Ostara (The Spring Equinox) + Ritual
Posted on March 19 2018
The following is an excerpt on the holidays of the witch and the Spring Equinox (Ostara) taken from Gabriela Herstik’s book “Craft: How To Be A Modern Witch.”
Holidays Of The Witch
The witch lives by the cycle not only of the Moon but also of the Sun. We acknowledge the Cosmos as these heavenly bodies are reborn, growing and dying each year. Each month, witches celebrate the full Moon through gatherings known as full Moon esbats, although esbats can be held at other times depending on when a coven chooses to meet up.
Witches celebrate sabbats to mark the passing of the seasons. These include the Equinoxes and the Winter and Summer Solstices, as well as the days falling halfway between these, which are known as cross-quarter days. The sabbats are the high and holy days for the witch, when the atmosphere is charged like electricity for magick, manifestation and reflection. The right sabbatas from what’s known as the Wheel of the Year.
We celebrate the sabbats as a way to connect with the Earth and her changing seasons. We celebrate as our ancestors did thousands of years ago- to connect us to that ancient power that comes from living by the cycles of the Sun and Moon.
Each holiday is celebrated with a corresponding altar and ritual. Read through each holiday below a couple times so you grow familiar with all of them. All of the suggestions can be adapted; get creative if you wish to celebrate with your loved ones or friends. The ritual should feel good for you.
The Wheel of the Year is different depending on which hemisphere you live in . The diagram shows the Wheel of the Year for the Northern hemisphere, when summer falls in June and winter in December.
Ostara, or the Spring Equinox, marks the first official day of spring, when night and day are of equal length. The return of spring is celebrated all over the world- from the Christian Easter to Jewish Passover to the Iranian New Year, known as Nowruz. For witches, the Spring Equinox is known as Ostara, named after the Germanic lunar goddess, an embodiment of the great Goddess who gave birth to the Sun God at the Winter Solstice. As an Equinox, Ostara is a time of balance and equilibrium.
The Spring Equinox is a reminder that it’s time to celebrate and plant seeds, both metaphorically and physically, for what we want to bring to bloom in the upcoming season. It’s also a time when we honour all the things we’ve achieved since the Winter Solstice. It’s time to bloom, breathe, create, procreate and reap the sweetness of what we’ve manifested, as we’re brought even closer to the light.
How to decorate your altar: any flowers (especially warm colours); black and white candles; seeds, citrus, fruits, pomegranates, honey; citrine, clear quartz, aventurine; or an offering of milk or honey for the faeries. Tarot cards such as the High Priestess and Nine of Cups may also adorn your altar.
Non-ritual ways to celebrate: plant flowers or garden; take a walk in the Sun and talk to the trees; spring clean your home and donate old clothing to charity. Collect flowers and press them in a vintage frame; enjoy a picnic in a field; swim or lie outside naked with the Sun kissing your skin.