Glad Bringer of Brightness, hail!
Maiden of Grace, Lad of Laughter,
Gifts of vigor are returning,
Spring’s surprise, rainbow’s embrace.
Quickened by the heart within us,
Opened be our souls to grace,
May the blessing be abiding,
Welcome sit in every face.
Greetings to the Spring Equinox
By Caitlín Matthews, Celtic Devotional: Daily Prayers and Blessings
Blessings of Ostara! Happy Equinox!
And blessings of Mabon, for all our friends who live below the equator and who are today celebrating the first day of Autumn!
Also known as Lady Day or Alban Eiler (Druid), on this day, night and day stand in perfect balance. After today, in the “lands down under,” the hours of night overcome the daylight. Here in the Northern Hemisphere, the hours of daylight will surpass the hours of darkness.
As the Sun moves today into the first sign of the zodiac, Aries, this is the beginning of the astrological New Year. Happy International Astrology Day!
For those who live where Spring is arriving, this is a time of fertility, mating, new growth, and life renewing itself. Ostara is when we celebrate the arrival of Spring, the renewal and rebirth of Nature herself, and the coming lushness of Summer.
The forces of masculine and feminine energy, yin and yang, are also in balance at this time.
As I noted in my Goddess Sunday post, Eostre, the Saxon Goddess of fertility, and Ostara, Her German aspect, are invoked at this Quarter Sabbat. It is also the time when Persephone returns from the Underworld, ending the grief of Her Mother, Demeter. And some Craft traditions celebrate the Green Goddess and the Lord of the Greenwood.
Other deities you may wish to work with for Ostara include Ganesh, who Opens the Way and Amaterasu, who, like Demeter, also re-emerges from Her grieving Winter exile at this time, bringing the world back to life again.
Other Goddesses and Gods who are associated with Spring include Aphrodite, Athena, Cybele, Gaia, Hera, Isis, Robin of the Woods, the Green Man, Cernunnos, Thoth, Osiris, and Pan. In the weeks ahead, I’ll be writing extensively about many of the Spring Goddesses in my Goddess Sundays feature.
By whatever name you wish to call Her, the great Goddess, who was the young maiden six weeks ago at Imbolc, now welcomes the young Sun God to Her and conceives a child of this union. Their divine child will be born in nine months, at Yule, the Winter Solstice.
Old Pagan practices, such as the lighting of bonfires at dawn for healing, renewed life, and protection of the crops, still survive today in parts of America, as well as in Europe. Witches celebrate Ostara in many ways on this day, also lighting fires at sunrise, as well as ringing bells, and decorating hard-boiled eggs, an ancient Pagan tradition associated with the Goddess of Fertility.
The Spring Equinox is a time of new beginnings, of action, of planting seeds for future crops and projects, and of tending gardens. This is the time of the Earth’s renewal, a rousing of nature after the cold sleep of Winter. As such, it is an ideal time to clean and freshen your home and especially your magical areas and altars, so as to welcome the new season.
This year, the timing is especially lovely, as the New Moon of Aries arrives Thursday morning, compounding this great energy for new beginnings, growth, and opening of the ways. The next couple of days will be perfect for some serious clutter busting and purging.
With Spring being ruled by the Guardian of the East and Air, this is an ideal time to turn your attention towards matters of intellectual challenge and growth, improving communications, developing new skills, and honing your gifts of discernment.
Spellwork for improving group interactions are recommended, as well as concerns about fertility and abundance.
Ostara marks the time to start putting those plans and preparations you made at Imbolc into action, although with the Mars and Mercury retrogrades still gumming up the energy of forward progress, it won’t hurt at all to be extra attentive towards planning at bit longer. Start laying the practical groundwork for physically manifesting your intentions now. Mars stations direct on April 14, and the Mercury retrograde ends April 4.
The most common colors associated with Ostara are lemon yellow, pale green and pale pink. Other appropriate colors include grass green, all pastels, robin’s egg blue, violet, and white.
Stones to use during the Spring celebrations include aquamarine, rose quartz, and moonstone. Animals associated with Ostara are rabbits and snakes.
As the Wheel turns today, may Spring’s fresh brightness softly shine within your heart. May the sweet Grace of life’s renewal and hope lift your spirits. And may the Goddess shower you always in Her love.