Tag Archive: renewal


Goddess Eguzki

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Art from the album “Sun Goddess” by Ramsey Lewis

“Eguzki’s themes are femininity, birth and renewal. Her symbols are the dawn and daylight.  In Basque tradition, this daughter of the earth is the solar disk and the eye of God; being beautiful, warm, and welcoming. Eguski continues to embrace Her mother in golden arms each day, gathering us in the glow.

The night before Christmas was Mōdraniht (“Night of the Mothers” or “Mothers’-night”), when the Goddess prepares once more to give birth to Eguski and growing daylight. It is traditionally a time to enjoy the Goddess’ energy for personal renewal and to show appreciation to mothers everywhere with their life-giving power. Take a moment out of your day to call your mom and say thanks – thanks for giving you life, for nurturing you, for passing on family traditions, for the important lessons she taught. Also take a moment to thank Eguski for Her blessings in some way that suits your vision and path. Pray, chant, sing, meditate, light a candle. Ask Her for another year filled with Goddess magic and miracles!

To encourage Eguski’s renewal and warmth every day, rise early this morning and wait for sunrise. As the first beams of light caress the horizon, open your arms and hug the Goddess. Feel the energy and power in those rays to transform and overcome anything you may face. Gather the Goddess into your heart for now and always!”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

The Goddesses Eguzki, Ilargi & Lur

The Goddesses Eguzki, Ilazki & Lur

“In Basque mythology, Eki or Eguzki is seen as daughter of [LurMother Earth to whom She returns daily. She was regarded as the protector of humanity and the enemy of all evil spirits. The ancient Iberians called Her ‘grandmother’; and held rites in Her honour at sunset. They believed that when the sun set, Ekhi travelled into Itxasgorrieta (‘The Reddish Seas’) beneath the earth into the womb of Lurbira, Her mother.” [1]

She was the sister of Ilazki, Goddess of the moon.

Also seen as Eguski, Eguzku, Ekhi, Eki, Iduzki, Iguzki, and Iuski. [2]

 

 

Sources:

Goddesses-and-gods.blogspot.com, “Eguzki“.

Sabrina. Goddessaday.com, “Eguzki“.

Wikipedia, “Eki“.

 

Suggested Links:

The Apricity Forum: A European Cultural Community, “Basque Gods and Creatures“.

Arcadia93.org, “Basque Paganism“.

Gimbutas, Marija and Miriam Robbins Dexter. The Living Goddesses, “The Basque Religion” (p. 172 – 175).

Lauraantolinez. Litteramedia.wordpress.com, “Basque Mythology“.

Wikipédia, “Eguzki” (translated from French to English).

Wikipedia, “Basque Mythology“.

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The 13th Lunar month of the Celtic calendar is Elder.  This tree marks a time of endings and beginnings.

The Elder Moon is the last month in the cycle of the 13 Celtic Moon months, and it indicates the renewal of energy and continuous journey of the soul toward greater happiness and understanding.  The Winter Solstice, the shortest day and longest night occurs during Elder Moon and is the chance to focus on your heart’s desire.

Annual Evaluation

The Elder Moon is time to bring a halt to habit-forming patterns that have restricted your growth, so that you may heal and move on.  Evaluate what you learned during the past year and give yourself time to work out what you want from life.  Perform spells that conclude the annual cycle and release the energy you invested in previous projects and endeavors, so that you may concentrate on conceiving your new dreams for the New Year.

TREE OF LIFE AND DEATH

“The Elder” by Margaret Walty

The elder tree’s ability to recover when damaged has made it a symbol of regeneration since ancient times, and for this reason it was used in burial rites in British long barrows, an ancient style of grave.  Due to its white flowers (life) and black berries (death), the tree is also sacred to the Mother Goddess who governs birth and death.

Protective Powers

Art by Oskar Klever

The wood is believed to have protective properties to because of the powerful Dryad spirit that lives within it.  When planted near a home, the tree will ward off intruders. The healing powers of the elder are also thought to cure insomnia (by placing elderberries in a spell bag under a pillow) and ensure health of unborn babies (when pregnant women kiss its bark).

 

ELDER MOON MAGIC

Use the powers of the elder tree to bring a sense of completion to the old year and feeling of renewal for the start of the next cycle.

Review the Year

Bring a sense of completion to your Celtic lunar year.

