Ostara, Spring Equinox
"A Light exists in Spring
Not present on the Year
At any other period —
When March is scarcely here
A Color stands abroad
On Solitary Fields
That Science cannot overtake
But Human Nature feels.
It waits upon the Lawn,
It shows the furthest Tree
Upon the furthest Slope you know
It almost speaks to you.
Then as Horizons step
Or Noons report away
Without the Formula of sound
It passes and we stay —
A quality of loss
Affecting our Content
As Trade had suddenly encroached
Upon a Sacrament."
The Spring Equinox is celebrated around the 21st of March. The Sun enters in Aries and its rays fall directly on the equator, making night and day the same length. From this moment onwards, days will become longer each day. The Wheel of the zodiac starts to spin from its first sign..
Some magicians call this equinox Ostara, but this might not be really correct. Ostara would be the lunar festivity which is dedicated to the goddess Eostre in these days. And as the Goddess of Spring, she cannot miss this sabbat. Others choose to call this equinox the “Day of the Maiden”, thus focusing on the young aspect of the Goddess.
Ultimately, both the God and the Goddess belong to this solar festivity. Due to their union, the Goddess conceives.
Near this date the christian Easter is celebrated as well. It still preserves the traditional images of the rabbit and the eggs. Some christians assimilated the symbol of the rabbit to Easter and created a funny tale in which Jesus would have shared his tomb with a rabbit. This animal almost became a saint after witnessing the miracle of the resurrection of the Christ, and he was so happy because of it that he went outside and started giving eggs to children as a gift. However, it is the Goddess Eostre who is usually portrayed surrounded by such animals. And on the other hand, eggs are also an universal symbol of fertility, union and rebirth. There is a Druidic legend that tells that the eggs you find on this day are the healing eggs spewed by snakes. The 25th of March is the day of the Annunciation, which corresponds to the birth of the pagan goddess.
We shouldn’t forget that christian Easter has its origins in the jewish Easter, which itself has its origin in the fertility rituals that were celebrated by nomad shepherds. For them, the transition from winter to spring was the time of the year in which they had to search for new grasslands from which to feed their sheep. The first full moon in spring they gathered in the desert to sacrifice a lamb so they would obtain the protection from the good spirits for their livestock. When the jewish became sedentary and started to acquire a historical awareness, the shepherd celebration was combined with another one from the settled farmers, which consisted in eating yeastless bread that was kneaded with the first harvest cereals. As time went by, the festivity evolved into the celebration of the Exodus from Egypt.
The egg would then represent for them the hardened heart from the pharaoh. In Egypt, it was the central time in the cult of Isis, linked to the Sirius star.
The energies from the Spring Equinox promote love, fertility, hope, happiness, and new relationships. It brings us renewed strength to open ourselves to the outside. We leave the winter laziness behind, along with all that hinders and obstructs us.
What we sowed in Imbolc now starts to manifest, though it still holds a lot of unrealized potential...
Symbols: The vertical arrow that symbolizes power and growth, the spiral circle, the seed.
Talismans: Bags or sachets with dried petals, phallic objects, iron, gold, silver; the tail or paw of a rabbit as a symbol of fertility and a talisman for protection.
Food: Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, pine nuts, green vegetables, salads, eggs, rabbit, lamb...
Herbs: All spring flowers, violet, iris, olive tree.
Incense: Jasmine, rose, flower scents.
Gems: Jasper, aquamarine, carnelian
Colors: Red and green.
Typical activities: Sow, plant, build magical gardens. Decorating eggs, creating sachets and amulets. Cleaning the house. Fasting, purging diets...