What or who is Ostara? Eostre or Ostara is an Anglo-Saxon Goddess of renewal and regeneration. Her name is what gave Easter its name. Also estrus or estrous, estrogen, egg (oeuf in French) all come from Her. So, what’s with the bunny and the egg?
Glad you asked. The bunny or the Hare has always been, in many cultures, a magical animal connected with the moon and with feminine wisdom. Also with shapeshifting, magic and fertility….friend of the witches or the wise women connected with Nature. The egg is the cosmic egg also denoting fertility, birth, renewal. Traditionally the egg was painted red, as in the life-giving blood, and often buried in the fields along with menstrual blood and sacred ashes to bring a growing season of plenty.
There is a tale that is dated from around the 18th century that addresses the Hare and the Egg.
One year, Ostara was late in coming. All the people were rightfully worried as winter kept going. She finally arrived with a Hare in tow. Her delay had been caused by trying to rescue a little bird dying from the cold. In vain She tried until She put the spirit of the bird into a Hare. The native strength of the Hare reanimated the spirit of the bird within, and the bird lived as Hare. Ostara decreed that once per year, the Hare will give birth to an egg in memory of when she was a bird.
I don’t know. It seems a bit like trying to explain things away. It is more likely that the Red Hen, another power animal of Ostara, and the Moon Hare got mixed up somewhere and started laying eggs! All were revered for their life-giving properties by the Goddess loving people for thousands of years. Winters were hard. The arrival of Spring was a time of celebration and renewed hope for the coming year. You and hopefully many of your community had survived, and with longer days, growth was possible again.
Imagine the gratitude of the people towards the Sun warming their lands and their bodies a little bit more each day. Ostara’s fire coming alive! The Spring Equinox was a powerful moment of demarcation between winter and Spring. From cold ground to fertile Earth. There are many Neolithic monuments oriented towards the Equinox sunrise. The sunlight penetrates into the dark mound, lighting up the mysteries within, just as it signals the seeds to sprout and leaves to bud forth. It signals the Creative Fire to awaken.
In those days of the Goddess, Sun was also a Goddess. For the Celtic people, She was known as Grainne and Sulis. In my native country of Japan, She is known as Amaterasu Ohmikami (Great Goddess Who Illuminates All). Just imagine Her loving touch igniting the green flame of vegetation on Earth, embracing you and warming your skin. Gold of the Sun, Green of vegetation.
We are also ignited by the fire of the Sun. We become more inspired, our creative fires are stoked and we become more bright eyed. The desire to be outside, to open ourselves to the sunshine and Spring air, starts to soften our energies open. We, too, are being opened to a renewal, a regeneration, a growth into new life. It is the time of creativity & rebirth back into the world. The first sunny days in Spring make us all want to hum a tune and give us a bit of bounce in our steps!!
A powerful and ancient Goddess also rules this time of the year. She is Artha, the She-Bear Goddess. You can see Her up in the sky in the constellation of Ursa Major. Bear Mothers were revered for her courage, power, intelligence and how she nurtured her young. We, too, can bring forth these energies within us. She-Bear Mother Goddess is also connected with Artemis Callieste, Goddess of the Wild Animals.
Another animal associated with Ostara is the Cat. A symbol of magical power, intuition, high intelligence, stealth and fierce courage. Many ancient Goddesses are identified with Cat. Cybele sits on a throne supported by 2 lions. Durga rides on Her tiger. Sekhmet with Her lion head is a powerful solar Egyptian Goddess, older than Ra.
This Spring Equinox with the Sun and Moon equally balanced, set as one of your intents to bring about a more harmonious and balanced world. How does that look for you in your world? The Pandemic has shown us how unbalanced this world is on so many levels. There is much rebalancing, renewal and rehauling of stagnant and old ideas, habits, beliefs, fears, contracts, agreements that need to be addressed.
With equal night and day, we can sense into the alchemy of holding both Lunar and Solar energies in our beings. We can use the cosmic energy for our benefit to help us find a more balanced place within us. That balanced place of our inner moving energy and outward moving energy is a more empowered space from where we can create out into the world. Let’s ignite our Creative Fires within. Look to the power animals and learn from them. Perhaps there is one that calls you more. Feel into their energy. Ask for their guidance. Tune into their wild and powerful wisdom. Listen from your soul.
What will you bring forth this year from the egg of infinite potential you have been dreaming with this Winter? Let your inner creative fire ignite and express out into the World. Each and every one of your creative fire is needed.
Saturday, March 20, 2021
6pm ET – 7pm ET