Ostara and What it Means for Spring

Ostara and What it Means for Spring

Ostara and What it Means for Spring

By Sophia Harmes, Ph.D.


After a long cold, winter, we gladly welcome spring.  The official start of spring is the Vernal (Spring) Equinox which occurs on or about March 21 each year.  This is one of two times of the year when the Earth experiences equal periods of day and night.  The observance of Ostara occurs on the Vernal Equinox as it is a celebration welcoming spring and its Goddess Eostre.  It is this time of year that symbolizes balance, fertility, birth, rebirth, renewal, and reawakening. 

Balance relates to the 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness experienced around the world on this day.  It also refers to a balanced life and body.  Fertility is the result of the integration of deteriorating vegetation in the fall and winter months with the soil for seed growth.  This can also mean conception.  Birth occurs through the variety of birds and animals that are born in the spring.  It also represents giving birth to new ideas or ways of thinking.  Rebirth arises from the transition of winter to spring, the old to the new, the dark to the light, and the crone to the maiden.  It is also a time for the rebirth of activities that have gone stagnated.  Ostara brings promises of renewal through the budding and flowering of trees and plants and the renewal of spirit and ideas.  This is a time for planting seeds and gardens and the reawakening of ideas and plans to be carried out for the coming year.  Incorporating various activities and symbols in an Ostara celebration enhances its meaning in our lives.

Celebrating Ostara

Many aspects and symbols of Ostara have been integrated into modern Easter celebrations.  Gods and Goddesses are invoked during Ostara celebrations.  Each represents some element of Ostara with Eostre being the primary Goddess honored.  The Greek God Adonis represents the return of spring; the resurrection of winter’s death.  His significance to Ostara is found in two versions of the myth of Adonis.  One version is that he was taken by Aphrodite from his human parents and given to Persephone, the Goddess of the underworld, to care for him for a while.  When Persephone refused to give him back to Aphrodite, they consulted Zeus.  Zeus ruled that Adonis should spend one-third of the year with Aphrodite, one-third of the year in the underworld with Persephone, and the remaining one-third of the year to live where he wanted.  The other version of the myth is that the Greek Goddess Artemis killed Adonis when he wandered onto her hunting grounds.  Aphrodite pleaded with Zeus to restore his life.  Zeus decided that Adonis would live half of the year on Earth with Aphrodite and the other half of the year in the underworld with Persephone.  Adonis’ story is representative of decaying and dormant vegetation in the winter and its resurrection in the spring.  He is celebrated as reassuring the coming of rains and the growth of vegetation.


The Egyptian Goddess Isis is connected to Ostara due to her healing abilities and the resurrecting of the God Osiris.  Osiris was killed by his brother who cut up his body and placed the body parts all throughout Egypt.  Isis searched for Osiris’ body parts and found all but one, and put him back together.  Osiris is identified as a God of fertility and since his death, the God of the underworld.  Isis’ significance to Ostara relates to rebirth and resurrection.


During Ostara the German Goddess Eostre, the Goddess of spring. Is honored.  She is tasked with overseeing the reawakening of Earth from its long winter’s rest.  She brings fertility in all things.  She represents birth, rebirth, and renewal.  A time when Earth comes alive with the budding of trees and flowers, the buzzing of bees and other insects, and the birth of birds and other animals.  This is the time of year to plant fields and gardens.  Have you ever wondered why the Easter bunny brings Easter eggs?   Myths surrounding Eostre involve the hare and eggs.  One myth explains that Eostre would hold a celebration for the animals and children on the first day of spring.  In anticipation of the event, all the animals would prepare something special to present to her when she arrived.  The hare did not have anything to give her except for an egg.  He was going to eat the egg but because the egg represents birth he decided to decorate it and give it as a present.  This would be his gift to the Goddess.  When Eostre arrived for Spring all the animals presented her with their gifts.  She particularly liked what the hare had given her because she knew that it was an unselfish gift that came from the heart.  Because Eostre loved children so much, she declared from that day that every spring the hare would be in charge of delivering an egg the night before Ostara to every child around the world.  The other tale is that Eostre found a wounded bird late in the winter.  In order to save its life, she magically changed the bird into a hare.  Unfortunately, the transformation only converted the appearance of the bird to a hare.  The ability to lay eggs did not go away during the transformation.  The hare would decorate the eggs and present them as gifts to the Goddess, thus explaining why an Easter bunny has the ability to lay eggs. This activity is prominent among children at Easter in modern times. 

Symbols and Other Correspondences of Ostara

A variety of symbols are associated with Ostara that are also common in Easter celebrations.  The hare (rabbit/bunnies) and decorated eggs, discussed above, are not the only things that represent Ostara and spring.  The lamb is also a significant animal to Ostara.  The lamb has importance in Spring celebrations dating from biblical times.  Lambs were used as sacrificial animals.  Blood of lambs was used to mark the doors of Jewish homes to be passed over from the wrath of God on Egyptian families.  This event occurred in the springtime.  In modern times the lamb represents Christ because he was crucified and resurrected during the week of Passover.  Eating lamb at Ostara or Easter is traditional in many cultures. 

