What is Ostara?

Happy Ostara!

What is Ostara? The name is derived from the Greek goddess of dawn, Eos. Ostara or Eostre is the Germanic Goddess of spring and dawn. Essentially it is the celebration of the spring equinox where heathen customs were to paint and hunt for eggs. These eggs were brought or laid by the “Easter Hare” which was the holy beast of Ostara. What a crazy custom that people practice right? An open mind is healthy, especially for those who are not well read.

Many cultures celebrated spring as agriculture dominated the lifestyle of the pre-industrialized world. For ten centuries, the Mayan people celebrated the equinox on the great ceremonial pyramid, El Castillo in Mexico. On this day, shadows appear to run down the staircase of the pyramid which creates the illusion of a snake slithering down the side. The spring equinox still dominates society today, but many of us take it for granted as the consistency of crop yields is never a societal concern. For the Norse, this period of time was particularly important as the winters were long and brutal. This produced a hardy society that was accustomed to the struggles that nature could bring. These beliefs have had a reawakening in modern time under the name Asatru. My own theory on this is modern society is so far from its traditional way of life, many are longing for a closer connection with nature. We talk about progression and technology but ultimately, we basically do still worship the Sun. We act like we don’t and we know it’s a giant nuclear fusion bomb, not a god. Yet it provides humanity warmth, light and a means to grow our own food.

As the Earth progresses through its orbit, we see many changes taking place. Along with the Autumnal Equinox, the Spring Equinox is a day where the amount of darkness is equal to the amount of light, which I see as a beautiful moment of poetic balance. Spring time is a particularly exciting time as it means winter is coming to an end, and our surroundings are looking increasingly green by the day. The new life breathing into the world is palpable. We see it in the trees as they bud their leaves. We see it in the earth itself, as plants emerge. Birds are chirping and many more animals are more active. We even see it in humanity, as people get out their bicycles, kayaks and running shoes and reemerge from their winter cocoons. Our parks and neighborhoods are more full of life with kids and adults alike enjoying the wonder of nature. Spring is the cosmic dawn for our planet’s revolution around our Sun.

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Here at the ole cabin in the woods, we are preparing for the arrival of a dozen chicks. The chicken coop is all set up and waiting for them. It is an exciting time for us as we await new life at the home. Animals are a beautiful blessing on humanity. The symbiotic relationship of chicken and man is no exception. By offering eggs to us, we provide shelter and protection. As well as warmth and food. They will have plenty of room to road during the day under the protection of our loyal dog. I look forward to our family getting back in touch with the old ways and growing closer with nature.