spring equinoxOstara is the Pagan ‘Easter’ - or rather, the day that Christians borrowed to be their Easter. It is traditionally the day of equilibrium, neither harsh winter nor the merciless summer, the first point of the wheel when night and day are of equal length; it is a time of childish wonder. Painted eggs, baskets of flowers and the like are generally used to decorate the house.

 

Eostre was the Saxon version of the Germanic goddess Ostara. Her feast day was held on the full moon following the vernal equinox -- almost the identical calculation as for the Christian Easter in the west. One popular legend is that Eostre found a bird, wounded, on the ground late in winter. To save its life, she transformed it into a hare. But ‘the transformation was not a complete one. The bird took the appearance of a hare but retained the ability to lay eggs...the hare would decorate these eggs and leave them as gifts to Eostre.’

Spring equinox is a time for fertility and sowing seeds, and so nature's fertility goes a little crazy. In medieval societies in Europe, the March hare was viewed as a major fertility symbol -- this is a species of rabbit that is nocturnal most of the year, but in March when mating season begins, there are bunnies everywhere all day long. The female of the species is superfecund and can conceive a second litter while still pregnant with a first. As if that wasn't enough, the males tend to get frustrated when rebuffed by their mates, and bounce around erratically when discouraged.

This is a time of year for celebrating abundance and the fertile flowerings of life. A good time to free yourself from things which hinder progress.

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