One of the most important spring festivals among Pagans was dedicated to the goddess Ostara, whose name symbolizes the east, dawn and morning light. Day and night are equal and light is beginning to overcome darkness. The Sabbat’s symbols are eggs, rabbits, butterflies and equilateral crosses; the colors, pastels. Herbs and plants include rue,celandine, cinquefoil, jasmine, tansy, violets, crocuses, lilies, tulips, daffodils, dogwood, irises, honeysuckles and strawberries.
Ostara: Eclectic Celebration
Wake up early to see the rising sun and welcome spring. Dress in pastels and walk in nature. Look for signs of spring – flowers, robins and rabbits. Bless the garden. Enjoy a traditional Ostara breakfast of ham, eggs and buns. Thoroughly blend 1/2 cup salad dressing, 1/2 cup sour cream, 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice and 1/8 teaspoon dry mustard. Heat through, but don’t boil. Put a slice of ham on half a bun, top with a sliced hard boiled egg and spoon sauce over it. Heat before serving.
Invite loved ones to join in the rest of the celebration. Color hard-boiled eggs, symbols of fertility. Paint the pentagram on them, the points of the star represents the elements – fire, earth, air and water; the fifth is Akasha, the omnipresent incontrovertible transcendent eternal source of all energy. Hide the eggs for an Ostara egg hunt. Light a purple candle and bid winter farewell as the candle’s flame is being extinguished.
Bless seeds before planting them, indoors or outside, depending on the climate. Each person chooses seeds to represent what he or she wants to come into fruition during the year. Visualize what is desired, throw the energy into the seeds and feel this will come to be when the seeds are in full bloom. Talk about the future and give thanks for the seeds that will come into fruition.
It is done and time to enjoy the feast with fine fare and commaderie.
Ostara Feast Recipes
Eggs, lamb, ham, salad greens, early ripening vegetables and strawberries are the traditional foods for the celebration. Red wine accompanies the meal.
- Asparagus/Cheese/Ham Roll Ups: Remove tough part of stems for 12 asparagus spears. Boil until crisp. Roll 1 slice Swiss cheese around each spear. Roll 1 thin ham slice around cheese. Refrigerate overnight. Before serving, cut into bite-sized pieces and put toothpicks into each slice.
- Pickled Red Beet Eggs: Boil juice from 2 (14.5 ounce) cans sliced beets, 1/2 cup each vinegar, sugar and water, for 10 minutes. Pour over 1 dozen hard boiled eggs, beets and 2 sliced medium onions. Refrigerate overnight.
- Spring Clam Chowder: Cook 2 medium diced potatoes in broth from four (6.5 ounce) cans chopped clams. Set aside. Sauté 1 diced medium onion, 2 finely diced celery stalks and two slices bacon together. Drain. Melt 2 tablespoons margarine. Blend in 2 tablespoons flour and stir until the butter and flour and margarine are thoroughly blended, using a whisk. Gradually add 1 cup milk, stirring until mixture is thickened. Do not boil. Pour in milk, stirring constantly as it thickens. Add more milk or flour if necessary. Blend in potato mixture, 2 ounces dry white wine and clams. Heat through.
- Grilled Lamb Chops: Blend together 2 large minced garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon each dried crushed rosemary and thyme and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Rub paste on both sides of 6 3/4 inch lamb chops. Refrigerate at least one hour. Sprinkle pan with salt and grill chops for about 2 minutes, then turn and grill chops for about 3 1/2 minutes for medium.
- Salad with Tarragon Dressing: Toss together 5 cups mixed salad greens, two medium sliced Vidalia onions, 1 sliced cucumber, 12 sliced radishes and 1/2 cup sliced green pimento stuffed olives. Dressing: Blend together 1 cup salad dressing, 2 minced anchovies, 2 minced scallions, 2 teaspoons vinegar and 1 teaspoon crumbled dried tarragon. Chill overnight.
- Strawberry Parfait: Hull 4 cups strawberries, halving the larger ones. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup sugar and chill for at least 1 hour. Beat 1 cup vanilla ice cream. Blend in 2 cups whipped cream and 3 tablespoons triple sec or orange juice. Put berries into 6 serving dishes. Put ice cream mixture over strawberries.
Ostara: After Feast Celebration
Relax and enjoy conversation while making special wreaths for spring. Crafting these is easy. Instructions are in How to Make a Pagan Ostara Wreath. Keep them or give them to loved ones as presents. Before the day is done, hang the wreaths on doors, windows or walls.
Create Unique Spring Ostara/Easter Gifts: Pagan “Second Spring” Celebration Presents Feature Faux Fabergé Eggs. Czar Alexander III commissioned jeweler Peter Carl Fabergé to make a unique precious egg for his wife, Czarina Maria Fedorovna, on Easter 1885, their twentieth wedding anniversary. Inside of an enameled egg was a gold yolk, within the yolk was a gold hen and hidden within the hen was a diamond replica of the royal crown and a tiny ruby egg. Maria was delighted. This started the tradition of Fabergé creating a unique egg each year that ended when the Romanov family, Nicholas and Alexandra, Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia and Alexei were arrested and taken from the palace.
Ostara is over all too soon. Spring, the season of fertility and growth has been welcomed and celebrated and all look forward to Beltane, the next Sabbat.