Since today is the Equinox, I have decided to write a little bit about some Ostara traditions. The Vernal Equinox is the time when the daylight hours and night hours are equal, much the same as Mabon, the Autumnal Equinox. The name of the Germanic Spring Goddess Ostara, sometimes Eostre, is where the word Easter comes from!
It must be noted that while this is true, and some of the Pagan celebrations I will talk about are connected to the Christian Easter, no one knows for certain how ancient the celebration of Ostara is, as there is not a lot of concrete evidence of this particular holiday in ancient times. I do not feel this takes away from the holiday at all, as there is a lot of blanks to fill for Pagans in general. For instance, the Celts did not keep written records of their beliefs, so all we have to go on is what was written by the Romans (who feared them) or medieval collections of Celtic tales that were written by clerics who feared the Old Ways! Now that I have covered the historical disclaimer, it is time to look at the holiday.
Ostara is a holiday about balance, which is not surprising given that the day is equal hours of light and darkness. Some witches and Pagans choose to celebrate by honoring a God and Goddess in celebration of this balance. It is also a holiday about the renewal of the land after the ravages of Winter. This is why blooming plants and fertility of all sorts are celebrated this time of year! Anything involving working with flowers, eggs (especially dying eggs), and baby animals are ideal ways to celebrate this change of seasons! Rabbits are seen as sacred during the Equinox, as they procreated quickly, making them a symbol of fertility, prosperity, and abundance.
Other than dying eggs, another traditional use of eggs to celebrate Ostara would be by practicing Oomancy, or divination using eggs. This is often performed by separating the yolks from the whites and dripping the white into very hot water. The shapes formed by the egg whites are then interpreted for meaning. There are other forms of divination that are commonly used during Equinox celebrations, such as reading tea leaves or coffee grounds. A final common type of divination that you can practice is Floromancy, or divination using flowers, usually flowers you see blooming outside instead of cut flowers or indoor plants.
I hope that you have enjoyed this brief look at the celebration of the Vernal Equinox. I wish all of my readers a very Blessed Ostara! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
- Llewellyn’s Sabbat Essentials Ostara
- Your Goddess Year by Skye Alexander