Ostara

Watch the most recent Ostara class here

Did you feel that? The shift in the temperature? The shift in the energy? Ostara is here!

(Keep scrolling for class links and writings on Holy Days and Tarot for work with Ostara Season.)

Notice the daffodils, the forsythia, the tulips popping up? Spring is coming, and for many people in the Northern Hemisphere, Ostara season marks the Earth’s return to life. This year, perhaps more so than in that last century, humans in the North Hemisphere are ready for Spring! We are are eager to push out into the world and open our buds! This urge is expressed in hundreds of deities and archetypes, back from the land of death’s underworld and wintry sleep.

Black and white drawing of a goddess floating over a lanscape, flowers and birds float in the air around her, and people look on in wonder from below
Ostara, Johannes Gehrts, 1884

March 21 (more or less) marks the 1st day of Spring, the Vernal Equinox, the moment when the sun passes north over the celestial equator. From this point until the Autumn Equinox (Mabon) in September, the days will be longer than the nights. As the sun rises higher in the sky each day, the Northern Hemisphere is showered in sunlight, and all of nature seems to come back to life.

For many Witches, Pagans, and other Heathens, the day and season are called Ostara or Eostre, named for the Anglo-Saxon Teutonic goddess Eoster, who is the dawn.

Various Pagan groups disputed this attribution until recently, but thanks to several advances in linguistic reconstruction, we now know the names of the goddesses Austrō and AusÓs, and from them, we get Eoster and Ostara. They all may descend from Eos, the frisky Greek goddess of the dawn. The goddess/archetype may also be related to or have evolved from the Babylonian/Assyrian Goddesses Ishtar and Astarte. Various groups worshiped forms of her at least as far back as 2000 BCE, and surprise! Her symbols were often rabbits and dyed eggs.

For Hindus, this season marks Holi. This is an ancient festival which falls on the full moon before the equinox, and is quickly gaining popularity around the world. Dubbed “the festival of colors” and “the festival of love,” party people dress crazy, cover each other in bright-colored powders, and drink bhang, an intoxicating drink made with cannabis. Old hurts are forgiven, people make love under the full moon, and generally get loose celebrating the return of light.

Ostara’s Gift, Jessica Henry, 2019

Yoruba traditions celebrate Oduduwa, who is Santa Claire in Santeria. A powerful creator who is sometimes male, sometimes female, came to earth to sow the seeds of life and found the religion. Oduduwa is fertile, virile, lusty, and loving.

For millions of Christians around the world, this season marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ after his crucifixion and death. Jesus shares the honor of the death-and-resurrection status with such luminous deities as Osiris, Baldr, Tammuz, Dionysus, Attis, and The Green Man.

For cultures that celebrate Ostara, this is a return from the Underworld Journey of Winter.

This is where we face dark forces of all kinds. Spring above all marks the return to feeling the pulse and hope of life begin to flow back into the world. There is a profound emphasis on celebrating and witnessing the surging energy in the people and systems around us.

To quote the gay Greek poet Dinos Christianopoulos, “What didn’t you do to bury me?/But you forgot that I was a seed.”

Finally, the time for dreaming is over. It is time to sprout. Burst forth. Choose which realities you are going to bring to life. Choose which aspirations you want to realize. What will you grow and grow into this year?

Ostara Season Work

Spinning The Wheel weekly Podcast

Join me for my weekly podcast covering the season’s holy days, astrology, and lunar work.

Megalesia, Magna Mater, Cybele. A white marble sculpture of a feminine person with a crown shaped like a turret. They have wavy hair parted in the middle.

The Megalesia, Ancient Sparkle Party Dedicated to The Magna Mater, Cybele, and Her Band of Phrygian Phreaks

The Megalesia, Ancient Sparkle Party Dedicated to The Magna Mater, Cybele, and Her Band of Phrygian Phreaks

The Megalesia was a multi-week festival celebrating the Phrygian Goddess, Cybele and her eunuch Son/Lover Attis, a vegetation God that died at Winter and was resurrected at Spring. Romans brought the festival from Anatolia (modern-day Turkey). We have some reasonably complete records of the Roman Megalesia. However, time left us few records from the thousands … Read more

Sommarsblót, The Norse People Open the Solar Half of the Year

Sommarsblót, The Norse People Open the Solar Half of the Year

Sommarsblót (“Summer’s Blood,”) found at the very end of Ostara season, is a week-long festival happening sometime during Aries Season, ending on the day the Sun enters Taurus. Many sources mark this festival running from April 14-20th, but some sources say it is a moving feast and can happen any time during the first month after Spring Equinox. Vikings and Norse folk, like many Celtic peoples, just cut the year into two halves… Read more

The Emperor Card – Livestream – Tarot Circle

Tarot Circle is a monthly community building space I hold for my Patrons. Some months are exploratory workshops, and some months, like this Emperor Card livestream, are more lecture based presentations concentrated on one card for the season. To join this month’s Tarot Circle, join my Patreon.

The Emperor of Spring: Tarot for Ostara Season

The Emperor Card in Tarot is commonly aligned with the astrological sign Aries. In Tropical astrology (the astrological method most popular here in the West), Aries season starts on Spring Equinox. Therefore, the Emperor card can give great insight into the nature of the energy at the start of Spring. Even if you don’t subscribe … Read more

The Tower: The Posse of The Death Card, Part I

While we move through Ostara, we pass through the sign of Aries, which is connected to The Emperor Card. For further depth and clarity, we can also work with Mars, the ruling planet of Aries, as represented by The Tower Card. This piece was written within the context of Samhain and working with The Tower and The Death Card, but this is an interesting juxtaposition to our Springtime symbolism… Read more

Two of Wands – Everyday Living in the Minor Arcana Tarot

Here at the beginning of Spring we get an opportunity to work with the 2, 3, and 4 of Wands… Read more

Three of Wands – Everyday Living in the Minor Arcana Tarot

Here at the beginning of Spring we get an opportunity to work with the 2, 3, and 4 of Wands… Read more

Four of Wands – Everyday Living in the Minor Arcana Tarot

Here at the beginning of Spring we get an opportunity to work with the 2, 3, and 4 of Wands… Read more