How to harness the magic of Spring and create your own Ostara altar!
Spring is almost here in the Northern Hemisphere and most of us might be feeling the urge to get outside and explore. Traditionally, winter is the season of rest, just as the animals and nature reflect this, going into hibernation and preparing to emerge with the promise of spring, we too use the winter months to retreat, rest and renew.
Spring is a time of renewal, new beginnings and rebirth, nature is awakening all around us, we see it in the flowers, tree’s and newborn animals. We too are awakening, full of bright new energy and ready to break into something new, metaphorically, we are all reborn every spring.
It is almost time for the vernal equinox, where night and day stand in perfect balance, warmth returns as the Sun grows stronger and the days get longer. We will soon be greeted by Ostara who is the Germanic Goddess of spring who fulfils the promise of new life every year. She is the Maiden Goddess, full of potential, representing the opportunity of growth and rebirth after the stagnation of winter. She initiates the entire Wheel of the Year.
Who is Goddess Ostara?
Goddess Ostara or Eostre is the Anglo-Saxon Goddess of spring, the dawn, fertility, rebirth, abundance and manifestation. Her name is the root word for Easter and also oestrogen which further demonstrates her link with female fertility.
Spring is of course symbolic of fertility and rebirth, when an abundance of new life comes forth after the winter hibernation, and we see the emergence and manifestation of many different flowers, plants, leaves, blossoms and baby animals.
Goddess Ostara is often depicted as a beautiful young woman, surrounded by rabbits and flowers. She sometimes carries a basket of eggs. Ostara represents the life force of Mother Gaia springing forth as the warmth of the sun stirs her energy and stimulates the rebirthing of plants and animals and a new cycle begins.
Goddess Ostara is the Maiden aspect of the Triple Goddess. She is an ancient Scandinavian Spring Goddess, whose symbol was the great cosmic egg. A derivative name of this Goddess appears in early Christian works at Eostre, which is likely based on a Saxon Goddess of the same name. She is sometimes said to be an alternative aspect or personification of the Norse Goddess Freya and the Greek Goddess Eos, the maiden aspect of the triple goddesses Eos (dawn), Hemera (day) and Nyx (night). Being the Goddess of the Dawn, Ostara’s worship has traditionally been at this time of day.
Ostara is a time of balance
Spring begins on the 20th March at the vernal equinox, when the Sun enters Aries, the first sign of the zodiac. The spring and autumn equinoxes mark the two times of year when the sun crosses the equator, making the length of day equal to the length of night. The first day of spring marks the point of perfect balance in the Wheel of the Year. Ostara is a time of balance between light and dark, it also represents the balance of masculine and feminine, and within and without. To harness this energy on your altar, you can use symbols to represent this polarity, such as using a God and Goddess statue, a white and black candle, a sun and a moon, balance scales, or a yin and yang symbol.
You can also use gemstones that represent the elements or chakras and place them on your alter to symbolise harmony in all things.
For modern Pagans, Ostara is the time to start taking action on the seeds that were planted during the wintertime between Yule and Imbolc. The goals and intentions you planted during these colder months and tend to during the spring season will bloom into fruition ready to harvest during the coming summer months and the Sabbats of Beltane, Litha and Lammas will be where you reap your bountiful rewards.
Ostara invites us to practice gratitude for the space and lessons we gained from the winter season, and for the reawakening of the earth and the abundant possibilities that come with this new season.
Ostara, like Mabon, is an equinox and as such is a point of perfect balance between light and dark, day and night. Now we enter the lighter half of the year (in the Northern Hemisphere), and we can look forward to more sunshine and warmer days.
At Ostara, we can take inspiration from nature and focus on areas of our lives where we want to manifest fertility, growth, abundance, hope, light, balance and beauty.
Making an Ostara altar is a beautiful way to set intentions for everything you want to birth this year. In this blog, I’ll give you ideas for creating your own Ostara spring ritual altar.
Cosmic Egg Colours
In the world of witches, eggs symbolise potential. When you colour eggs, you infuse them with the magickal, vibrational qualities of the colour you have chosen. You can colour your eggs with natural dye and food colouring, but before you engage in this activity take time to contemplate or meditate on which energies you wish to promote in your life.
Below I will list colours you can use, along with their magickal and spiritual properties.
Pink: Love, friendship, peace, harmony, togetherness, tenderness, sentimentality
Red: Energy, lust, passion, transformation, ambition, action, movement, decision
Blue: Emotions, releasing, flow, psychic awareness, freedom, peace, calmness, tranquility
Lavender: Spiritual understanding, spiritual awakening, spiritual mastery
Yellow: Communication, knowledge, speech, learning, the arts, inspiration, vitality
Gold: Health, wealth, joy, prosperity, abundance
Brown: Grounding, solidity, practicality, clarification, work
Green: Prosperity, financial gain, health, growth, nurturing
Ostara Marks New Beginnings
Similar to the symbols that are used at Easter, like eggs, rabbits, new bulbs of flowers, and seedlings bursting forth from the earth, many Pagans and Wiccans embrace these symbols to represent the fertility of spring and incorporate them into rituals, altars, and celebratory feasts.
