Spring is around the corner, and with the vernal equinox comes Ostara. Ostara is the ancient pagan festival celebrating the beginning of spring. Its name honors Ostara, the goddess and patron deity of spring. The spring or vernal equinox marks the time of year when the Sun crosses the equator, making the length of day equal to the length of night. This day is one of only two magical times of the year where night and day are precisely balanced – the Wheel of the Year is symbolically sliced in half. It’s time to burn what no longer serves you and activate your spirit, so you may blossom with the spring and emerge as your most enlightened self. So, before we transition into the light-filled part of the year, we meet at Ostara and spring equinox – where everything begins.
History of Ostara & The Wisdom of Rabbit
Ostara is the goddess of the dawn and awakening earth, and she embodies growing light and fertility. She was worshipped by the pre-Christian Germanic tribes of northern Europe as a goddess of spring, as well as the Saxon tribes of old Britain. She’s known for giving her name to the Christian Easter, and her feast day was held on the full moon following the vernal equinox.
Rabbit is sacred to Ostara, as 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 also teaches us to face our fears in order to grow and 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. It’s easy to overlook the power of rabbit, but we owe it gratitude for sustaining life. It’s a precious symbol of immortality.
Celebrate Ostara with Light
There are many ways to connect with the light of Ostara and springtime. Just getting outside for some sunshine is a great place to start! Light a candle to symbolize the return of the light, and set your intentions for new beginnings and renewed passion. Create an Ostara altar to call in everything you want to birth this year. Charge your gems under the Sun to infuse them with the fiery spark of life and rebirth.
Our roots to the Earth and our connection to her seasons go deep. Our ancient ancestors knew this and honored the cycles of nature. When you celebrate Ostara and the vernal equinox, you connect with our ancestors who participated in ritual and ceremony on this occasion for millennia. This year, in the Northern Hemisphere, we’ll celebrate Ostara on March 20. Use this day to cleanse, heal, balance your spirit, and regenerate your vitality. This is the time to activate spring’s energy of renewal, rebirth, emotional purification, hope, and growth. At this potent point of transition into the days of light, take a moment to pause during the brief balance between light and dark; day and night. A new cycle begins, how will you blossom?
Speak, Ostara, of hope and growth – your gifts to us.
Teach me the ways of light
and reveal the path of illumination
as I prepare to transcend.
Shedding my cold winter skin,
I activate my sanctity,
burning away what no longer serves me.
I emerge from my hibernation,
awaken my dormant energy,
and blossom with the spring.
Amen, A’ho, So it is.
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