For most of us, it is hard to believe that underneath all that snow, Ostara, the Spring Equinox, is just around the corner. This year it falls on March 20 and I can not wait! I am not someone who loves the cold dark months of winter and Ostara means those warm sunny days will soon be here to stay.
Eostre is the Goddess of Spring, rebirth, fertility, and of the dawn. Our ancestors celebrated her and the change of the new season with eggs, rabbits and spring flowers. Decades later this holiday was picked up by the Christians to become Easter. I dare you to tell a devout Christian that! Oh the debates I have been in over all of the Christian Holidays. The two holidays are celebrated in much the same way which means on many years, we pagans, get to celebrate twice; once with our pagan families and friends and then again with our Christian family and friends.
There are many ways I like to bring in the new Sabbat.
First, if there is snow, and this year there is lots of it, I like to take a cup full of it and melt it either on my altar on a dish over a candle or in a kettle in my fireplace under my altar (My altar is on my hearth) while visualizing the cold and grayness of Winter melting away and then evaporating into steam to moisten the air for Spring to enter.
This is also the time to cut some daffodils, forsythia and crocuses that have begun to bloom and bring them in to spread color around your home. This year, our flowers that had bloomed last week are now dead and covered in snow, so I will go to my local garden store and buy some fresh flowers to brighten the home. I also like to purchase some for my neighbors and friends. I activate the flowers with happiness, freshness and good energy before I give them as gifts.
Start those seeds! Here in Pennsylvania, the Germans have always tried to get their peas and onions in the ground by St Patrick’s Day, but this year, seeds will have to be started indoors. It is a great way to celebrate Ostara and watch them grow as the weather gets warmer and warmer. I like to focus my intention on the seed and do a little ceremony about starting anew and picture the plant growing into a successful vibrant plant that will provide food, herbs for my spells or even beauty while I’m planting and covering it with soil.It is also a great way to include your children or friends in fun,energy focusing spell work.
I also light my candles and smudge my home during Ostara. I like to do this quite often, to be honest. I have three teen age boys and with all that testosterone bringing in their aggressive and/or negative energy, I try to smudge it out as much as possible, but Ostara is one day I have it set on the calendar. To see how how I smudge my home, visit a previous post here.
The next two things I will put together as these things are not fun unless done with a group of friends and family. I like to gather our dear friends to color eggs. I prefer to dye them naturally by using plants and vegetables. The colors can be remarkable. For extra fun, draw on the eggs with a wax crayon. I like using white ones so the dye doesn’t color those parts and it looks magically white, brown or blue, depending on the color of your eggs. My children prefer to use all the colors in the crayon basket to draw flower gardens and outside scenes on their eggs before dropping them in the colored water. I found a site that gives you directions with each plant or vegetable here.
After coloring eggs, we head to our fire pit outside or this year it will be our fireplace inside and toast some Peep Marshmallows. It could be regular marshmallows, but that’s so ordinary. Now, if you do not like Peeps, TRUST ME, you WILL like them like this! Everyone I know that HATES Peeps that I have convinced to try it, Love toasted Peeps. The sugar on the outside brulees like on Creme Brulee. Delicious!
However you celebrate the beginning of Spring, have a great time and make this day count!
We Wish You a Happy and Blessed Ostara!!