It is no coincidence that the name for this Sabbat sounds similar to the word
'Easter'. Eostre, or Ostara, (pronounced O-STAR-ah) is an Anglo-Saxon Dawn
Goddess whose symbols are the egg and the hare. She is the European version
of the Goddess Ishtar or Astarte, whose worship dates back thousands of
years and is certainly pre-Christian.
There is much symbolism in eggs themselves. The golden orb of its yolk
represents the Sun God, its white shell is seen as the White Goddess, and
the whole is a symbol of rebirth. The hare is symbolic of the moon (it used to
be thought that an image of a hare could be seen in the full moon).
In the Pagan Wheel of the Year, this is the time when the great Mother
Goddess, again a virgin at Yule, welcomes the young Sun God unto her and
conceives a child of this divine union. The child will be born nine months later,
at Yule, the Winter Solstice. The Goddess puts on the robes of maiden at
Imbolc but she is seen truly embodying the spirit of spring and Ostara is
celebrated as a spring festival.
Ostara is the Spring Equinox when day and night are equal and the transition
from the dark to the light half of the year is marked. On this day, the sun
rises due east and sets due west and marks the mid-point of Spring. At this
time we can see the awakening of the land, leaves on trees and the first
shoots of flowers.
This is one of the Sabbats that the timing moves slightly from year to year so
many choose to celebrate on March 21st. In keeping with the balance of the
Equinox, Ostara is a time when we seek balance within ourselves. Time to
throw out the old and take on the new. Rid ourselves of those things which
are no longer necessary - old habits, thoughts and feelings - and take on new
ideas and thoughts. But this doesn't mean you should use this festival to beat
yourself up about your 'bad' points or habits. Instead you should seek to find
a balance through which you can accept yourself for what you are.
Ostara is a good time to start your Spring Cleaning as casting out the old
would fit right in with the ideas of the festival. Plus the increased daylight
encourages a good clean home atmosphere so it is an ideal time to clean your
home to welcome the new season. It is much more than simply physical work.
It may be seen as a concentrated effort to rid your home of the problems
and negativity of the past months, and to prepare for the coming spring and
summer. For this, many Pagans approach the task of cleaning their homes with
positive thoughts. This frees the home of any negative feelings brought about
by a harsh winter. A common rule of thumb for Spring Cleaning is that all
motions involving scrubbing of stains or hand rubbing the floors should be
done deosil (clockwise). This custom aids in filling the home with good energy
This is the time to cast spells for careers, relationships and love. A time for
new ideas, seek harmony and balance and project good health, good fortune
and confidence in achieving goals.
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Last updated 2-8-2015