The Origins of Ostara - Spring Equinox

"Here, in this moment of balance, I honour and recognise the sacred mystery of existence"

On the 20th of March the perfect balance of the Great Wheels journey occurs. This is a time for celebrating the balance between the extremes of our lives. This is the beginning of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere - the Vernal Equinox. A moment of exact balance between the light and the dark. The day and night are both equal in length, as is the masculine and feminine, the yin and yang, deep slumber and awakening.

All is in perfect balance on the first day of spring. The promise of greenery, warmer, more abundant times are now coming into our focus. The buds and blossoms emerge from the trees, the bees return to begin the pollination cycle, and the grass wakes up from a deep winters slumber. This is a time of innocence and child-like magical wonder as the end of one phase ends, it invites the possibility of a new start. There may be new relationships, life changes, pregnancy, a deep exploration of the spiritual, a new love or the realisation of self-love.

There is beauty in the potential of what can manifest when we allow ourselves to have hope and plant seeds for the future. Over the centuries the symbol of the Hare at Ostara has become the Easter Bunny who brings chocolate eggs to children, however the origins derive of Goddess Ostara who is most associated with the hare, which in turn is associated with the moon (which dies every morning and is resurrected every evening) here representing the rebirth of nature in Spring. Both the moon and the hare were believed to die daily in order to be reborn. How lovely is it that the Full moon in Libra occurs around this time also, reiterating the deep felt message of finding equilibrium within our lives.

Items to include on your Altar

To honour the energies of this time of year, you can decorate your altar with fresh flowers such as daffodils, violets, crocuses and primroses or maybe a little potted plant. The colours yellow, green and purple represent the season. Hare statues or images can be used, and boiled eggs in pastel colours are also traditional decorations. The egg is symbolism of promoting all of life’s potential, new beginnings and the rebirth of nature itself. Colour your boiled eggs and dress your altar with them. Burying a raw egg by the entrance to your home to ensure abundance for the forthcoming year and abundant fertility within your garden.

Waking to the Light Ritual

Ostara rituals and spells often focus on balance as does our full moon which occurs around the same time. This full moon is in the sign of Libra and is also focusing on the balance between our elects as well as our relationships. This is a good time for purification of your home and even yourself—what habits have you still not leg go from? This is also a good time to be planting seeds for what you’d like to manifest in the coming months both literally and metaphorically.

Before you start take a cleansing bath, imagine yourself in the ocean, which is the womb of all creation. Light some incense of your choosing, and three white candles. Allow yourself to feel. You can also lie down and meditate, if you cannot write. Sit in a spot between north and east, and taking up your pen and journal to write, or get comfortable to mediate, and begin to access your unconscious dreams. Write whatever comes to you, do not judge it, nor question it. Just write. (You can make notes after if you chose to mediate). Remember the beginnings you truly crave, the creativity or the love you desire. How can you make your life work for you in a more balanced way? You may have a vision of an animal that comes to share in your experience, this is your totem. Imagine the animal sitting beside you as you reach out to pet him or her. Feel their companionship, they have always been around you but you may not have ever connected before. What is this dear animal showing you?

When you are done your work, say a few words of gratitude to the elements and send them back to whence they came with love. Thank your animal companion and allow him to slip away. Let out three breaths of gratitude. Leave an offering to the God and Goddess, such as some bits of chocolate. Blow out all your candles before leaving the room.

Another common practice is to walk through a natural area, tap the earth three times with a staff or wand, and make joyful noise (sing) to welcome the Goddess's return. This ritual is performed three times in keeping with the sacred number of many of the Pagan sects from western European countries. Now is not only a good time to awaken Mother Earth, but also to awaken ourselves. We should ask: Are we only going through the motions now? Or are we reawakening our spiritual selves, and seeing anew all the magical possibilities of spring?

To awaken your own body, mind, and soul to spring's rebirth, give back to Mother Earth some of the things we've taken from her. Plant a tree, herb garden, or flowers. Feed her animals and birds and show your gratitude. This can only lead to more abundance.

So it is.

Spirit Goddess

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The main image is by Nichol Skaggs

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