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The spring equinox is a special day that marks the beginning of spring. When day and night become equal, we are blessed with the energy of new beginnings, renewal, growth and a time to celebrate the turn of winter to spring. Its the perfect time to celebrate with intentional rituals!
Witchy friends, pagans, wiccans and those who live in tune with the cycles of nature all come together to welcome spring at the equinox.
Also known as Ostara under pagan traditions, the spring equinox is celebrated as one of 8 celebrations that make up the Wheel of the Year.
Four of these celebrations are rooted in celtic tradition (Imbolc, Beltane, Lughnasadh, and Samhain). The other four are celebrated based on the sun’s location and season turnings (Spring Equinox/Ostara, Summer Solstice/Litha, Autumn Equinox/Mabon, Winter Solstice/Yule).
Below you’ll find more about the history of Ostara/Spring Equinox, symbols, rituals and celebration ideas to inspire your celebration. I’ll be using the terms Ostara and Spring Equinox interchangeably throughout this article.
Please note I do my best to ensure historical and cultural accuracy. My intention is to inspire more people to live intentionally and in tandem with the cycles of nature. Syncing my life with nature’s cycles and living with the utmost intention day-to-day has deeply changed my life for the best.
Now, that being said- grab a cup of cacao and let’s dive in!
What is Ostara
Ostara is a modern-day celebration of the spring equinox that is inspired by ancient Pagan traditions. It is a celebration to welcome the arrival of spring and with it new beginnings, a sense of renewal, growth and fertility.
When is Ostara celebrated?
Ostara is celebrated on the spring equinox, which usually falls on March 20 or 21 each year. This year in 2023, it will fall on March 20th.
We will also have the New Moon on the 21st, making this time even more powerful for manifesting and rebirthing into spring!
- 15 Powerful New Moon Manifesting Rituals for 2023
- 2023 New Moon Affirmations: Embrace New Beginnings and Manifest Your Goals
- How to Create a Manifestation Box (and accomplish your dream!)
What are the origins of Ostara?
The origins of Ostara trace back to ancient Germanic and Norse traditions. It has been celebrated as the marking of the spring equinox and a day to honor the Germanic goddess Eostre/Ostara. Eostre is associated with fertility, renewal, and the coming of spring. Her symbols are the egg and the hare. Ostara predates christianity and its celebration of easter, as most pagan traditions do. Easter is essentially an evolution of Eostre.
Who is the Ostara Goddess
As mentioned above, the goddess associated with the spring equinox / Ostara is Eostre.
“The origins of Eostre can be traced back all the way to the ancient Assyrian goddess, Ishtar and the Sumerian Inanna.” -Kate’s Magick
Being a goddess of rebirth, renewal and fertility it makes sense she is celebrated with the arrival of spring, a time when the earth awakens and blooms after resting all winter.
Goddess Eostre is associated with rabbits, eggs/fertility and hares. She is sometimes even depicted having the head of a hare.
The best intentions to set at Ostara are ones that involve new beginnings and growth. The energy is ripe for manifesting at this time! Set your intentions for the season of spring. Grab a cup of cacao or tea and sit with your journal, or with nature. Contemplate what you’d like to call into your life and what actions you can take to encourage that.
For more on intention setting, read this post: How to Set Daily Intentions (and Actually Stick to Them)
15 Ostara Ritual Ideas: Celebrate the Spring Equinox Intentionally
1. Create a Spring Equinox Altar
Celebrate the season by creating an altar with a special focus on Ostara. Incorporate symbols of spring, such as flowers, eggs, rabbits and fresh fruits. Lay out a light colored cloth, light a beeswax candle, and decorate your Ostara altar intentionally. (More on this below under How to Make an Altar for Ostara)
2. Plant Seeds
Plant seeds in the garden or in a pot to start your own Ostara garden. Dill, Sage, Basil and Rosemary are my faves.
3. Make a Spring Wreath
Make a wreath with fresh flowers and herbs to hang on your front door to welcome the season of renewal.
4. Decorate Eggs
Either using real eggs or wooden ones, decorate your spring equinox eggs with things like natural dye, paint, sharpie, plants and stencils.
