Ostara’s named after the Germanic goddess, Ostre or Ostara or Eostara, depending on your spelling preferences. To her, hares were sacred. Some say the animals were sacrificed and the future was told from the way their entrails spilled; others say that the animals were caught and caged, and the direction they ran when they were released foretold the future. (Modern Pagans don’t make blood sacrifices, so we’d be looking at which way they run.)
Baby animals are born in the Spring – that’s the God being reborn in His “game” aspect. Everyone’s enjoying warmer weather and longer days – though in the Southern Hemisphere, it’s all reversed; Down Under, it’s Autumn!
We celebrate Ostara on the Vernal or Spring Equinox. Equinox means equal night – and at the planet’s equator, the hours of day and night are equal. Even though there’s still a little more dark than light in most of the Northern Hemisphere, we still focus on balance at Ostara.
We think about moving from the “dark” or “inner” or “planning” part of the year into the “light” or “outer” or “doing” part, and that means figuring out how to manifest our plans, and how we can reach our goals.
Ways to Celebrate Ostara
Decorate your Circle with “flowers” cut or torn from paper, and with pictures of rabbits! You might make a daisy chain from real or paper flowers, and wear it as a crown or necklace, too.
Use one of the flowers as a centerpiece on your altar, and raise it up to each Direction in turn. Say something like, By the scent of flowers in the Air, and by the leaves that do unfold; by the sniffing little noses of Our Lady’s hares, by the life that’s getting bold – I hail Ostara’s warmer days and promise Them my working ways. From the dark into the light I bring my dreams, and give them flight!
When you put that flower back on the altar, sprinkle it with one or more scraps of paper that say what you will actually do to reach your goals. (You may need to think about this ahead of time. Be sure it’s realistic, because a promise to the Gods should not be broken.) Keep the scraps of paper as reminders of what to do; tear them up when you finish a task.
2. At the arrow, make a ½” slit in the middle of the stem.
3. Folding it a little, if necessary, slide the stem of the next daisy through the slit, then make another slit in its stem.
4. Repeat until the chain is as long as you want it.
A Toast for Ostara
Hail the Spring and turning Wheel!
Hail the manifest ideal!
Hail the step from dark to light;
Hail the dream and hail the rite!
Hail the balance, in and out –
make it certain! Banish doubt!
Hail the goals I now obtain!
Hail Ostara, Maid and Swain[i]!
[i] “Swain” in this context means lover, consort, partner.