Ostara 2024 – Celebrating Life

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In 2024, Ostara, the long-awaited spring equinox, falls on March 19th. On this glorious day, all things will be in balance and the day and night will be equal at 9:07 PM, MST. We expect a highly energetic night, due to the waxing Worm Moon, and the forthcoming Penumbral Eclipse (Eclipse Begins, Mar 24th 10:53:16 PM, Eclipse Peak, March 25th 1:12:51 AM, Eclipse Ends, March 25th 3:32:27 AM.)

Each year on our journey around the Great Wheel, we celebrate eight key holidays, or Sabbats. Ostara is one of the oldest ones, with it’s origins in Celtic, Anglo-Saxon and Germanic practices. Without written records, the exact methodology of how these ancient celebrations took place is unknown. However, most agree that the celebrations were focused on fertility, such as seen in the beginning of spring. The fact that they did take place is evidenced by the many stone circles and altars which remain from the ancient world, proving that our ancestors observed both the Equinoxes and Solstices. The most famous of these locations are Stonehenge and Newgrange.

Most of our rituals practice the celebrations of our ancestors, in the spirit of the occasion, taking the key elements and crafting them into something which we feel honors those traditions. Some of the key topics of Ostara are fertility, welcoming spring/seasonal change, balance, and new beginnings. Wiccans celebrate the Maiden stage of the Goddess, and the Horned God resurrected to wed her.

ostara ritual 2024

Preparing for the 2024 Ostara Ritual

Ostara is a time to gather family and friends together. In some areas, this might be one of the first times this calendar year that everyone can get outside, due to weather issues, so make it a joyous event. Enjoy the community with a generous bonfire and plenty of flowers, color, and revelry. All participants should wear bright colors, flowers in their hair, anything that reminds them of spring.

What you’ll need to prepare for this Ostara ritual (as written)

Alter with yellow cloth – decorated with spring flowers, colors, or other symbols of Spring
Quarter Candles (4 total) in these colors – Red (South), Yellow (East), Green (North), and Blue (West)
Goddess Candle – Large White Candle
A chalice of sacred water, a candle which can be safely held above someone (in a holder is a good idea), a loam mixture of soil. assorted seeds or bulbs
Fresh eggs – 1 per person

This ritual has cues throughout for the ritual leader to use. Anything bracketed with <> refers to instructional steps and should not be spoken aloud.

Ritual Begins

<Using your Wand or Athame, point in each cardinal directions while calling the quarters; ask all participants to turn in the direction, following your lead>

Opening our Ostara Circle

With hope, with love, come one come all, a casting moment, thus I call. Welcome one and all, the energy of this circle is now alive!

East
Join hearts, minds, and souls, now one and all, for togetherness reigns as we open this circle. Look to the East, the direction of the rising sun, the joy and hope found in the dawn of a new day, thoughts of warmth, light, and renewal. Spring has sprung, and all of the beauty of the world shall once again fill our field of vision, new life shall be heard across the land, and the scents of flowers shall take our thoughts to places fresh and beautiful.  <light yellow candle>

South
Look to the South, see the future vision of the mid-day sun high in the sky, imagine yourselves in its presence, feel the warmth on your faces, the light spilling over the lands, and the magick of the earth awakening. For today, we step from the cold of winter to the newness of spring.   <light red candle>

West
Our gaze now turns to the West, where the setting sun serves to remind us that each day will eventually come to a close. Yet looking deeper we understand that all things have a beginning and an ending, what may bring us grief or harm today, will simply vanish with the closing moments of night.  <light blue candle>

North
Now, together, let us turn to the North, and on this day, reverently pay homage to all things which bear life. We cherish the cycle of renewal, the cycle of new life and the magick of reproduction. For as Spring is sprung, the land is awakened, and the miracle of nature is erupting from every hill and in every valley. The Maiden Goddess has touched the ground and engaged the hibernating energy to wake from its long rest and bring color, freshness, and wonderment to the land once again.  <light green candle>

Goddess
Throughout time, Ostara has been the day of new beginnings. On this day of balance, symmetry, and equality, we are poised on the cusp of change, ready to harmonize with nature, and watch as all things find their rightful place in the world. The great wheel turns, and the cycle of life renews. We call upon her to join us in our circle, to share her energy with our willing hearts, and to wrap us in her immense majesty. <light Goddess candle>

A Glorious welcome! Our Ostara ritual awaits!

