What is Ostara or the Spring Equinox, and How to Celebrate it?

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What is Ostara or the Spring Equinox, and How to Celebrate it? 

Ostara, also known as the Spring Equinox, is a significant event in the pagan and Wiccan calendar, which occurs on March 20th each year in the Northern Hemisphere. It is when the length of day and night is equal, and the transition from winter to spring begins. This is a time of renewal and rebirth, celebrated in various ways by people worldwide. In this article, we will discuss the meaning of Ostara, its significance, and how it is celebrated.

 

What is Ostara?

Ostara is a pagan festival that celebrates the Spring Equinox, which marks the official start of spring. The festival is named after the Germanic goddess Eostre, the goddess of fertility and the dawn. It is a time when the natural world comes to life after the long, dark winter months. The trees bud, flowers bloom, and animals emerge from hibernation.

The Spring Equinox occurs when the sun crosses the equator, and the length of day and night is roughly equal. This usually happens around March 20th but can vary depending on the year. The equinox is a significant astronomical event, and various cultures for thousands of years have celebrated it.

The Significance of Ostara

Ostara is a time of new beginnings and rebirth. It is a time to let go of the old and welcome the new. The equinox represents a balance between light and dark; it is a time to honor that balance. It is a time to celebrate the renewal of the natural world and our renewal.

The festival is also associated with fertility and abundance. As the natural world comes to life, it is a time to focus on growth and prosperity. It is a time to plant seeds, literally and metaphorically, and set intentions for the coming year. What you plant during this time will be ready to be harvested during the upcoming summer months and sabbats of Beltane, Litha and Lughnasadh. Ostara is also a great time to start some spring cleaning! Take some time to freshen up and declutter the spaces to spend your time in, like your computer, car, home and even mental/emotional spaces. Never a better time for some social tidying up for these months focusing on growth and development!

 

How to Celebrate Ostara?

  • Decorate your Home
  • One of the best ways to get into the spirit of Ostara is to decorate your home. You can bring fresh flowers like daffodils, tulips, and crocuses. You can also create a Spring Equinox altar with symbols of rebirth and renewal, such as nests, bunnies, and seeds. You can place crystals like citrine, amethyst, or rose quartz, representing growth, abundance, and love. Decorating your home will help you get into the festive mood and invite spring's energy into your space.

  • Have a Feast
  • Food is an integral part of any festival, and Ostara is no exception. You can feast with friends and family to celebrate the arrival of spring. You can prepare dishes that use fresh, seasonal ingredients, such as asparagus, artichokes, spinach, and strawberries. You can also bake hot cross buns or make egg-based dishes like quiche or frittata. You can toast to the sun's return with a glass of mead or fruit juice. Sharing a meal with loved ones is a great way to connect with Ostara's spirit and celebrate the season's abundance.

  • Perform a Ritual
  • Rituals are an essential part of Wiccan and Pagan traditions. Ostara rituals typically focus on balance, fertility, and growth. You can perform a simple ritual to honor the turning of the wheel of the year. You can light candles, burn incense, and meditate on the themes of rebirth and renewal. You can also cast a circle and call upon earth, air, fire, and water elements. You can ask for blessings of growth, abundance, and harmony. You can also perform a ritual to plant seeds, literally and metaphorically, for the things you wish to grow in your life.

  • Going for a Walk in Nature
  • Going for a walk in nature is a simple but powerful way to connect with the energy of Ostara. As you walk, take note of the new growth and life around you. Breathe in the fresh air and feel the sun on your skin. Suppose you can take off your shoes and walk barefoot on the earth. This is a way to ground yourself and connect with the earth's energy.

  • Decorating Eggs
  • Decorating eggs is a traditional Ostara activity. The egg symbolizes fertility and new beginnings, and decorating eggs is a way to honor that symbolism. You can use natural dyes or paint them with acrylic or watercolor paints. You can also use stickers, glitter, or other decorations to make your eggs unique.

    Ostara Symbols

    Symbols:  Eggs, spring flowers, Rabbits, lambs, clover, nests, faeries, baskets  

    Colors:  Pastel green, pink, blue, purple, yellow

    Stones:  Rose quartz, moss agate, aquamarine, selenite, amazonite, amethyst

    Foods:  Milk, eggs, honey, baked goods, asparagus 

    Flowers & Plants: Lilies, daffodils, crocus, tulips  

    Deities:  The Green Man, Estotre, Isis, Adonis 

    If you're interested in participating in some Ostara DIY, I recommend checking out this video from Alwny Oak's Youtube channel:

    The Spring Equinox is a time of renewal and rebirth and there are many ways to honor this particular day, such as setting up an altar, planting seeds, decorating eggs, walking in nature, and taking a ritual bath. By participating in these rituals and practices, we can connect with the energy of Ostara and invite growth and renewal into our lives.

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