As many of us sit on the edge of our seats, homebound, bordering on stir crazy, it’s almost impossible to feel positive or celebratory with Ostara season just beginning. For me, ritual is intuitively soothing, and while cooped up indoors, bringing a bit of springtime’s beauty inside, is providing a bit of necessary distraction and relief from the endless news cycle. Here is a bit about Ostara, along with some seasonal things to do.
On March 19th at 11:50pm EST, we ushered in Ostara, the Spring (or Vernal) Equinox, the astronomical beginning of spring. The word equinox comes from the Latin words for “equal night”—aequus (equal) and nox (night). Ostara, the modern pagan holiday is a spring festival celebrating the balance of light and darkness, the sowing of seeds and the waxing light. Ostara or Eostre was a Germanic mother goddess associated with radiant light and the dawn, similar to Greek goddess Eos or the Roman counterpart, Aurora.
Saint Bede the Venerable, a Benedictine monk in the 8th century, wrote extensively about the Germanic goddess Eostre, who had an entire month (April) dedicated to her, and pagan Anglo-Saxons had feasts in her honor. Around this time, many of these festivities had dwindled down and Christians replaced this with the Paschal month celebrating Jesus’s resurrection. Ostara also equals Aries season, the first sign of the zodiac! Aries is a cardinal fire sign whose symbol is the ram.
- Spring Cleaning: Open up your closets and use the Aries confidence to face old mementos, clothing or any items that may remind you of a past painful events/people/stages in life. Put aside in pile to donate at a later date. To attract something new you must have space to usher it in.
- Planting seeds or seeds of intention: If you have a backyard or outdoor space, write your intentions for the coming season onto a small piece of paper and “plant” into fertile ground. If you have actual seeds, change them with intentions and enjoy some gardening! You can also bury past woes, pains and fears into the ground where energy can transform.
- Candle Magic: Using any candle you have on hand in the house, light it daily either in the morning to start your day with renewed focus or in the evening to help wind down and meditate on the day. During this time of social distancing and isolation, using simple candle rituals to add structure your day may be helpful.
- See Witch Friends Virtually : Use this time to regularly connect (and reconnect) with with your circle of friends and beloved ones. Celebrate all the hurdles you’ve overcome together and toast to the beauty of the moment in your friendship.
- Oomancy is egg divination, a symbol of fertility. By separating the egg whites from the yolk into water, one can interpret the formations and symbols revealed by the egg whites. Sit with the egg and meditate on a question. According to Colette Brown in her delightful book, How to Read an Egg, puncture the egg, letting the whites pour out into warm water in a clear, cylinder shaped container.
- Spring Vision Board: Include images of fares, rabbits, eggs, flora, fauna, grass, skies, rams, sheep, and anything that inspires sweet romance, fertile abundance and creative juices.
- Guided Meditation from underneath the earth! Visualize a heavy slumber, that you are under the earth feeling warm and comforted, Imagine the ground stirring, and each part of your body is reborn. Visualize yourself shooting through the earth like a blade of grass. What kind of flower/tree/plant/animal do you imagine yourself as? Take a moment with this flora/fauna. What information does it teach you?