Introduction to Ostara

The celebration of spring is likely one of the oldest practices in human history, as it held such a significance to early humankind, who depending on the land for survival. No single race or culture can claim ownership. The Sabbat we call Ostara (also known as Eostre or Eastre) has its roots in ancient Anglo-Saxon/Germanic history. The Goddess of the Spring and the dawn, Eostre, whose legacy is symbolized by the hare and the egg is believed to be the namesake of this celebration. Unfortunately, there is scant historical information about her. What we do know comes from an 8th Century English monk named Bede. He wrote “De temporum ratione,” translates as The Reckoning of Time. In the work he mentions Eostre but gives no details. Bede is considered to be one of the greatest writers of English history, making everything he wrote, highly credible.

Music Selection for Ostara 2024

For our Ostara ritual this year, I’ve chosen a few songs, ironically neither one is about spring, but they do indeed stir the spirit and fill the soul with thoughts of better days ahead. The first is Diese kalte Nacht (This Cold Night) by Faun, and the second is called Boudica’s Revenge, by composer Keith O’ Sullivan

Fertility Celebration – Celebrating Life

Ostara is a celebration of springtime, fertility, balance, and newness, moreover it is a celebration of life. Human life, animal life, plant life, and everything in between. It’s the beginning of the annual growing cycle, a time when the dormant energy of nature suddenly burst forth in all of its glory. Even when remnants of snow remain, green shoots somehow seem to find an opening and reach for the sunlight of the longer days. Seeds planted or dropped in the fall, swell with the remnants of winter moisture, and begin rooting in the wet soil. Bulbs push colorful flowers upward, bringing the first swath of color to the land. Throughout the animal kingdom, animals give birth, birds lay eggs, and as it seems appropriate, the hare, a centuries long symbol of this holiday, mates throughout the month. Often, rabbits can get pregnant while still tending to their current litter, making them a universal symbol for fertility.

Reproduction is the great knowledge of understanding the universe, the secret of survival, and the reason why all things exist. Fertility is what makes it all happen. Whether the passing of pollen through wind or from insects, molecular replication, seed propagation, metamorphosis, or impregnation, life will always find a way to continue. Such a momentous event is beyond worthy of celebration. So, tonight to celebrate the rite of fertility, we celebrate the elements that make it happen.

The Four Key Elements of Life

Celebrating the Seed – The seed is the quintessential icon of reproductive life. As the cycle of life progresses and the icy tendrils of winter slip across the lands, all rooted life preserves its legacy by producing seeds, which are spread in all directions to wait until the following year, when the warm rays of the sun combine with moisture from the melting snow and rains. The seeds swell, then finally burst forth with new life, filling the land once again with greenery.

<ritual leader distributes seeds to everyone to take home>

Focus on the seed, commune with it, understand it’s importance in the cycle of life.

The circle starts on bended knee
Birth of life within this seed
Planting done with tender care
Oh, ancient ones, do hear our prayer
Provide the sun, and gentle rain
Our trust in you, we will sustain

Celebrating the Earth – Our soil provides the medium for plant life, and is unique in it’s composition, abundance, and regenerative properties. It has the capacity to function as a living part of the ecosystem, providing nutrients and energy, but also as a storage system for water, vital minerals, and decaying organic matter.

<have everyone take a hand full of soil, instruct them to slowly sprinkle it as the following verse is spoken>

Soil black and rich with life
Abundance true and free from strife
With tool and time, our furrowed row
Lives depend on what we grow
The magick layer oft renewed
Fills our hearts with gratitude

Celebrating the Water – Of all things found on earth, the most important thing is water, for without water, life would cease to exist; the land would become a harsh dustbowl, barren and void. It is abundant, but many are careless in how they treat it, wasting, polluting, dumping chemicals and toxins into the supply. Amazing how something so important can be treated with such disrespect, and yet it continues.

