14.3.14

Fertility and Ostara


Spring has come knocking on my door! I've almost completely said goodbye to my winter clothes and started wearing light jackets. The days are longer, the Sun is brighter and everything seems more optimistic. No wonder everyone wakes up with springtime!

As most of you may well know, Ostara is just around the corner; in 6 days to be exact since it falls on the 20th this year. :) This is partly why I decided to write about this topic. If you're familiar with the background of Ostara, then you will surely know why fertility fits into it nicely. 

The connection between Ostara and fertility is undeniable since it is embedded in its name. Ostara is the name of the Teutonic (i.e. Germanic) Sun goddess and the Sun is a universal symbol of fertility, growth and warmth. Its growth announces the coming of spring and is an even more direct symbol of fertility since the days get longer during the Spring, the plants start blooming and animals can be seen running all over the place. Ostara (the Sabbat) is also known as Eostre. This name is also connected to fertility as it is the name of the Anglo-Saxon fertility Goddess which bears the same name. 

In many Pagan traditions where both the male and female deity are acknowledged, springtime is a period of balance of the two. The male deity (i.e. the God) grows to maturity and the Goddess wakes up from her winter slumber. In Wicca, he is the young Green Man and she is the Maiden. They get closer to one another and prepare to make love on Beltane.

Obvious connections between fertility and spring (and thus Ostara) can be seen anywhere in nature. March and April are the time when calves are born, frogs lay their spawn, when birds make their nests, sing their beautiful mating songs and lay eggs. Since the days are warmer, the rain more gentle (but also more frequent), plants start to grow, flowers start to bloom. 

Springtime is my personal favorite time of the year. This is when I can finally ride my bike through the forest, enjoy the fresh air and go on nature walks in stead of being cramped up in smoky coffee houses because it's too cold to go outside. The fact that my birthday's in spring makes it all the better! :D

If you want to celebrate Ostara, its best to do it outside while the Sun can still bless you with its rays. Borrow from nature what you can for decorations; use greenery and flowers to decorate you altar, make yourself a pretty garland or wreath from wildflowers and celebrate what nature gave us! I know I will. 

Wonderful additions to your altar are eggs and rabbit/hare symbols as both are connected to fertility. The symbolism behind the egg is that of new beginnings, rebirth, the cycle of life and ultimately fertility. Coloring eggs can be a wonderful activity and a great way of getting in touch with life and nature. 

The hare can be seen jumping around meadows in this time of year....or better said running like crazy. This is called "March madness" because this is the hare's mating season. The males chase the females in order to mate; while they (the females) try to fight them off by boxing them if they are not ready to mate yet. Also, the hares can be seen more often during the daytime because the days are longer and they are simply forced to mate during the day (even though they prefer nighttime) since the female hares are receptive only for a few hours during the day. Because of the rabbit's ability to mate very fast, from an early age and very often at that, they reproduce very quickly; this is where the phrase "breed like bunnies" came from. 

Another very obvious symbol of fertility are seeds; they are the origin of new life and enable us to follow the miracle of growth day by day. Planting seeds is also very popular at Ostara rituals, but it is also a part of everyday life during the spring. All farmers know that most herbs/vegetables or basically all plants should be planted during March, or at the beginning of April at the very latest. Seeds have become a favorite addition in Ostara meals; I plan to some sesame seeds myself in my Ostara recipe which I will share with you as soon as possible! :D

For Ostara, I hope you set some time aside to enjoy nature in its bloom. Take in the Sun, relax on the grass, go hiking or bike riding...so long as its somewhere in nature. This will be sure to bring you back some of that energy that you so desperately needed after the long, tiring winter and replenish your spirit. 

So have a wonderful spring equinox however you decide to celebrate it! 
Until next time. Yours,
Witch's Cat

Apparently, some plants grow
wonderfully in egg shells...
Try making egg candles :D great
arts & crafts idea for Ostara!
And decorating broom's isn't uncommon either. :) ...if you're a
witch that is.
...as are garlands!
Or try decorating your egg
basket with natural plants!
Wreaths are always a great option too!
And here are a few nice altar ideas :D






Merry Ostara! :D

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