Embracing Ostara: A Journey from Darkness to Light
- Benjamin WytchWood, Feb 16, 2024
As the earth thaws and the first green shoots of spring pierce the winter's blanket, the ancient festival of Ostara beckons us into a world of renewal, rebirth, and rejuvenation. Celebrated between March 19th and 22nd, Ostara marks the spring equinox, a time when day and night find balance, and the promise of warmer days stirs the soul. This period is not just a change in season but a profound spiritual renewal, inviting us to shed the old and embrace the new with open hearts and minds. So we invite you to look ahead and start planning your Ostara celebrations and rituals with us!
The Essence of Ostara
Ostara, named after the Germanic Goddess Eostre or Ostara, embodies fertility, renewal, and the awakening of the earth. The festival is intertwined with symbols of burgeoning life—eggs signifying birth and renewal, and hares representing fertility and the moon's cycles. It's fascinating to note the etymological connection between "Eostre" and "estrogen," the hormone pivotal to women's fertility, underscoring the deep-rooted association of this celebration with the essence of life and rebirth.
The equinox itself symbolizes a time of equilibrium and reflection. It's a moment to appreciate the harmony between light and dark before embracing the growing light that leads to summer. Ostara is a celebration of this transition, observing the melting snow, the bloom of flowers, and the return of wildlife from winter's retreat.
Honoring the Divine
The mythology of Ostara is rich with tales of transformation and rebirth. Legends tell of the goddess Eostre transforming a wounded bird into a hare that lays decorated eggs, a story that hints at the origins of the Easter Bunny. Symbols like the hare and eggs are potent reminders of Ostara's themes of fertility and renewal.
Beyond Eostre, numerous deities associated with spring, such as Freya, the Norse goddess of fertility, and Blodeuwedd, a Welsh goddess born from flowers, embody the spirit of the season. These stories and symbols from various cultures underline the universal significance of spring as a time of renewal and the cyclical nature of life.
Ostara is a time to embrace renewal in all its forms. Creating an altar with symbols of the season, engaging in spring cleaning to clear out the old, and preparing your garden for planting are all ways to connect with the spirit of Ostara. These acts are not just physical but symbolic, marking a commitment to renewal and growth.
Food plays a central role in the celebration, with fresh salads and green vegetables symbolizing the return of abundance. Taking a walk and observing the subtle changes in nature can also be a meditative way to honor this time of balance and renewal.
Ostara offers a chance to reflect on balance, growth, and rebirth, encouraging us to open our hearts to the possibilities of the new season. It's a time to celebrate the beauty of nature, the fertility of the earth, and our own capacity for renewal.
Embracing Ostara in Modern Times
In contemporary practice, Ostara is a time for personal and spiritual growth. It's a moment to set intentions for the coming year, focusing on what we wish to grow and develop in our lives. Whether through ritual, meditation, or simply spending time in nature, Ostara provides an opportunity to align with the energy of renewal and to cultivate a sense of balance and harmony within our lives.
As we celebrate Ostara, we are reminded of the resilience of life and the beauty of renewal. It's a time to honor the cycles of nature, the balance of light and dark, and the continuous flow of change that guides the natural world. In doing so, we connect with a deeper sense of hope, growth, and rebirth that can inspire us throughout the year.
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.
Let us know in the comments below how you'll be embracing the spirit of Ostara this year? Whether through creating, cleansing, planting, ritual, spellcraft, partying or simply being, let this time of equilibrium and renewal nurture your spirit and guide you toward light and growth. Leave us a message in the comments below. Blessed be!