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OSTARA

21 SEPTEMBER

The Vernal Equinox -- It is no coincidence that the name for this Sabbat sounds similar to the word 'Easter'. Eostre, or Ostara, (pronounced O-STAR-ah) is an Anglo-Saxon Dawn Goddess whose symbols are the egg and the hare. She is the European version of the Goddess Ishtar or Astarte, whose worship dates back thousands of years and is certainly pre-Christian. In the Pagan Wheel of the Year, this is the time when the great Mother Goddess, again a virgin at Yule, welcomes the young Sun God unto her and conceives a child of this divine union. The child will be born nine months later, at Yule, the Winter Solstice. The Goddess put on the robes of maiden at Imbolc but she is seen truly embodying the spirit of spring and Ostara is celebrated as a spring festival.

Ostara is the Spring Equinox when day and night are equal and the transition from the dark to the light half of the year is marked. On this day, the sun rises due east and sets due west and marks the mid-point of Spring. At this time we can see the awakening of the land, leaves on trees and the first shoots of flowers. Element: Air.

Ostara Correspondences:

· Focus: personal renewal, new beginnings, rebirth, fertility

· Colours: green and yellow

· Incense: African violet, jasmine, rose, sage and strawberry

· Tools and symbols: There is much symbolism in eggs themselves. The golden orb of its yolk represents the Sun God, its white shell is seen as the White Goddess, and the whole is a symbol of rebirth. The hare is symbolic of the moon (it used to be thought that an image of a hare could be seen in the full moon).

· Decorations: four leaf clover, baskets, eggs, lambs, flowers, chicks, bunnies, budding twigs, flowers, pussy willows, sprouting bulbs, coloured ribbons

· Crystals: Jasper, amethyst, aquamarine, bloodstone and red jasper

· Foods: jelly eggs, jelly beans, chocolates, lamb, eggs, seeds, leafy green vegetables, spiced or flower cupcakes, fruits, hot cross buns, sprouts, honey cakes, unleavened bread

· Deities: The Maiden, Astarte, Aurora, Eostre, Eos, Ostara, Kore or Persephone (as the maiden), The Green Man, Ares, Mars, Attis, Adonis, Osiris, Narcissus, Hyacinth and Dionysus

· Herbs and flowers: Honeysuckle, Iris, Peony, Violet, Woodruff, Gorse, Olive, Iris, Narcissus, Daffodils, Jonquils, Primrose, Forsythia, Crocus, all spring flowers, pine tree

· Workings: planting, welcoming spring, fertility rites, rituals of balance, herb work - magical, medicinal, cosmetic, culinary and artistic, spells for prosperity/fertility, new beginnings, potential, action

· Animals: rabbits, hares, robins, dragons (associated with eggs, the earth and fertility), lambs, chicks

 

I am the ground, the sea, the sky
the breezes springtime sweet
gods and spirits dance the round
within this circle meet.
I conjure thee, O leaves of spring
hyacinth and myrtle
roses, lilacs, lavender

black earth, warm and fertile.
Gifts of Gaia, Green Man rule
my wishes come to form
good fortune roots within my world
prosperity is born!

Extract from ‘Ostara Invocation’ by Silver Ravenwolf