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20th Mar 2023

Celebrating Ostara – The First Day of Spring – by Renee Rendall

Celebrating Ostara – The First Day of Spring

Have you ever wondered what rabbits and eggs have to do with Easter? And why is it even called Easter anyway? The answer actually lies much farther back in history when our ancient ancestors were celebrating the return of the sun with the Spring Equinox. This was a time to celebrate the Earth’s fertility and rebirth after surviving through the long, hard winter. Many of those old customs and traditions were interwoven with the way we celebrate this time of year today. 

Even if you’re not religious, you’re probably gobbling up as many chocolate eggs as you can get your hands on right now, or maybe that’s just me. And you may be noticing the longer days and the flowers beginning to bloom. You may be seeing buds on the trees and baby animals being born, or you’re reveling in the occasional moments of brilliant sunlight. All of these are part of the cycle of nature known as the Wheel of the Year.

Modern witches and neopagans like me celebrate 8 holidays, known as sabbats, throughout the year. There are four solar holidays marking the solstices and equinoxes, and four days in between each of those known as cross quarter days. Together, these make up the Wheel of the Year, and they help us to mark the changing of the Earth’s cycles, as well as our own.

A little about me and how I got into witchcraft

I’m Renee, and I’m the creator of Awesome on 20 Kitchen Magick where I share recipes and witchcraft tips for people trying to bring a bit more magic into their daily lives. I’m also the co-host of The How to Be Awesome Podcast and the co-teacher of the Coven of Awesomeness Witchcraft Academy. I also offer tarot readings and spiritual coaching through Sagittarian Tarot & Coaching

When I began studying modern witchcraft in 2019, it absolutely changed my life. It taught me that I have the power to create the life I want to live and that I deserve to be happy. This may seem obvious to some, but to me, I was struggling with anxiety and depression and trying to convince myself that I should just settle for the way things were. 

Witchcraft taught me that I could channel my energy into any intention and use the energy of the world around me to support me to manifest those intentions. Whatever I believed was possible. And I’ve been on that path ever since, managing my mental wellbeing and creating a life I love through magick, witchcraft, and pagan traditions.

Modern witchcraft and paganism work with scraps of information through legend and myth, as well as folk traditions passed down through the generations to try to reconnect with the natural world, even as we go about our mundane lives in modern society. And the wheel of the year is a beautiful way to be intentional about that connection. 

What is Ostara

Today we celebrate Ostara which falls every year on the Spring Equinox, the day when light and dark are in perfect balance, and the Earth is beginning to show signs of life and abundance. It’s a time to celebrate fertility in all its forms. You can use your Ostara celebration to call in more of whatever you desire, whether that’s money, puppies, chocolate, love, laughter, or actual pregnancy. This shift in the seasons reminds us that even when things seem bleak, hope always returns.

Ostara is named for the Anglo-Saxon goddess of Spring, Eostre. She was often depicted surrounded by spring flowers, eggs, and a rabbit. She symbolized the return of new life, and her name translates as “radiant dawn.” 

Egg decorating has been a tradition in many cultures across Europe for centuries. You may have done this as a child, and you may still do it with the children in your life today. It’s an easy and fun way to celebrate Ostara, and now that you know its significance, you can do it with more intention.

Use beeswax or even a white crayon to write your hopes for the season onto your egg before dipping it in the dye. Use color magick to give each color a meaning that is special to you. Get creative, follow your intuition, and make each egg a symbol of what you hope to create in your life. I call this witchcraft, but you can call it whatever you like.

For more ideas on how to celebrate Ostara, read my post 3 Easy Rituals for Ostara & the Spring Equinox, or listen to the Ostara episode of The How to Be Awesome Podcast

Kitchen witchcraft

As a kitchen witch, my favorite way to celebrate any pagan holiday is with a feast for my friends and family. Different foods are associated with different turns of the wheel of the year, often based on what would have traditionally been in season at the time.

At the start of Spring, fresh fruits and vegetables would have still been a bit scarce, but with the return of more hours of daylight, eggs would have started to become plentiful. With their obvious association with the season, it seems only obvious to include them in your Ostara feast.

Lamb and preserved meats like ham are also a great choice for meat eaters. Fresh vegetables include leeks, spring onions, spinach, broccoli and cauliflower. Fruits are a bit more scarce, but we live in the modern world and can take advantage of imported citrus, pineapple, and passion fruit at this time of year. Plus, their bright sun colors honor the return of longer days. 

And while many of our ancient ancestors would not have had access to chocolate, I’m all for incorporating your favorite Easter chocolate into your Ostara celebration. Why is Easter chocolate better than any other? I know it’s the exact same, but somehow it just tastes better. To go beyond just eating it straight out of the bag, try something like these Cadbury Creme Egg Brownies.

On my blog, I’ve got a list of 100 recipes that would be absolutely awesome for Ostara. It’s real food for real people, so I hope you find something that you enjoy.

Final thoughts 

I hope you’ve learned a bit more about what makes this time of year so special. You may have noticed yourself feeling a bit more happy and hopeful, and now you know why. As the Earth begins to wake up, so do we. We are part of the world around us, not separate from it. Days like Ostara remind us of that connection.

And don’t worry that you’ve missed out on celebrating if you’re just learning about this holiday today. This energy will be with us for several days or even weeks. Our ancestors celebrated these festivals sometimes over an entire month. As long as you’re focused on the spirit of the season, you’ll be able to take advantage of Ostara energy.

So, how will you celebrate Ostara? Let us know in the comments, or reach out to me on Instagram. I’d love to hear about the abundance you’re creating in your own life.

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