Clover and spring flowers also signify that spring has arrived.  Clover is a natural nitrogen-producing plant that aids soil fertility.  Early spring flowers such as crocus, violets, pansies, daffodils, and tulips are favored at this time of year.  Their beautiful colors of greens, blues, pinks, and yellows are the colors of Ostara.  Clover can be used to line easter baskets that are filled with colorful spring flowers and decorated eggs.  In modern times candies and toys are added to these baskets. 

Gemstones and crystals related to Ostara

Gemstones and crystals are also employed to celebrate Ostara.  The following are stones that possess soothing energy that can assist in letting go of the past to start anew.  You can place these gemstones and crystals on an altar or throughout your house to decorate for Ostara.  Carry them in pockets following Ostara.

Rhodochrosite helps to promote an overall balance of physical and emotional feelings.  Its energy can assist in releasing any pent-up emotions and it can help to reduce stress.  Use rhodochrosite to feel emotionally grounded and to promote new beginnings.

Apatite is a great stone to motivate and manifest goals.  Its energy promotes moving forward while letting go of the past.  This crystal stops overthinking to recognize life’s true path.  It also promotes new beginnings and renewal as its energy reinforces forgiveness, trust, and empowerment.  Apatite can be used to release old, unhealthy, and toxic habits, thoughts, beliefs, and obsessions.

Serpentine supports the clearing of blockages to release stagnant energy and promote personal growth.  It can help release old behaviors and emotions to stimulate creativity and imagination.  It also encourages spiritual insight.  Chrysocolla is a stone that promotes emotional balance.  It helps create a sense of calmness for new beginnings.  Use chrysocolla to connect spiritual beliefs with everyday actions to achieve goals.

Angelite can be used to establish balance and harmony through healing emotions and attracting positive energy.  The energy of this stone encourages the release of old emotional injuries while enabling the removal of anger and resentment.  It also helps with internal communication which facilitates in the release of negative feelings.

Peridot is a good gemstone to utilize for removing lethargy related to spring cleaning.  It is also a stone that helps release bad habits and attract positive life changes.  Use peridot to encourage fertility, abundance, and prosperity.

Larimar is useful in transforming goals and dreams to fruition.  This is another stone that assists in removing old, bad habits to establish new opportunities.  It encourages internal harmony and also assists in communication with self and others.  Larimar can be used to promote fertility, spirituality, and wisdom from within.  Use this stone to communicate with the Goddess Eostre.

Lavender Amethyst is an excellent crystal to use to invoke the wisdom of the Goddess.  It aids in emotional healing enabling balance and peace in life.  Use to remove old patterns and activities that no longer are important or of significance.

Orange Calcite is great to remove stagnant energies to increase positive energy.  It helps release negative feelings, barriers, and old patterns that drain the psyche.  Use orange calcite to awaken creativity and provide a new view of life.

Herbs related to Ostara celebrations

A variety of herbs are associated with Ostara.  The herbs discussed are some of the common herbs used in celebrating Ostara.  These herbs can be used as decoration for the home and altar.  Many are used in cooking and baking foods for Ostara celebrations.  All the associated herbs provide medicinal properties that are used in healing and can be processed into a loose herb material for teas and added with other ingredients to make tinctures and poultices for an Ostara herbal first aid kit.  Store herbal material in air-tight containers that will fit into a designated first aid box or bag.

Calendula is from the marigold family.  Its flowers and oil can be used for insect/flea bites, cuts and wounds, and scrapes.  The herb possesses antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties.  The flowers can be used to make tea that can be applied to cuts and wounds.  A poultice can be made with flowers to relieve insect bites and rashes. 

Lavender is a multifunctional herb.  Use lavender to treat burns, cuts and wounds, headaches/migraine, and insect/flea bites.  All parts of the plant, including stems, leaves, and flowers, can be used.  Lavender possesses antifungal, antioxidant, and antiviral properties.  The flowers can be made into a tea or tincture, and all parts of the plant can be used in a poultice.

Lemon Verbena is an herb possessing antispasmodic properties.  Use leaves and flowers to make tea to reduce fevers, stomach spasms, diarrhea, and nausea.  The herb rosemary possesses antioxidant, antirheumatic, antispasmodic, and astringent properties.  Make tea with leaves, stems, and flowers for colds, and pain relief.  

Additional herbs to add to the Ostara first aid kit include peppermint and yarrow.  Peppermint is another multifunctional herb that contains analgesic, antifungal, antioxidant, antispasmodic, and astringent properties.   The leaves and essential oil of the plant can be used to treat colds and congestion, flu, headache/migraine, nausea, and pain relief. 

Yarrow is an herb that possesses anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antispasmodic, and astringent properties.  Use the aerial parts of the plant and its essential oil in a tea, or as a poultice to treat colds, cuts, and wounds, and stop bleeding.  Tea can be used for colds and poultices can be used to clot bleeding and disinfect scrapes and cuts.


Many of the activities and symbols of Ostara are similar to events that are practiced during Easter today.  It is thought that Christianity adopted them to encourage unbelievers to reform.  The observance of Ostara focuses on aspects of fertility, birth, and renewal which was so important to planting fields and gardens for survival.  This spring take time to enjoy the new life and beginnings that nature shares with us by taking a walk in the woods or a park, lying in the grass, and observing the budding of new life. 















First Appeared in Therapeutic Thymes Magazine, Winter 2022, Issue 25.  https://therapeuticthymes.com
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