How to Celebrate Ostara, the Vernal Equinox

What is Ostara?

Ostara is a modern holiday inspired by various pagan cultures throughout history and across the globe. It is a celebration of the Vernal Equinox, the point at which the Sun is directly over the equator and the planet's northern hemisphere begins to tilt toward the Sun, tipping it into Spring.

daffodils in the sidelong sunlight

The holiday known as Ostara was named by Gerald Gardner in the mid 20th century as one of eight sabbats on the Wiccan wheel of the year. The equinox itself, however, is an occurrence that has been observed in various ways for thousands of years all over the planet. The coming of Spring is universally exciting, and absolutely worth celebrating!

Whether you call this annual cosmic alignment Ostara, Alban Eiler, or simply the Vernal Equinox, now is the time for new beginnings!

Observing the Equinox

We have been in a sort of hibernation for the past several months, living off the comforts we stored up for ourselves before the cold set in. Even with cars, coats, electric lights and heated buildings, our worlds tend to get smaller in the winter. With less daylight, we can feel as if there is just less day for doing things, and we spend less time outside. We see fewer people, and do most of our existing at home. The dark half of the year is for resting and that's what we've been doing, but now we are getting restless! It's only natural.

We welcome the Vernal Equinox because it means that the time has come for life in full to begin anew. Light has triumphed over darkness! Day has overtaken the night! And things are growing!

crocuses in the grass

To celebrate, we throw open the doors and windows, sweep out the clutter, and smoke out the stagnant vibes. We breathe new energy into plans and projects that have been germinating in darkness. And we honor themes of new life and new beginnings by embodying youthfulness, and remembering to play.

Purify

    "Spring cleaning" isn't scary! It's an opportunity for magic!

    Ostara is time to cleanse and release, both physically and spiritually. In your physical space, be intentional as you clear away both grime and clutter. Let the new light of spring illuminate the dark corners and deep crevices. Infuse your cleaning solutions with blessings and protections so that the act of cleansing becomes a ritual of its own, preparing your way for success.

    a white curtain billows out of an open window

    As soon as the weather permits, open your home to the fresh spring air and welcome in the new as you cleanse with smoke to expel the old. Sort through the stuff that's taking up space in your home and decide what can be donated, sold, or given away. Unpacking what's been accumulated over time can make your home feel lighter, larger, and more full of possibility. 

    Metaphysically, consider what plans, relationships, efforts or fixations are clogging up your life instead of expanding it. See if you can shake those free, too. 

    Bless

      hands press down the soil around a tiny sprout

      As you clear your space and spirit, you make room to sew in new energies and intentions. One very Ostara way of doing this is to literally plant them in your garden or flower pots, right along with your plants. Write your intentions, goals, or plans on small scraps of compostable paper, roll them up, and bury them beside your seedlings. This way, you can watch your intentions manifest as your plants grow strong and tall over the next few months. You can also sanctify with smoke, or by asperging (sprinkling with blessed water or oils), or however feels best to you.

      Another good way to bless your space is with symbols. You may wish to imbue your own sigils and inscribe them with moon water or oil over thresholds, or you may feel drawn to the energies of certain ogham or elder futhark runes

      Restore

        Not everything that's old or broken needs to be released. Some things just need a little love and attention. This burgeoning season of renewal is an excellent time to identify what goals or relationships could use some work!

        we see someone from the shins down, standing beside an assortment of crafting tools
        You may also consider which areas of your home are not conducive to the kind of life you're trying to live, and make some adjustments. Perhaps you paint an accent wall a happy color, or invest in new storage to organize a messy corner. Stand back and have a good think about if rearranging some furniture could make things easier, or if that old dresser could become your new favorite piece with a new coat of paint!

        It's also just, never a bad time to pamper your skin. But this is the season of rejuvenation! So why not whip up a quick sugar scrub for your face? Mix 1 cup of your preferred texture of sugar with 1/4 cup of your preferred plant oil (coconut, grapeseed, or avocado are good ones you might find in your pantry!) and about 8 drops of Lucidum Reishi Facial Serum or your favorite essential oils.

        Divine

        Once everything is in its place, and your space and your spirit are cleansed and settled, you'll be in a perfect mindset for divination. Please, feel free to use the Ostara tarot spread I've created below! 

        a six card tarot spread, as described in the text.

        I find using a spread like this works best when it is read through completely before shuffling, and when each card's corresponding query is either said aloud or focused on before the card is pulled.

        After you've considered the individual cards, step back and take a look at the entire draw. Looking at all six cards at once can help you to identify themes that may offer even more insight about the next few months for you.

        Play

          Ostara celebrates new life and youthfulness in all its weird, wild, and whimsical ways. Let this be an occasion for fun and fancy!

          two white lambs jump and frolic playfully in green grass

          Be childlike in your awe of this planet's marvelous transformation. Be childlike in your optimism. Be childlike in your self expression. Wake up your inner child and ask them what they'd like to wear today. Ask them what music you should dance to. And remember how it felt when you didn't care about being taken seriously.

          Ostara is a celebration of our rebirth into the world. It is time to emerge, to unfurl, to go out and do things! So go and do, Sea Witches. Nature has missed you.

          1 comment

          Thank you for this opportunity to get to know Sea Witch Botanicals better.

          Leslee A Crate March 13, 2022

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