Ostara is just around the corner and many of us are looking for ways that we can celebrate and welcome the new Sabbat.
First, let’s run over what Ostara is and the history behind it.
WHAT IS OSTARA?
The Spring Equinox occurs between March 19th and 21st. Ostara marks the day when night and day are equal and balanced.
The Sun God’s strength increases and moves from infancy toward maturity as the light steadily grows. The Maiden celebrates her fertility as the earth becomes warmer and more fertile, she is coming into the full power of her maiden aspect. Life begins anew at this time. This is a time to plant the seeds of our flower, herb and vegetable gardens.
The English monk and historian Bede (d. 735) recorded that the Anglo-Saxon goddess Eostre had a festival lasting several days, and that this name was adopted in England for the Christian holiday of Easter, which falls on the Sunday after the full moon following the spring equinox.
Eostre has since evolved into “Easter” in English and “Ostern” in German. The word “Ostara” comes from the German mythologist Jacob Grimm (d. 1863), who said this was the Old High German name for the Easter festival. (All other languages use a variant of “Pascha,” a Greek adoption of the Hebrew for Passover, for the Christian holiday.) The Germanic words Eostre and Ostara probably come from the same root as “East,” the direction of the rising sun. They are not etymologically related to the word estrogen, which comes from the Greek oistros, meaning “frenzy.”
The Neopagan holiday of Ostara is also known as Lady Day, Egg Day, or Alban Eiler (Druidic) – source: http://www.religionfacts.com
Goddesses: Virgin Goddesses, Moon Goddesses, Goddesses of Love, Androgynous Deities, some Fertility Goddesses. Some Ostara Goddesses are Aphrodite (Greek), Eostre (Teutonic), Ma-Ku (Chinese), Lady of the Lake (Welsh-Cornish), Minerva (Roman), Isis (Egyptian), Rheda (Anglo-Saxon), Coatlicue (Aztec).
Gods: Gods of Love, Moon Gods, Gods of Song Dance, some Fertility Gods. Some Ostara Gods are Adonis (Greek), Lord of the Greenwood (English), Ovis (Roman Etruscan), Dylan (Welsh), Odin (Norse), Osiris (Egyptian), Attis (Persian), Mithras (Greco Persian).
Altar decorations: Eggs and coloured eggs, seeds, milk, honey, Earth, hares, baskets, budding twigs, bunnies, a cauldron of spring water and floating petals, chicks, bees, butterflies, coloured ribbons, four-leaf clovers, flowers and herbs
Traditions: Planting seeds, working on magickal or herbal gardens, herbal work, taking walks through gardens, parks, woodlands, decorating and colouring eggs.
Foods: Eggs, honey, bread, seeds, cakes, fresh fruits, fish, dairy foods, nuts, chocolate, sprouts and green leafy vegetables
Drinks: Eggnog, wines, dandelion, herbal teas, hyssop, lemonade
Flowers And Herbs: All spring flowers. Irish moss, crocus flowers, clover, forsythia, gorse, jonquils, lemon balm, lilac, mint, narcissus, peonies, tulips, daffodils, Easter lilies, roses, strawberry, acorn, celandine, dandelion, dogwood, honeysuckle, iris, jasmine, rose, tansy, violet
Incense: Floral of any type. Jasmine, African violet, rose, cedarwood, geranium, grapefruit, helichrysum, lemon, lemongrass, lime, patchouli, Roman chamomile, sandalwood, tangerine, vetiver, wild orange, ylang-ylang, sage, strawberry, violet flowers, orange peel, rose petals, lotus, magnolia, ginger.
Trees: Pine, willow, acorn, dogwood, olive
Oils: Magnolia ginger, lotus.
Colours: All pastels, gold, yellow, pale pink, light green, robins egg blue, lilac
Stones: Rose quartz, aquamarine, amethyst, jasper, bloodstone, clear quartz, green moss agate and moonstone.
Animals: Hares, rabbits, snakes, butterflies, chicks, lambs, robins, unicorns, mermaids, Pegasus
20 WAYS TO CELEBRATE OSTARA
Ostara really is such a wonderful time of year. After a long, dark, cold winter, we can finally emerge from our hibernation and be truly blessed by the beauty of nature.
Animals and insects are all around us, the sun begins to shine, the flowers begin to bloom, everything is coming back to life!
Here are 20 ways you can welcome and celebrate Ostara. Do you have any other ideas to add to the list? Let us know!
Make gift baskets
Baking e.g. hot cross buns, honeycakes, cookies
Milk bath ritual with flowers and herbs from your garden
Open windows to allow fresh spring air to cleanse your home
Decorate your altar
Present poems, offerings and prayers to your Deities
On the eve of Ostara write your intentions on an egg and bury it at the front of your house. Plant over the top of it to watch your intentions blooming.
Book press wildflowers
Host a feast for your loved ones
Happy Ostara beautiful witches. Sending you all so much love and light ♡