Ostara, also known as the Spring Equinox, is a time of renewal and growth in the Wiccan tradition. As the Earth awakens from its winter slumber, Wiccans honor this sacred holiday by connecting with nature, renewing their spiritual practices, and celebrating the balance of light and darkness within themselves.
In this blog post, we will explore the customs and rituals of Ostara in the Wiccan tradition, and provide tips on how you can celebrate this special time of year along with a full script for a ceremony.
The History and Meaning of Ostara
Ostara, also known as the Spring Equinox, is a celebration of the arrival of spring and the balance of light and darkness. It is typically celebrated around March 20th or 21st and has roots in ancient cultures and religions.
For 2023, Ostara occurs on Monday, March 20, 2023.
The name “Ostara” is believed to be derived from the Germanic goddess of spring, Eostre, who was celebrated during the month of April. This goddess was associated with fertility and new beginnings, and her festival was a time to celebrate the return of life to the earth after the long, dark winter.
The Spring Equinox is a significant time in many ancient cultures and religions. In ancient Egypt, the festival of Vernal Equinox celebrated the goddess Isis and the resurrection of her brother Osiris.
In ancient Greece, the festival of Anthesteria honored Dionysus, the god of wine and fertility. And in ancient Rome, the festival of Hilaria honored Cybele, the mother goddess.
For modern Pagans, Wiccans, and other earth-based spiritual traditions, Ostara is a time to honor the balance of light and darkness within ourselves and in the world around us. It is a time to celebrate the renewal of nature and the return of life to the earth after the long, dark winter.
There are many ways to celebrate Ostara.
Some Wiccans and Pagans will perform rituals or ceremonies to honor the goddess of spring, while others may simply take a walk in nature to connect with the changing seasons. Some may choose to decorate their homes with symbols of spring, such as flowers and eggs, or to create spring-themed crafts.
Ideas to celebrate Ostara
Here are some ideas to celebrate Ostara:
- Create an altar.
- Perform rituals and ceremonies.
- Take a walk in nature.
- Decorate with symbols of spring.
- Make spring-themed crafts.
- Connect with other Wiccans.
- Reflect on your own personal growth and renewal.
- Planting a garden.
Create an altar
An Ostara altar is a special space where you can honor the goddess of spring and the renewal of nature. It can be set up in your home or in a dedicated outdoor space. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to make an Ostara altar:
- Choose a location: Select a spot in your home or outdoor space that is quiet and has good energy. This can be a corner of a room, a small table, or even a patch of earth in your backyard.
- Clean the space: Clear the area of any clutter or negative energy. You can use sage or sweetgrass to smudge the space to purify it.
- Set the foundation: Place a piece of cloth, such as a tablecloth or altar cloth, on the surface where you will be creating your altar. This will serve as the foundation for your altar.
- Add a focal point: Place a statue or image of the goddess of spring, such as Eostre, on the altar. This can be a figurine, a picture, or even a painting. It is intended to be a visual representation of the goddess of spring.
- Add symbols of spring: Decorate your altar with symbols of spring such as flowers, seeds, eggs, and other spring-themed decorations. You can also add items that represent fertility, such as crystals or stones.
- Add candles: Light candles to represent the balance of light and darkness. You can use white or pastel-colored candles to represent the light of spring or add a mix of colors to represent the diversity of spring.
- Add incense: Burn incense to purify the space and add a pleasant aroma. You can choose incense that is associated with spring such as lavender, lilac, or jasmine.
- Add offerings: Place offerings on the altar such as food, drink, or other items that you would like to give to the goddess of spring. These offerings can be symbolic or practical.
- Personalize your altar: Add items that have personal meaning to you, such as photos or mementos, to make your altar unique and special.
- Take care of your altar: Remember to keep your altar clean and replace any wilted flowers or other items. You can also rearrange your altar as the season progresses.
Creating an Ostara altar is a simple and rewarding way to honor the goddess of spring and celebrate the renewal of nature. It is an opportunity to connect with the changing seasons and to give thanks for the abundance of life.
Take a walk in nature
Many people think of Wicca as all about rituals, magic, and spells. But Wicca is a nature-based religion.
Sometimes the best thing we can do is use a holiday as an excuse to get away from all of that formality and reconnect with nature.
I sometimes like to just take a simple long walk in nature and see all the budding growth (depending on where you live). It really centers you and gives you invigorating energy to begin anew with your craft, worship, and spellwork.
