Last Sunday marked the Spring Equinox, also known as Ostara in the Wiccan/Pagan world. For the most part, I shy away from organized religions. However, that in no way means that I am not a spiritual person. And while I won’t go so far as to claim full-fledged witch or Wicca, I do have a strong affinity for the practice and celebration of Wiccan holidays.
The Wheel of the Year
Each Wiccan holiday can be found in what is known as the Wheel of the Year, a circular chart that represents the festivals that your average Wiccan, witch, and pagan hold dear. These 8 holidays referred to as Sabbats, follow a nature-based calendar. It includes four solar festivals marking the Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice, Fall Equinox, and Winter Solstice with four seasonal festivals set in between them, Imbolc, Beltane, Lughnasadh, and Samhain.
The purpose of each holiday is at its roots about honoring the seasons, and the cycle of life. For instance, we’ve just celebrated Ostara, to mark the start of Spring. The next celebration will be Beltane which celebrates the official start of the ‘planting’ season. That will be followed by Summer Solstice (Litha) then Lughnasadh which marks the beginning of the harvest season.
Why We Celebrate
As a fledgling homesteader, whose fails and wins will be largely ruled by the seasons, I can think of no better way to honor them than by gathering for a celebration at each Sabbat. This doesn’t mean we’re dancing naked by the pale moonlight (though I wouldn’t count it out,) or sacrificing chickens (totally out), but it does mean gathering some friends to honor the season with good company, good intentions, and some season-appropriate crafts. Which is exactly what we did this last weekend.
How We Celebrated Ostara
Ostara is ruled by spring, and in the Wiccan world, it is also ruled by the Goddess Eostre. Say that word again E-O-S-T-R-E. Sounds a little bit like Easter. Long before Christianity, the Spring Equinox was celebrated with eggs and rabbits, symbols of fertility and new life. So, I gathered some friends for a Spring celebration with that in mind.
We decorated eggs, planted seeds (in eggshells), made candles (representing the time when day and night are of equal lengths), and tied smudge sticks with seasonal herbs.
Do you have any fun Spring, Easter, or Ostara traditions? Tell us all about them in the comments below! And, until next time,