Welcoming Ostara Magic into Your Hearth and Garden

Welcoming Ostara Magic into Your Hearth and Garden

The Invitation

For a fleeting moment, light and darkness balance, and the world holds its breath in anticipation. The Earth herself wakes up with a burst of daffodils and budding leaves. The air smells of the infinite possibilities spread out ahead of us. 

Spring is here! We are invited to join the magic! In our hearths, cauldrons simmer with herbal infusions. Windows are opened, inviting the fresh, flowery-scented air in. It swirls into the corners of our home and carries out the staleness of the old. Our brooms lean against the wall, ready to join the celebration of freshness. The garden is bursting to life and teasing us to come out and play.

Or this is how we want to feel. We each carry our burdens—the weight of responsibilities and daily challenges. Perhaps our hearths and hearts feel dimmer than we would like, but we’re open to being lifted with inspiration.

You are not judged here. Ostara doesn’t demand perfection. She doesn’t tally our limitations or measure our magic against others. Instead, she gently whispers, “Find your own way.”

So, whether you’re planting a single seed or creating your own fantastical traditions, know this: You’re part of the great dance of life. Your steps matter. Maybe you’ll adapt a ritual to fit your busy schedule.

This isn’t a to-do list; it’s an invitation. An invitation to breathe life into your home, honor the Earth’s awakening, and find your enchantment.

Basics of Ostara and the Spring Equinox

What is Ostara? This question could get many different answers. 

The spring equinox has been recognized and celebrated by many people over many centuries worldwide. It goes by various names, like Eostre and Arthur Eilir, and probably names and traditions long forgotten.  

The shared theme, however, is that we have reached a point in the turning of the year in which the light and dark are now balanced. We are now halfway between the winter and the summer, and unlike the fall equinox (Mabon), we are moving towards the light. From here, the days will grow longer and warmer, and the earth will awaken and bloom with hope and promise.

The 2nd of 3 Spring Celebrations

You may notice some similarities between Imbolc and Ostara, which can confuse some. It helps me to think of it as the second of three spring celebrations and to consider what life was like for our ancestors at the root of these celebrations. It then makes sense that there are overlapping themes.

After a long, dark winter, our ancestors were overjoyed to see the first signs of spring bursting through the snowy ground and the return of milk around Imbolc time. This was a sign that they had made it through the hardest parts of winter, but as we notice when we acknowledge the snow moon and decorate our Imbolc alters with snowdrops… the winter weather wasn’t necessarily over. 

The Balancing Act

Ostara, like Imbolc, is also a time of rebirth and fertility, but now we celebrate a pivotal moment. The day and night are equal, symbolizing balance, before we tilt toward the days of light.  Longer days and more warmth mean an increase in fertility. While Imbolc is a time of seed planting, Ostara is also, but with increased promise. This is cause for another celebration!

While Mabon, the fall equinox, is also a time of equal light and dark in which we reflect on bringing balance to our lives, the difference is that Ostara is the equinox before the days turn lighter, and Mabon occurs before the days turn darker. Both can be quite joyous occasions, yet the intentions shift in opposite directions.

Mabon is often bursting with abundant harvests to celebrate, with an eye towards preparing and preserving for the coming winter. Ostara’s celebration is emerging from the shadows of winter, having “made it,” and preparing for the upcoming harvests. Both offer a reminder to pause and reflect on how to bring life into better balance for the seasons ahead.

Seed Planting and New Beginnings

Ostara is often associated with seed planting and rebirth, and while this is another theme overlapping with its neighboring spring sabbats, Ostara’s seed symbolism is much stronger. Not as much as it is associated with eggs and bunnies, but a relatively common one, as Ostara began the agricultural period when farmers began planting their seeds (1).