Decorate with symbols of spring
- Flowers: Flowers are a traditional symbol of spring and can be used to decorate an Ostara altar. Fresh flowers such as daffodils, tulips, or crocuses can be used. You can also use dried flowers or flower petals.
- Eggs: Eggs are a symbol of new life and fertility and are often associated with Ostara. You can decorate hard-boiled eggs with traditional Ostara symbols such as butterflies or rabbits or decorate them with paint or dye.
- Seeds: Seeds are a symbol of new growth and abundance. You can use a variety of seeds such as sunflower, pumpkin, or wheat.
- Birds and bird nests: Birds are a symbol of spring and new beginnings. You can use pictures, statues, or even real bird nests on your altar.
- Green branches and leaves: Green branches and leaves symbolize the return of life to the earth and the renewal of nature. You can use branches or leaves from trees or plants, or you can use artificial ones.
- Spring-themed candles: You can use candles in pastel colors or white to represent the light of spring. You can also use candles in different colors to represent the diversity of spring.
- Spring-themed incense: Incense such as lavender, lilac, or jasmine can be burned to purify the space and add a pleasant aroma.
- Spring-themed herbs: You can use herbs such as rosemary, thyme, or marjoram to decorate your altar, they all have different meanings and purposes.
- Spring-themed symbols: you can use symbols such as rabbits, butterflies, and ladybugs that are associated with spring and new beginnings.
- Spring-themed colors: Use colors that are associated with spring such as yellow, pink, and green to decorate your altar.
Remember that the most important thing is to choose items that resonate with you and that make you feel connected to the themes of spring and renewal.
Make Spring-themed crafts
Here are some spring-themed crafts that you can make to celebrate Ostara:
- Wreath making: You can make a wreath out of fresh or dried flowers, leaves, and branches to hang on your front door or on your Ostara altar.
- Egg decorating: You can decorate hard-boiled eggs with traditional Ostara symbols such as butterflies or rabbits. You can also use paint or dye to decorate the eggs.
- Seed bombs: You can make seed bombs by mixing wildflower seeds with clay and then shaping them into small balls. Once dry, you can paint them or leave them natural and toss them in your backyard to bring new growth.
- Spring-themed candles: You can make candles in pastel colors or white to represent the light of spring. You can also add spring-themed herbs or flowers to the wax for added fragrance.
- Spring garland: You can make a garland by stringing together fresh or dried flowers, leaves, and branches. You can hang the garland on your Ostara altar or in a window.
- Spring-themed dreamcatcher: You can make a dreamcatcher with a spring theme by using feathers, flowers, and other natural elements.
- Spring-themed soap: You can make soap with spring-themed scents such as lavender, lilac, or jasmine. You can also add natural colorants such as turmeric or beet powder.
- Spring-themed herb bundles: You can make herb bundles by tying together fresh or dried herbs such as rosemary, thyme, or marjoram. You can hang the herb bundles in your home for added fragrance or use them in rituals.
- Spring-themed pottery: You can make pottery with spring-themed symbols such as rabbits, butterflies, and ladybugs.
- Spring-themed jewelry: You can make jewelry with spring-themed symbols such as flowers, eggs, and seeds.
Plant a garden
I have a whole article on Wiccan gardens. Ostara is the perfect time to start planting the early parts. You will definitely need to wait until later in the planting season for some herbs, though.
An Ostara garden is a great way to celebrate the spring equinox and the return of life to the earth. Here are some plants that can be planted in an Ostara garden:
- Daffodils: These flowers are a traditional symbol of spring and are often the first flowers to bloom in the spring. They come in a variety of colors and are easy to grow.
- Tulips: These flowers come in a variety of colors and are also a traditional symbol of spring. They bloom a little later than daffodils but are still a great addition to an Ostara garden.
- Crocuses: These flowers are also a traditional symbol of spring and are among the first flowers to bloom in the spring. They come in a variety of colors and are easy to grow.
- Hyacinths: These flowers come in a variety of colors and have a sweet fragrance. They bloom a little later than crocuses but are still a great addition to an Ostara garden.
- Pansies: These flowers come in a variety of colors and are very hardy. They bloom early in the spring and will continue to bloom until the summer.
- Primroses: These flowers come in a variety of colors and are very hardy. They bloom early in the spring and will continue to bloom until the summer.
