Ostara - The Spring Equinox - Eostre's Day, Alban Eilir, Festival of the Trees
Ostara,(O-STAR-ah), also known as Eostre by the Saxons, is the teutonic Goddess of spring and the dawn. Her festivals are known as Ostara, Eostre's Day, Alban Eilir, Festival of the Trees, and Lady Day. The festival begins on or around the Vernal Equinox, and depending on the traditon can last several days.
At this time, the egg laying instinct in some birds, most notably chickens, is triggered by the lengthening of the day and marks the beginning of Spring. The hunting of these first eggs of spring by our hungry ancestors is what eventually gave rise to the game of egg hunting, still played around the world. The beginning of Spring also marks the beginning of rabbit mating season. The antics of male rabbits vying for the favor of females while fighting off competing suitors coupled with their prolific mating habbits gave rise to the Rabbit as not only being a symbol for Eostre, but a powerful symbol of fertility in general.
Many of the symbols of the contemporary holiday of Easter come from pagan tales of the Goddess Eostre. One such tells of a hare who of all the creatures of the forest had forgotton to make a gift for the Goddess on the day of her festival. Desperately seeking something to give her, he happened upon an abandoned nest in which lay the first egg of the season. The hare took the egg and colored it with the nectar of the season's first flowers and then rushed to the festival and presented the egg to the Goddess. She was so amused and touched by the Hare's gift that she blessed him on the spot, and ever after he was her constant companion.
On this day we celebrate the triumph of day over night as the sunlit hours begin to outnumber the dark. We rejoice in the awakening of the earth around us, decorating our altars with bright colors and and the first flowers of the season. Many traditions mark the beginning of this season with a fast to cleanse any toxins or negative energies from their bodies, breaking their fast only with the first foods of the season. Now is the perfect time for any magick dealing with cleansing, awakening, and new beginnings.
The God and the Goddess rejoice in awakening of the world. Nature turns her energies to regeneration and procreation mirroring the play between child God and Goddess as it evolves, giving rise to deeper passoins. The maturing God now begins courtship in earnest of his beautiful Maiden Goddess.
Supplies for your Ostara