Seed planting is often symbolic of new beginnings for probably quite obvious reasons. Many animals and birds give birth in spring because the weather is favorable and food is more plentiful (2). So, it is sensical that Ostara is often associated with new beginnings and rebirth, making it a prime time to reflect upon new beginnings in our lives. Later in this post, I’ll expand and offer ideas for seed-planting rituals and spells.

Rebirth and New Beginnings Across Beliefs 

Unsurprisingly, many religions and belief systems associate spring and the spring equinox with rebirth and new beginnings. Greek mythology’s Persephone returns to the underworld and brings rebirth to the earth. Bright-colored powders are thrown in India to celebrate fertility and love. In Thailand, water festivals wash the past year’s negativity away, and on the Persian New Year, families gather to clean their homes and set up haft-seen tables.

Eggs, Bunnies, and Eostre

Most of us are familiar with Easter, including the Christian belief that the holiday marks the resurrection of Christ after crucifixion. His rise is said to signify victory over sin, which would certainly be a new beginning and rebirth, considering the price of sin was believed to be eternal death and damnation (yikes!) However, less is known about Eostre, which Easter likely derived from.

Eostre is a Germanic Goddess associated with spring and dawn. She is often represented with symbols of spring, such as the egg and the hare, which are often central themes to Easter, despite many people not understanding why. The egg represents birth and new life, and the hare represents rapid reproduction (fertility). 

This is where the Easter Bunny came from, and it was also once believed, in Germanic and Celtic folklore, that Hares were magical creatures that turned into birds (lapwings) during the spring equinox! So there you have it! I spent years hiding eggs from my kids, pretending a magical bunny brought them without knowing that.

The rise of Christianity led to the (often violent) suppression of Pagan beliefs and practices. To facilitate the rapid acceptance of this new belief, many Pagan traditions were altered to incorporate them into the new religious observances, and any sign or mention of the old practices was destroyed and forbidden. Over time, the origins of Eostre were mostly forgotten, and she remains shrouded in mystery. 

Bringing Ostara Home

We’ve examined the ancient origins of this season, traced Eostre’s vague and mysterious footsteps, and gained a general sense of the season. Now, let us look closer to the most sacred place– our own hearths and gardens.

Your home is your sanctuary. It is the threshold to beginnings. A keeper of secrets, absorbing laughter and tears. It is where we remove the mask we might have to wear, shed our armor, kick off our shoes, and allow our souls to unwind.

Home is a mirror of ourselves. Every color, every picture hung, represents who we see ourselves to be. When we invite others into our space, we show them who we are. Our guests leave their imprint as well. 

In our homes, we prepare and eat our meals. it is strange how it can become an afterthought. How little value is sometimes given to the person who plans, prepares, and cooks those meals; it’s as if we’re so far removed from our origins and the fears and struggles of our ancestors that we take for granted what is central to our survival, and what is most important. 

Whether you balance it with other full-time endeavors or not, whether you share in it or manage it all alone, your role as a hearthkeeper is sacred and central. Your home is where you lay your head to sleep at night, rise to greet your day, and nurture yourself and others, and it deserves to be joyfully tended to.

We deserve to joyfully tend to our spaces rather than to feel like we live at work. I hope you’ll find some inspiration in these words.

Shifting from Imbolc to Ostara

While particular dates are often listed for the points of the wheel of the year, such as the spring equinox landing on March 19-20 in 2024, and often corresponding festivities happen around those dates… the wheel of the year is also a continuous cycle. We could see it as though we have now moved out of Imbolc and into Ostara. We don’t have to follow it rigidly. It is about shifting with nature rather than following a calendar. The earth doesn’t hold still and then shift scenes on particular dates, and things might look different out my window than yours, too.

During Imbolc, I talked about clearing out the old to make way for the new to come to you. Now, Ostara is a magical time to get started on those new things! But hold on, hold on; you don’t need to tell me because I already know that a bunch of us haven’t finished our spring cleaning yet or even started in some cases. That’s okay because, as I said above, these things overlap. Ostara, like Imbolc, is also a great time to clear out the old and make way for the new.

