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Home|Sabbats|Symbols of Ostara|Egg Colors|Herb Gardens|


March 22nd

Ostara(Oh-star-ah) was the name of the Virgin Goddess of Spring in ancient Germany, and it is for her that this Sabbat is named. Most of the traditions of current Ostara celebrations come from the Sabbats of ancient Greece, Rome, and the Nordic and Germanic lands. At the Spring equinox, deities such as Odin, Attis, Osiris, Dagda, Mithras, and Persephone returned from the Land of the Dead to the the world of the living. This idea of life renewed is an important part of the symbolism of Ostara.

At the Spring Equinox, the Teutons honored their Goddess of Spring, Eostre, for whom the Christian holiday of Easter is named. Since the Christian church could not eradicate the celebration of Ostara, they assigned it to St. Patrick as his feast day. Easter itself falls near Ostara, and celebrates another resurrected deity.

SYMBOLS OF OSTARA

The Lily
The lily, taken and used by the Christians as a symbol of death, was a symbol of life in pagan Greece and Rome. Altars were decorated with them. Young men would present them to young women they were courting. Accepting the lily meant the same as accepting a diamond today.


New Clothes
In early Teutonic traditions, it was considered bad luck to wear one's spring clothing before Ostara. People would work through the winter to make fine new clothes and show them off at the feasting on Ostara.

The Lamb
The lamb was sacred to almost all the Virgin Goddesses of Europe, the Middle East, and north Africa. This symbol was so prevalent, that it was carried over into the spring religious rituals of Easter and Passover.


The Egg
The most important symbol of Ostara is the egg. Eggs are the symbol of new life, are held as sacred objects of eternal life, and carried as amulets for fertility. The modern idea of eggs being delivered by the "Easter" bunny is taken from the legend of the Goddess Eostre.

The rabbit, wishing to please the Goddess, laid the sacred eggs in her honor, decorated them, and presented them to her. The Goddess was so pleased she wanted to share her gift. The rabbit honored her wishes by delivering decorated eggs all over the world.

Many pagans prefer to use natural dyes to decorate their hard boiled eggs. These are easily made by boiling a large handful of and herb or flower until the water becomes colored. The colored water is placed in a glass cup or mug. A pinch of salt and a teaspoon of vinegar are added, and the dye is ready for the egg. It takes a bit longer for the color to "take" but is worth the effort to celebrate in the "old way".
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Pagan Meanings of Colors on Eggs

RED

new life, vitality, lust, color of the Mother Goddess, strength

ORANGE

color of the God, attraction, summer

YELLOW

creativity, knowledge, intellect,

GREEN

color of the Earth Mother, fertility, prosperity, Earth

BLUE

healing, peace, meditation, cold, air, spring, Color of the Virgin Goddess, new life

INDIGO

past lives, healing, clairvoyance

VIOLET

healing, tranquility, ending quarrels

WHITE

Purification, color of the Virgin Goddess, good fortune

BLACK

mystery, absorption,Color of the Crone Goddess, winter, color of death and mourning

SILVER

the moon, Triple Goddess, Spirituality, water

GOLD

the sun, the God, activity, money, fire

BROWN

autumn, animals, the waning year, Earth

PINK

romantic love, peace, used for Beltaine as well

TURQUOISE

Spiritual knowledge

RED VIOLET

Hidden knowledge

PALE GREEN

traditonal color of Ostara
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Planting an Herb Garden
Ostara is a good time to plant an herb garden, for medicinal and magickal purposes. Decide which herbs you want to grow, and which ones will grow best in your climate. Use pagan symbols among the plants. Make a circular garden and plant the herbs in the shape of a pentagram or Wheel of the Year. Write a ritual to purify and dedicate the ground for positive purposes. Place a pouch of protective herbs or an egg in the ground.


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Ostara is a time when light triumphs over darkness and the Wheel of the Year brings us forward to May and to Beltaine.