  • Review the last 13 Moons, writing down what you have learned from each.  Acknowledging your lessons helps you move on.
  • Areas of your life that are unfulfilled indicate stuck energy.  Hold quartz and direct love toward your current job, cramped apartment or credit card bill.  New opportunities will appear as if by magic.
  • Resolve difficult relationships by writing a letter to the soul of the person with whom you are in conflict – this helps to clear the way for change.  Then burn the letter.

Release Negativity

Upon reaching the end of the Celtic calendar, the Elder Moon month is the perfect time to release negative energies before entering the New Year, feeling renewed.

1. Dig a hole in the ground and say, “Mother Earth, I ask you to transform my pain into healing.”

2. Place a photo of yourself and a drawing, or written account, of any negative incidents into the hole.

3. Speak or shout your feelings into the hole.

4. When you feel ready, place an elder twig into the hole to represent the end of the cycle.

5. Fill in the hole and stamp the earth down three times saying, “I release the past, so let it be.”

 

Protection Charm

Use this charm to repel unwanted attention and harassment during the party season.

1. Collect together five tiny elder twigs, a white ribbon, a white candle and a strand of your hair.

2. Light the candle saying, “White light surround me, safe will I stay.”

3. Drip the wax onto one of the elder twigs and press your hair into it before it dries.

4. Surround the twig with the others, making a small magical bundle.

5. Secure it with the white ribbon saying, “As I will it, so let it be.”

6. Slip the protection charm into your party handbag and you’re ready to go.

 

Elder Tree Blessing

Use this blessing to heal an environment where there has been an argument, accident, illness or shock.

1. Gather together some elderberries and leaves.

2. Face the north and say, “I call upon the guardians of the earth to bless this place.”  Throw some elderberries and leaves towards the north.

3. Turn to the east and repeat the ritual, this time calling upon the guardians of air.

4. Turn to the south and repeat, calling upon the guardians of fire.

5. Finally, turn to the west and all upon the guardians of water.

6. End by randomly scattering the remaining leaves and release the energy.

 

 

 

Source:

“Enhancing Your Body, Mind and Spirit”, 21 Nature Magic, CARD  17.

 

Suggested Links:

Celticradio.net, “Celtic Zodiac: The Elder“.

The Goddess Tree, “Elder“.

Spiritblogger.wordpress.com, “Spirit Message of the Day – Creative Renewal Cycle“.

Make the most of this month to open your mind and exercise your intellect with the learned power of the Hazel Moon.

This is the best time of year to focus on gaining wisdom and absorbing knowledge.  Cast spells to heighten your senses and concentration.

The Celtic name for the hazel tree is “coll” meaning “nine”, and the Hazel Moon is the ninth month of the Celtic Tree Calendar.  A myth tells how nine nuts of wisdom fell from the hazel tree into a river where a magical salmon ate them.  The salmon then became a prized catch, gifted with shape-shifting powers and infinite wisdom.

A Time for Learning

The Hazel Moon offers you an opportunity to connect with your inner reserves of wisdom and intuition.  Study of all kinds is blessed during the Hazel Moon, so magic that uses ancient knowledge is most effective now.

This is also an excellent time to learn to read Tarot Cards or Runes because lunar energy will enhance your memory and psychic powers.  Maintain an optimistic approach and follow your enthusiasm.

 

PROTECTION AND RENEWAL

Rods made from the wood of the hazel tree have been used for diving water and earth energies.  The wood is pliant and supple and is immediately responsive to subtle energy vibrations and environmental changes.

Fertility Charm

As well as being an excellent source 0f protein, hazelnuts have long been used as a magical fertility charm.  Carry one with you if you wish to conceive or collect a small bag of nuts as a gift for a bride.

Good Fortune

Hazelnuts are also a symbol of good luck; if you find two in the same shell, eat one and throw the other over your left shoulder to make your wish come true.

HAZEL MOON MAGIC

You can bring the magical powers of the hazel tree to your magic.  Use this time to inspire your inner creativity and wisdom to ground yourself in nature.

Hazel Spells

You can use the qualities of hazel in a variety of ways in your magic working.

  • Make an all-purpose magical wand from a straight twig of hazel wood the length of your forearm.  Charge under the full Moon.
  • Draw a circle around your bed with a hazel stick to keep nightmares away.
  • Eat a feast of salmon and hazelnuts before an exam to heighten your powers of concentration and boost your memory.

