The Beautiful Wicca Spring Festival of Ostara

The spring equinox has been celebrated around the world, by many peoples and cultures, for centuries. Ostara is one of the sabbats marking the Pagan Wheel of the Year: it is a beautiful celebration of the coming of spring, fertility, and new beginnings. It’s the perfect time to meditate on our hopes and dreams for the year to come, feast with friends, and enjoy some fun Ostara activities. 

Ostara Goddesses

Ostara by Johannes Gehrts
Eduard Ade, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The goddess Eostre is – of course! – powerfully associated with the Ostara sabbat. Easter is named for this deity. Eostre is a fertility goddess of spring and the dawn, linked to renewal, hope, and new life.

Freya, the Norse goddess, is associated with the coming of the spring, too. This deity is said to leave the Earth during the cold winter months, returning with the spring to beautify the land once more! The fabulous necklace Freya wears represents the sun’s fire as it again warms the Earth.

You could also welcome the spring equinox by honoring the Ashanti goddess Asase Yaa, an Earth deity who brings forth new life during this season. As a goddess of fertility, she is honored by the Ghanaian people both in the field and in the home.

Ostara’s Position on the Wheel of the Year

Ostara, which is celebrated from March 19th to 23rd, is the Wheel of the Year sabbat that follows Imbolc in February. During Imbolc, thanks are given for the increasing daylight, and hopes are expressed for an abundant spring. Many Wiccans honor the goddess Brigid during this festival.

Beltane is the sabbat that follows Ostara, celebrated at the end of April and the beginning of May. Love, romance, and bonfires are important elements of this sabbat, which often incorporates traditional May Day festivities.

Ostara Rituals

Create a Beautiful Ostara Altar

Why not honor this joyful sabbat by creating a beautiful altar to mark the coming of spring? My own Ostara altar includes a bunch of fresh daffodils, yellow and green candles, a seedling plant, a rose quartz and moonstone crystal, a couple of tarot cards that, to me, seemed significant for this sabbat, and an offering of small, pretty-colored chocolate eggs. I’ll be truthful: I’m not sure how long these eggs will last on the altar…

Your own altar could include elements such as moss, feathers, pebbles, and twigs – things that you find on a nature walk, or that just feel right to you. Images or symbols of one of the goddesses connected with this sabbat are perfect, too.  Light your candles during Ostara and give thanks for the coming of lighter days and the energies stirring in the Earth. Take a moment to consider what you would like to grow in your personal life this year.

Bringing Balance

The sabbat of Ostara is deeply connected with balance: the equinox represents an equal balance between light and dark. This is a great time to check in with yourself and ensure your life is also in balance. Take some time to meditate during Ostara, and contemplate how to bring further harmony. Is your work-life balance a healthy one, for example? Are there some changes you could make to your daily routines, diet, or work schedule that would be beneficial? If so, now is the perfect time to make these changes.

You may also wish to add something that represents balance to your altar. This could be an image of scales, an item decorated with the Yin and Yang symbol, an equilateral triangle, or the tarot card Justice.

Enjoy Some Egg Magic

Ostara egg ritual
Credit: witchytips on Instagram

With their inherent association with fertility and Easter celebrations, why not enjoy trying some easy egg magic as part of your Ostara celebrations? There are many ways you can use eggs to add some magical sparkle to your day!

Ask Nicely!

Whenever you crack an egg during cooking or baking, take a moment to simply acknowledge each egg and ask what you want it to do. For example, say, “an egg to bring blessings to all who eat this cake” as you crack the egg into the bowl.

Garden Magic

A very old tradition is to bury an egg in the garden at the beginning of spring, to express gratitude to nature and bring abundance. If burying a whole egg isn’t for you, sprinkling eggshells in your garden should have the same effect.

Egg Protection

Placing an egg on the threshold of your home’s door or windowsills is said to guard against negative influences and energies. Throwing an egg or a handful of eggshells onto your roof is also thought to protect the whole home – although be careful how you go about doing this to avoid – excuse the pun! – getting egg on your face.

Ostara Activities for Children

Exciting Egg Hunt

Make your egg hunt extra special this year by getting your kids involved with dying the hard-boiled eggs first! Making natural dyes is easy. Simple mix water with mashed beetroots for a pink dye, turmeric for yellow, purple cabbage for sea blue, and hibiscus for dark green. If the children will be working in teams, assign each a color, and have, for example, the yellow team hunt for the yellow eggs and the pink team for the pink.

Enjoy a Picnic

Children playing

Ostara is the perfect time to get outside into nature and enjoy a picnic with the children! Pack your bag with plenty of kid-friendly treats and snacks and spend some time talking with your kids about the wildlife you spot while you’re out, such as the different types of birds, trees, and flowers you come across. 

Seed Planting

This sabbat is all about rebirth and growth, so why not help the kids grow their own seedlings? All you need is an empty egg carton, some seeds, and some potting soil. Get the kids to fill each space in the egg carton with potting soil and then gently push one of the seeds into the earth. Help your children water the soil and then cover the carton with clear plastic (or a plastic bag) and place them on the windowsill. In about a week, they’ll be delighted to see little sprouts appearing. Once each plant has sprouted, you can help your kids transfer their seedlings into a pot or space outside.

Ostara Recipes

Deviled Eggs

A fascinating fact: “deviled” when applied to food, actually meant hot or spicy in the eighteenth century. For this recipe, you’ll need:

  • One dozen eggs, boiled, cooled, and peeled
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • One-quarter of a cup of mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • One-half teaspoon of white vinegar
  • Salt, pepper, and paprika
  • Parsley, to garnish

Slice each of the eggs in half lengthwise, remove the yolks, and place these in a bowl. Next, mash the yolks with a fork and add the Dijon mustard, mayo, vinegar, salt, and pepper and blend these ingredients together. Spoon this mixture into the egg-white halves, sprinkle with paprika, and garnish with parsley. And enjoy!

Wild Garlic Pesto

This springtime favorite is easy to make and extremely versatile. You’ll need:

  • 100g wild garlic leaves, washed and chopped
  • 40g pines nuts or walnuts, grounded
  • 50g Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 40ml olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Put the garlic leaves, nuts, and cheese into a food processor and blend for about ten to twenty seconds. Gradually add the olive oil and continue to process until the mixture has reached the consistency you like. Now add the salt and pepper to taste, and you’re good to go!

Welcoming Ostara with an Open Heart

Ostara represents balance, fertility, rebirth, and hope. The Earth is waking from the long winter, seeds are stirring in the ground, and there’s a sense of new potential in the air. Celebrating Ostara is a wonderful way to stay in tune with the turning seasons, and give thanks for the bounty and blessings in our life. It’s also the perfect time to consider what we want to grow and nurture in the months ahead. The time for dreaming is over: now is the time to take action to make our dreams a reality.

However you choose to mark Ostara – with a raucous family celebration or through quiet meditation – keep the focus on the light both within and without. Wishing you a joyous Ostara!

Featured Image Credit: quintonamy on Instagram

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Melanie Smith

Melanie Smith is a freelance content and creative writer from Gloucestershire. She lives in a funny little cottage with her daughter and cat, The Magical Mr. Bobo. Her blog posts and articles on the subjects of tarot, crystal healing, holistic wellness, and parenting feature regularly in magazines and websites around the world.