You can decorate your altar with statues of hares, chicks, baby lambs, and calves to represent the birthing and lambing season, as this is the time of year when animals are bringing forth new life too. You can add decorated eggs, or a basket of eggs to your altar, the egg has been a symbol of spring long before the Easter basket. Eggs, along with all seeds, contain the complete potential of life within. The cosmic egg is a symbol of the entire universe and the balance of masculine and feminine. Eggs are sacred to Ostara, symbolising fertility and the renewed cycle of life. If you like to use statues to honour your deities you can add those too. A personal favourite is a statue of Mother Gaia, and any deity that represents rebirth and regrowth.
You can add anything to your altar that makes you feel happy and brings you new life. Anything that sparks joy should be on your Ostara altar!
To get an idea of what colours are appropriate for your altar, all you have to do is look outside for inspiration. There is an abundance of spring colours starting to appear, notice the yellows of the daffodils blooming behind your house, the pale purples of lilacs in the garden, and the green of new leaves appearing in the ground and in the trees.
Pastels are also considered Spring colours as well, so feel free to add some pinks and blues into the mix. You can try a pale green altar cloth with some purples and blues draped across it and add some yellow or pink candles. Adding lots of Rose Quartz and Amethyst to your altar always gives it a soft spring energy and the colours of pinks and purple look amazing together.
You can also decorate your candles with pretty ribbons, add colourful plant pots to your altar and even adding bright Easter chocolates in a pretty bowl is a nice addition.
Spring Equinox is a celebration of the return of the light and Ostara is known as the Goddess of Spring and Dawn, she is a symbol of the transition into the light. Working with her can help you regenerate the power of your creative life force and awaken your true potential.
In the Northern Hemisphere, we’ll celebrate Ostara on 20th March. To honour the Goddess, light a candle to symbolise the return of the Sun, and set your intentions for new beginnings and renewed vitality.
Green, pink, blue, yellow, lilac, white
Leafy green vegetables, Dairy foods, Eggs, Nuts such as Pumpkin, Sunflower and Pine, eggs, honey, grains, baked goods, asparagus, edible flowers, lettuce
Herbs and Flowers
Since Ostara is a time of new growth and life, you can add potted plants such as new crocuses, Daffodils, Lilies, and other magical spring flowers to your altar.
Clover, daffodils, crocus, tulips, lavender, St John’s Wort, daisies, lilacs, alder, birch and ash trees, Jonquils, Woodruff, Violet, Gorse, Olive, Peony, Iris, Narcissus are all spring flowers
Jasmine, Rose, Strawberry, Floral of any type.
Jasper, Moonstone, Aquamarine, Rose Quartz, Kyanite, Citrine, Green Aventurine, Amethyst, Chalcedony, Chrysoprase, Rhodochrosite, Tiger’s eye, Carnelian, Bloodstone, Ruby and Jade are all stones of Ostara.
Butterflies, bees, rabbits, chicks, lambs, birds, hares, hedgehogs.
Eostre, Isis, Aphrodite, Lady of the Lake
How to bring the Magick of Ostara into your life
Planting seeds or starting a Magickal Herb Garden. Taking a long walk in nature with no intent other than reflecting on the Magick of nature and our Great Mother and her bounty.
Spring clean your home, physically and energetically, sage and smudge your entire home, your sacred space, your ritual objects and your altar. Open your windows and let the fresh spring air in!
Decorate your altar to honour the Goddess Ostara with offerings of bread, colourful eggs, daffodils, crocuses, seeds, crystals, spring blossoms
Take a nature walk with your family and celebrate the signs of spring, if it’s warm enough why not have a picnic outside and enjoy the spring sunshine?
Now is the time of spring planting, sow seeds for a vegetable patch or flower garden
Create a bird or butterfly feeder to help these creatures as they begin to grace us with their presence once again
Perform spellwork and sacred journalling that relates to new beginnings and manifestation
Fill your house with vases of fresh spring flowers such as daffodils and tulips
Get up at dawn on the spring equinox and sit in gratitude and quiet contemplation of the many blessings in your life and what you want to bring in over the next few months.
Bake a cake or loaf of bread to celebrate with and eat it mindfully thinking about what this new season means for you.
There’s no right or wrong way to creating your altar when you do it with intention. It can be as simple as you want it to be or as elaborate as you want! When it comes to spring and Ostara, work with anything that gets you excited about new ideas, projects, and a fresh start. The magic behind making an altar is the intention you set as you decorate it. Let the making of your altar and the whole process become a ritual. Take time to purposely place your altar items together with the intention of honouring yourself as well as the Goddess.
Build your altar step by step with loving gratitude for what you want to birth into your life and bring into the world.
Spring Equinox blessings to all, and happy altar making!