Meditation

Practicing this meditation will help you to move through creative blocks, get inner guidance and develop your intuition.

  • Approach a hazel tree from the north.  When you are within the circumference of its branches, introduce yourself and ask permission to come closer.
  • If if feels right to proceed, circle the truck clockwise.
  • Try to sense the spirit of the tree and open your heart.
  • Sit with your back against the trunk and breathe deeply.  Empty your mind and try to attune to the tree’s energy.

Meditate outside under a hazel to draw upon the tree’s creative energy and open your mind to new possibilities.

 

 

Hazel Energy In Your Life

Bring the creativity and inspiration of the Hazel Moon into your life, both at work and at home.

1. Enroll in an evening class.  Now is an auspicious time to learn a new skill – try painting, learning a language or dance.

2. Keep a journal.  Just writing down your wishes and experiences will help you tune into your inner wisdom.

3. Go outside at night and look at the Moon.  Staying connected to nature will bring powerful insights and help you remain grounded.

4. Feed your mind: buy a book of inspiring quotes and read one each day to stimulate your intellect and sharpen your thinking.

 

Making A Diving Rod

You can use the magical powers of the hazel tree to make your own diving rod.

1. Cut a forked twig, less than a yard in length.

2. Give thanks to the tree by pouring nourishing water onto its roots.

3. Pass your rod through incense smoke and state your intention to learn the mysteries of nature.

4. Hold a fork in each hand and pull them apart so that the twig is under constant pressure.  As you walk over a water source or energy line, the rod will twitch in your hand.

5. Use your diving rod to explore the energies of sacred sites, old buildings and even your own home.

 

 

 

Source:

“Enhancing Your Body, Mind and Spirit”, 21 Nature Magic, CARD  13.

 

Suggested Link:

The Goddess Tree, “Hazel“.

The Celtic lunar month of Holly is the perfect time to celebrate your achievements and to focus on your future.

As the days shorten after summer solstice and the Moon grows in power, focus on putting bad situations behind you.

The eighth Celtic Moon month ushers in the shortening of days.  The power of the Sun is transferred to Earth, highlighting our practical needs and desires.  The Celtic fire festival of Lammas begins the harvest on August 1, so the month of the Holly Moon is a time to give thanks for the good things in your life.  Focus on your own “harvest” during the month of Holly – on what you wish to achieve and why.

Share Your Successes

Traditionally, the first gain harvested was baked into a loaf that represented the spirit of the crop, or “John Barleycorn” as it is called in England.  This bread was shared in a ceremony to ensure the wealth of community.

Use this month to celebrate your successes with family and friends and to consider sharing your good fortune with others.

 

PROTECTION AND RENEWAL

The holly is magically imbued with powers of protection.  In England, it was believed to protect against witchcraft and to guard homes against being struck by lightning.  Its evergreen leaves symbolize renewal and recovery during the dark half of the year and ward against envy and the misuse of power.

Restoration

The planetary rule of holly is Mars, which bestows upon the tree the ability to restore direction in your life, to rebalance and align energy, and to help you gain a sense of purpose.

In Pagan tradition, men carry sachets of holly leaves and berries, which will enhance their masculinity due to the tree’s restorative and energizing powers.

 

HOLLY MOON MAGIC

Use the magical blessings of the Holly Moon to celebrate and share the good things in your life and to increase your future fortune and success.

 Holly Harvest Loaf

During the Holly Month, invite the blessings of John Barelycron into your home by baking your own magical harvest loaf.  Simply follow the steps below:

1. Prepare some bread dough from flour, yeast, oil, honey, water and salt, and leave it to rise in a warm place for an hour.

2. Sprinkle some seeds and nuts on top of the dough to symbolize each blessing in your life, such as a comfortable home or supportive family.  Focus on these positive things as you knead the dough.

3. Shape the dough into a roundish loaf and place on a baking sheet.

4. Before baking it, place your hands on top of the dough and try to visualize golden light channeling into it.

5. Then say, “John Barleycorn, I give you thanks for all I have received.  Blessed be.”

6. When baked, bury the first slice of the loaf in the ground and whisper your wishes for the future.

7. Share the rest of the loaf with your friends and family and celebrate your abundance.

Holly Money Spell

One the full Moon, hold up some paper money to use the moonlight and recite the spell below.

