Hey there, ATS. Just wanted to bring about some Ostara cheer and offer up some ideas on how anybody, regardless of religion, can welcome in the
As everybody is aware, Easter comes from the ancient celebration of the Vernal Equinox, called Eostre. The name comes from an old Germanic Pagan
goddess actually named "Eostre" (Ostara). The goddess herself wasn't so much a personality-type goddess as she was a personification of the month.
It was basically a way to celebrate her return, sort of like saying "Hello Spring, glad your back!"
Many cultures celebrated in similar ways. For example, the Norse celebrated Freyja's return to Earth (she goes away during the Winter/dark months)
and Christians celebrate the return of Jesus to Earth. This is not to say that any of those faiths "stole" anything. What it means is that the
Vernal Equinox is such a powerful signal of the return of Spring that many faiths adapted their own mythologies to it. You could say that Ostara
actually stole the faiths instead of the other way around.
So what should you be celebrating? Well, if you are a contemporary Pagan or Witch, you probably already know what to do so please realize that this
is for the cowans out there who are open minded and interested in welcoming in the Spring but, if you see something you celebrate differently in your
particular coven or tradition, feel free to add in your perspective.
Basically, what the average person out there will want to remember is that nearly every faith celebrates this in some way so please don't feel like
this is some "witchy" stuff because it isn't; it's natural
stuff and it's perfectly human to want to celebrate the seasons. I'll start
out with some correspondence lists to get started and then I'll give some good cross-faith activities to take part in.
Decorations are always fun. If you are the candle burning type, pick various pastels like green, peach, lavender, yellow, and
pink. Aside from that, decorate your house with wild flowers, spring flowers and garden motif items. Remember, you are welcoming in the fertility
that Spring has to offer.
For you food folks out there, Ostara is perfect for busting out your sprouts, beans, wines, honeys, seeds, baked goods with fruit in it
(like banana bread) and, of course, EGGS. Deviled eggs, boiled eggs, or if your vegan, just decorate the meal area with eggs without eating them.
Here are some great activities that anybody can follow without sending them to their respective hells. Hopefully, hah hah!
Egg Painting! -
Painting Ostara eggs is a past time shared by many faiths and cultures. When I paint them, I paint them to represent the
Goddess and God with their respective fertility symbols. I also paint on anything that symbolized protection, love, Spring, the sun, water, unity,
growth, etc. Basically, anything that helps crops and families grow would be a great thing to paint on an egg. Perhaps you Christians out there can
paint Jesus and the tomb (representing a womb in this sense) since he emerges from it during this period. Most Christians do not realize how well
their own mythologies fit in with celebrating the Wheel of the Year. It's quite beautiful, really. Oh, and don't forget to hide the eggs!
If you are feeling super productive, you can make your own dyes for the eggs out of various herbs. Blue from blueberries (bright blue
from red cabbage), orange from onion skin, yellow-green from carrot tops, green from coltsfoot and bracken, yellow from tumeric, red from madder root,
etc. Many of these can be mulched with a mortar and pestle but if you can't, Google is your friend today. There are many fun ways to make dyes.
Dress Up -
This is a great excuse to bust out any old pastel garments you have hidden from company. Colorful and bright pastels will change
your outlook on the day and soften the edge on your surroundings. It sounds strange but it will make nature a bit softer and fuzzier for you.
Clean Up -
After you are done for the day, crush up all the used egg shells and sprinkle them on your garden (or house plants or whatever).
This gives your plants the same blessings you imbued into the eggs as you painted them.
It is important to not forget what the actual meaning of Ostara is, as well. It is the traditional time to plant seeds. In the ground and in your
life. Plant some spiritual seeds by making a promise to start a great habit that will pay off by Samhain. Plant some organic seeds in your garden or
house. Plant some planning seeds by perhaps investing into something or maybe just starting a savings plan. The possibilities are endless which is
sort of the point.
So, in short, HAVE A BLESSED OSTARA, ATS!