On the equator, at the moment of both the Vernal (Spring) and Autumnal (Autumn or Fall) Equinox, the lengths of night and day are equal. In Latin, that’s what the word equinox means: equal (equi) night (nox). Humans have been aware for thousands of years that light and darkness balance at the Equinoxes; this balance, and, by extension, the balance of other aspects of our lives, have long been a focus of Spring rituals.
Ostara on or around march 21st (sometimes spelled Eostara or Eostre) is named after the Anglo-Saxon goddess of Spring. Her sacred symbols are eggs and hares. Not surprisingly, She’s a Maiden Goddess rather than a Mother or a Crone. she is the namesake of the Christian holiday Easter. pagans celebrate Her festival is celebrated on the Vernal Equinox, the first day of Spring. Her name is thought to mean “to shine”, therefore Eeostre is seen as a goddess of the dawn. However it is also thought that Eastre is the ancient word for “spring”. There are also links to the name Eostre and “east”, the direction of the sky where the sun first rises, which gives Eostre the name “Eastern Star”. Eostre is connected with growth, renewal, abundance, new beginnings and fertility. As symbols of rebirth and fertility, eggs and rabbits are sacred to her, as is the full moon.
Eostre represents the transitional time between childhood innocence and adult passion, and reminds us that life is full of untold possibilities and adventures.
Through her association with dawn, Eostre may be related to the Greek Eos, Roman Aurora, or Indian Ushas. In some Pagan myths, the idea is that the Goddess has been taken, or takes Herself and Her buds and flowers and fruits, into the Earth, to the Underworld for the Winter, and is rescued or returns of her own accord in the Spring, which explains why everything sprouts and buds again.
Most pagans and wiccans acknowledge the role of the Sun (God) in all of this: as the days get warmer from Yule, the Earth thaws, and there’s enough light and warmth and water for things to grow again. Wicca respects the myths that come from other cultures, We tend to see various goddesses as aspects of the Great Goddess, so we’re more likely to speak of the Goddess resuming Her Maiden aspect than of, to borrow a Greek example, Demeter recovering her daughter Persephone from Hades’ arms
though the christian easter was born from the pagan eostre: the dawn goddess of fertility, or ostara, they don’t fall in the same month every year, they share at least one custom every year, and it’s a custom that predates both Wicca and Christianity. We know that the Romans also dyed eggs, using bright colors to encourage the growing Sun to keep growing, to tip the Equinox’s balance from darkness to light.
At Ostara, it’s likely that we need to catch our breath and our balance. (If we look carefully, we see that most Ostara customs are concerned, one way or another, with balance.) We need to take some time to breathe deeply and relax, to reorient ourselves toward the waxing light, to set worries and wish-we-hads aside and think about what we can do with what we have, and how what we do now will affect what we have to work with later on.
Our inner gardens need tending as much as the ones in our yards or on our patios. Our minds need clearing as much as our closets and garages and basements need cleaning; our hearts need encouragement as much as the dining room needs a new coat of paint.
The goddesses of springtime, Persephone, Ishtar, and Ostara, bring us the message of awakening and personal growth. Their gift is the motivation and the energy we need to pursue our dreams. As the tender green buds begin to leaf out around us, our own lives are refilled with vital energy.
Spring is the time to make room in our hearts for a passion for all things new. And it helps to use a little bit of magic and new ideas. Since our own bodies and spirits echo the earth’s changes, spring is an ideal time to head out in new directions.
Has any stagnation or lethargy crept into your life? Let it go! Now is the ideal time to open yourself to all things that facilitate your growth and evolution. whatever you do, don’t let your perception of any “lack of capability” stand in the way of your hopes and dreams.