Today is the eve of Ostara, and I was asked by a non-pagan just what this holiday meant.
I was bewildered.
To me, Ostara has always been the hidden holiday…the one I never pay much attention to other than some quiet reflection on the time of balance, etc. It has always been, to me, a turning point.
It’s been a minor holiday, I suppose, at least to me, because there is always the cultural Easter celebration that my family does, which can be – as it is this year – just a few days away, or a full month away from the celebration of Ostara. Now, made more difficult because of the ominous “midterms”, I am left wondering just what there is to explore in regards to the energy of Ostara.
Obviously it is a turning point, a day of balance. It is a day without influence – a day of purity, in my head. Because day and night are equal, it is only when you delve deeper that you find the tendency towards light. But the primary energy is that of purity, of balance and fertility.
I have it written somewhere in one of the (unpublished) studies I did of the Wheel of the Year, that the magic of Ostara and Beltane both involve sex and sexuality. But, Ostara celebrates the ability to procreate. Beltane, in my book, celebrates the action of procreation. And so, Ostara becomes related to fertility, and Beltane, to commitment – marriage and the like.
Practical ways to celebrate Ostara? Look for the signs of spring, because its official. There are baby birds and sprouting flowers (underneath all that snow for you northern-dwellers). Celebrate the balance. Its a great time to start projects, because it is a time without influence of other factors of the world. It is a time of equal day and equal night, and should be a time when you try to achieve that balance in your own life. Moderation is a great thing – and today (tomorrow) is the day to learn how to use it!
As I said, my Ostara celebrations are usually small – and often are temporal in nature. I rise at sunrise to meditate, stop at noon, and then again at sunset to celebrate the division of time, the rift of the world, and the ensuing balance. I also invoke the gods and goddesses associated with the holiday (Eostre comes to mind, as well as Artemis, Dionysus, and other symbols of fertility and youth) and ask them to bless me in the coming times with that fertility.
Have a safe, fun, and fruitful holiday!