurrection/messages/light-bringers; Attis, Hermes, Mercury, Merlin, Osiris, Thoth; Foliate Green Man
  • Herbs: Basil, Lavender, Lemon Balm, Marjoram, Sage, Thyme
  • Incense: Benzoin, Bergamot, Frankincense, Jasmine, Orange, Myrrh, Rose
  • Metal: Silver
  • Rune: Ur
  • Stones: Citrine, Carnelian, Cat’s Eye, Diamond, egg-shaped stones
  • Symbols: Egg, Hot Cross Buns, Directions, Wheelof the Year, Moon
  • Time of Day: Dawn
  • Trees: Alder, Ash, Birch, Broom, Elder, Gorse, Oak (Acorn) Pine, Pussy Willow
Good Luck to the Hoof and Horn
Good Luck to the Flock and Fleece
Good Luck to the Growers of Corn
With Blessings of Plenty and Peace!
West Country Spring Blessing

The above images show an Ostara altar, the Goddess Blodeuwedd (flower maiden, the Goddess Ostara, Jarilo, the Slavic god of vegetation, fertility and springtime, daffodils and lemon balm.

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