Blessed Ostara, Tragics!
As the air grows warmer and the days stretch longer, a sense of renewal and anticipation fills the atmosphere - it's time to welcome Ostara! This vibrant and invigorating festival marks the arrival of spring, heralding a period of growth, rebirth, and balance.
Ostara, also known as the Spring Equinox, is a celebration of light's triumph over darkness, as daylight extends its reign, gently pushing aside the remnants of winter's grasp.
Much like how Samhain ushers in the season of darkness and reflection, Ostara invites us to embrace the awakening Earth, to revel in the delicate blossoms and burgeoning life. It is the perfect time for balance, growth, sowing your seeds and tuning in with nature. This is a time when the boundary between the mundane and the magical is particularly thin, a juncture where we stand on the cusp of nature's wonders and embark on a journey of renewal.
What is Ostara?
Ostara, also known as the Spring Equinox, is a modern Pagan and Wiccan holiday that celebrates the arrival of spring. Ostara is named after the Germanic goddess Eostre or Ostara, who symbolises fertility, new beginnings, and the awakening of nature after the cold winter months.
When is Ostara in 2023?
Here in Australia and the Southern Hemisphere, the seasons are reversed, and the Sabbats on the Wheel of the Year occur at different dates than in the Northern Hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere, Ostara occurs between the 21-23 September and 21-23 March in the Northern Hemisphere, when day and night are of roughly equal length due to the Earth's tilt. In 2023, Ostara in the Southern Hemisphere will land on September 23. We have a blog outlining all of the Sabbat dates in the Southern Hemisphere you can explore here.
How to Celebrate Ostara
Celebrating Ostara can involve a variety of activities and rituals that reflect the themes of spring, rebirth, and balance.
Decorate Eggs & Altars
Engage in the tradition of decorating eggs, symbolising rebirth and fertility. You can use natural dyes from flowers such as calendula or cornflower to create intricate designs to infuse the eggs with the spirit of Ostara. Set up an altar with fresh native flowers like banksia, wattle & bottlebrushes, colourful candles, and other elements representing growth and renewal.
Connect with Nature
Take advantage of the blooming Australian landscape by spending time in nature. Go for a bushwalk or visit a local park to witness the blossoming flowers, budding plants, and active wildlife. This connection with the natural world aligns with Ostara's themes of renewal and growth.
Plant Native Seeds
Instead of traditional seeds, consider planting native seeds in pots or your garden. This act symbolises sowing intentions and fostering a connection to the unique flora of the region. As you care for the plants, reflect on the renewal of both nature and personal goals.
Perform a Sunrise or Sunset Ritual
Embrace the equinox by observing either the sunrise or sunset. This balanced time of day serves as an opportune moment for reflection and ritual. Light a candle, meditate, or simply take in the beauty of the changing light as you honor the increasing daylight hours.
Feast with Local Ingredients
Unleash your inner Kitchen Witch and create a feast using seasonal Australian ingredients. Incorporate fresh fruits, vegetables, and local produce into your meal. Celebrate the flavours of spring in the Southern Hemisphere, perhaps include Native Australian ingredients to pay homage to Australia's Original Custodians.
Create & Craft
Engage in craft activities that resonate with the Australian landscape. Create artwork inspired by native flora and fauna, or make wreaths and decorations using local materials. During a meditation, explore the concept of balance within the context of the Southern Hemisphere's seasonal shift.
Perform a Release Ritual & Connect with the Community
Perform a release ritual to let go of anything holding you back. This can be particularly meaningful as you align with the cycle of renewal in the Australian spring. Consider joining or organising a community gathering to share stories, perform rituals, and connect with others who embrace the same seasonal cycle.
Remember, the key to celebrating Ostara in Australia is to adapt and incorporate the unique characteristics of the region's flora, fauna, and climate. By embracing the energy of renewal in the Southern Hemisphere, you can create a meaningful and authentic Ostara experience that reflects Australia's natural beauty and cultural diversity.
We hope this blog helps you with some small ways to celebrate Samhain this year! We have also created a blog for rituals to perform during Ostara, and how to set up your altar for Ostara.
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