Ostara: A Guide To Celebrating The Spring Equinox

Ostara: A Guide To Celebrating The Spring Equinox

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With the arrival of March comes the promise of spring, along with the fresh, revitalizing smells and sounds of earth's awakening. This time of the year truly feels like breaking out of a dark shell and entering a whole new era. This year in the northern hemisphere, the spring equinox falls on March 19th, officially announcing the first day of spring and the hope of warmer, promising days to come.

What Is The Spring Equinox?

The Earth’s celestial equator intersects with the center of the Sun, bringing vast seasonal change and marking the spring equinox, also known as the vernal equinox. This is a time when day and night are of equal length. From this point on, days will become longer and nights shorter. Those of us that follow the wheel of the year consider this the festival of Ostara. We celebrate the increasing sunlight, the growth of new life, and the renewal of hope.

Ostara is one of the four solar festivals in the wheel of the year. Solar festivals celebrate the height of each season, and are determined by where the sun is in relation to the Earth. The solar festivals include the Spring Equinox (Ostara), Summer Solstice (Litha), Autumn Equinox (Mabon), and the Winter Solstice (Yule).

New Beginnings & Nature's New Year

During Ostara we call in a renewed sense of energy within ourselves so we may flourish along with the greening earth. We have rested in darkness, looking inward through the passing of a barren winter. We’ve felt the stir of energy as revelations for what we need to work on and change have been illuminated by the returning light. When spring finally arrives, we plant the seeds and begin taking action towards our desires, perfect for the season of growth and nurturing. What you plant during Ostara will be watered and tended to during the coming months and festivals of Beltane, Litha, and Lughnasadh. There are seasons of cultivating, seasons of planting, seasons of sweat from the labor of pulling up weeds and fertilizing. This season is for planting and growing.


The Origins And Goddess Behind Ostara

Depending on tradition and culture, there are different myths and legends behind Ostara. She is also a bit of a mystery as very little is known of her compared to other Goddesses. The name refers to Eostre/ Oestre, a goddess of the dawn and springtime, who brings with her the new season of spring and the bright half of the year. The tale is that Eostre transformed a bird into a hare, granting the creature the magical ability to lay colored eggs for her festival. Thus, decorative eggs became a symbol of spring and fertility. 

The stories and myths of Eostre stem from the Brother's Grimm's writings in 'Deutsche Mythologie', where they re-write her name as Ostara. There are a few versions of her legend that started popping up after the Brother's Grimm publication, but all begin when Eostre was in a hurry across the land and stumbled upon a small bird. The bird was on the verge of death from the cold. She stopped and tried to warm the bird and bring it back to life but it was so frozen and laden with frost that its wings did not open. Worried that the bird could no longer fly and would soon perish, she transformed the bird into a hare so they could hop away instead. In some versions, she bestows the ability to lay colored eggs upon the hare. In others, the hare lays colorful eggs in gratitude towards Eostre for saving their life. In another version, Eostre eventually becomes angered by the hare and casts them up to the heavens where they land as the constellation Lepus, at the foot of Orion the Hunter. In one final version, Eostre is capable of turning herself into a hare. Hares are nocturnal and thus the connection to the moon, lunar cycle, spring, and fertility are all intertwined by this spin on the tale.

The only thing really known for certain is that a European Goddess named Eostre was honored by feasts in the months of March and April, but other than that, virtually nothing is known of Eostre.

Rituals To Celebrate Ostara

Spring Clean & Cleanse Ritual

What better time to clear out the old to make space than springtime. Open your windows as you cleanse your house with your preferred tools. I like to place a big jar of water, vinegar and salt in my office and bedroom to clear out stagnant energy. If you're looking for ways to cleanse your space without using sage, I made this tiktok video awhile back on unique ways to do this. 

Host a Spring Themed Tea Party

Most wheel of the year festivals involve a feast and gathering with friends, loved ones, or a coven. Hosting your own spring themed tea party is a great way to spread the cheer of the season. Have your guests whisper their spring intentions into their tea and have everyone toast to a season of abundance and growth.