“Lady Bright, Lady Bright,
Harvest abundant dreams tonight.
Three times three times three
Times three,
Prosperity return to me.”

Give the money to charity, and in return, the positive energy of holly will provide you with the funds you need over the coming months.

 

Time to Reenergize

The spirit of renewal is the month of the Holly Moon makes it an excellent time to reenergize your life.

  • Tune into the energies of your environment by eating-rich seasonal foods, preferably foods that are locally produced.
  • Use holly’s influence to rise to physical challenges and overhaul your personal fitness by joining a gym or taking up a martial art.

Harvest of Friends

Celebrate the harvest of the season and of the things that enrich your life during the Holly Moon by inviting friends to dinner.

Meals to Share

Ask everybody to bring a dish that they have prepared, and cover the table with a gold cloth to signify the wealth in your life.  For the centerpiece, place an arrangement of holly and wheat around a candle to represent the harvest spirit.

 

Harvest Blessings

Once your guests have arrived, give thanks to Mother Earth for the food that She has provided: “Let us eat that none shall know hunger.  Let us drink that none shall know thirst.”  During this meal, discuss what it is that you wish to harvest in your life.

 

 

 

Source:

“Enhancing Your Body, Mind and Spirit”, 21 Nature Magic, CARD  12.

 

Suggested Links:

The Goddess Tree, “Holly“.

Estsanatlehi from The Book of Goddesses by Kris Waldherr.

“Estsanatlehi’s themes are fertility, beauty, blessing, summer, weather, time, and cycles.  Her symbols are apples, apple seeds, apple blossoms, and rainwater.  This Native American Goddess inspires the earth’s blossoming, and that of our spirits, with Her productive energies. Having the power of self-rejuvenation, She warms the earth with wind in the spring, then brings soft summer rains to keep the fields growing. As the seasons change, so does Her appearance, reminding us of time’s movement and the earth’s cycles.

The Apple Blossom Festival is the oldest flower fair in the United States and actually takes its conceptualization form a New Zealand custom of celebrating the apple orchards in bloom – a place filled with Estsanatlehi’s glory. When you get up today, check outside. If it’s sprinkling lightly, it is a very good omen, meaning Estsanatlehi is fertilizing the Earth. Gather a little of this rainwater and use it in a ritual for cleansing and blessing the sacred space, or as a libation.

If you can get outside to appreciate the spring flowers, it pleases Estsanatlehi and initiates Her renewal in your spirit. At some point in the day, have a tall glass of apple juice (apples plus water) to quaff a bit of Estsanatlehi’s resourcefulness. Or, enjoy a fruit salad that includes apples and a garnish of fresh flowers (many of which are edible) so Her beauty will grow within you.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

Estsanatlehi (pronounced es-tan-AHT-lu-hee), or Changing Woman – “The Apache called the earth Goddess by this name, for She never grew old. When Her age began to show, She simply walked toward the east until she saw Her form coming toward herself. She kept walking until Her young self merged with Her aging self and then, renewed, returned to Her home. Among the Chiricahua Apache, the name of this eternal Goddess was Painted Woman. ‘Turquoise Woman’ was the Navaho sky-Goddess, wife of Tsohanoai, the sun. She lived in a turquoise palace at the western horizon, where each night she received her luminous husband. Sister (or twin or double) of Yolkai Estsan (also known as White Shell Woman), the moon’s wife, Estsanatlehi was able to make Herself young each time She began to age, thus Her name, which means the ‘self-renewing one.’

Here is Her story: the ancestral Goddess Atse Estsan (First Woman), discovering Estsanatlehi on the ground beneath a mountain, reared Her to be the savior of earth’s people. When She was grown, Estsanatlehi met a young man; each day they went to the woods to make love. When Her parents looked on the ground and saw only one set of footprints, they knew their daughter had taken the sun as a lover.

“Sacred Bond” by Lee Bogle

Delighted at the honor granted their family, they were delighted again when Estsanatlehi gave birth to twins, who grew so miraculously that eight days after birth they were men, ready to seek their father. But when they found his house, the twins found another woman there. Angry at the intrusion, She threatened them with their father’s anger as well.

