Ostara (o-STAHR-uh) takes place March 20th –March 21st
Also known as Spring Equinox, Vernal Equinox, Lady Day, Alban Eiler, ‘Easter’, the March Equinox, Eostre, Bacchanalia, “the rites of spring”, Egg Day,
Day and Night are perfectly balanced at this time, and from this day until the Summer Solstice, the days will start getting longer, and the light will become stronger. The Sun God (born at Yule) is now fully grown and marries the Maiden Aspect of the Goddess. The Goddess conceives a child that will be born at Yule.
The next full moon (a time of increased births) is called the Ostara and is sacred to Eostre the Saxon Lunar Goddess of fertility (from whence we get the word estrogen, whose two symbols were the egg and the rabbit. The Christian religion adopted these emblems for Easter which is celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the vernal equinox. The theme of the conception of the Goddess was adapted as the Feast of the Annunciation, occurring on the alternative fixed calendar date of March 25 Old Lady Day, the earlier date of the equinox. Lady Day may also refer to other goddesses (such as Venus and Aphrodite), many of whom have festivals celebrated at this time.
Ostara is a fertility festival, and many of the symbols associated with this Sabbat are symbols of fertility. Spring is a time for Renewal and Rebirth, as well as Growth.
This is an excellent time for personal growth, for mending old conflicts and ensuring the continued growth of treasured friendships. This is a great time of the year to start learning something new as well and taking advantage of skills already learned and becoming more adept at them.
Legend of the Ostara Egg:
The modern belief that eggs are delivered by a rabbit, comes from the legend of the Goddess Eostre. Eostre was walking one fine Spring day and came upon a beautiful little bird. The poor bird's wing was badly injured and Eostre, feeling great compassion for the little creature, wanted to heal it. But the little bird' wing was so badly damaged that Eostre knew it would never be able to fly again even after She healed it. So, Eostre decided to help the bird by healing it in a way that would give it mobility and a little something more… She turned it into a rabbit!
During the transformation, the rabbit retained the ability to lay eggs. The rabbit was so grateful to Eostre for saving its life that it laid a sacred egg in Her honor, joyously decorated it and then humbly presented it to the Goddess. She was so pleased and so touched by the rabbit's thoughtful gift that She wished all humankind to share in her joy. In honoring her wishes, the rabbit went all over the world distributing these beautifully decorated little gifts of life and continues to do so even today.
Songs: Come Follow Me, Spring Equinox, Ostara, Lord of the Dance, Spring Strathspey, Prayer to Eostre, Eostre, Eostre’s Dance, Rabbit’s Song, I walk with the Goddess, The Goddess and the Weaver.
Activities: Start a Magical Herb Garden, Sowing Seeds, Talking a Nature Walk, Reflecting on Mother Nature and the Great Goddess, Get up Early to watch the Sun Rise, and to spot Venus in the Sky, Light a Candle/Bonfire at Dawn and Ring Bells, Spring Cleaning, Go Outside and Balance an Egg on its end, Egg Race, Fast/Detox (Only do this if you do not have any health issues and you talk to a doctor beforehand), Get a Haircut/Buy a New Outfit.
Foods: Eggs, Lamb, Leafy Green Vegetables, Cake, Ham, Dairy, Sunflower Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Nuts, Pine Nuts, Sprouts, Hot Cross Buns, Honey, Braided Egg Bread, Dandelion Greens, Spiced Wines, Fruits, Custard, Quiche, Honey cakes, Asparagus.
Crafts: Start a Window Herb Garden, Make Natural Dyes and Dye eggs, Have an Egg Hunt either using Homemade Dyed Eggs or Plastic ‘Easter’ Eggs, Give Packets of Seeds to Friends and Family, Make a Spring Flower Wreath, Weave a Basket, Make Pysanky and Krashanky (Magical amulets for fertility, protection, and prosperity), Bake Hot Cross Buns, Make Cascarones (Carefully hollow out an eggshell and let it dry. Then paint it and fill it with confetti and cover the hole. Then gently break the egg on your loved ones. As the confetti rains down over your loved ones they are blessed).
Colors: Light Green, Yellow, Pink, Light Blue, White, Lavender.
Symbols: Hares/Rabbits, Lambs, Eggs (The shell is seen as the Universe, which surrounds us all, the white is the Goddess, the golden orb of its yolk represents the Sun God, and the whole is a symbol of rebirth), Spring Flowers/Lily, Hens/Chicks, Butterflies, Spring Birds, Nests/Baskets, Sun.
Stones: Jasper, Clear Quarts Crystal, Rose Quarts, Lapis Lazuli, Agate, Garnet, Amazonite.
Herbs: Spring Flowers, Woodruff, Jonquils, Gorse, Olive, Marjoram, Thyme, Lavender, Tarragon, Lovage, Lemon Balm, Oakmoss, Orrisroot, Sunflower Seeds, Rosehips, Oak, Elder, Willow, Acorn, Sage.
Flowers: Daffodils, Violet, Iris, Peony, Lily of the Valley, Lavender, Lilac, Dogwood, Honeysuckle, Crocus, Tulip, Broom, Trefoil/Purple Clover.
Incense: Rose, Jasmine, Any Flower, Strawberry.
Gods: The Green Man, the Horned God, Osiris, Lord of the Greenwood, Cernunnos.
Goddesses: Eostre, Ostara, the Green Goddess, Persephone, Aphrodite, Athena.