Even if you’ve missed some sacred cleansing time, you can still find and make space for new opportunities and projects, one shelf or corner at a time, if that works best for you. if you did manage to do a full Imbolc clean on your house, top to bottom, things would be due for some maintenance by Ostara anyway. And if a sunny day inspires you to do a full house cleanse now, then now is a fabulous time. 

You Cannot Shame Yourself into Enchantment

There are no firm rules here, even if you think, “But Christina, you have no idea what my house looks like. I can’t even see the shelves to wipe them down!” I will still tell you that you cannot shame yourself out of it. If that worked, some of our houses would be immaculate, but instead, they reflect how we feel inside or our real challenges. 

They might represent a period of depression or a time when we felt called to help someone else. Perhaps we turned around and froze, overwhelmed by the sight of our own house. Maybe we got a new video game and took the only vacation we felt we could afford, letting shiznit go while we escaped with every chance we got for a couple of weeks (yes, most of these have been me). 

Now, we feel we have to “catch up.” We have to feel all these feelings about this. The walls feel like they’re closing in. It’s a vicious cycle because our home affects our moods and lives. We start our days here, and we end them here. Come back to regroup. We prepare and make meals here, and kitchen hygiene is so, sooo important. Looking for things takes extra time and sometimes stops us from starting projects that would make us feel good about ourselves. It can have a spiraling effect. 

And yet, if you’re frozen from being overwhelmed, you won’t stress your way out of it. You have to turn the anxiety down, not up. If your body is feeling weighted and like it’s moving through sand, you cannot shame yourself out of that depressive state, but if you can try to muster even just a little more love for yourself, the results can be profound. 

Please don’t think I’m saying it’s always this simple. Nobody gets to say your situation would be all better if you did a self-care routine. Some people need medication, and there’s no shame in that. Some need specialized help to release items, and some need someone who understands the deep pain and unmet needs that caused them to keep them in the first place.

I’m not a therapist or a doctor. I am another soul on this Earth saying I’m not judging you. I may not be qualified to give you what you need, but I know you cannot shame yourself into it. It might help to start with some small, simple steps that might lift your spirit enough to take another.

  • Sit outside. Even if you don’t have a nice space to do so, go out there anyway and feel the weather on your face. Is it warm today? Cold and crisp? Raining sideways on your face? You don’t have to stay long. Just give it a few minutes and see.
  • Open a window—or maybe a few if that is doable—and get some fresh air in. If it smells like flowers, that’s a bonus.
  • Can you clear one small space? Even if it’s just the space next to you, and you don’t want to/can’t get up to put things away…can you straighten them a little? Sometimes, even shifting so they’re straight instead of willy-nilly makes a difference. 
  • If bringing some spring flowers in sounds nice, but you’re too far from having a nice place to display them…Can you just go ahead and bring them in? Then, start by finding a vase and having enough room to set it down. Then, just clean the area immediately around it. It might be one small, silly circle on your table surrounded by stacks of things, but it’s one clean spot. Sometimes that can motivate you to clear a little more and then a little more.
  • If music sounds miserable, try making a deal with yourself to put it on very briefly. If you are right and it’s unpleasant right now, turn it off and enjoy the quiet. Sometimes, I find that I like it once it’s playing. If not, I suddenly appreciate the quiet more when I turn it back off. It’s now an intentional silence.

Ostara Cleaning for New Beginnings

As we sweep and dust away the stagnation, we make room for the new beginnings we wish to see in our lives. Removing old invites the new. It says to the powers that be, “Look, there is room for more abundance here. You can send the new my way!” 

It shows that we can take care of the blessings bestowed upon us and handle more. We prove we will release what has served its purpose into the universe and can be entrusted with what comes next. This is good to do all year round, but sabbats and moon phases can serve as reminders and inspiration and infuse their own magic into the process.

