Ostara & The Goddess Of Spring
Ostara is named after Eostre and according to the stories, she is a goddess associated with flowers and springtime, and her name gives us the word "Easter," as well as the name of Ostara itself. However, if you start to dig around for information on Eostre, you'll find that much of it is the same. In fact, nearly all of it is Wiccan and Pagan authors who describe Eostre in a similar fashion.
Ostara is a time of balance. It is a time of equal parts light and dark. At Mabon, we have this same balance, but the light is leaving us. Today, six months later, it is returning. Spring has arrived, and with it comes hope and warmth. Deep within the cold earth, seeds are beginning to sprout. In the damp fields, the livestock are preparing to give birth. In the forest, under a canopy of newly sprouted leaves, the animals of the wild ready their dens for the arrival of their young.
Our favorite crafts for Ostara are, making an Ostara tree, dyeing ostara eggs, making a mini green house, making seed packs, cards and making a spring wreath.
For this ritual, you'll want to decorate your altar with symbols of the season. Think about all the colors you see in nature at this time of year–bright daffodils, crocuses, plump tulips, green shoots–and incorporate them into your altar. This is also a time of fertility in the natural world; the egg is the perfect representation of this aspect of the season. Symbols of young animals such as lambs, chicks, and calves are also great altar adornments for Ostara.
What You'll Need
In addition to decorating your altar, you'll need the following:
Perform this ritual outside if at all possible, in the early morning as the sun rises. It's spring, so it may be a bit chilly, but it's a good time to reconnect with the earth. If your tradition normally requires you to cast a circle, do so now.
Three candles: one yellow, one green, and one purple
A bowl of milk
A small bowl of honey or sugar
Perform Your Ritual
Begin by taking a moment to focus on the air around you. Inhale deeply, and see if you can smell the change in the seasons. Depending on where you live, the air may have an earthy aroma, or a rainy one, or even smell like green grass. Sense the shift in energy as the Wheel of the Year has turned.
Light the green candle, to symbolize the blossoming earth. As you light it, say:
The Wheel of the Year turns once more,
and the vernal equinox arrives.
Light and dark are equal,
and the soil begins to change.
The earth awakes from its slumber,
and new life springs forth once more.
Next, light the yellow candle, representing the sun. As you do so, say:
The sun draws ever closer to us,
greeting the earth with its welcoming rays.
Light and dark are equal,
and the sky fills with light and warmth.
The sun warms the land beneath our feet,
and gives life to all in its path.
Finally, light the purple candle. This one represents the Divine in our lives–whether you call it a god or a goddess, whether you identify it by name or simply as a universal life force, this is the candle which stands for all the things we do not know, all those things we cannot understand, but that are the sacred in our daily lives. As you light this candle, focus on the Divine around and within you. Say:
Spring has come! For this, we are thankful!
The Divine is present all around,
in the cool fall of a rain storm,
in the tiny buds of a flower,
in the down of a newborn chick,
in the fertile fields waiting to be planted,
in the sky above us,
and in the earth below us.
We thank the universe* for all it has to offer us,
and are so blessed to be alive on this day.
Welcome, life! Welcome, light! Welcome, spring!
Take a moment and meditate on the three flames before you and what they symbolize. Consider your own place within these three things–the earth, the sun, and the Divine. How do you fit into the grand scheme of things? How do you find balance between light and dark in your own life?
Finally, blend the milk and honey together, mixing gently. Pour it onto the ground around your altar space as an offering to the earth**. As you do, you may wish to say something like:
I make this offering to the earth,
As thanks for the many blessings I have received,
And those I shall some day receive.
Once you have made your offering, stand for a minute facing your altar. Feel the cool earth beneath your feet, and the sun on your face. Take in every sensation of this moment, and know that you are in a perfect place of balance between light and dark, winter and summer, warmth and cold -- a time of polarity and harmony.
When you are ready, end the ritual.
*Instead of "the Universe," feel free to insert the name of your patron deity or the gods of your tradition here.
••If you're doing this rite indoors, take your bowl of milk and honey and pour it in your garden, or around your yard.
All Spring Flowers
Daffodils, primroses, violets, crocuses, celendine, catkins, pussy willow in profusion.
Bright green, yellow and purple
Ideas for your Altar
Coloured eggs, seeds, feathers, all spring flowers, green, yellow and purple, all foliage that is sprouting into leaf.
There are endless traditions surrounding eggs at Ostara, so here are just a few suggestions! We are awash with chocolate eggs nowadays - if you have children don't forget the Egg Hunt in the garden (our best ever was on top of the Mendip Hills in Somerset), painting boiled eggs and writing wishes on them, sowing cress seeds inside and giving it a face, this is a FUN festival and so very easy to do something. (And when your child becomes a young woman don't make the mistake of thinking she has grown out of Egg Hunts as I did - what a crestfallen face!)
“The Goddess & The Green Man.” Ostara | The Goddess & The Green Man, www.goddessandgreenman.co.uk/ostara.
Wigington, Patti. "Hold an Ostara Ritual for Solitaries." ThoughtCo, Jan. 2, 2018, thoughtco.com/hold-an-ostara-ritual-for-solitaries-2562480.
Ellison, Robert Lee. The Wheel Of the Year At Muin Mound Grove, ADF: A Cycle of Druid Rituals. 6th ed. East Syracuse: Dragon’s Keep Publishing, 2013. 143-4.