All About Ostara, the Spring Equinox

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Ostara is a time of early spring blooms and blossoms. Image by Harald Eisenberger/LOOK-foto/Getty Images

Spring has finally arrived! March has roared in like a lion, and if we're really lucky, it will roll out like a lamb. Meanwhile, on or around the 21st of the month, we have Ostara to celebrate. It's the time of the vernal equinox if you live in the Northern Hemisphere, and it's a true marker that Spring has come. There are many different ways you can celebrate this Sabbat, depending on your tradition.

 

Rituals and Ceremonies

Depending on your particular tradition, there are many different ways you can celebrate Ostara, but typically it is observed as a time to mark the coming of Spring and the fertility of the land. By watching agricultural changes -- such as the ground becoming warmer, and the emergence of plants from the ground -- you'll know exactly how you should welcome the season.

Here are a few rituals you may want to think about trying -- and remember, any of them can be adapted for either a solitary practitioner or a small group, with just a little planning ahead.

    Ostara Magic

    Spring is a time of rebirth and renewal. Why not take advantage of the season to do a bit of Spring magic? Now is a good time to use spring to work on magic related to rebirth and growth.

    • Serpent Magic and Folklore: Snakes are found in folklore around the world - let's look at what they symbolize!
    • Egg Magic and Folklore: Eggs are often associated with new life. Let's talk about the folklore of egg magic.
    • Magical Spring Flowers: The earth is blooming, and spring flowers can come in handy for your magical workings.
    • Daffodil Magic and Folklore: Daffodils are early bloomers, and have a useful magical purpose.
    • Forsythia Magic and Folklore: Are you growing forsythia? Here's how you can use them in spellwork.
    • Rabbit Magic & Mad March Hares: There's more to rabbit magic than just the Easter Bunny!
    • Magical Gardening: Growing plants is a magical act - let's look at how you can include it as part of your daily practice in the spring.
    • Ostara Prayer: Children's Chant
    • Ostara Prayer: Garden Blessing
    • Ostara Prayer: The Goddesses of Spring
    • Ostara Prayer: Resurrection of the Earth

    Traditions and Trends

    Interested in learning about some of the traditions behind the celebrations of March? Learn why St.

    Patrick hated snakes, and why the Easter bunny brings eggs for us to eat!

    • Ostara History: The vernal equinox has a long magical history. Here's how it's been celebrated through time.
    • Deities of Ostara: Meet some of the gods and goddesses associated with the spring equinox.
    • Spring Equinox Celebrations Around the World: Pagans aren't the only ones celebrating this time of year - here's what the rest of the world is doing!
    • Who was Eostre?: Was Eostre really an ancient goddess of spring?
    • Matronalia, March 1: The Romans celebrated an early version of Mother's Day at the beginning of March.
    • Easter Eggs: Pagan or Not?: Are Easter Eggs secretly Pagan?
    • Can You Really Balance an Egg on the Equinox?: Have you ever heard about balancing an egg on the equinox? Let's look at the science behind the rumor.
    • Beware the Ides of March!: The Ides of March were an unlucky day for a certain Roman emperor.
    • St. Patrick and the Snakes: There's a lot of speculation on whether or not the snakes were a metaphor for Pagans - did St. Patrick really drive them out of Ireland?
    • Pagans and Lent: Should Pagans give things up for Lent, just because their Christian friends and family members are?

    Crafts and Creations

    As Ostara rolls in, you can decorate your home (and keep your kids entertained) with a number of easy craft projects. Start celebrating a bit early with a St. Patrick's Day Snake Wreath or a basket of naturally-dyed eggs.

    Feasting and Food

    No Pagan celebration is really complete without a meal to go along with it. For Ostara, celebrate with foods that honor the the coming of spring -- eggs, early spring greens, shoots and sprouts, and of course, the all-important marshmallow Peep.

    • Deviled Eggs: Eggs are everywhere - devil them up and add them to your Ostara menu.
    • Mint Chutney: Add this minty topping to your meat dishes this spring.
    • Roasted Lamb: Lamb is a seasonal food, and makes a great addition to your spring feast.
    • Hot Cross Buns: If you like to bake, try some Hot Cross Buns - they have a long and fascinating history!