Related Deities: Eostre, the adolescent Spring Maiden, and the adolescent Spring Lord Related Herbs: Jasmine rose, violet
Related Stones: Moss agate, green moonstone, orange calcite, rose quartz
Also known as Vernal or Spring Equinox, Ostara [o-star'-a] marks the rekindling of life within the Earth and the renewal of fertility to our spiritual lives. This fertility festival and the Christian Easter celebration both get their names from the free-spirited goddess, Eostre. Legend has it that while entertaining a group of children, she once turned a bird into a rabbit. To the amusement of the children, the bewitched animal laid colored eggs. Her story is the basis for the Easter Bunny, spring egg hunts, and most other traditions associated with this holiday,‘
Eostre’s story aside, the egg is an excellent symbol for the spring celebration. The egg white represents the all-encompassing nature of the Goddess while the
golden yolk represents the virile qualities of the Sun God. The symmetrical outer shell binds the two together, sealing their fertility and their perfect love for one another,
From a more mundane angle, all animal life comes from eggs. Fish, fowl, amphibians, and insects lay them. Mammals conceive when sperm cells penetrate them. If you wanted to stretch the imagination somewhat, you could say that vegetation sprouts from eggs, too. Being embryonic and shell-covered, seeds are egg-like in nature. For these reasons, eggs provide a prime fertility symbol for the Ostara ritual. For use ideas, try some of the tips in the Ostara Celebration Ideas.
Ostara Circle Notes
Use a green altar cloth, pastel colored candles, and decorate with wild flowers or flowers of the season. Burn Ostara Incense (a mixture of orris root, jasmine, rose, and violet petals). Use small baskets of appropriately colored eggs to mark the Quarters.
Cast the Circle with the wand. Alternatively, use a flowering branch of some sort. Dogwood, cherry, and pussy willow branches all work well.
Ostara Celebration Ideas
Serve deviled eggs and milk for libation instead of cakes and wine,
Using a white crayon, label boiled eggs with qualities you’d like to add to your personality or life. For example, you might label one with prosperity, another with kindness, and so on. Dye each egg an appropriate color, bless it during the ritual, and eat it. Know that the quality’s spiritual seeds have been planted within you and will flourish throughout the year.
Fertile egg of ancient life
Bring joy and laughter – ease all strife –
And with your great fertility
Grant perfect love and harmony
To all who live within these bounds
Be they person, thing, wild life, or hound
Plant an uncooked egg at each corner of your property to ensure a fruitful home life. As you put each egg in place, say something like:
Thoroughly beat three eggs and blend them into a quart of milk. Bless the mixture by saying something like;
Fertile measures of the Earth
Meld and mix with joy and mirth
Bring all you touch fertility
As I will, so mote it be
Then use it to asperse and bless any yet unplanted garden areas. (If you don’t have an outdoor space but intend to grow seeds indoors, put the mixture in a spray bottle and thoroughly mist the inside area of the pots.)
As you sprinkle the area, say something like:
Milk and egg, now fertilize
This plot of Earth beneath the skies
I bless this place by the Lord and Maid
Soil grow rich in sun and shade
Weather permitting; hold the rite outdoors in the garden space. After the ritual, mark out the planting area and till it thoroughly, working the soil until it’s smooth and supple.
Then spread out a blanket and have a picnic on the spot. Make plans for planting the garden.
* Since Ostara is the celebration of the Spring Equinox – the first day of spring – festival dates vary year to year