Undeterred, the twins remained and won from their father magic weapons, which they needed to clear the earth of monsters. This they did. After dancing with their Mother in celebration, the twins built Estsanatlehi a magnificent home at the sky’s end, so that the sun could visit Her again.

But the twins’ wars with the monsters had depopulated the earth. Estsanatlehi brushed the dust from Her breasts. From the white flour that fell from Her right breast and the yellow meal from Her left, She made paste and molded a man and a woman. Placing them beneath a magical blanket, Estsanatlehi left them. The next morning they were alive and breathing, and Estsanatlehi blessed the creation. For the next four days, the pair reproduced constantly, forming the four great Navaho clans. But the creative urge of Estsanatlehi was not fulfilled. She made four more groups of people, this time from the dust of Her nipples-and the women of these clans were thereafter famous for their nipples.

“Changing Woman/ Estsanatlehi” by Hrana Janto

Feeling Her creation to be complete, Estsanatlehi retired to Her turquoise palace from which she continued to bestow blessings on her people: seasons, plants and food, and the tender sprouts of spring. Only four monsters survived her sons’ wars on evil: age, winter, poverty, and famine, which She allowed to live on so that Her people would treasure Her gifts the more.” [1]

 

 

Sources:

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses & Heroines, “Estsanatlehi”.

 

 

Suggested Links:

American Studies at the University of Virginia, “Changing Woman: Myth, Metaphor, and Pragmatics“.

Auset, Brandi. RED ~ The Official Website of Brandi Auset, “Goddess of the Month: Estsanatlehi

Goddard, Carla. Shaman Medicine Woman, “The Story of Changing Woman – ‘Estsanatlehi’“.

Her Cyclopedia, “The Goddess Estsan-Atlehi“.

The Judicial Branch of the Navajo Nation, “How White Shell Woman Became Known as Changing Woman“.

Old and Sold: Turn-of-the-century wisdom for today, “The Navaho and Their Gods“.

Old and Sold: Turn-of-the-century wisdom for today, “The Navaho Creation Story“.

Sabrina. Goddess A Day, “Changing Woman“.

Sitarik, Jessica. Crystal Vaults, “Estsanatlehi: The Native American Goddess of Change“.

Stanton, Sandra M. The Goddesses in World Mythology, “ESTSAN–AH-TLEHAY (CHANGING WOMAN) & NATSEELIT

Goddess Coventina

"Cascade" by Jonathon Earl Bowser

“Coventina’s themes are wishes, water, purity, and innocence.  Her symbol is water.  This British/Celtic Goddess of sacred water sources flows with the Blajini (water spirits) to enrich our life with clarity and virtue and to answer our heart’s desires. In works of art She is depicted as a water nymph floating on a leaf while holding vessels teaming with water. Customary offerings to encourage Conventina’s favor include pins, votives, coins and semiprecious stones.

In Romania, water spirits are called Blajini, or ‘gentle ones’, because they kindly reward people who give them an offering (much like wishing wells in Europe). These are citizens of the Conventina’s fairy realm, whose motivations are pure and guileless. To keep the Blajini happy and encourage Conventina’s sanction, present a special offering to them while whispering your hopes and dreams. Go to any fountain (perhaps one at the mall) and toss in a coin. The Blajini will bear the coin and the wish to Conventina for manifestation.

For personal clarity or to inspire principled actions in a situation in which you might be tempted to be a proverbial ‘bad witch’, start the day off with a glass of water. Recite this incantation over it before drinking:

 ‘Conventina, keep my magic pure
within my spirit let Goodness endure.’

Repeat this phrase throughout the day anytime you have water.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“Coventina was a Romano-British Goddess of wells and springs. She is known from multiple inscriptions at one site in Northumberland county of the United Kingdom, an area surrounding a wellspring near Carrawburgh on Hadrian’s Wall. It is possible that other inscriptions, two from Hispania and one from Narbonensis, refer to Coventina, but this is uncertain and disputed.”[1]

"Coventina" by destinysolo

“Coventina is associated with healing, renewal, abundance, new beginnings, life cycles, inspiration, childbirth, wishes and prophecy.  In worship to Her, coins and other objects were tossed into the wells as offerings for sympathetic magick. These wells represent the earth womb, where the Celts felt Her power could be most strongly felt. Her symbols are the cauldron, cup, water, coins, broaches and wells. The moon that corresponds to Her is the Reed Moon and Her aspect is divination. A lot of the information on Her has been lost, even so it known that She was looked upon as the queen of the river Goddesses. From Scotland comes Her association with the Underworld, where She was the Goddess of featherless flying creatures which could pass to the Otherworld. Being a river Goddess She is connected the ebb and flow of time.” [2]

"Carrawbrough: Coventina's Well" Bas-relief of triple Coventina.

