Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Goddess of Renewal
Colors - all of the pastel colors, green
Symbols - rabbit, egg, feather
Aspects - personal renewal, new beginnings, rebirth, fertility
Suggested Offerings - eggs, rice, incense, feathers, flowers
What I love most about this time of year are the birds. They start their springtime symphony early in the morning as the sun begins to peer over the mountain. The trees are budding and tulips and other flowers are showing up in all the stores. This is the time of year when Ostara is honored and thanked as she resumes her "throne" and presides over the season of spring with her familiar, the rabbit.
Long ago, the Germanic goddess, Ostara, was honored in the month of April each year with festivals honoring re-birth and renewal. Nowadays we recognize her festival as "Easter". The name Easter evolved from the Goddess's name, Ostara, which means "movement towards the rising sun" or "East". Ostara is the living symbol for air and the life force of spring. East is representative of the element of air and our mental powers. Air is about new beginnings and allowing your spirit to soar. Ostara is still one of the most powerful Goddesses today. So much so that she has made herself right at home within Christianity and modern medicine.
Easter, like most Pagan festivals, evolved into a Christian holiday focusing, not on the Goddess, but on the Biblical Jesus and his "rebirth" or "resurrection". Even so, Easter somehow managed to retain the fertility symbols and the Easter Basket. (I always wondered what the Easter Basket had to do with Christ's resurrection. Didn't you?) Ostara, goddess of fertility, has managed to infiltrate our society with the well known "Rabbit Test" (do they still call it that?) to find out if a woman is pregnant and also the hormone estrogen. Both named for her.
Ostara is the perfect goddess to call on when dealing with women's health issues, especially when related to the reproductive system.
Ostara is Goddess of joy, new beginnings and fertility. That is where Easter Eggs and Easter Bunnies (rabbits) come in. Eggs are an obvious symbol for fertility and the rabbit (Ostara's power animal) has a rather well known propensity for reproducing. Ostara presides over our personal renewal and fertility issues. She is goddess of the dawn.
Eggs were (and still are!) dyed or painted bright colors as an offering to Ostara. Dawn is the best time to invoke her. In days of old, fires were lit at dawn in her honor. It always amazes me how traditions like this survive over the millennia.
Right now is the perfect time to build an altar to Ostara so that you can begin to bring in the energy and vibration for new beginnings and fertility. This is the time of year when we symbolically wake up from our winter slumber and become more alert and active. Ostara's altar will help our minds become fertile once again with ideas, making it very easy to take advantage of the vibrations this time of year offers us. This is a good time for starting new projects of all kinds. Let's build an altar honoring Ostara and the changing of the seasons.

Here is what you will need for your altar to Ostara:
Brightly colored stones such as Amethyst, Rose Quartz, Calcite, Citrine and/or Aquamarine
Hard boiled eggs, preferably colored or brown
Seeds or rice
Feather (symbol for air)
Rabbit figurine
Spring flowers
Ostara loves bright colors. The light pastels of spring are perfect offerings for Ostara. To represent earth on your altar, choose bright or pastel colored stones like Rose Quartz, Amethyst, or any of the Calcites (blue, red, yellow, or green). If you have some Citrine, be sure to include it. Citrine has long been an aid for mental clarity.
By including an offering of colored eggs on your altar, you will be taking part in an ancient tradition (still performed!) by the Germanic people. Ostara has been honored this time of year with painted eggs for centuries.
To symbolize fertility, in addition to the eggs, you can include seeds or rice on your altar. I like to use rice as a symbol for fertility on my altars.
Incense and feathers are perfect symbols for air on your altar. It is important for Ostara's altar that you include a symbol for air because Ostara herself is the living symbol for Air. (This must be the way Ostara and Easter became associated with birds, i.e. chickens) Be sure to burn incense at your altar when you are dedicating it to bring in the energy and vibrational qualities of Ostara.
The perfect time to dedicate your altar is at dawn. Choose a day, then plan to dedicate your altar to Ostara at dawn's first light by lighting incense and repeating an invocation to her as well as a prayer of thanksgiving for all that Ostara symbolizes in your life; A clear mind. New beginnings. Personal renewal. Fertility, either for the purpose of bearing a child or for creativity such as arts and crafts, writing, or decorating.
You can include anything you like on your altar to Ostara. You will know by how you feel if an item is appropriate or not. I believe it is important to include symbols for the four elements on my altars. The four elements are Fire, Earth, Air, and Water. The four Calcites on my altar (red/fire, green/earth, yellow/air, and blue/water) represent Mother Earth and the four elements. I have added feathers and other items that symbolize Ostara to my altar as offerings to her.
Last, but not least, I have included a figure of a rabbit. The rabbit is Ostara's power animal. I am sure this is because of their propensity for fertility.
That reminds me of something. When I was a kid (oh no, here goes one of my "when I was a kid" stories again!) I used to think that rabbits laid eggs. I think because my Easter basket always had rabbits and eggs in it. Did you think that too? It wasn't until I was in the 4th grade (the same year that I found out there was no Santa Claus!) that I found out that rabbits don't lay eggs. What a traumatic age that was for me. Then I went through a large part of my life wondering why we don't have chickens instead of Easter rabbits for Easter. Someone else must have thought the same thing because shortly after that they started making candy in the shape of "chicks" for Easter. I don't think the chicken idea really caught on though. The Easter Chicken just didn't have the same "ring" to it. All the while, I never knew of Ostara or how Easter started until much later in life. And, "Why is that?" you might ask. Well, that is a whole other story.

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