5. Have a Picnic
Pack a basket of your favorite snacks and have a picnic. Head to a nearby park or best nature spot available to you and enjoy the abundance of springtime’s arrival.
6. Celebrate Nature
Take a walk in the park or in nature and appreciate the new growth and beauty of the season. Head to a nearby body of water or get your barefeet on the earth to celebrate and connect.
7. Go Bird Watching
Watch for the return of migrating birds or just observe the birds in your area. I love to do this and google the description of birds I see to begin learning what kinds of birds live or frequent in my area.
8. Create a Symbolic Spring Equinox Mandala or Crystal Grid
Create a mandala to celebrate the balance and harmony of the season. You can use flowers, leaves and items from nature or color one in a mandala coloring book like this one: Mandala Coloring Book.
9. Make a Spring Equinox Flower Garland or Crown
Make a garland or crown using flowers from your garden or around your home. I like to do this using small little yellow flowers that grow in abundance over the grass in my yard. Be mindful when picking flowers and make sure they do not belong to someone or are part of an intentional garden. Wildflowers that grow abundantly in remote areas are the best option.
10. Do a Spring Cleaning Ritual
Give your home a deep cleanse- clearing away the old, stagnant energy and welcoming fresh new energy from spring. I like to mop my floors with florida water and burn lavender or incense. Cleaning the windows is a great cleansing ritual to do too, I love this Lemon and Mint All Purpose Cleaner from Everspring, it smells amazing and is non-toxic!
11. Make Sun Tea
Using a glass sun tea jar or pitcher (like this one: Glass Sun Tea Pitcher) add ingredients like:
- Filtered water
- Loose Leaf or Bag Tea (I love to use Yerba mate)
- Fresh fruit like strawberries, peach, cherry
- Fresh herb like mint, basil, lavender, rosemary
My favorite is strawberry mint yerba mate. Simply add to your glass pitcher and allow it to sit in the direct sun for 3-5 hours.
12. Ceremonial Cacao Ritual for the Spring Equinox
If you’re new to working with ceremonial cacao or want to deepen your practice with it, I have several ceremonial cacao ritual resources here, check them out: Cacao Archives
To have a ceremonial cacao ritual for Ostara / the Spring Equinox, here are the steps.
- Ceremonial Cacao (I recommend Soul Lift Cacao, they are my go-to and you can get a discount with them anytime using code BLOOM)
- Ceremonial Mug (optional but I feel it adds a level of intentionality and sacredness to your cacao rituals)
- Sweetener, if desired (I like to add a bit of honey or coconut sugar)
- Splash of your favorite milk or cream, if desired
- Enhancements, if desired (I like to add crystal tinctures and/or flower essences)
- Garnish, if desired (I like rosebuds, lavender buds, mint leaf or even rosemary)
- Hand held frother
Steps for Spring Equinox Cacao Ritual:
- Prepare your ceremonial cacao by measuring 2-3 tbsp chopped cacao to your ceremonial mug.
- Add your sweetener and enhancements.
- Add a splash of water to melt your 2-3tbsp of cacao into a paste.
- Gradually (and intentionally) add more water, stirring as you combine.
- If desired, add a splash of your favorite milk/cream.
- Froth until the consistency is just right for you.
- Garnish with your spring equinox inspired topping.
- Sip mindfully and consider your intentions for spring time, pray for your manifestations and the energy to make them a reality.
13. Bake a Cake and Decorate with Flowers
A fun ritual to celebrate the spring equinox with is baking a cake! Get creative and choose a flavor that feels inspiring and fresh to you. Here are a few cake recipes I recommend for Ostara.
- Lemon and Lavender Ostara Cake
- Strawberries and cream lemon zest cupcakes
- Ostara Fairy Cakes with Pistachio and Rose buttercream
14. Journal your Spring Intentions
What would you like to manifest this year? The spring equinox is the perfect time to begin this process. Capture all the fresh, renewed energy of spring and cultivate it towards your desire.
Journal out your wildest dreams, your biggest goals, your purest intentions.
Here’s a few journal prompts you can use:
- What do you desire most right now?
- What actions can you take to help make this a reality?
- Whats blocking you or holding you back from having and creating this?
- How do you feel in this moment, as the day and night become equal?
- How do you intend to feel through the season of spring?
