Ostara, what a wonderful time of year that marks when light and dark become equal again. It can be celebrated anywhere between the 19th to the 22nd of March, but in 2017 the Spring Equinox falls on 20th March. I will be celebrating on the 21st as I have done during previous years. We now move away from the dark times of the year, the light will begin to dominate the day, so we honour the sun god and his bringing life. The earth is alive around you, the birds singing, flowers blooming and hares running around, you merely only take a look outside for the proof. It is also a day to make the progress nature has made since we first felt its awakening during the celebration of Imbolc. I am enjoying the flowers that are out showing off their bright colours breaking up the green and brown. But most of all I am looking forward to when the bluebells decide to show themselves, another magical moment in nature to come.
Of course, Ostara is a time to celebrate fertility and this is evident all around you. I love seeing the lambs, calves and foals in the forest clinging close to their mothers. I can’t help but make some sort of annoying squeak noise and point out to everyone appreciate their cuteness. The egg is a symbol of this and is used throughout the time of Ostara to represent this. As well as fertility, it holds the meaning of rebirth after the long winter, new life and the equality of dark & light can be found in the shell; in the egg yolk and egg white. However, my favourite representation of the egg would have to be the chocolate ones which graces the shop shelves during spring. A fond memory from my youth would be our family holidays during this time of year; there would always be an Egg Hunt. Cadbury’s mini eggs were hidden all over the holiday cottage or caravan we were staying in, and it was a race to between my brother and myself to see who could get the most. I seemed to remember they were shared out equally in the end and it was good fun!
Along with the egg, the hare or rabbit is used as a symbol of this time of year. Again when I was younger I was told that it was the bunny who delivered the chocolate eggs and hid them around the house for us to find. The rabbit can be linked to the germanic goddess Eostre who is the moon goddess of fertility. Some believe the sabbat is named after her and Eostre animal was the rabbit. In nature, the hare can be pregnant with their second litter while giving birth to the first. Our ancestors would have seen this as a miracle of nature, which it is. But this makes the hare the perfect symbol for this celebration of sexuality and fertility.
My magical workings will be directed towards making space in my life for growth or change, balance of emotions or just daily life and to clear out any negative energy that I have not managed to do at Imbolc. Smudgings are especially powerful during this time of year, and after my spring cleaning at Imbolc so a house cleansing only seems fit to follow.
The scent of rose will fill my home, not only is it one of my absolute favourites but it is linked to the celebration, lavender and jasmine are other favourite alternatives of mine. Eggs will be a large part of my day due to their obvious significance, both the chicken and chocolate variety. The shells will be given back to the earth in the garden for the Fey, they’re also fantastic at keeping the slugs from eating your plants! You may also wish to do an offering of milk and honey.
These traditions are very old and seem to have lasted the test of time. They can often be related to other religion, however, if you are to look back they hold more meaning than some may claim. They are powerful symbols of nature used to mark the turning of the year.
Enjoy the spring,