Here in Southern California, celebration of spring equinox occurs later in the month of March. On the Pacific coast, the Vernal Equinox on March 19, 2016 at 9:31 pm and for the East coast, the Vernal Equinox on March 20, 2016 at 12:31 am.
On the equinox, day and night are equal – 12 hours – worldwide. Celebrations, whether in covens or as solitaries, include brightly painted eggs, baskets of seasonal flowers to decorate the house, burning incense or bringing bright colors into your home. It’s also a good time to start seedlings, or get your soil ready to start your late spring herb garden. In personal context, this is the time to free yourself from obstacles hindering progress.
As a day of equilibrium, we celebrate the balance of light and dark as the sun remains longer and longer everyday; it is also a time when we begin the new year’s growing season. Some will perform workings to gain things lost, or to gain qualities we wish to have.
Many modern Pagans celebrate Ostara as a time of renewal and rebirth. Take some time to celebrate the new life that surrounds you; in nature — walk in park, lay in the grass, hike through a forest. As you do so, observe all the new things beginning around you — plants, flowers, insects, birds. Meditate upon the ever-moving Wheel of the Year, and celebrate the change of seasons.
Patti Wigington has written about Ostara and the Spring Equinox, and she writes: “According to the Venerable Bede, Eostre was the Saxon version of the Germanic goddess Ostara. Her feast day was held on the full moon following the vernal equinox — almost the identical calculation as for the Christian Easter in the west. There is very little documented evidence to prove this, but one popular legend is that Eostre found a bird, wounded, on the ground late in winter. To save its life, she transformed it into a hare. But “the transformation was not a complete one. The bird took the appearance of a hare but retained the ability to lay eggs…the hare would decorate these eggs and leave them as gifts to Eostre.””
A lovely incense comes to us from Scott Cunningham’s book THE COMPLETE BOOK OF INCENSE, OILS & BREWS. Burn during Wiccan rituals on Ostara, or Spring Equinox, welcoming spring and refreshing your life.
The materials needed are the following:
*2 parts Frankincense
*1 part Benzoin
*1 part Dragon’s Blood
*half part Nutmeg
*half part Violet Flowers (or a few drops – like 3 – of Violet Oil)
*half part Orange Peel
*half part Rose Petals
*fire-safe incense burner, censor or pot.
For best results, grind the materials in a mortar and pestle. Take a small amount and place on a burning charcoal block in a fire-safe censor or burner.
Campanelli, P. (1990). Wheel of the Year. Llewellyn Publications. St. Paul MN.
The White Goddess. (2016). Ostara: Spring Equinox. Taken from online website http://www.thewhitegoddess.co.uk/the_wheel_of_the_year/ostara_-_spring_equinox.asp
Wigington, P. (2015) Many Holidays, Many Names. Online reference: http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/ostarathespringequinox/p/Ostara_History.htm
Wigington, P. (2016). All About Ostara, the Spring Equinox. Online reference: http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/ostarathespringequinox/a/AllAboutOstara.htm.