Ostara, the spring festival of awakening and renewal, is nearly upon us. It falls during the spring equinox from March 19th to 23rd, after Imbolc (Candlemas) and before Beltane (May Eve.) Ostara is named after Eostre, the Germanic life-bringing goddess. Christians have long sought to dominate and prevail and as such, they strategically synced Easter, the resurrection of Christ, with this beloved celebration. It was a manipulative move, in hopes of enlisting loyalty from the pagan masses.
Ostara is a celebration of fertility and rebirth. As the beautiful goddess Eostre strolls across the lands, she awakens both flora and fauna alike. As mother earth reawakens, so does all that we intended to manifest throughout the cold darkness of winter. Our visions are now coming to be with the new life and light of spring. And as the days and nights are now of equal length, darkness and light are in balance.
Ostara altars all about spring, lively with pastel colors, particularly greens, yellows, pinks, and blues of new foliage emerging from the frost and snow. Ornately decorated eggs-symbols of birth and abundance fill baskets, and trees, traditional representations of life, are also adorned.
Spring flowers such as daffodils, tulips, lilies of the valley, and lavender can decorate one’s altar. Aquamarine, rose quartz, and moonstone make beautiful and meaningful gemstones for both your altar and ritual candles. In ancient times, aquamarine was believed to shield against forces of darkness, and to favor spirits of light. Rose quartz and moonstone supports nurturing and new beginnings. Figurines of newborn animals symbolize hope and growth, and parallel the baby wildlife and livestock that we see more frequently as spring progresses. Bells are often used as decor, to help “ring in” the lightness of ever-lengthening days.
Preparing a ritual milk bath is a lovely way to cleanse and renew yourself for the spring equinox. Add milk [either dairy or nut based] along with honey, as milk is known to represent fertility, and honey is known to represent abundance. Adding fresh or dried spring flowers of your choice to the bath can make it beautifully magickal. Lavender, rose, lily of the valley or lilac are excellent additions either dried or as essential oils.
Cakes can be baked with similar ingredients to honor this time of creation and fulfillment. Be sure to offer thanks to the earth for providing these ingredients for you to use! If you’re planting a garden, you can bless your seeds with some poignant words of intention before they enter the ground. Take a handful from each variety of seeds, hold them to your heart, and recite a short verse such as “May these seeds grow strong and fruitful!” Candles make the perfect centerpiece for any altar, and what better way to illuminate the coming of spring. As you light them, focus on the blessings that are coming to be in your life.
May this spring be full of the most vibrant realizations for you and yours, as well as for our renewed earth mother! Until next time, witches….blessed be!