“Coventina is depicted as a nymph and invoked as a triple Goddess.  The possible invocation of Coventina as a triple mother Goddess is interesting, given the offerings found in the well dedicated to Her. The votive pins strongly suggest a fertility cult and association with childbirth, as does the bronze horse, a distinct fertility symbol. The dog is associated with the Greco-Roman physician Aesculapius in classical mythology, though in Celtic mythology it is also linked to human lifespans; strongly suggesting a healing aspect to the Goddess’ cult; which is also a function of the spring itself. Thus fecundity and healing are suggested by the votive offerings though She is obviously predominantly a water deity. The presence of bronze heads and head plaques, as well as face pots, one of which protrays an elegant female face (possibly the Goddess herself?) as well as the human skull suggests that the cult of the head may have been prevalent at Coventina’s shrine. However, the human skull may be a red herring, part of the shrine’s desecration during the Christian era. Though the dedication of heads and head representations to watery shrines is a well-attested practice which may also have been conducted at this shrine.” [3]

For more information on Conventina, please visit Coventina – a website devoted to the Goddess Coventina. Here you’ll find everything you need to know about this Romano-Celtic water Goddess, including Her history, Her myth, images of Her in ancient and contemporary art, all about the archaeological site associated with Her, and a little bit about Her significance in modern spirituality.

Sources:

Nemeton: The Sacred Grove, Home of the Celtic gods, “Coventina, A Brythonic Goddess, also known as Covetina, Covventina, Cuhvetena: Disappearing Memory, Memory of Snow“.

Tranquillity Fearn.  The Order of the White Moon, “Coventina: Queen of the River Goddesses“.

Wikipedia, “Coventina“.

Suggested Links:

Dumas, Adrienne. The Faeries And Angels Magazine, “Goddess Coventina: Water Healing“.

Ford, David Nash. Early British Kingdoms, “Nimue, alias Vivienne, Lady of the Lake“.

The Goddess Temple, Inc. Talk with the Goddess, “Goddess Coventina“.

Midgley, Tim.  The Midgley Web Page, “Coventina: A Romano-British Goddess of Freshwater“.

Nicole, Shantel. Angelic Connections with Shantel Nicole, “Coventina“.

Tehomet. Coventina.

Goddess Ostara

“Ostara” by Asaenath

“Ostara’s themes are fertility and rebirth.  Her symbols are eggs.  The Teutonic Goddess Ostara presides over personal renewal, fertility and fruitfulness. Now that spring is here, it’s a good time to think about renewal in your own life. Ostara represents spring’s life force and earth’s renewal. Depicted as lovely as the season itself, in earlier writings She was also the Goddess of dawn, a time of new beginnings (spring being the figurative dawn of the year). One of Ostara’s name variations, Esotara, slowly evolved into the modern name for this holiday, Easter.

All spells and foods that include eggs are appropriate today. If you’ve been ill, try an old folk spell that recommends carrying an egg for twenty-four hours, then burying it to bury the sickness.

To improve fertility of all kinds, make eggs for breakfast at dawn’s first light, the best time to invoke Ostara. As you eat, add an incantation like this one:

 ‘Ostara, bring to me fertility
With this egg now bless my fruitfulness!’

Or, if you’re feeling down and need a little extra hope, get up before the sun rises and release a symbol of your burden to the earth by dropping or burying it. Don’t look at it! Turn your back and leave it there. Turn toward the horizon as the sun rises, and harvest the first flower you see. Dry it, then carry it with you often as a charm to preserve hope in your heart.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“Ostara” by Mickie Mueller

The Goddess Ostara, or Eostre, is the Anglo-Saxon Goddess of Spring, the East, Resurrection, and Rebirth, is also the Maiden aspect of the Three-fold Goddess.  She gave Her name to the Christian festival of Easter (which is an older Pagan festival appropriated by the Church), whose timing is still dictated by the Moon. Modern Pagans celebrate Her festival on the Vernal Equinox, usually around March 21, the first day of Spring.

