The cornerstones of Ostara are growth and balance. This sabbat represents the rekindling of life within the Earth and the renewal of fertility of our spiritual selves. It is the vernal equinox, a day of equal light & dark, but also the middle of the three spring holy days. While Imbolc marks spring’s first breath and Beltaine is about springs height & power, Ostara is about both growth & balance in between.
During this day of celebrating new life, we often plan an activity or walk outdoors. I look for signs of spring, hoping to see the first pussy willows! In effort to bring back balance and renew life, many of us celebrate Ostara by getting ready for growing season by ordering from seed catalogs, craft magickal eggs (dyed, with fortuitous symbols or drawn sprouts), planning our orders for chicks at the local feed stores, or by creating an Eostre altar (eggs, bunnies, cocoons, butterflies, bird’s nests, pastel colors, lambs, honey cakes, sprouts, lilies, daffodils..you know, that which was pilfered for the Christianized holiday of Easter ..and chocolate, don’t forget the chocolate!). We’re all pretty used to the process of decorating eggs, but have you considered making a charm out of a hard boiled egg? You can decorate it with symbols or write the idea you would like to manifest on it, energize it and eat it.
Ostara brings us the new promise of life (resurrection of the sun/son), as it represents the union of the fertile Goddess and the God, the creation of life via blending earth matter and spirit. Therefore, this is a time for planting new ideas to be born. Witches often utilize the time to cast spells for growth, from careers to families, or anything they wish to expand. Our equinox is 2:28 am our time on Monday March 20, to be exact & from that moment on, we will experience more daylight than darkness. The energetic momentum pushes forward to Beltaine. A grande idea is to plant a seed along with any magickal working you do on this day to grow your spell. You can use this renewal energy to fuel any new project or goal, really. You could even charge up a bottle of water or oil (three days, from either side of Ostara) to use as ‘growth’ water for spells for the rest of the year..
Likewise, you can perform a ritual to seek balance in your life, and honor both dark & light. This is the first of the four solar or ‘cross quarter’ sabbats that focus on balance and extreme. Most perceive it as a balance of night & day but one would think of it as a balance of the universal & concrete, masculine & feminine, or balance of physical & spiritual as well. Given as above, so below, we should intentionally seek to rectify balance on this day. One could perform a cleaning ritual to cleanse your home of negativity or head out toward the highway or a park and pick up litter…either way make a point to lose the remains that you no longer benefit from. You could also light both a black and a white candle to meditate. Another good Ostara ritual releasing ceremony by creating an effigy of the dark half of the year and imbue it with the characteristics of this last winter that you’d like to leave behind then drop it in a fire or the nearest watercourse.
Obviously, if you attempt all of these things you’d be too busy to enjoy any of it. Pick something that jives with your soul and leave the rest. What about me? I’ll get the offspring off to school, then smudge my house followed by a good airing. I grew and dried some sweetgrass so am excited to try it out as well. Then I’ll be sewing seeds in my little heated greenhouse for my summer gardens (it’s my meditative space) & head outside if there’s time after I’m finished. Generally, I’d go along the highway and clean up trash. This year the snow is too deep to do that yet. I’m not too into honey cakes (honey is expensive) but I’ll aim for a carrot cake for dessert. The kids will appreciate that since it’s the first day back from break. If nothing else, we could roast a peep in the fireplace at some point (sidebar- they make pretty good s’mores).
If any of you can think of a park or area we could clean up we could all rendezvous on Sunday the 19th and make a project of it. I always am sickened by the trash that is revealed in the melting snow but am not sure where would be a good place where the debris is exposed. I’m happy to give our planet some TLC and every spring it’s sorely needed. Even if we delay the project by a month I’d be happy to facilitate it. Thanks for letting me know your thoughts!
The Peninsula Pagan