This Saturday, March 20th, is Ostara, also known as the vernal or spring equinox. The vernal equinox marks the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. If you are in the Southern Hemisphere, this date will mark the beginning of the autumnal season for you.
Traditionally, the vernal equinox represents a major shift in the dynamic of the calendar and is considered by many as the true start of the year. The light takes over from the dark as daylight hours become gradually longer, peaking at the summer solstice. For half of the year, from the vernal equinox until the autumnal equinox, daylight prevails in duration over darkness.
This shift affects us psychologically as well as physically. Not only are we able to do more, maximizing the excess light and warmth, but we also reprioritize from the inward-facing and family-oriented focus of the colder, darker part of the year to external elements. Following a winter “hibernation”, we crave getting out and about. Hearkening to our agrarian roots, spring is the time when planting and activities begin in earnest and we take steps to prepare for the year to come.
So where does ”Ostara” tie in?
Ostara, also known as Eostre or Eastre, is a Germanic goddess of old who was associated with dawn, light and rebirth or renewal. Legend has it that one winter she
found a wounded bird. To help the creature, she transformed it into a rabbit. However, apparently the rabbit retained the ability to lay eggs, so when the spring came, the rabbit laid many colorful eggs in tribute and thanks to the goddess.
Those familiar with the concept of the Easter bunny may see some connections here and how the celebration of Ostara/Eostra merged with the Christian traditions celebrating the “Easter” religious holiday.
During this season of renewal and rebirth, I hope that you are able to find renewed energy and optimism toward the light and life ahead.
In peace & love,