Ostara is officially the beginning of Spring in many places around the world and is actually referred to as the Spring Equinox by many outside of the Pagan community. The name Ostara comes from the name Eostre, which was the name of an ancient Germanic Goddess of fertility and is considered a parallel to the Norse Goddess Freyja. Eostre was so revered amongst Germanic tribes that she remained steadfastly worshipped - or at least honoured- during the spring month and during the spring festivals and feasts well into later years, long after other pagan gods and goddesses had been replaced by feasts for Catholic saints and the like.
It’s believed that Christians of the time who were spreading their own religion saw how deeply loved the Goddess was during this time of year and thought it appropriate to name their own festival Easter and celebrate it over two days and so came the Easter festival of two days that represents the resurrection of Jesus Christ that many of us know Easter to be today.
As the spring is typically a time of births of small new animals such as chickadees, lambs and calves, the festival itself became known as a fertility festival in its own right and is therefore a great time to do magic or spellwork associated to fertility in all its forms. Whether you’re looking to conceive physically a child of your own, you’re working on a creative project or you’re hoping to plant a garden, Ostara is a great time to put your intentions into whatever it is you’re hoping to grow in the coming months and help set the stage for fruition.
When people think of Easter, they think of rabbits and eggs and these both have pagan connotations. Both are symbols of fertility and it’s believed that the Goddess Eostre was hugely fond of rabbits. There is a story that says one of her favourite rabbits loved her so greatly that it would bring her gifts, and some of these gifts would be of eggs which would be brightly coloured. However it’s not clear where this story comes from as the depth of the Goddess Esotre is so steeped in antiquity that it’s difficult to find the true sources of information and of her stories. In truth, much of her own specific information remains muddled that many will offer her the same things as Freyja as the two were closely related and worshipped in similar ways.
Ideal celebrations include Ostara rituals where you can bless seeds to be planted or other magical workings related to fertility rites. All kinds of fertility are sought at Ostara, so consider writing a wish on some plantable paper and planting it in a pot of dirt as your ritual magical working. You can even bless eggs to bake with for an added punch of Ostara energy.
So how will you celebrate Ostara? Share your experience in the comments!