Bringing in the New

Since Ostara represents rebirth, fertility, and new beginnings, it is a magical time to not only clear away and make room for the new but also infuse a little intention into the spell, communicating to the Source what new beginnings you are hoping for. 

Adding drops of essential oil, herbs, and other magical ingredients into your mop water, dusting spray, and simmer pots, lighting intentional incense and candles, and playing purposeful music are great ways to invite what you want into your home and life and make the job of cleaning a little more fun.

Consider cinnamon to boost prosperity, lavender to promote a peaceful home, and Rosemary to increase focus and, therefore, the overall function of your space. Add rose quartz for love and compassion, blue lace agate for better communication, and other crystals that represent your intentions; just make sure they are safe from water if you plan to use them there.

Enchanting your Broom

The broom has long been associated with magic. Brooms are purification tools. Adding herbs, salts, and other magical ingredients is a fun way to add other intentions to the sweeping ritual. 

You can create a sweeping ritual with intention and magic by sprinkling a mixture of protective herbs like sage or rosemary to cleanse the space energetically. As you sweep, visualize the environment you’d like to live in. What do you want your space to feel like? 

Chanting spells or affirmations while sweeping can amplify the ritual’s power. By adding magical intent to otherwise boring tasks, you honor the interconnectedness of the physical and spiritual realms and cultivate an enchanted home, and it’s just more fun that way.

Decorating with Nature

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Nature is bursting to life outside, and I encourage you to get as creative as you want with decorating it. Of course, be mindful of allergens and of nature herself… I make sure to leave plenty behind for critters and others to enjoy.

Ostara Altar

Set up or update an altar representing the balance of masculine and feminine, dark and light. Use symbols of the season, such as:

  • Seasonal flowers like daffodils, crocuses, and tulips.
  • Eggs (representing fertility and new life).
  • Figurines of young animals (to signify birth)
  • Branches you find interesting. Bring in something blossoming if it won’t bother anyone’s allergies!
  • Living plants and seedlings. I often perform mini-rituals that set intentions with seeds, and plants in various developmental phases that I’ve been nurturing often join me at my altar.

Arrange these items mindfully, acknowledging the equilibrium of day and night. Of course, add anything you want that is meaningful to you. It is not even required that they be traditionally associated with Ostara. 

A lot of people like to use a pastel-colored alter cloth for Ostara. I, personally, don’t. Rather, I associate it much more with bright greens and yellows; I frequently skip altar cloths altogether and am more likely to put it on a dark purple cloth I’m particularly fond of if I use one at all, than to use pastels… But that’s just me!

Egg Magic

Decorate hard-boiled eggs using symbols and colors that represent your intentions. Then, bury them in your garden. This is a spell, an offering, and a fertilizer for your garden. 

For enchanting egg magic ideas, see Moody Moons’ post 10 Ways to Use Eggs in Witchcraft.

Planting Seeds and Intentions

Make Your Own Seed Planting Rituals and spells

Adding seed-planting rituals and incorporating seeds into your spells can add another magic dimension, but don’t pressure yourself to do everything. Remember, we are honoring balance. For some, witnessing the seed-planting ritual performed by nature itself, when seeds nestled in the earth sprout into a dandelion along the path to the mailbox, is a better way to honor balance than to do something elaborate and pay for it the next day. 

If you want to explore some seed-planting rituals, you could start simply by whispering intentions into your seeds in your hands before planting them, or writing a wish on paper and rolling it up to bury next to your seed. You can place meaningful crystals around the planting area. You can turn the spot into an altar for the planting ritual or spell or return to it later and nurture the seedlings as you nurture your spell.

Plan and Plant an Enchanting Garden

What could you use in the coming seasons? Would you like to ethically source some of your own magic ingredients from your garden? Start a small tea garden? Grow varieties of organic vegetables that can’t be found in the stores. Do you fantasize about a spellbinding moon garden serving as a backdrop for your fire pit? Or is that just my dream? 

