Ostara is a Pagan festival celebrated during the Spring Equinox, which occurs on or around March 20. In the Northern Hemisphere, it signals the beginning of Spring and Aries Season, and brings with it the Aries New Moon.
This is a time of new beginnings. The astro weather is ripe with the energies of change and new growth. If you’re not one for January New Years’ Resolutions, then you may find the backdrop of longer and brighter days to be more inspiring for new goals and aspirations!
Personal Share: My New Beginning
This part isn’t important to the topic of Ostara, it’s just a “diary” share so feel free to skip over if you’re not interested 😉
On a personal level, one “new” thing I’ve decided to do is begin my First Degree Wiccan Priestess training. I discovered Wicca when I was 15 years old, and while I’ve had a fairly “fairweather” relationship with this part of my spiritual practice, it has always remained a constant companion, especially in my quest to connect more deeply to the Earth/Gaia. If all things go as planned, I’ll complete my Third Degree by the time I’m forty!
Those who know me know that I am a longtime Tibetan Buddhist Practitioner. Buddhism keeps me grounded, compassionate, and sincere in my spiritual pursuits. For me, these two spiritual practices fill my soul in a very Yin-Yang way.
All this to say, that part of my study means submitting essays and research about Wiccan practices and rituals. I’d like to share my progress (my “assignments”) on this Blog as a way to keep myself accountable and also as a means of sharing the Wicca love!
Ostara is the perfect time to start a new blog series on the Wheel of the Year, so you can look forward to more posts like this!
Back to our topic…
The Meaning & Symbolism of Ostara
The name “Ostara” is commonly attributed to the Goddess Eostre, whose presides over Springtime and Fertility. The word “Ostara” (Norse) means “east” or “dawn”.
I’m sure it’s not a stretch to see the similarities between Ostara and Easter. Aside from the fact that Easter is celebrated in April (at least where I live here in Canada), they share two key symbols:
- Eggs – Fertility and New Life
- Bunnies – Fertility
Other symbols for Ostara (that are not typically associated with a Catholic Easter) include:
- Flowers – Growth
- Birds – Spring
- Butterflies – Metamorphosis
- The Maiden Goddess – Part of the Triple Goddess that symbolizes youth and new beginnings
Goddesses of Ostara
As previously mentioned, Ostara is named for the Goddess Eostre. However, there are many Goddesses whose attributes personify Spring, including:
- Brigid (Celtic)
- Persephone (Greek)
- Flora (Roman)
- Hua Hsien (Chinese)
- Kono-Hana-Sakuya-Hime (Japanese)
If, like me, you’re a practitioner of Goddess Spirituality, you may choose to work with a Goddess specific to this Season to help you align with the energetic shift of Spring. The most important thing is to choose to the Deity that calls to you; listen to your intuition and connect from the heart.
From a Wiccan perspective, Ostara is the time of year for rituals and practices that deepen your relationship with nature and the Earth.
An Ostara-themed altar could include eggs, flowers, rabbits, or statues/pictures of deities that symbolize fertility and new beginnings. And don’t forget the candles! Light is an important aspect of this festival.
On the Spring Equinox, day and night are equal, and from this point forward, the days will become longer and the nights shorter. As such, you can use this time to reflect on the balance in your own life, honouring the light and dark forces within you and striving to find harmony between them.
Ostara is a time of hope, renewal, and growth. It’s a time to celebrate the beauty of nature and the cycles of life, as well as to honour the Goddess Eostre and all that she represents. Whether you choose to celebrate with a ritual, a walk in nature, or by simply admiring the beauty of the world around you, Ostara is a time to connect with yourself, your community, and the world at large.