A to Z Challenge 2014 – O is for Ostara

a-to-z-header-2014-april

O

Ostara, or Eostra, is an Anglo-Saxon goddess who represents dawn, there are also suggestions she has her roots in Germanic paganism and in Celtic traditions. As a spring goddess she oversees the budding plants and burgeoning fertility of the earth. The Horned God, sometimes envisioned as the god Pan, symbolizes the festive enjoyment of nature through hunting and dancing.

The spring equinox in the Northern Hemisphere fell on March 20 this year, marking the time when the sun passes over the celestial equator. Wiccans and other pagans observe the day as Ostara, a festival that celebrates the season’s change from dark winter to brightening spring and the renewal of life after the death of winter.

Ostara is one of 8 pagan sabbats, or holidays, that make up the Wheel of the Year. (the dates alter a little from year to year)

paganseasons

 

Symbols of fertility and new life play a prominent role in many Ostara celebrations.

Similar to those observed at Easter, symbols for Ostara include eggs, rabbits, flowers and seeds. Many  believe these symbols to represent the fecundity of spring and incorporate them into rituals, altars and celebratory feasts. In past times as Christianity spread it found it necessary  to include elements of these older forms of worship in order to persuade people to convert, other examples are harvest festivals and yule logs both appropriated from older traditions.

I will leave you for today with a song, even for those who have differing beliefs I think the words can still have resonance,

Advertisements

6 comments on “A to Z Challenge 2014 – O is for Ostara

  1. Brilliant post Paula and I love the song. I wonder whether Eostra might even pre-date the Anglo Saxons and belong to the Celts who covered the whole of Britain at one time. I’m sure they celebrated the seasons and made offerings.
    xx Massive Hugs xxx

    Like

  2. Pingback: Easter Female-Fertility Festivities |

  3. Pingback: Easter Holiday: What is Easter?You By My Side | You By My Side

Let me know your thoughts.......

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s