Don’t let me overwhelm you here. One year, I went crazy with seeds, bulbs, and trees, just going all out with excitement and big dreams. What I ended up loving most was my friend’s single morning glory on her patio. 

Less can be more…

She’d been struggling with a season of depression and chose to plant that one seed. She nurtured that one seed. It got her love and attention while I stretched myself all over my yard. Her little patio was magnificent, with that morning glory draping its beautiful, healthy self along the wall in a splash of color. With it, her mood had shifted and bloomed.

My own yard was still beautiful, but it was a wild beauty in which so many plants were in an epic battle for their lives against the weeds. That year, I struggled to enjoy my yard. There was little balance between the time I “worked” and the time I sat to admire it. 

This was a valuable lesson for me. I’ve yet to be someone who only plants one thing for the season, which is not my goal. My goals still consist of the moon and herb gardens, multiplying my rosemary and lavender plants, and growing multiple types of tomatoes, berry patches, and sunflower forts. But I am more mindful of expanding at a pace I can still devote proper energy to good results. 

It is the same with magic and with life.  We take energy and redirect it. It’s especially important if we have limited spoons and need to protect our time and energy to see how applying even a little attention in a focused manner can have more powerful results than unlimited energy hurled all willy-nilly about. 

Honoring the Equinox Balance

With dark and light in equilibrium, it is a profound time to consider how we can bring balance into our lives. Using spring equinox rituals can guide us in that process. You can create your own, use one of mine, or find hundreds of ideas online.

Day and Night Ritual

Create a simple ritual to honor the equal hours of light and darkness. One idea might be to greet the sunrise and sunset each day. Whether you just stand on your patio for a moment, practice yoga, or create an elaborate ritual with chants and other embellishments is completely up to you.

I like to incorporate things I need to do and then find a way to make them magical and enjoyable. During the season of Ostara, I like to go out at sunrise and care for my chickens. I do a little walk around the yard, going full circle around the house, doing light things like pulling a few weeds, finding the gloves I lost, and picking up some trash that floated in. It takes less than 10 minutes if I don’t let something shiny carry me off.

I try to be out there at sunset, but I’m not pressuring myself to do it. It’s a busy time of day sometimes, and everyone tends to be home then. If we’re not doing anything, I might go out and even encourage them to come out for the sunset, but perhaps we’re watching a show together or playing a game instead… I’m choosing not to prioritize being out for every sunset, and that’s fine, too.

You can make whatever ritual you’d like and be as rigid or relaxed as you like.  

Candle Magic

Light a candle during twilight, symbolizing the transition from dark to light on the spring equinox. This is a very simple, basic idea that you can add upon. You can decide if you’d like a special candle or a specific color. You can dress it with oil and herbs or use crystals. 

Lemongrass and thyme are often associated with Ostara. Both have magical properties for psychic intuition and purification, as well as love and healing with thyme and protection from lemongrass.

You can light and enjoy it, maybe even in a favorite spot of your yard, or cast a circle and craft an entire spell around it. There are a lot of very specific Ostara candle magic spells if you’d like to borrow someone else’s. I enjoy Witch of Lupine Hollow, and she has a great Ostara candle spell here: Ostara Candle Spell for Clarity and Renewal

Have a Blessed Ostara, Friends!

Remember, whether you’re a seasoned magical practitioner, curious, or just here to pretend along with us because it’s more fun than the other cleaning inspiration and groups to you… the dream for the Enchanted Hearth is a community, and you are a part of it.

Ostara offers many fun, magical, and intentional ways to enchant our homes and lives. I hope you’ve taken something you enjoy here or got your imagination going with your own ideas. Have a Blessed Ostara, and stay in touch!

Leave a comment sharing your favorite Ostara rituals. Discuss your plans, share your joys, and vent about obstacles. I look forward to hearing from you!

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