Eostre, the Spring Equinox

Eostre, the Spring Equinox, is part of an Introductory Course in Wicca for incarcerated Wiccans, their families and friends, and prison Chaplains. It has been written to provide a greater understanding of Wicca as a spiritual practice and religion for those who seek to understand it, either as an incarcerated Wiccan or as someone who cares about incarcerated Wiccans.

Eostre, also called Ostara, Bacchanalia and Alban Eilir, is associated with the goddess Aurora, Black Annis, Eos, Eostre, and Ostara. It is one of the Four Quarter holidays, as the hours of light and darkness are equal, and it is celebrated on March 21st or 22nd. If the Sun was thought of as a baby at Imbolc, at Eostre he is thought of as a youth, becoming armed and ready for manhood.

Eostre is a celebration of growth, and the Germanic form, Ostara, gets its name from a goddess, also named Ostara, whose totem animal was the hare (rabbit). The hare is seen as prolifically fertile and many moon goddesses linked with women’s reproductive cycles share it as a totem of earthly sexuality and fertility. Today’s Easter Bunny is a descendant of this early fertility symbol, and is a reminder of the pagan origins of this modern tradition.

Eostre is a good time to be out in nature, and see for ourselves the effect of the sap rising in the trees, the buds appearing, and the busy behavior of the birds. It’s a time to see the daffodils–the flower of this holiday–in their natural setting and find out for yourself why they are called the harbingers of Spring. It’s the time to seek balance in our lives, and our Eostre celebrations reflect that.

Next: Beltaine, the Celtic Fire Festival