Ostara is here, blissmakers! Are you ready to celebrate? I’m so excited to share with you five of my favorite SIMPLE ways to honor and observe this magickal holiday.
Ostara is the name of the celebration of the Vernal Equinox in accordance with the old agrarian calendar known as the Wheel of the Year in many magickal and earth-based spiritual circles. Falling on the equinox, it’s one of the four solar festivals called the quarter days on the Wheel. The quarter days divvy up the year into quarters (of course) based on the passage of the Sun through His phases. They include the Vernal and Autumnal Equinoxes as well as the Summer and Winter Solstices. The Solstices are days when the Sun’s energy is either at its strongest (Summer) or weakest (Winter).* The Equinoxes are days when the Sun’s power is equal to the Moon’s, meaning there are equal hours of daylight and night dark.
Because of its association with the Vernal Equinox, Ostara has strong themes of balance and equality. But these are only some of Ostara’s themes. Ostara also marks the midpoint of the Spring season.** As such, the energies of the Spring season are at their height on this date, and are also included in the celebrations and rituals of Ostara. These include the concepts of fertility, birth/rebirth and growth, blossoming/blooming, awakening and cleansing.
So now that you have a better understanding of what Ostara actually is, let’s dive into some of the ways you might choose to celebrate this sacred day. Following are 5 of my favorite simple ways to honor and observe this magickal holiday. This is in no way an exhaustive list, so feel free to use it as a springboard for your own imagination and creativity. Enjoy!
Go foraging! There are many things coming into bloom at this time of year, and this can be a beautiful time to gather some of them for bringing some of the Natural world into your own living space. Some of the glorious blossoms available can be harvested for aesthetic additions to your home, such as daffodils, tulips and cherry blossom branches. Others can actually be foraged as beautiful and nourishing additions to your meals, like forsythia, violets and chives. Whatever you choose to harvest, please do so sustainably and with as little harm to the plant and surrounding environment as possible.
Volunteer at an animal sanctuary. Animal sanctuaries are organizations that rescue mistreated and abused animals from unsafe environments, providing medical care, safe living conditions and a higher quality of life for these noble creatures. Spring is the season during which many animals are giving birth, so it can be a particularly busy time for these caregivers. Volunteering your time and energy is a wonderful way to support the good work these organizations are doing.
Take a hike! The world is waking up, and it can be a beautiful sight to behold. Getting into the woods or a nearby greenway or even your own neighborhood can give you the opportunity to see how your own local environment changes with the seasons. It can provide an opportunity to become a part of the event of Spring in a way that often gets missed in our modern concrete-and-plastic-contained lives.
Make some culinary art. This is a fun and delicious way to honor the creative forces at play during Ostara. Try making a Spring salad with edible flowers and herbs. Or baking some focaccia bread with an artistic scene made from herbs, blossoms, fruits and vegetables baked right into the crust. Hot cross buns are a common sight at Easter (which is the Christian/secular version of Ostara). Choose something that lights up your taste buds and utilizes some of the flavors of the season.
Practice balancing. Whether you choose to do some balancing yoga poses, practice gymnastics on a balance beam, hop on one foot or walk across the room with a book on your head, practicing ways to find balance in your body can energetically help you to grow more balance in your life. The very act of balancing the body requires a focusing of the mind, a concentrated sense of presence in the moment. These are things that help us to create a more balanced experience of life. And that is something worth celebrating, no?
However you choose to celebrate Ostara, may it be an abundant, revitalizing, balancing and creative experience for you. Sending you many merry blessings for the season, blissmakers!
* This is based on placement in the northern hemisphere of the planet. It’s the opposite for the southern hemisphere.
** This is according to the agrarian calendar on which the Wheel of the Year is based. The modern Gregorian calendar has Ostara marking the beginning of the season.