Ostara: Bunnies and Sunlight and Eggs, Oh My!
Ostara is a holiday known for its close ties to Easter. Or rather Easter took some of its traditions from Ostara. Either way, Ostara is the name given to the cross quarter holiday known as Spring Equinox.
At Imbolc, we celebrated the return of light and life to the world. Now at Ostara, things are really warming up!
Spring Equinox is a time when rapid growth and fertility returns to our world. If it is a little warmer where you live, you’ll notice your plants trying to throw buds and leaves out. This is a great time to get any seedlings started indoors for the coming season.
Eggs and Seeds
These two items are strong symbols of fertility and potential. Within the tiny container exists so much life and energy that is ready to burst forth. That’s really what life does though, isn’t it? Bury you a bit in the dirt and dark and water you. It’s uncomfortable and sometimes unbearable. Then suddenly when you think you can’t take anymore you burst forth from the shell that holds you and into the light you go.
Ways to Celebrate Ostara
There are some classic traditions of Easter that have a lot of significance for the pagan path.
There are plenty of egg dyeing kits that are really neat and vibrant. A lot of them though render the egg inedible which to me seems kind of like a waste. However there are some natural egg dying techniques that are gorgeous and let you eat the egg afterwards as well.
Making Fertility Powder
If you are dyeing and eating the eggs an easy next step is to create a fertility powder from the eggs shells. When done this way, the powder is also really vibrant.
Items You May Need:
- Egg Shells
- Mortar and Pestle or
- Bowl with Spoon
- Storage jar
Bringing yourself into a meditative state, set an intention in your mind. Since this is a fertility powder, ideally you want to grow something. Is it a job opportunity? Would you like to grow love or patience? Once you have your intention, begin crushing the egg shells. Grind and break them down until you have a coarse powder. You can store this in a jar for later sachets or mojo bags. You can sprinkle this across your doorway for protection or even in your garden for fertility.
Growing a Bean Plant
This is a fun wish spell that is also easy to do with kids, typically 7 to 13 years old.
Items you will need:
Go to a local nursery, hardware, or gardening store and pick up a couple of bean seeds. These can be lima beans, pinto beans, or even soy beans.
Once you’ve got all your items. Bring yourself and your kid(s) into a meditative state. (As best you can 😉 ) Light some incense or put on some light music.
Once you are in the zone, ask your children to make a wish over the beans. You could wish for something like: “We wish for our family’s health and happiness over the coming season.” Or even “We wish for a warm summer to play outside.”
Once you’ve said your wish, plant the seed in the soil about 1/2 to 1 inch down. Sprinkle some soil over it and lightly water.
Then each day, say the wish and mist the soil lightly with water. In as early as 6 days, you should begin to see a sprout come up.
(Note: it can take up to 2 weeks for some beans to sprout. Check the seed packet for more information on growing these)
One Last Thing
I always hesitate to say that Ostara is growing season. Much of those things depend on where you live. A lot of these holidays come from Ireland and Northern European traditions. As a semi-native Texan, I can tell you that our growing seasons are always odd. However, I do enjoy the energy shifts that happen when the planet and stars shift positions. For Spring Equinox, that means a balancing point between light and dark. It means a transition from winter into spring even if the weather hasn’t quite got the memo yet.