<pass the cup of sacred water while reading the following>

The blood of life, drawn up by roots
Bursting forth from tender shoot
Water flows from distant coasts
And to the Gods we raise a toast
So much more than just survive
Providing that which helps us thrive

Celebrating the Light – Light is a prime resource, providing the capacity to interact with all things, living and inorganic. It warms the planet, provides energy for plant growth through photosynthesis, creates weather patterns, interacts with matter to bring about creation, and is a source of comfort. Throughout history, cultures refer to springtime as the returning of the light, and place great importance on the celebration of it. For without light, the race of humans would not survive.

<leader walks the circle, passing the light over each person’s head>

Shimmering light above our heads
To grow the grain, to bake our breads
Our beer and ale, fruit on the trees
To lay in store for when the freeze
Shining with great energy
Giving life to you and me

ostara

Egg Magick

<distribute a fresh egg to each person>

The egg has always been associated with Ostara, as it is seen as a symbol of new beginnings, new life, and fertility. Life is hatched from eggs, they are abundant, found throughout the world, and have been an important part of human life for as long as humans have existed. The egg shell is fragile, but also durable, protecting the growing life inside. This is why eggshells are often used in protection spells.

Eggs can also be used for manifestation; think of them as your symbolic womb, where you can seed ideas to be birthed into the universe. Use the egg as a storage for energy, filling it with things you want in life; not physical things, but things that feed your spiritual self, such as protection, courage, wisdom, energy, knowledge, curiosity, even romance and love. No item, regardless of it’s value or status, can replace a strong and developing spirit.

Focus your intention on things you wish to bring to life, things that will raise your vibration, things that will make you happy, healthy, more positive, and more engaged with your best and highest version of yourself. Once you’ve filled that egg with those things, crack it, let them be born into the universe, becoming part of the thread of the fabric of your life.

Closing our Ostara Circle

North
Join me once again and turn your gaze to the North.  The spark of life has been reignited. Today we say farewell to the dim darkness of winter and welcome the broad spectrum of color, movement, and magick, of spring. On this Ostara night, as it is on every other night, we find ourselves blessed to exist in such a wonderful world. <extinguish green candle>

West
Now look to the West, remembering that this is a time of renewal, a time of rebirth, and a time when the actions of the past can be permanently left in the past. Leave this circle free, reborn, and ready to boldly step forward into the first day of the rest of your life. The water of life is a shared energy source that binds the universe and those around us, together. Embrace it and rise to your greatest and highest self. <extinguish blue candle>

South
Looking to the South again, our thoughts are on Springtime, understanding that this change not only brings the land to a heightened sense of life, but our minds and bodies as well. We feel the need to grow, to reach higher toward the sun, just as the plants do. We leave here trusting that our days will be filled with joy and our spirits with comfort.  <extinguish red candle>

East
Now to the East, truly knowing in our hearts that a new day has dawned. We have felt the energy shift, fertility now reigns across the land, light is in abundance, and everything points positive. Lest not we forget that today is the day of great balance, when we can simply ponder our existence without worry, without fear, and without the weight those things which seem to fill our daily lives. Take this peace with you as you depart, choose to live your lives to the fullest, rather than simply existing.  <extinguish yellow candle>

Goddess
We bow our heads, not in servitude, but in gratitude. We have been blessed, guided, educated, and enlightened, but never once forced to bow down and worship. We live in harmony with this natural world, sharing our precious energy for planting and receiving precious energy in return with the reaping. We can only hope to rise to our highest self, to be the light that shines to others, and give freely to our fellow human beings. As we leave this sacred space, we leave with a sense of great and powerful days in our future!  <extinguish Goddess Candle>

“The circle is open but never broken”

“Huzzah!”

Recommended Reading

If you are pagan and regularly practice Ostara and other Sabbats or full moon rituals, I invite you to review the complete library of rituals and ceremonies at this link.

The Gypsy Thread 2024 Pagan Calendar can be accessed here – it includes full moons, new moons, astrological information, and significant pagan celebrations from many different beliefs.

Most of the Christian holidays have their roots in ancient pagan practices. If you want to learn more about the Pagan Origins of Easter, visit this link, (The article includes a wonderful children’s story)

Newgrange

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