• Rebecca Robinson

Ostara: Working with the Magical Energies of Spring

Sunday 20th March saw us welcome the spring equinox - that moment in the year when day and night are of equal length and everything in the natural world around us seems to be in perfect harmony and balance.

Are you enjoying the extra hours of daylight and the expansive sense of balance and aliveness that comes with it? What pleasurable, nourishing, or creative things will you do with your extra hours of sunlight?

The vernal equinox also marks the festival of Ostara.

Ostara is believed to be a Norse lunar goddess

of abundance, rebirth, and new beginnings.

You may also have heard this goddess referred to as Eostre -

her Anglo-Saxon name.

This goddess, too, is closely associated with the hare - an animal loaded with spiritual significance and fertility symbolism. At this moment in the year, nature is reborn, and so are we. We begin again, and as with the beginning of all good stories, anything is possible. All that lies ahead is still unwritten, and we can be filled with a sense of pure potential and excitement.

Although Ostara is celebrated towards the end of March, the magical energy of this seasonal shift can be perceived in our wild landscapes and also within us as a gently rising, spiraling sense of vitality and vigor.

This energy will be all around us and available for us to tap into and be inspired by until Beltane, or May Day - an ancient Celtic fire festival welcoming the start of summer, held at the midway point between spring equinox and summer solstice, celebrated on the 1st May.

At Beltane, this energy of forward and upward movement

will reach its peak -

the world erupts in flowers and we, too,

may see those things we have been working on

suddenly come to life.

The energy of Ostara and springtime, though, is warm and light, soft yet strong. It wraps us up in its gentle embrace like a silken shawl and fills us with a spark of inspiration. It is a moment in the wheel of the year marked by gentle growth and fresh starts, by rebirth, renewal, and rejuvenation - and we, too, can work with this magical, natural energy, allowing ourselves to be fueled and encouraged by what we see happening in even the smallest, scrubbiest patch of earth outside our window.

Amazing things can grow and come to life even from the tiniest idea, or with only the scantest spark of sunlight or energy. Remember that anything is possible for you, now and always. As Victor Hugo once wrote, "Winter is on my head, but eternal spring is in my heart.” Spring is a state of mind as well as a season - and it is an exceptionally beautiful season.

We need only look at the wildflowers springing up all around us

to see spring energy in action:

yellow daffodils, purple crocuses, kitten-soft catkins,

and pale green buds emerge on the trees like living poetry.

All of nature is dancing and we truly see,

perhaps now more than ever,

that life is movement.

Birch trees are believed to be amongst the earliest trees to spring into life and reveal their leaves - and it is for this reason that the Celts regarded it as a sacred tree, symbolising fertility, birth, and abundance, honouring it by naming birch as the first letter of the Ogham alphabet.

Can you feel a sense of expansiveness rising within you? A sense of gently unfurling energy? A sense that you are ready to create something new? What is wanting to spring into life for you? This could be anything from wanting to spring clean our home, to feeling inspired to work on a new creative project, or even to spring clean our mindset, clearing out any limiting beliefs that may be lurking in the dustier corners of our mind.

Back in February, when we celebrated Imbolc - that moment when it is still winter but tiny seeds nestled deep 'in the belly' of the earth begin to stir and awaken - we, too, may have felt a sense of awakening. What is awakening within you now? What is dawning for you?

Midwinter through to the start of spring is a natural time of dreaming, pondering, resting, and replenishing. It is a time of promise and potential. What seeds did we plant back in our period of wintering? What dreams did we dream? As we slumbered, what did we hope would grow and come to fruition come spring and summer?

Spring is working its magic in the roots and shoots,

blossoms and buds all around us.

Now is the time for us to work out magic too,

because we are indivisible from nature.

This is a season for slow and steady growth, for trusting in our ability to reach toward the light, for giving ourselves permission to rise and stretch gently, and allow hope to rise in our heart.

When we work our magic, we allow ourselves to simply unfurl like the petals of a soft pink rose - our magic lies not in striving and endless dogged pursuit, but in being who we are and letting those who pass by our rose garden see the beauty we came here to share.