Suggested tool: Magic of I Astrology Theme Journal
15. Make a Flower and Herb Bundle
Another great way to connect to the earth and celebrate Ostara is by making a flower and herb bundle.
You can use a base of garden sage, mugwort or cedar. Add flowers like daisies, lavender sprigs, wildflowers, or roses. You can also add a sprig of rosemary.
Bunch a handful of your base herb together and shape into a wand. Add the flowers you’ve chosen onto the side of your wand and wrap with twine. Tie a knot at the bottom and allow your herb bundle to dry for a few weeks before burning.
Other Recommended Posts:
Ostara Tarot Spread
Since Ostara is a celebration of renewal and growth, a tarot spread to honor this time might focus on the areas of your life that are in need of growth and renewal.
Here’s a simple three-card Ostara spread you can use to get started:
Card 1: What area of your life needs to be renewed or rekindled?
Card 2: What new growth do you need to embrace?
Card 3: What action do you need to take to bring about this Ostara renewal?
Decks I recommend for this:
Crystals for Ostara
If you’d like to incorporate healing crystals into any of your Ostara rituals, here are some good suggestions.
Some of the best crystals for Ostara are:
- Citrine Cluster
- Clear Quartz Points
- Amazonite Palm Stone
- Garnet Palm Stone
- Rose Quartz Earth Goddess
- Tangerine Quartz Points
- Tumbled Carnelian
- Pink Opal
- Tigers Eye Point
- Chrysocolla Cluster
Herbs for Ostara
When celebrating Ostara, herbs can be a great support and help amplify your intentions, especially in ritual. You can use these herbs in sachets, incense, herb bundles, teas and other rituals.
Here are some of the best herbs for Ostara:
My go-to place to buy ritual herbs online is Mountain Rose Herbs.
Incense for Ostara
Burning or diffusing incense is a great way to create an atmosphere of rebirth and renewal. To amp up your Ostara ambiance here are some good choices:
Suggested Read: 7 Essential Oils to Supercharge Your Manifestations
Foods and Recipes for Ostara
A great way to honor this special time of the year is by creating a delicious meal that celebrates the new season.
Here are some ideas for tasty and festive Ostara foods:
- Roast Lamb with fresh herbs like rosemary and mint
- Honey-Glazed Carrots
- Spring Green Salad with seasonal fruits like apples and pears and local herbs
- Asparagus Soup
- Deviled Eggs
- Fresh Green Smoothie with spinach, cucumber, and lime
- Rainbow Vegetable Skewers with peppers, zucchini, and mushrooms
- Rosemary Herb-Roasted Potatoes
- Springtime Pesto Pasta with fresh basil and parsley
- Carrot Cake with cream cheese frosting
- Rhubarb Crumble with cinnamon and oats
How to make an Altar for Ostara
Creating an altar for Ostara is a wonderful way to celebrate the Spring Equinox and honor the return of the light. Here are some steps to help you create an altar for Ostara:
- Choose a sacred space to set up your altar. This could be a shelf, a corner of a room, or a designated area outdoors.
- Collect items that represent the season, such as a vase of fresh flowers (daffodils, tulips, lilies, violets, crocuses) stones, branches, feathers, and/or shells.
- Place a white or light-colored altar cloth on the surface of your altar.
- Place items that represent Ostara on the altar, such as eggs, carrots, seedlings, and/or a representation of the goddess Eostre (mentioned above).
- Light a white or yellow candle to represent the return of light and set it on the altar.
- Place an offering bowl on the altar and fill it with something that symbolizes the season, such as seeds, honey, or fruit.
- If you are working with a specific deity, you can place an image of them on the altar as well.
- Spend time in meditation or prayer at your altar to connect with the energies of Ostara.
Creating an altar for Ostara can be a meaningful and powerful way to honor this time of year and the energy of renewal and rebirth that it brings. Enjoy the process of creating your altar and be sure to come back to it throughout the season.
- Rabbit- fertility and new beginnings, goddess Eostre
- Eggs- new life, potential of the season, goddess Eostre
- Flowers like daffodils and tulips
- Strawberries, sprouts, carrots
- Colors green and yellow
I hope this ritual guide inspires your ostara / spring equinox celebration! Happy spring!