Ostara, or Spring Equinox, also known as Spring Rites and Eostra’s Day, marks the first day of the Spring season. Winter gives way to the new growth and first blooms of the year. The Goddess stretches and awakens, causing the Earth to burst forth with fertility and greening land. The God matures and walks among the fertile land, relishing in his new age.
On Ostara the days and nights are equal, as the light begins to overtake the sleepy winter darkness. The Goddess and the God drive the wild creatures to reproduce and live! Ostara represents a time of new growth and new beginnings. A time for all to look forward to new ideas, new jobs, and new goals. Plant a garden, or plant the seeds for your future in a Sabbat ritual. This is the time to move into action!
Based on the Pagan Goddess Eostra, the Goddess of fertility and growth, this ancient, Teutonic holiday was adopted by the Christian movement as the rebirth of Jesus Christ, and was renamed "Easter".
Rituals: Plant a seed (represents a new start or want in your life). Bring flowers to your altar, thanking them for their use in your ritual. Make a mixture of freshly picked herbs, flowers, and vegetables.
Celebrations: Ostara, Spring Equinox, Easter, St. Patrick’s Day, Vernal Equinox, Oestara, Eostre’s Day, Rite of Eostre, Alban Eilir, Festival of the Trees, Lady Day, Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Nawruz (Persian New Year), Good Friday, Day of Blood, Black Friday, Hilaria, the Day of Joy, Passover, St. Joseph’s Day, Maimuna, Palm Sunday, Pask, Maunday Thursday, Dymmelsonsdagen, Strinennia, Maslenica, Shrovetide, Krasnaja Gorka, Radunica, Nav Dein (Day of the Dead), Velykos
Flowers: Snowdrop, Violet, Anemone, Crocus, Jonquil, Jasmine, Hyacinth, Daffodil, Narcissus
Herbs: Yellow Dock, Wood Betony, Broom, Irish Moss, High John Root, Ginger, Cinquefoil, Sage, Rose, Jasmine, Strawberries, Acorn, Celandine, Daffodil, Thyme, Dogwood, Easter Lily, Crocus, Iris, Honeysuckle, Tansy, Violets, Broom, and Jonquil, Marjoram
Animals: Snake, Ram, Bull, Boar, Cougar, Hedgehog, Lark, Rabbit, Unicorns, Rabbits! (yep the Easter Bunny is Pagan!), Cougar, Sea Crow, Sea Eagle, Hedgehog
Goddesses: Cybele, Artemis, Inanna, Isis, Athena, Virgin Mary, Astarte, Minerva, Morrigan, Luna, Eostre, Ostare, Ostara, Ostern, Eos, Eostra, Eostre, Eostur, Eastra, Eastur, Austron, Ausos, Aphrodite, Demeter, Hathor, Aurora, Ishtar, Kali, Blodeuwedd, Gaia, Hera, Venus, Persephone, Kore the Green Goddess, Ahtene, Black Isis, Hecate, and the Morrigan.
Gods: Attis, Tammuz, Osiris, Dionysus, Orpheus, Christ, Robin of the Woods, Pan, Cernunnos, Narcissus, the Green Man, the Great Horned God, Lord of the Greenwood, the Dagda, Thoth, Odin, Mithras, Adonis, Aries, Mars,
Symbols: Eggs, the Hare, Fire, Dawn, Grain, Basket, Verba, Leprechaun, Shillelagh, Tauatha De Dannan, Snake, Shamrock, Four-Leaf Clover, Resurrection, Youth, Morning Star
Zodiac Signs: Aries, Taurus, Gemini
Colors: Red, Lemon Yellow, Violet, Pale Green, White, Pale Pink, All Pastels, Grass Green, Robin’s Egg Blue, Gold
Stones: Rose Quartz, Aquamarine, Moonstone, Bloodstone, Amethyst, and Red Jasper
Time of Day: Dawn
Foodstuffs: Hard boiled eggs, Honey Cakes, First Fruits of the Season, Nuts, Seeds, Leafy Veggies, and of course Chocolate! Cheeses, Ham, Sprouts, Fish, Honey, Butter, Hot Cross Buns (No they didn’t have chocolate back then but it’s become a grand novelty these days!)
Drinks: Anything you can whip up from the seasonal fruits and berries.
Mythical Creatures: Merfolk and any other Air or Water beings.
Plants & Trees: Roses, Strawberries, Seasonal Fruit Plants, Violets, Honeysuckle, Easter Lily, Dogwood, Daffodil, Iris, Irish Moss, Jonquil, Apple Trees (blossoms specifically), and Alder. Juniper, Willow, Alder, Tulips, Violets, Fresh cut grass, Lemon Grass, Sunflower Seeds, Rose Hips, Acorns, Vervain (most of these herbs can be found in a local store or occult shop)
Incenses would include: Jasmine, Rose, Sage, African Violet, Strawberry, Apple Blossom, and Honeysuckle.
Celebrating: Fertility, rebirth
Symbols of the Day
- Lilies – These beautiful flowers were a symbol of life in Greece and Rome. During the Ostara season, young men would give a lily to the young woman they were courting. If the young woman accepted the lily, the couple were considered engaged (much like accepting a diamond ring from a young man in today’s society).
- Lambs – This fluffly little mammal is an eternal symbol of Ostara, and was sacred to virtually all the virgin goddesses of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. The symbol was so ingrained in the mindset of the people of that region that it was carried over into the spring religious rituals of the Jewish Passover and Christian Easter.
- Robins – One of the very first birds to be seen in the Spring, robins are a sure sign of the fact that warm weather has indeed returned.
- Bees – These busy little laborers re dormant during the winter. Because of this, the sighting of bees is another sure sign of Spring. They were also considered by the Ancient peoples to be messengers of the Gods and were sacred to many Spring and Sun Goddesses around the world.
- Honey – The color of the sun, this amber liquid is, of course, made through the laborious efforts of the honeybee. With their established role as messengers to the Gods, the honey they produced was considered ambrosia to the Gods.
- Faeries – Because of their ability to bring blessings to your gardens, protect your home, and look after your animals, it is beneficial to draw faeries to your life. Springtime is the quintessential season to begin drawing the fae again. You want to be sure to leave succulent libations or pretty little gifts for them. Some ideas for libations or gifts are… honey, fresh milk, bread, lilacs, primrose blossoms, cowslip, fresh berries, dandelion wine, honeysuckle, pussy willows, ale, or shiny coins.
- Equal-armed Crosses – These crosses represent the turning points of the year, the solstices and equinoxes and are often referred to as ‘Sun Wheels’. They come in many forms such as God’s eyes, Celtic crosses, Shamrocks, Brigid’s crosses, 4-leaved clovers, crossroads, etc.
The Pagan Culture Center
Rites Of Spring: General Associations & Correspondences by Melissa Wiltcher
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