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By Witchipedia, Festivals

The Festival Ostara: What it is & How to Celebrate it

Updated on:

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Written by: Dawn Black (Witchipedia)

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Reviewed by: Tina Caro

Ostara is the pagan celebration that marks the Spring equinox – it usually falls around March 21st when the day has about the same amount of hours of darkness as of light. It’s linked to the ancient Germanic goddess Eostre, who gives her name to the modern festival of Easter. She was revered as the goddess of Spring, the dawn, and fertility.

This sabat is a vibrant celebration of new life and new beginnings, as baby animals are born, crops are planted, and the light begins to conquer the darkness.

Spells would have been traditionally cast at this time to shake off bad luck and today, Ostara continues to be celebrated by contemporary witches as a time to honor women and fertility and to ask for the goddess’s help in enjoying a successful year ahead. 

KEY TAKEAWAYS

Ostara is a pagan festival celebrated during the spring equinox, typically around March 20th or 21st in the Northern Hemisphere.

It signifies the beginning of spring and the balance between light and darkness as day and night become equal in length.

Ostara is associated with themes of fertility, growth, and rebirth, symbolizing the awakening of nature.

Activities include decorating eggs, creating altars with spring flowers, and engaging in rituals or outdoor activities to connect with the season’s energy.

Modern pagans and neopagans celebrate Ostara as a time to honor nature’s cycles, set intentions, and embrace new beginnings.

Modern Ways to Mark Ostara

If you’d like to celebrate Ostara this year, there are lots of lovely ways to do so. Try the ideas below to mark the turning of the wheel and welcome in Spring.

Decorate Your Space

Ostara” (1901) by Johannes Gehrts. The goddess Ēostre/*Ostara flies through the heavens surrounded by Roman-inspired putti, beams of light, and animals. Germanic peoples look up at the goddess from the realm below.

This sabbat offers lots of opportunities to decorate your home or space. Flowers were traditionally placed in the home at this time to bring light and blessings: crocus, daffodils, violets, and pussy willow are perfect seasonal choices to beautify your rooms. Dried herbs, such as lavender, lovage, lilac, marjoram, tarragon, and thyme, can also be hung in pretty bunches from the ceiling or rafters.

Candles of light green, yellow, and purple are favored by Ostara, so place some of these around your space along with some bowls of crystals. Azurite, amazonite, citrine, and lapis lazuli are great choices for this sabbat – and look gorgeous, too!

Have Fun Baking Ostara Buns

Known today as hot cross buns, baking Ostara buns is a fun way to get into the swing of the Spring sabbat. The perimeter of the bun is said to represent the wheel of the year, with the Celtic cross running across the middle.

These buns are easier to make than you think, and you can find plenty of simple-to-follow recipes online. Once they’re baking in the oven, the idea is to be reminded of the newly growing plants as the yeast rises.

festival ostara by magickal spot
Copyright: Tina Caro

Try a Plant Meditation for Growth

All you need for this lovely little meditation ritual is a pot plant that you feel connected to, and that can be placed on your altar or sacred space afterward. If you wish, you can cleanse the space first (by smudging, for example), ground and center yourself, and cast your circle.

Now, hold the plant in your hand and contemplate how she connects you to the Universe, and how tending her is mirrored by how you tend your own inner world. If you are going to repot your plant as part of the ritual, this is the point at which to do so.

Next, sit down and place your plant in front of you. Imagine her energy sitting at your heart, with her roots extending down through your legs and into the Earth. Her leaves and vines are running through your arms and out of your hands and the top of your head, reconnecting back to the Earth.

Meditate on what the plant’s energy feels like, the connection you feel, and any associations that come into your mind. You may wish to record your thoughts and feelings in your journal afterward.

At the end of this ritual, re-ground and center yourself and, if relevant, close the circle. Whenever you tend to this plant, connect with her energy – speak to her, if you wish, and ask her for guidance. In doing so, you’ll build a relationship with the plant’s spirit – and may find she has some great advice to give!

An Ostara Spell to Dissolve Blockages and Clear Your Path

Ostara is all about new beginnings, and about growing independence and self-sufficiency as we move towards our goals. This spell is perfect for Ostara as it’s designed to remove obstacles in your path and blockages that may be stopping you from manifesting your desires.

Here’s what you’ll need for this spell:

  • A single spring flower, such as a crocus, daffodil, or violet
  • Candles in pale green, yellow, or purple
  • Hot cross buns
  • A medium-sized bowl
  • Bark or twigs from an alder, ash, or birch
  • An ornament or image of a hare (optional)
  • An amazonite crystal

On the equinox, set up your altar and place a single spring flower in its center.

Light a candle next to the flower and place a bowl of hot cross buns beside the candle.

Next, add some bark, twigs, or an ornament or image of a hare to your altar.

While the candle burns, hold an amazonite crystal and infuse it with intent. Visualize running through a field of flowers or soaring through the air – whatever daydream fills you with a sense of freedom and joy.

After a few minutes, place the crystal directly in front of the candle and repeat the following incantation three times:

“I welcome Ostara and cleanse my space, dissolving blocks from every place,

With peace in my heart and calmness of mind, an easy path ahead I’ll find.”

Once these words have been said three times, close the spell by adding “So mote it be.”

While the candle is still burning, eat one of the hot cross buns with one hand while handing the amazonite in the other, and then allow the candle to burn down.

If you wish, offer the remaining buns to other family members, so that they might share in the magickal blessings.

Finally, once the candle has burned down, press the flower between the pages of a heavy book for about a week.

This flower can be used for any other spells you wish to cast during the Spring, and the crystal can be placed somewhere around your space to continue to enjoy its positive energy. Keep the other altar items in a safe space, for later use.

Ostara: Welcoming the Light

After the long darkness of winter, the Spring solstice, Ostara, arrives with its promise of light and new life. If you’re new to this celebration, use the guide above for ideas to mark it this year.

Enjoy some baking for Ostara, try a spell, or enjoy a simple plant meditation – whatever feels right to you. Embrace this sabbat by doing a little spiritual spring cleaning, too: sweeping out the old to welcome in new possibilities as the wheel turns. 

About Morningbird (Witchipedia's Founder)

I am a homesteading hearth witch who grew up along the shores of the Hudson River and has lived among the Great Lakes for the past 20 years. Together with my musical husband and youngest child, I steward a one-acre mini homestead with herb, vegetable and flower gardens, chickens, ducks, geese and rabbits, and areas reserved for native plants and wildlife. 

I have three children; two are grown, and I have been practicing magick alone and with family and friends for over 30 years.

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