- Iris: These flowers come in a variety of colors and are very hardy. They bloom early in the spring and will continue to bloom until the summer.
- Lilacs: These flowers come in a variety of colors and have a sweet fragrance. They bloom in the spring and are a great addition to an Ostara garden.
- Cherry Blossoms: These flowers come in pink and white colors, they are a symbol of new beginnings and are usually the first signs of spring.
- Herbs: Herbs such as rosemary, thyme, and marjoram can be planted in an Ostara garden. They have different meanings and purposes and can be used for ritual and culinary purposes.
It’s important to keep in mind that the plants that can be planted depend on the climate and gardening zone you are in. Also, you should consider the size and location of the garden, and the conditions of the soil and light.
Ostara is a holiday that is often celebrated with others, whether that means hosting a gathering at your home or connecting with friends and loved ones online. Sharing your celebrations with others can help to build community and create a sense of connection.
Full 2023 Wiccan Ostara ceremony script
Here is a script for a Wiccan Ostara ceremony. You will need:
- basic altar
- paper and pen/ink
Lead: “We gather here today to celebrate Ostara, the Spring Equinox. The time when day and night are equal, and the light and the dark are in balance. We honor the return of life to the earth, and the promise of new beginnings. Let us all come together in love and harmony.”
Casting the Circle
Lead: “As we begin, we will cast the circle in which we will be holding our ceremony. All participants please join hands as we create a sacred space.”
(All participants join hands)
Lead: “We call upon the elements of air, fire, water, and earth to guard and protect us during this ceremony. We call upon the guardians of the north, south, east, and west to watch over us and keep us safe.”
(Lead lights the altar candles and incense)
Lead: “I declare this circle cast and this space sacred.”
(All participants release hands)
Invoking the Goddess
Lead: “We invoke goddess, the mother of the Earth. We ask for your presence and guidance during this ceremony.”
(Lead lights the goddess candles)
Lead: “We honor the god, who represents the sun and the light, and who is the embodiment of power, strength, and fertility.”
(All participants bow or kneel)
Lead: “We honor the goddess, who represents the earth and the moon, and who is the embodiment of love, compassion, and fertility.”
(All participants bow or kneel)
Lead: “We will now perform the main ritual of this ceremony. Please take a moment to reflect on your intentions and what you hope to manifest in the coming season.”
(All participants take a moment to reflect)
Lead: “Now, please take a small piece of paper and write down your intention. Once you have written it, please fold it and place it in the cauldron.”
(All participants write their intentions on paper and place them in the cauldron)
Lead: “We now light the paper, and as it burns, we release our intentions to the universe. We trust that they will manifest in the coming season.”
(Lead lights the paper in the cauldron)
Lead: “We thank the god and goddess for their presence and guidance during this ceremony. We thank the elements and the guardians for keeping us safe.”
(Lead extinguishes the god and goddess candles)
Lead: “This circle is now open, but unbroken. We take with us the love and the blessings of the Lord and Lady. Blessed be.”
(All participants say “Blessed be”)
It’s important to note that this script is a general guide and that you can adapt it to your own preferences and tradition.
Also, it’s important to remember that the most important thing is to create a sacred space where you feel comfortable and connected to the themes of spring and renewal.
In conclusion, Ostara is a holiday that is full of meaning and significance, and there are many ways to celebrate it.
Whether you choose to light candles, plant seeds, perform rituals, or simply spend time in nature, there are endless ways to honor the coming spring.
Ostara is a time of renewal and new beginnings, and it is a perfect opportunity to set intentions for the coming year and celebrate the cycles of life. So take some time to celebrate Ostara in a way that feels meaningful and authentic to you, and may the light and warmth of spring be with you always.
You may be interested in learning about the whole 2023 Wiccan Wheel of the Year.
- Clarke, D. (2021). The Wiccan Wheel of the Year: A Witch’s Guide to Celebrating the Wiccan Sabbats.
- Kiernan, A. (2021). The Ultimate Guide to the Witch’s Wheel of the Year: Rituals, Spells & Practices for Magical Sabbats, Holidays & Celebrations (Volume 10) (The Ultimate Guide to. . ., 10) (Illustrated). Fair Winds Press.
- McCluskey, S. C. (1989). The Mid-Quarter Days and the Historical Survival of British Folk Astronomy. Journal for the History of Astronomy, 20(13), S1–S19. https://doi.org/10.1177/002182868902001302