I am spending time leafing through my Spring season books this afternoon thinking about how I will celebrate Ostara this coming Monday. Ostara (the Spring Equinox) is on March 20th this year (it can fall between the 20th-23rd) and marks the first official day of Spring! CLICK HERE to read an article that explains the origin of Ostara if you are new to witchcraft.
The above photo is a book called ‘102 Things To Do In Spring’ by Alex Quick. He has a book of things to do for each season and these make lovely little coffee table books. Many of the suggestions are outrageous and comical and a lot of them are practical too. I have a large section of my library dedicated to seasonal books and these are probably the most fun and playful; and although they aren’t geared toward witches, the author is English and there is something decidedly witchy about these books. I highly recommend them. I think I will take Alex’s advice for suggestion #60. Go Blossom Viewing. We have a beautiful Japanese stroll garden in the next town over! The other two books I am reading through today are ‘Celebrating The Great Mother’ by Cait Johnson and Maura D. Shaw and ‘Circle Round: Raising Children In Goddess Traditions’ by Starhawk, Diane Baker and Anne Hill
A tradition I always keep on Ostara is setting up a fertility inspired altar (as well as pulling out all of my Spring decorations and packing away anything left that is winter). I love to make a bird nest of twine and colorful ribbon and fill it with eggs, place my amethyst stones around the living spaces and bring in some fresh flowers from the yard.
Fox isn’t yet old enough to dye eggs, but I hope we can start next year and also do an egg hunt in the yard. I think this year we will also buy a crystal/gemstone in the shape of an egg and collect a new one each Ostara. I do fill an Ostara basket for Fox with some treats (a stuffed toy, a wind up chick that hops and some new warm weather clothes) but I will wait to gift that to him on the Christian date of Easter (April 16th) so he can celebrate at the same time as the other children. We have no problem doubling up on celebrations in this home since the majority of our town and family are Christian and we want to share in those national holidays too! I am a witch after all, not a grinch!
Spring cleaning may not be my favorite thing to do, but it is so nice to air out the house and the linens and freshen everything up. An energetic cleansing is recommended at this time. I usually smudge with Sage or Palo Santo and this year I will use my new besom broom from moonboxshop.com to sweep away the stagnant energies of winter. I also love breaking out the citrus scents come Spring! Lemon, grapefruit and sweet orange cleaning potions will replace the pine, cinnamon and vanilla from winter. It is easy and inexpensive to make your own cleaning solutions and that could be a nice Ostara activity too. Buy some pretty bottles and have fun decorating labels with flowers and bees!
Possibly the most magical thing you could do to start your Spring season is plant seeds. What other proof of the miracles of our earth do we need than to plant a tiny seed and watch it grow? In many parts of the country we haven’t seen our last frost, so if you are going to plant flowers or other starts choose something that can tolerate a few more freezing nights. I like to plant pansies on St. Patrick’s Day and they always seem to make it through whatever cold we have remaining here in Missouri. Planting flowers is a great activity to share with small children too. They love getting their little hands in the dirt and connecting with nature.
by Raven Willow Rune
Follow me to the distant hill
Listen to the sounds of the whip ‘o’ will
Birch trees budding, Spring has come
The Cailleach’s season now is done
Ostara walks this fecund land
Lambs are birthing, fed by hand
Flowers bloom, the air smells sweet
Wheat is growing, there’s bread to eat
Children chase the Mad March Hare
Follow the clues to the eggs in his lair
Painted eggs, chocolate and buns
Sticky, iced and hot cross ones
This is a time for new beginnings
Planting bulbs and tending seedlings
A time when we discover anew
The love the Goddess has for me and you
~ Blessed Ostara ~