Written by Whitney Nellé for WytchWood
As we set our sights on brightest days, we must also prepare our hearts and minds for Ostara. Commonly known as the spring equinox, Ostara is a time of renewal and rebirth from the cold grip of winter. From March 19th to 22nd, embrace the coming of spring!
What is Ostara?
It's the first of Spring! Ostara takes its name after the Germanic goddess, Eostre/Ostara, and is celebrated to bring fertility, renewal and re-birth. The naming of the hormone Eostrogen, essential to women's fertility is no doubt from her name.
The time of Ostara also represents new beginnings. Picture the snow melting, flowers in bloom, bears coming out of hibernation, and baby animals being born. Although Ostara is marked by a balance between light and dark, daylight is on the rise and darkness diminishes.
Ostara is the perfect time to step back and appreciate these changes. Shake off the gloom of the long, dark winter and welcome a new season.
Who should I honor during Ostara?
There are various stories of Ostara/Eostre. One is that she turned a wounded bird into a hare to save it, and the bird-hare laid decorated eggs to thank her (which eventually morphed into the Easter Bunny giving colorful eggs to children, if you’re wondering). Her two key symbols are the hare and eggs. The hare is a symbol of fertility and the moon. The egg is the rebirth as well as the cosmic egg ( egg yolk/egg white) , the balance of light and dark & male and female.
There are many gods and goddesses associated with spring, flowers, and renewal that you could honor in this time. Freya, Norse goddess of fertility, is known to come to earth in the spring to revive its beauty, and she should be thanked for that.
Another spring goddess worth honoring is Blodeuwedd. This Welsh goddess was formed from flowers to be a bride. She fell for another man and plotted her husband’s death. She was caught and transformed into an owl, doomed to solitude from people and fear from other animals. Her story is one of loneliness, but also fulfillment: flowers must bloom in the spring, and they must wither in the fall. Blodeuwedd is a spring goddess who truly represents the cyclical nature of the seasons and therefore is perfect for your Ostara offerings.
How should I celebrate Ostara?
There is no limit to how you can celebrate! The important thing is to hold the intention of renewal. Carrying a lighter and brighter attitude in your heart and mind into the spring will set you on the right path for the rest of the year.
- Create an Altar – Keep the theme of Ostara in mind here. Using: light colors, flowers, eggs or egg shells, rabbit totems, green and white candles, lavender, crystals: carnelian, amethyst, clear + rose quartz, scared herbs of your choosing.
- Spring Cleaning – Grab that Florida water and mop your floor. Burn sacred herbs to cleanse your space to remove any lingering negativity from winter. De-clutter and dust. Open windows. Re-gift old items that no longer serve you.
- Start your Garden – For those of you in warmer climates, get your garden beds ready (us Vermonters will have to wait a few more months)! Take your gloves off and really dig into the soil. Turn the Earth. Connect. Thank Her.
- Prepare a Salad – Nothing compares to a salad packed with fresh, green veggies. Now is the time to fall in love with salads again, as the growing season is coming upon us and ingredients will be fresher than ever. Try our Blodeuwedd maple syrup in a violet vinaigrette for a unique taste that capture the flower goddess’s spirit.
- Take a Walk – Enjoy the sun and be mindful of Ostara’s small changes. For many of us in the northern hemisphere, spring doesn’t always mean flowers. Here in Vermont, we often receive snow through May. That’s just part of Vermont’s charm! But it’s important for us to cherish what we are given, even if it’s small buds on the trees while other places have full blooms. But how sweet are those little buds with snow falling around them? Keep your eyes open and appreciate the little joys of spring, because after all, Ostara is about rebirth after winter, and these little things give us so much life.
How will you be celebrating Ostara this year?