So for folks that follow this blog and aren’t pagan how about a primer on the holiday?
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:
The first of May
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.
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