Ostara Blessings to all
Today is the Spring Equinox. It is a Pagan Sabbat called Ostara. It is the time that day and night are at equal length both day and night have 12 hours.
On this day, light and dark are equal, but the light is surpassing the dark, the horned God is growing stronger, after his birth on the Winter Solstice.
Here in the Northern Hemisphere, we look forward to the longer and warmer days. We notice the buds forming on the branches, the birds returning and animals coming out of hiding.
The young Sun God takes notice of the young maiden Goddess as they flirt with each other wildly and the stirrings within Them seem to be felt in all living creatures. All the world seems renewed, refreshed and bursting with possibilities.
The name for this Sabbat comes from the Teutonic Goddess Eostre. Her chief symbols are the bunny to represent fertility and the egg as it represents creation. We also celebrate the growing Sun God Cernunnos. Ostara is a time to celebrate spring and the rebirth of nature itself and the coming of Summer as well. Other Gods and Goddesses that are honored on this day are Ishtar and Persephone, who were resurrected from death in the Spring. Also Gods Pan, The Dagda, Apollo and Horus.
Ostara is primarily a celebration of rebirth and new life, observe all the new life beginning around you. Trees are starting to leaf, flowers are beginning to bud, in farms it is lambing and chick season. On Ostara we should plant seeds and make a garden, this is the perfect time to start a herb garden. We don’t only plant seeds in the physical world we should also plants seeds for the future in our minds, looking forward for the year to come. There is a gentle whispered promise of Summer and the bounty about to come into fruition.
The egg (and all seeds) contains ‘all potential’, full of promise and new life. It symbolises the rebirth of nature, the fertility of the Earth and all creation. In many traditions the egg is a symbol for the whole universe. The ‘cosmic’ egg contains a balance of male and female, light and dark, in the egg yolk and egg white. The golden orb of the yolk represents the Sun God enfolded by the White Goddess, perfect balance, so it is particularly appropriate to Ostara and the Spring Equinox when all is in balance for just a moment, although the underlying energy is one of growth and expansion.
In Celtic tradition, the hare is sacred to the Goddess and is the totem animal of many lunar goddesses such as Hecate, Freya and Holda - the hare is a symbol for the moon. The Goddess most closely associated with the Hare is Eostre, or Ostara. The date of the Christian Easter is determined by the phase of the moon. The nocturnal hare, so closely associated with the moon which dies every morning and is resurrected every evening, also represents the rebirth of nature in Spring. Both the moon and the hare were believed to die daily in order to be reborn - therefore the Hare is a symbol of immortality. It is also a major symbol for fertility and abundance as the hare can conceive while pregnant. Over the centuries the symbol of the Hare at Ostara has become the Easter Bunny who brings eggs to children on Easter morning, the Christian day of rebirth and resurrection
Hot Cross Buns
HCB are very ancient and eaten or baked on Ostara. In the Old Testament we see the Israelites baking sweet buns for an idol, and religious leaders trying to put a stop to it. The early church clergy also tried to put a stop to sacred cakes being baked at Easter. In the end, in the face of defiant cake-baking pagan women, they gave up and blessed the cake instead.