What are you darn pagans celebrating now? Ostara/Eostre/Spring Equinox

So for folks that follow this blog and aren’t pagan how about a primer on the holiday?

Ostara/Eostre/Vernal Equinox/Spring

This is the holiday of the Maiden form of the Goddess. This is not a sex holiday. You have to wait for May first to do the naughty. Hence the poem:

Hooray, Hooray

The first of May

Outdoor fucking

Starts today.

But enough of that, Ostara as I said is the Maiden. The old story of Persephone/Proserpina returning to the world from Hades and to her mother, Ceres/Demeter. Now the world can come alive again and stop being sad because it was winter.

Some people have associated it with Ceridwen and her cauldron and her chasing Gwion because the first thing she changes into is a rabbit. Not so sure about that one.

The Great Bede said: Original Latin:

Eostur-monath, qui nunc Paschalis mensis interpretatur, quondam a Dea illorum quæ Eostre vocabatur, et cui in illo festa celebrabant nomen habuit: a cujus nomine nunc Paschale tempus cognominant, consueto antiquæ observationis vocabulo gaudia novæ solemnitatis vocantes.[4]


Eosturmonath has a name which is now translated "Paschal month", and which was once called after a goddess of theirs named Eostre, in whose honour feasts were celebrated in that month. Now they designate that Paschal season by her name, calling the joys of the new rite by the time-honoured name of the old observance.

Some say that birds often lay on the ground and rabbits tend to hide in the same areas ground birds nest in and that people then thought that bunnies laid the eggs but that makes people in ancient times sound very stupid and I’m sure they were no dumber than any Republican is so I doubt that one too.

Some say it’s Freya and her rabbit or cat drawn chariots. In point of fact we really don’t know how people celebrated and Christianity did a pretty good job of stomping it out.

What do we know for sure? It’s the holiday most associated with the return of the spring goddess . The Romans were celebrating Hilaria dedicated to Cybele according to Marcus Aurlelius but Ovid doesn’t mention it?

My coven has a tendency to be literal and parade a globe around the sun who stands shining in the middle of the room so that everyone can see where the light now falls on our rotating ball and how it travels. We know that it’s equal day and equal night and we are scientists for the most part.

It isn’t a particularly important holiday unlike Passover or Good Friday/Easter. There are no records of huge celebrations or pageants in history for Ostara. It’s a good day to welcome spring if you can and celebrate the warming of the earth and the beginnings of the planting season.

So go out and plant your seeds and water them well and get growing.

Inch by inch, row by row

Gonna make this garden grow

All it takes is a rake and a hoe

And a piece of fertile ground

Inch by inch, row by row

Someone bless these seeds I sow

Someone warm them from below

Till the rain comes tumblin down

Pullin weeds and pickin stones

Man is made of dreams and bones

Feel the need to grow my own

Cause the time is close at hand

Rainful rain, sun and rain

Find my way in natures chain

Tune my body and my brain

To the music from the land

Plant your rows straight and long

Temper them with prayer and song

Mother Earth will make you strong

If you give her love and care

Old crow watchin hungrily

From his perch in yonder tree

In my garden Im as free

As that feathered thief up there

Words and music by Dave Mellett

2 thoughts on “What are you darn pagans celebrating now? Ostara/Eostre/Spring Equinox

  1. If we look hard enough, comparing ethnographic evidence from a number of related people, for instance, using evidence from the Baltic and Slavic legends, traditions, folklore and practiced, we might get glimpses of how this Spring Equinox was celebrated in pagan times. For instance, Marija Gimbutas mentions a Baltic Spring rite of bathing the Goddess. Boris Rybakov, a scholar of Slavic mythology, describes a rite of putting a straw female doll into the river – he theorises it could be an echo of an earlier tradition of sacrifice, but it could as well be a transformed bathing.


  2. Because I’m back to front or upside down, I celebrating harvesting my first ever crop of olives (one small tree) and having four days off work 🙂


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