Monday, March 30, 2015

Ostara - My spring Equinox

Ostara comes from the name Eostre - a germanic goddess of spring! 

Every religion celebrates the season of spring starting -  "Ostara//Easter/Passover.... to give a few names" 

As Spring reaches its height, day and night are in perfect balance, with light increasing. The young Sun God now celebrates his joining with the young Maiden Goddess, who conceives.This is the time of great fertility, growth, and newborn animals!

The next full moon is called Ostara and is sacred to the germanic fertility Goddess Eostre 
(where we get the word estrogen from and whose two symbols are the egg and the rabbit.)

These symbols for Easter are still used to this day - although a bit more commercially. Christians funnily enough decided to keep their "Easter" in accordance to the pagan traditions and it is still celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the vernal equinox.

The legend of the Easter Bunny

Long ago, according to legend, many animals attempted to win the favor of the goddess Eostre, but because  she was so difficult to impress, all of them failed. 

However, one day on March 21, a rabbit decided to try to impress her by taking an egg from a local hen's nest and decorating it beautifully with paint. 
Much to the suprise of the other animals, Eostre was very moved by the beautiful gift, and as a result, she gave this rabbit the task of creating and delivering these beautiful eggs, which he carries in a basket, and still does to this day! 

Another legend says that Eostre found a wounded bird on the ground and to save it's life, she transformed it into a rabbit. The bird appeared to look like a rabbit, except that it could still lay eggs. And so every spring it would decorate it's eggs and give them as an offering for Eostre as thanks.

I celebrate Ostara or "Påske" as we call it in Denmark by hanging coloured eggs from branches and filling the house and gardens with spring flowers! 

We have a great tradition in Denmark of sending "guessing-letters". This is a small Ostara-greeting - a paper with cut out shapes and sent anonymous with a little rhym... (roughly translated)
"Guess, guess, guess, my name has been lost. Here it stands with dots, watch out it doesn't jump!"
And the sender signs his name with a number of dots equivalent to his name... 
 If the receiver can guess the sender, he is owed a chocolate easter egg, and if not, it is the sender who is owed the chocolate egg. 
It's very popular for kids to send these letters to their close families and friends and earn treats this way!  

My dear niece and I made some last weekend... and she has already earned her first treat!

You can put pressed flowers and decorate the letter as you wish - but most of all you must try to make it as hard for the receiver to guess as possible.... 

What are your Ostara traditions?

I have saved some of my Ostara inspiration on Pinterest - Go have a look!!

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