Celebrating Ostara – The Spring Equinox

Ostara Poem

“Now is the time of awakening.
The frosts are drawn back and the earth bursts again into green life.
Life is color, warmth and light and the striving for these things.
All that is holy we hail, hail to joy and life.
May we know the timeless wisdom and strive to give strength and healing.

Ostara, may your light shine from us,
hail to you fruitful goddess,
may we ever love your bounty.

This is the time of remaking, the trees unfurl their new foliage.
Soon will come the high Midsummer, and we will be reminded of a time years beyond recall, when Earth knew only summers: the dawn time.

Sacred Ostara whispers to us of this time and a promise for a bright future we hear.
Stir us to achieve that brightness.”

~Book of Blotar – Festival of Ostara – Summer Finding

Source: The Odinic Rite – Acorn Hollow


Ostara

The celebration of Ostara - The Art of Home Education

Ostara’s themes are fertility and rebirth. Her symbols are eggs. The Goddess Ostara presides over personal renewal, fertility and fruitfulness. Now that spring is here, it’s a good time to think about renewal in your own life. Ostara represents spring’s life force and earth’s renewal. Depicted as lovely as the season itself, in earlier writings She was also the Goddess of dawn, a time of new beginnings (spring being the figurative dawn of the year). One of Ostara’s name variations, Esotara, slowly evolved into the modern name for this holiday, Easter.

5 basic facts about the Spring Equinox (Ostara) to share with your children

On the evening of March 20th, the Spring Equinox has come to earth. Now the term and concept of spring equinox might seem foreign to many kids (and probably many adults) but here are five basic facts about the Spring Equinox, what it is and why it is to share with the family.

Equinox explained

1. The equinox happens twice a year and occurs when the Earth’s axis is centered with the Sun, the sun being on the same plane as the Earth’s equator.

2. The meaning of the word Equinox is from the Latin words for equal and night, since night and day have about the same length.But the day is actually a bit longer.

3. The Spring equinox is also called the “vernal equinox” with vernal coming from the Latin word meaning spring.

4. According to the rules of the calendar, the first day of spring almost always occurs on March 20th or 21st.

5. This year the Spring Equinox started at 12.02PM Easter Time on Wednesday March 20th, 2013.

The Goddess Ostara and the Eastern Bunny

The celebration of Ostara - The Art of Home Education

Ostara, the Goddess of Dawn (Saxon), who was responsible for bringing spring each year, was feeling guilty about arriving so late. To make matters worse, She arrived to find a pitiful little bird who lay dying, his wings frozen by the snow. Lovingly, Ostara cradled the shivering creature and saved his life.

Legend has it that She then made him Her pet or, in the X-rated versions, Her lover. Filled with compassion for him since he could no longer fly because of his frost-damaged wings, the Goddess Ostara turned him into a rabbit, a snow hare, and gave him the name Lepus.

She also gave him the gift of being able to run with astonishing speed so he could easily evade all the hunters. To honor his earlier form as a bird, She also gave him the ability to lay eggs (in all the colors of the rainbow, no less), but he was only allowed to lay eggs on one day out of each year.

Eventually Ostara lost Her temper with Lepus (some say the raunchy rabbit was involved with another woman), and She flung him into the skies where he would remain for eternity as the constellation Lepus (The Hare), forever positioned under the feet of the constellation Orion (the Hunter).

But later, remembering all the good times they had once enjoyed, Ostara softened a bit and allowed the hare to return to earth once each year, but only to give away his eggs to the children attending the Ostara festivals that were held each spring.”

Variant spellings: Eostra, Eostrae, Eostre, Eástre, Austra.

Sources: Ostara’s Home PageThe Goddess Ostara and the Eastern Bunny

Activities to do with your children

  • Dye Eggs!! Kids love it!
  • If your child is old enough, do an Ostara Egg hunt.
  • Make Ostara Baskets together.
  • Try planting kitty grass in a small pot to use instead of fake plastic grass. It looks nicer, plus you help saving Mother Earth by using natural items and not plastic, which gets thrown out and then just sits in landfills for all eternity. If you like to know more, we can recommend to watch Plastic Paradise. We watch it every year on Earth Day.
  • Decorate your house for Spring.
  • Read stories about Easter, Passover, Demeter & Persephone or other Spring themes. Circle Round and Celebrating the Great Mother are a great resources for teaching young children about the Sabbats.
  • Talk to your children about Ostara. Tell them the myths and celebrations that are customary for your tradition.

 

Originally posted: March 3, 2015

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Post Author: The Art of Home Education

I am a former Business Intelligence Consultant / Account Manager DWH and still work as a freelance photographer. After working for a couple of years (trying, struggling, picking myself up and trying again) we discovered I have Pernicious Anemia and EDS, which I am struggling with daily. Now, I am a SAHM! - I am a mom to four boys and with The Art of Home Education, my husband and I provide our children with the opportunity to learn based on their interests. Our slogan is "Let the journey be shaped by the curiousity of the child…". - You can find us on Instagram , Facebook , Twitter , Pinterest and Google+ .

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