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All about Ēostre

Ēostre is a goddess of spring and fertility who has been worshipped by the Celtic people for thousands of years. She is also known as Ostara and is celebrated during the spring equinox,

which falls around March 20th each year. The spring equinox marks the point in the year when day and night are of equal length, and from this point on, the days get longer and the nights get shorter. 

All about Ēostre

Ēostre is the Germanic goddess of the dawn who is celebrated during the Spring Equinox. On the old Germanic calendar, the equivalent month to April was called “Ōstarmānod” – or Easter-month. As a holiday, Easter predates Christianity and was originally the name for Spring Equinox celebrations. (The date of the Christian celebration of Easter changes each year because it is based on a ‘Pagan’ solar calendar. Easter occurs on the Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox).

Ēostre is mentioned in the writings of an 8th-century monk known as Venerable Bede, who reported that pagan Anglo-Saxons in medieval Northumbria held festivals in her honour during April. Other than this text, we don’t have much information about how she was honoured by the Pagans. By the 19th century she had become an important part of German culture and she was added into German literature, paintings, and folklore.

Jacob Grimm, one of the two Brothers Grimm, wrote:

 “Ēostre seems therefore to have been the divinity of the radiant dawn, of upspringing light, a spectacle that brings joy and blessing, whose meaning could be easily adapted by the resurrection-day of the Christian's God."

It makes sense that the chosen date to represent the rebirth of Jesus was based around a time (the Spring Equinox) that was already being celebrated for light and life.

In describing German Pagan traditions, Jacob mentions “Bonfires were lit at Easter and water drawn on the Easter morning is, like that at Christmas, holy and healing - here also heathen notions seems to have grafted themselves on great Christian festivals. Maidens clothed in white, who at Easter, at the season of returning spring, show themselves in clefts of the rock and on mountains, are suggestive of the ancient goddess.”

In pagan and witchcraft traditions, Ēostre is associated with rebirth, renewal, and new beginnings. Her presence is felt in the awakening of the earth, as plants begin to bloom and new life emerges after the long winter months. As such, Ēostre is seen as a symbol of hope and optimism, reminding us that even in the darkest times, there is always the potential for growth and new beginnings. Ostara is an appropriate time to literally and figuratively plant seeds.  It's the perfect time to clean your home and make changes in your life during Ostara. Make sure you get a little spring cleaning done. Cleaning doesn't have to be limited to your home. Declutter and clean up areas where you spend a lot of time, such as your car, or workspace. 

Ostara is also a good time to start taking action on the ideas and goals you started pondering during Yule and Imbolc. As you plant during Ostara, your harvest will be ready for Beltane, Litha, and Lammas.  Symbols of Ostara:

Colours: Pastel tones, green, pink, blue, purple

Foods: Eggs, honey, sprouted greens, baked goods, asparagus, lamb

Stones: Aquamarine, amethyst, rose quartz, moonstone

Symbols: Rabbits, eggs, spring flowers, lambs, clover, baskets

Flowers & Plants: Clover, daffodils, crocus, tulips, lavender

Trees: Alder, birch, ash, willow, sandalwood

Deities: Isis, Ēostre, Adonis

Herbs: Red clover, rose buds & petals, clove buds, mullein, nettle, calendula, dandelion  

Ways to Celebrate Ostara

  • Planting seeds for a vegetable garden or flower garden

  • Spring clean your house

  • Bake bread

  • Decorate an Ostara altar to honour your goddess of choice

  • Make egg-based dishes and dessert (custard pie, frittatas, egg salad, etc.)

  • Look for telltale signs of spring on a nature walk with a loved one

  • Host a spring tea party

  • Spend some time meditating/journaling and contemplating your intentions for the next few weeks as they relate to your goals

 Ostara Reflections

  • What seeds are you planting in your life?

  • What are you helping to grow?

  • What does it mean for you to nurture?

  • What does your growth feel, look, smell, taste, sound like?

  • How does your growth impact the people and world around you?

Spend a few moments with the emotions, and images that came to you during your ritual or meditation. Keep a journal or make notes of your experience that you can refer back to as the spring progresses.  

In essence, Ostara stands as a luminous festival, a tapestry of joy and renewal celebrating Earth's awakening from winter's slumber and the promise of fresh beginnings. It beckons all souls to join hands in gratitude, contemplation, and revelry amidst the grandeur of nature's cyclical dance.

Whatever you do to celebrate, have a blessed Easter,

Abundant blessings,

Angela Orora

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