Ostara: Out with the Old and in with the New
We Pagans in the Northern Hemisphere are waving goodbye to winter (of course, my friends in the Southern Hemisphere are doing the same for summer). Tomorrow is the vernal equinox, or first day of spring–otherwise known as Ostara. In my neck of the woods, Ostara officially begins at 5:45 P.M. CDT.
Ostara, of course, is one of the Sabbats in the Wheel of the Year and is, therefore, sacred. What makes Ostara stand out even more this year, though, is that it coincides with a supermoon and solar eclipse: a combination that promises to add oomph to any new beginning.
Ostara, named after the goddess Eostre, is time of budding new life, both literally–with flowers and baby animals of all species–and figurately: this is a time of new beginnings, of putting aside wornout or obselete ideas, habits, attitudes, and mindsets. Ostara is fertile with possiblities.
Other goddesses associated with Ostara, besides Eostre, include Astarte, Cybele, Persephone, Flora, Freya, Ashanti, Saraswati, and many others.
Ostara is associated with the Element of Air and with Sunrise. The following symbols are linked to this particular sabbat: eggs, rabbits, butterflies, and the equilateral cross (found on hot cross buns or Ostara buns), as well as spring flowers such as daffodils, irises, and violets–and, in my region, bluebonnets.
Traditional foods for Ostara include eggs (no surprise!) but also spring greens, sprouts, lemons, asparagus, peas, and carrots, as well as ham and chicken dishes.
Traditional Ostara activities include planting a garden and balancing an egg at the time of the equinox; spring cleaning is another common activity (personally, I like to spread this activity out for several days). However, since this is a natural time for innovation, any ritual or other activity you dream up in order to bring change into your life is appropriate here.
One way to prepare yourself for a new beginning is through the Radiant Goddess e-course, created by Leonie Dawson. As someone who has taken the course and as an affiliate (I am an affiliate only with services that I can wholeheartedly endorse, with no reservations), I cannot recommend it enough. This course will change your life.
How do you celebrate Ostara? Are you ready to slough off winter? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section. Blessed Be!