Spring is almost here in the Northern Hemisphere and most of us feel the urge break into something new! While winter is traditionally a season of rest and retreat, spring is a time for renewal, rebirth, and bright beginnings. Nature is awakening and we see it in the flowers, trees, and newborn animal babies. Warmth returns as the Sun grows stronger and the days get longer. In a metaphoric sense, we all wake up reborn every spring. As nature reaffirms itself, we also renew our life contracts. We choose to keep breathing, loving, creating and caring. We choose life. Ostara is the Germanic goddess of spring who fulfills the promise of new life every year. She initiates the entire Wheel of the Year. Making an Ostara altar is a beautiful way to set intentions for everything you want to birth this year. In this blog, I’ll give you ideas for creating your own Ostara spring ritual altar.
Begin with Balance
Spring begins at the vernal equinox when the Sun enters the zodiac sign, Aries. The spring and fall equinoxes mark the two times of year when the sun crosses the equator, making the length of day equal to the length of night. The first day of spring is a point of perfect balance in the Wheel of the Year. This equality of night and day also represents the balance of masculine and feminine, dark and light, and within and without. Honoring the brief balance of light and dark at the equinoxes is a powerful way to reconnect with your own wholeness. Use this day to find balance of body, mind, and soul. You might find a totem or gemstone that represents each of the elements or chakras and place them on your altar to symbolize harmony in all things.
Ostara is a symbol of the transition into the light and is known as the “Goddess of Dawn.” Working with her can help you regenerate the power of your creative life force and activate your spirit to go after all those things your heart desires. In the Northern Hemisphere, we’ll celebrate Ostara on March 19. Light a candle to symbolize the return of the Sun, and set your intentions for new beginnings and renewed passion. This is another chance to emerge with new vision, new commitment, and newfound wings. Charge your gems under the Sun, in the light of the equinox, to infuse them with the fiery spark of life. Ask them to generously hold the power of the Sun’s radiance, making it readily available to you as the Wheel of the Year continues to turn. This ritual is especially powerful at noon when the Sun is at its highest point in the sky, and at the first moment of spring, which varies by geographic location. This year, in Los Angeles, the exact time is 8:49 pm PT on Thursday, March 19.
Five Ostara Symbols for Your Altar
1) Birch Trees
The birch tree is known as the “White Lady of the Woods” and is associated with all love and fertility goddesses. Traditionally, people would celebrate Ostara by dancing around the birch tree between spring equinox and Beltane. The birch is one of the first plants to sprout leaves in the spring, making it a long-time symbol of renewal, fertility, and new beginnings. Birch also carries properties of strength, beauty, and psychic protection. Birch groves shelter the psychoactive fly agaric mushrooms, explaining its role as the guardian of medicine journeyers. Crafting besoms out of birch twigs to signify new beginnings and sweep out the old is a fun tradition. Make your own birch besom or simply incorporate birch twigs, leaves, bark, or essential oil into your altar space.
The egg has been a symbol of spring long before the Easter basket. Eggs, along with all seeds, contain the complete potential of life within. The cosmic egg is a symbol of the entire universe and the balance of masculine and feminine. Eggs are sacred to Ostara, symbolizing fertility and the renewed cycle of life. Chickens kept in natural light quit laying in winter, resuming in the spring with peak months March and April, connecting them with Ostara’s season of growth.
Citrine reminds you to shine just like the Sun and serves as a visual reminder to be just as bold in manifesting all you desire to bring forth in life. It helps you find your power and unlock your soul potential. Citrine is a Solar Plexus Chakra stone that continually transforms your energy and negativity into positivity. This gem increases clarity of thought, awakens creative imagination, and amplifies willpower. Just like Ostara, citrine promotes growth, especially when it comes to a new business or project. And it draws money like a magnet! When the going gets tough and the obstacles arise, citrine will instill you with a newfound strength to overcome it all.
4) Bright Colors
Think of a spring palette: Radiant, sparkling, and happy. Decorate your altar with colorful objects like flowers, ribbons, lights, candles, and crystals. Rose quartz, green aventurine, citrine, amethyst, chalcedony, chrysoprase, rhodochrosite, tiger’s eye, and carnelian are all stones of Ostara. Even bright Easter candy in a pretty bowl is a nice addition. What makes you happy? What brightens up your life? Anything that sparks your joy and affirms your intentions is altar-worthy!
Rabbit is sacred to Ostara, a symbol of prosperity, growth, luck, and new beginnings. Ancient stories tell of Ostara turning her bird messenger into a hare because the bird wasn’t suited to the land and climate. It then became the hare’s job to summon spring, and in memory of her past life as a bird, the hare lays colored eggs at Easter as a symbol of awakening and rebirth. Rabbit teaches us to face our fears in order to grow and to make great leaps. We’ve all heard the sayings: “Multiply like bunnies” or “breed like rabbits” and it’s no joke. Rabbits have large litters, are ready to mate all the time, and can conceive while pregnant, making them an ultimate symbol of fertility. Add rabbit carvings, drawings, or trinkets to your altar to call in abundance and renewal. And honor the rabbit with gratitude for sustaining life – a precious symbol of immortality. Learn more about spirit animals here.
There’s no right or wrong way to create an altar when you do it with intention. It can be as simple as a small collection of items at your bedside or a candle surrounded by flowers on your dining room table. Or it can be elaborate, overtaking an entire tabletop or dresser. When it comes to spring and Ostara, work with anything that gets you excited about new ideas, projects, and a fresh start. Let the making of your altar and the time you spend with it become a ritual. When you take the time to honor and celebrate what you love and have gratitude for, you bring more of those things into the world. Building an altar is one way to do this, but you don’t have to stop there. Your entire life is a ritual if you choose to live it that way.
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