Foods: hot cross buns, fairy cakes, deviled eggs, potato/egg bake, honey cake

Decorate A Spring Altar

Refreshing your altar is a ritual in itself! Incorporating the colors and themes of spring is an intentional way to invite the fresh energy of the season into your space. I love adding tulips, and whatever fresh spring flowers my local Trader Joe's has in stock. Because the equinox honors the balance of equal night and equal day, think about items you have that reflect harmony and duality. I'm a huge advocate of using what you already have around the house to decorate instead of going out and buying stuff solely to fill your altar. One altar tip that applies year round is to add something for each of the four elements. Foraging items you find outside in nature around this time of year adds the element of earth. Water from your flower vase covers the element of water. Candles carved with symbols of spring brings in the element of fire. Feathers and incense completes the circle honoring the element of air. See the correspondences below for more altar inspiration.

Planting Seeds 

Depending on where you live, Ostara is a wonderful time to start planting your seeds. I live in Minnesota and March is still a bit early to plant things outside so I begin my seeds indoors. I enjoy doing this on the first day of spring because I will always remember when I started. Assign your different seeds to specific goals and speak your intention out loud as your plant them. Your freshly planted seeds make for a great addition to your altar if it's in a place that gets the sunlight your seeds require

Tip: Watch your plant/flowers/ vegetables grow with your goals! Visit them daily, water when necessary, and talk to them, letting them know what steps you’ve taken towards your goals.

Setting Intentions Using Color Magic~ An Egg Decorating Ritual

While January marks the beginning of the Gregorian calendar, those of us that flow with the cyclical changes of the seasons know spring is nature’s new year. Spring is when we truly brush away the aches of deep sleep, move to incorporate our reflections from winter, and become infused and awakened with energy and vitality, making it ideal for tapping into our own resources for needed changes and regeneration. 

Eggs are one of the most well-known symbols of Ostara. They represent fertility, new beginnings, and the cycle of life. They can also symbolize the newly hatched ideas and plans you can actively move towards. Decorating eggs using color magic is a creative way to align your goals with the energy of corresponding colors. Our Ostara ritual kit includes all the tools you need, including a written 12-page guidebook on color magic correspondences, instructions and incantations, and insight on the festival of Ostara.

Ritual kit includes:

✦ 3 paper mache eggs

✦ 12 color watercolor paint set

✦ 2 paint brushes

✦ 1 egg spell candle

✦ Ostara oil 30ml

✦ Psyche necklace

✦ intention setting paper

✦ 10-page ritual guidebook

Ostara Oil from the Ostara Ritual Kit

Ostara Correspondences

Goddesses: Eostre/Ostara, Asase Yaa, Persephone, Freya, Isis

Crystals: amethyst, lapis lazuli, rose quartz, aquamarine, moonstone

Flowers: hyacinth, tulips, crocus, daffodil, bluebells, snowdrop, hellebore, lilac

Herbs: lavender, dandelion, nettle, lemongrass, clover

Oils & Incense: jasmine, violet, rose, honeysuckle, anything floral

Animals: butterfly, hares, rabbits, snakes, birds

As you celebrate Ostara inspired by folklore and witchy traditions, may you find yourself deeply attuned to the rhythms of nature and the magic of the season, embracing the spirit of renewal and growth in all aspects of your life. 

Wishing you a revitalizing Spring Equinox! May you grow as lovely and strong as the flowers you plant this season 🌷


About the Writer

Kendra is the creator of Luna Lifted, an eclectic witch with a passion for sharing her craft and knowledge of magick with the world. When she's not designing and creating new things for Luna Lifted, you can find her reading a fantasy novel, gardening, gaming, or indulging in a long bath. Kendra resides in Minnesota with her three cats: Tunechi, Rumi, and Marceline.

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