Ostara: The Forgotten Goddess of Spring?
Image Artwork by Josephine Walls
There are many Goddesses around the world associated with the season of Spring. One Goddess that seems to get the most attention however, is Ostara.
Perhaps it’s because her name closely resembles that of Easter, and may explain why her fertility totems such as hares and eggs, are a part of this religious tradition. But perhaps it is also because there is much debate around whether she actually existed or was even a Goddess at all.
Maybe this information has been lost, buried or forgotten, or maybe it was never there in the first place. Nonetheless, Ostara lives on.
Ostara’s origins begin in Germany, and she was said to bring rebirth, renewal, and fertility to the land during the month of April. She was responsible for reawakening creativity and supporting the growth of new life.
It was Ostara that warmed the winds, helped the trees to bud, and the snow to melt. It was Ostara’s presence that helped Mother Earth undergo a rebirth.
In ancient times, when we were more connected to the land and to Mother Earth, Spring was a miracle. People watched in awe as buds blossomed on bare branches and patches of green grass began rising up through the snow.
Spring was a time of hope. It was a sign that the Earth was healthy, flourishing, and was continuing to rebirth itself after the harsh winter.
It was a sign that no matter what harshness or coldness greets the Earth, it has the strength and wisdom to be reborn.
The Hare is a special totem for the Goddess Ostara. While there are a few variations on the legend, the story goes that she transformed an injured bird into a hare that could lay colored eggs. One day, Ostara got mad at the hare so she threw him up to the heavens forming the constellation of Lepus, but said he could return once a year in the Spring in order to share his special colored eggs.
The Hare is also significant as it’s believed to be connected to the Moon, which is a symbol of femininity and fertility as well. Just like the Moon, the nocturnal hare burrows into the darkness each day and emerges again at night.
The Moon follows a similar rhythm, rebirthing itself night after night, which is also why the Hare is believed to be connected to fertility Goddesses like Ostara.
The egg is also a symbol associated with Ostara as it was said to represent new life and the balance of masculine and feminine energy.
According to the website Goddess and Greeman-
“The egg (and all seeds) contains ‘all potential’, full of promise and new life. Itsymbolises the rebirth of nature, the fertility of the Earth and all creation. In manytraditions the egg is a symbol for the whole universe. The ‘cosmic’ egg contains a balance of male and female, light and dark, in the egg yolk and egg white. The golden orb of the yolk represents the Sun God enfolded by the White Goddess, perfect balance, so it is particularly appropriate to Ostara and the Spring Equinox when all is in balance for just a moment, although the underlying energy is one of growth and expansion.”
It is believed that people would honor Ostara during the month of April by painting eggs and hanging them on trees, dancing, and hunting hares for use in rituals.
Eggs and hares as symbols for Spring, fertility, and rebirth are observed across many cultures, which is why some argue that these symbols may not have necessarily come from Ostara.
While we may never know the truth about Ostara, this time of year can really remind us of the miracle of planet Earth as it changes seasons.
It can also remind us of the importance of not forgetting the Goddess within and how she can bring creativity and renewal into our lives.
No matter what you have been through. No matter how harsh, or how cold things have been, nothing lasts forever. Just like the Earth goes through seasons, so do you.
When life has been cold to you, know that the warm Spring will come once again. Know that just like Mother Earth can rebirth, recreate, and renew herself, so too can you.
4 thoughts on “Ostara: The Forgotten Goddess of Spring?”
Now we have a wider vision of spring and we know where the tradition of Easter eggs comes from. A refreshing story full of color. Reading is enjoyed.
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Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts! I am glad you like it!
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Ah I love how you ended this. Interesting post and inspiring too. I’m glad you shared this.
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I am glad you like the post and find it interesting! I ave the same reason of reposting and translating Tanaaz’s articles!
Thank you for taking your time to read and comment! 🙂
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