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)
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,
6 thoughts on “A to Z Challenge 2014 – O is for Ostara”
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
Love the song. Ostara, Eostra and prior Ishtar.
Brilliant how our traditions and beliefs seem to morph
That Spring Goddess needs to find her way here, to Massachusetts ASAP! Great post. Loved the song.
Very interesting traditions, I became curious about Wiccan when I read Paolo Coelho’s book BRIDA or was it THE WITCH OF PORTOBELLO by the same author, anyhow fascinating philosophies so in tune with nature ! #AtoZchallenge ☮Peace ☮ ღ ONE ℒℴνℯ ღ ☼ Light ☼ visiting from http://4covert2overt.blogspot.com/