Text Box: Whispering Lake Grove, ADF
Erie, PA
Text Box: Ritual & Liturgy

 

 

 

Ostara or Eostre

 

This festival derives its name from the Goddess Ostara (Old High German) or Eostre (Anglo-Saxon). It is from Eostre that the holiday Easter takes its name. Ostara’s name is also associated with the word ‘East’. This can been seen in the name of the Ostragoths, which means “the Goths of the rising sun” or “East Goths”. Due to this association, Ostara is the Goddess of Dawn and Patroness of Spring. She symbolizes fertility and new life. Ostara is often portrayed as a maiden dress in white and hills are sacred to her.

 

The exact time that this festival was celebrated has been lost, but appears to have been celebrated by the Anglo-Saxons and Continental Germans sometime in April. The evidence for this comes from the fact that April was known as “Ostra-Month”. Ostara was also celebrated by the Norse and was known as Sigs-Blessing. It may also have been celebrated later in the year in Scandinavia due to the winter lingering longer. For the modern practitioner, two dates are favored, the Spring Equinox or the first full moon after the Equinox. Ostara marks the end of the winter season. It is following Ostara, days begin to lengthen as nights grow shorter.

 

Ostara is a feast celebrated in honor of the Goddess Eostre (Anglo-Saxon) or Ostara (German) and marks the beginning of Spring and the rebirth of the green world. This festival is also very much a fertility celebration. This can be seen in the symbols of the hare and the egg. The hare was also sacred to the Goddess Eostre, especially the white hare. In some ancient myths the Goddess is believed to have at times taken the form of a hare. In March and April hares were seen “dancing” (fighting and courting) in the fields. A creature of springtime, the night and of the moon, hares represent rebirth and immortality. In the Springtime hares build a nest or “form” much like that of the bird known as the lapwing. Lapwings would lay eggs in the nest made by hares; making it seem as though the hare had made them magically appear and thus the “Easter Bunny” of today was born. Children in Germany still build nests for the hare to lay its eggs in. Eggs have been a symbol of life since early times. Clay eggs painted with white, read and black stripes were found in a child’s grave in Germany. As in many other ancient festivals from various cultures, fire was often an important part of this holiday. Large fires were often kindled on hill tops at this time of year. Fires were kindled and fire-leaping practiced as a way to drive out the winter and welcome the summer.

 

Modern Neo-Pagans celebrate Ostara with the coloring of eggs, ritually planting seeds symbolizing the growth of new ideas and projects, as well as, the greening of the spring of the year. Ostara is also a time to celebrate the fertility of mind, body and spirit.

For those of us who live in the heart of the snow belt, it has become a tradition for Whispering Lake Grove to drive “Old Man Winter” from our ritual area and do our part to aid the return of Springtime.

 

 

Eld Na(d)r adds incense to the burner

Ostara 2004

Rituals

 

·           Ostara 2004 (pdf)

·           Ostara 2005 (pdf)

·           Ostara 2006 (pdf)

·           Eostre 2007 (pdf)

·           Eostre 2008 (pdf)

·           Eostre 2009 (pdf)

·           Eostre 2010 (pdf)

 

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Raven produces and image of Old Man Winter

Before a Cold and Angry

Mob!

Old Man Winter was just kicked from our ritual area and now Eld Na(d)r says his final good-byes.

 

Eld Na(d)r prepares              Old Man Winter .

 

Old Man Winter               Leaves Erie, PA!

Order of

Worship

Samhain

Yule

Imbolc

Ostara

Beltaine

Midsummer

Lughnassadh

Harvest Tide

Blessing Rites

Rites of Offering

Rituals for Special Occasions

Omens

Songs/Chants