The joy of this Sabbat is quite apparent in its pastel colors and soft grace. Ostara, or Eostre, is very much the same sort of celebration that Christians practice. We have the same symbols, and rebirth is heavily present in both of our minds, albeit for different reasons. Rabbits, chicks, soft pinks and pale blues, eggs and crosses are symbols of the Pagan celebration of the Vernal Equinox. The ideals are ones we are very familiar with, joy at new life… the rebirth of the earth itself.
It’s the best reason to celebrate, so let’s begin! Lets start with a tale --->
An Ostara Tale
It was long ago, and it was the time of winter. Snow covered the ground and the chill in the air made this a harsh and unforgiving time to be about. Whiteness everywhere. The world slept.....A little girl had strayed from her home (a very bad thing, but such as children are wont to do) and she found herself wandering about in the woods; alone. She was cold and tired, and afraid. In despair, she dropped down in the snow and began to cry. She cried for her home. She cried for her mother and father. She cried for her life.Then she saw it - a bird - a frozen bird - lying, dying in the snow. She jumped up and rushed to take the bird into her arms. She held it close to herself; wrapping it tightly in her arms. She tried to warm the bird and thaw it's frozen wings, but it was too cold and life was quickly leaving the bird's body along with its warmth. She was beside herself! She thought only of the bird now, not seeing that she, herself would soon be in the same situation that this small bird was in now.She cried out for help! "Help! Help, this bird to live", she cried. "Goddess Eostara, please help this bird!".Now, Eostara was one busy Being about this time. Under normal circumstances the Goddess of Spring and Warmth would have dismissed this cry for help and continued about Her more important business. But it piqued Her interest that this girl was calling on Her to help a bird instead of herself. She decided to investigate and perhaps lend a helping hand.Eostara came to the girl. She floated over the snowy landscape. In Her wake flowers bloomed and sweet-scented blossoms burst open as colors blazed into view. Spring followed in Her path and the sound of laughter and gentle breezes could be heard on Her breath. She was glorious to behold. Rebirth and new life radiated about Her. The girl was astounded.She jumped up and thrust the bird at Eostara. "Save it!", she cried. "Make it well!". Using the demanding tone that only a child would have the nerve to use in the presence of a Goddess.Eostara took no mind of the girl's inappropriate behavior. She knew of her intent and her motives. The girl was sincere... the girl was unselfish.... the girl was so very young.....Eostara reached out Her hand and touched the bird with one delicate finger. Light flowed through Her, warming the bird. It's eyes opened suddenly. It's foot twitched. It hopped out of the girl's hand and began to flop about madly in the snow. The girl squealed with delight. "You saved it! You saved it!", as she danced about in the snow, overjoyed. But wait --"Hey....." the girl said after watching the bird for a while. "Its wings are still frozen to its body. It can't fly! You didn't do it right!!".Oh my. Now, Eostara surely wasn't used to this kind of response when She had just performed a minor miracle. But with Her infinite patience (which by now was wearing thin) intact, She gave the bird one last effort, another chance at survival. She reached over to the hopping bird and touched it again gently with Her hand, turning it into a bunny. "There!", she said to the girl, "Now it has no need of its wings".And as the now totally confused bunny hopped off into the brush, Eostara drifted away to perform other tasks of sunshine and light (as far away as possible from this girl). The girl was delighted at the sight of the bunny scrambling into the snow-covered brush. "All better", she smiled. She suddenly knew the way home...Now, all this was fine for Eostara and the girl, but what of the bunny? Well, now, this is one totally confused little animal here. This rabbit still has a habit of laying eggs! And to this day, when the snow begins to melt, and the flowers begin to bloom, and the air is filled with the sweet scent of blossoms and warmth, the bunny begins to lay its eggs. Oh, and these aren't ordinary eggs either. These eggs tell of color! Of Spring! Of Eostara and her gift of renewed life and release from winter's chill. They are tokens of recognition and gratitude to the Goddess Eostara for the gift of Spring.Note: Some children today maintain the tradition of building nests in the fields for the Spring bunny to lay its eggs into. Twigs and grass make an inviting nest for such a creature to deposit its brightly colored eggs.
Lets create a;
Star of Spring Wreath
The star, in its familiar shape as the pentagram, is the much beloved symbol of our religion. In ancient times, stars were used as guides for the seafaring peoples. I like to think that they still guide us now…especially during the dark time of the winter months! Let us use this familiar form of blessing and guidance and incorporate the fresh spring flowers and colors of the season as we joyfully fade from winter and create our Star of Spring! You will need: - 1 vine wreath - pale pink ribbon - pale green ribbon - bunch of silk spring flowers - glue gun - light purple paint - wooden star - paintbrush 1. Wind the pink ribbon around the wreath, then the green ribbon, in a candy cane-like pattern. 2. Pick the heads of the spring flowers and some of the leaves off of the bunch. 3. Glue the blossoms and leaves around the wreath itself. Allow time to dry. 4. Paint the wooden star. Allow time to dry. 5. My wooden star already came with a hook to hang it with. If yours does not, glue a piece of ribbon in a loop behind the wreath and tie it to the top part of the vines. If it did come with a hook, tie the star to the wreath with a piece of ribbon. 6. Your Star of Spring Wreath is now ready to hang!
The world is awakening all around us, and the star – a constant symbol – has shone steady and true. As you stand before your door, raise the wreath above your head and say:
“Deep within the winter dark,
I found my everlasting spark,
This gentle star has played its part
Come, spring, and blossom in my heart.”
As you place the wreath upon your door, visualize the star that took you through the winter months fade from your heart onto the door of your home. It is now a guiding light for all who enter!
Lets make A;
Small Blessings Flower Bottle
Ostara is the perfect time of year when all of the flowers begin coming back to the world. We missed them and their sweet beauty! Flowers mean so many things to so many different people. Let us honor their arrival with the showcasing of a single blossom.
You will need:
- One small bottle (corked bottles work very well!)
- pink ribbon
- one silk flower for decoration
1. Wrap the wire around the neck of the bottle and form a loop to hang the bottle with. Don’t be daunted by using wire. Bending it is simple.
2. Tie the pink ribbon around the neck of the bottle.
3. Affix the silk flower on the side of the bottle.
4. Your bottle is ready for a blossom!
These sweet little bottles can be hung from a suction cup in your window, from your rear-view mirror, or even from a ceiling fan! The possibilities are endless, along with the choices of blossoms you could use! Find a small blossom that calls to you, and as you place it in the bottle with gratitude, say: “Child of the Mother Earth, You grace our world with your birth.”
Ostara is a beautiful Sabbat full of new life and wonder. Please celebrate it with compassion and joy, and fill your homes with more of the same!
To everyone may you be blessed on this Ostara -- and always!