Ostara marks the pagan and pre-Christian celebration of spring. Each year it occurs during the Vernal Equinox, taking place from March 20-22 in the Northern Hemisphere and September 20-22 in the Southern Hemisphere.
Neo-pagan and Wiccan traditions believe this holiday is a celebration of Ostara, also known as Eostre, a Teutonic goddess of fertility. Not much is known about Eostre, and pagan tribes—particularly the Germanic, Celtic, and Norse—did not write down their language beyond the symbolic and spiritual use of runes. Therefore, most knowledge of pagan traditions has been passed down through the observations of Romans or Christian researchers. From what we do know, Eostre was worshipped by the pagan Germanic tribes, and since many traditions were shared among tribes and cultures, it’s possible the celebration of her day traveled elsewhere in Europe.
It is believed that Eostre was symbolized by the rabbit, hare, and eggs, all of which symbolize fertility and the renewal of life. At this time of year, day and night are at equal length, and the sun is gaining strength and potency.
The flowers poking through the snow at Imbolc are now blooming, or have been replaced with new blossoms. Chickens begin laying eggs again, and traditionally lambs are sheared during this time, which is why one traditional food is shearing or clipping cake, which was shared after a long day of sheep shearing. At this time of year, the animals are laying eggs, mating, and giving birth to new generations. This begins the celebration that will occur on May 1, Beltane, which is a further celebration of spring, fertility, and sexuality.
𝔉𝔬𝔬𝔡𝔰 𝔣𝔬𝔯 𝔒𝔰𝔱𝔞𝔯𝔞
The foods associated with Ostara are based on what’s in season, particularly when it comes to herbs, fruits, and vegetables. Fish was always an option for those who lived in coastal areas or near bodies of water, otherwise around this time people would either be cleaning out their pantries or cleaving new meat, knowing more would be to come.
𝔖𝔬𝔪𝔢 𝔬𝔣 𝔱𝔥𝔢 𝔠𝔬𝔪𝔪𝔬𝔫 𝔣𝔬𝔬𝔡𝔰 𝔣𝔬𝔯 𝔒𝔰𝔱𝔞𝔯𝔞 𝔞𝔯𝔢:
Fresh Herbs – Lemon – Eggs – Lamb – Honey Cakes – Figgy Pudding – Clipping Cake or Shearing Cake- Honey – Simnel Cake – Strawberries – Milk
If you’d like to use herbs for magical purposes, these are the herbs associated with Ostara:
Acacia – Alder – Anemone – Apple – Ash – Benzoin – Birch – Bistort – Blackthorn – Bluebell – Calendula – Caraway – Greater & Lesser Celandine – Cleavers – Coltsfoot – Crocus – Daisy – Forget-Me-Not – Frankincense – Gorse – Ground Ivy – Lemon Verbena – Lemongrass – Mugwort – Myrrh – Nettle – Pine – Primrose – Sneezewort – Spearmint – Tansy – Violet
If you want to use Ostara herbs to make a sugar scrub, bath soak, or other beauty-related products, you can use: Apple, Birch, Calendula, Myrrh, Pine, Violet.
ℭ𝔬𝔩𝔬𝔲𝔯𝔰 𝔬𝔣 𝔒𝔰𝔱𝔞𝔯𝔞
Pastels, Gold, Green, Indigo, Red, Pink, Yellow, Blue, Light Purple
𝔖𝔶𝔪𝔟𝔬𝔩𝔰 𝔬𝔣 𝔒𝔰𝔱𝔞𝔯𝔞
Eggs, Rabbits & Hares, Lamb