Ostara was an important Goddess of spring to the ancient Saxons, but we know little else of Her other than this. Some have suggested that Ostara is merely an alternate name for Frigg or Freya, but neither of these Goddesses seem to have quite the same fertility function as Ostara does. Frigg, Goddess of the home, wouldn’t seem to be associated with such an earthy festival and Freya’s form of fertility is more based on eroticism than reproduction.

However, Ostara is associated, almost interchangebly, with many different Goddesses.  [Again, purely speculation] She is essentially identical to Freya, for She is the Goddess of the fertile spring, the resurrection of life after winter. She was equated with the Goddess Idunna, who bore the Apples of Eternal Youth to the Aesir, and many believe that Ostara and Idunna are the same, or represent the same principle. She is almost certainly the same as the Greek Goddess Eos, Goddess of the Dawn. (Again, following the threefold theme — Eos is the Maiden aspect of the three goddesses Eos /Dawn, Hemera /Day and Nyx/Night.) As Ostara is Goddess of the Dawn, we can understand why sunrise services have always been an important aspect of the spring resurrection/rebirth observances of other cultures.

Eggs and rabbits are sacred to Her as is the full moon  [though there is no historical record of this], since the ancients saw in its markings the image of a rabbit or the hare. Pagan Anglo-Saxons made offerings of colored eggs to Her at the Vernal Equinox. They placed them at graves especially, probably as a charm of rebirth. (Egyptians and Greeks were also known to place eggs at gravesites). The Goddess of Fertility was also the Goddess of Grain, so offerings of bread and cakes were also made to Her. Rabbits are sacred to Ostara, especially white rabbits, and She was said to be able to take the form of a rabbit.

One myth says Ostara found a bird dying from the cold. She changed it to a rabbit so it could keep warm. Maybe this is why the Easter Bunny brings eggs to children on Easter. Traditionally German children are told that it is the Easter hare that lays all the Easter eggs. [1][2]

“Ostara” by Helena Nelson-Reed

“Part of the story of the Easter bunny is excerpted below, but you can use this link to read the complete version of Easter History and Traditions, including the stories of the Goddesses, at the website: Easter History and Traditions

The Goddess Ostara and the Origin of the Easter Bunny: A Modern Neo-Pagan Tale

Ostara, the Goddess of Dawn (Saxon), who was responsible for bringing spring each year, was feeling guilty about arriving so late. To make matters worse, She arrived to find a pitiful little bird who lay dying, his wings frozen by the snow. Lovingly, Ostara cradled the shivering creature and saved his life.

Legend has it that She then made him Her pet or, in the X-rated versions, Her lover. Filled with compassion for him since he could no longer fly because of his frost-damaged wings, the Goddess Ostara turned him into a rabbit, a snow hare, and gave him the name Lepus.

She also gave him the gift of being able to run with astonishing speed so he could easily evade all the hunters.  To honor his earlier form as a bird, She also gave him the ability to lay eggs (in all the colors of the rainbow, no less), but he was only allowed to lay eggs on one day out of each year.

Eventually Ostara lost Her temper with Lepus (some say the raunchy rabbit was involved with another woman), and She flung him into the skies where he would remain for eternity as the constellation Lepus (The Hare), forever positioned under the feet of the constellation Orion (the Hunter).

But later, remembering all the good times they had once enjoyed, Ostara softened a bit and allowed the hare to return to earth once each year, but only to give away his eggs to the children attending the Ostara festivals that were held each spring.” [3]  Again, there is no historical documentation or lore that states this and I really have no idea where the tale originated from.

Variant spellings: Eostra, Eostrae, Eostre, Eástre, Austra [4]

 

 

 

Sources:

Ashliman, D.L. The University of Pittsburgh: German 1500: Germanic Myths, Legends, and Sagas,Ostara’s Home Page: The Germanic Goddess of Springtime“.

The Goddess Gift E-zine, “The Goddess Ostara and the Easter Bunny: The Art of Renewal“.

Took, Thalia. A-Muse-ing Grace Gallery, “Eostre“.

Yvonne. Earth Witchery, “Ostara or Eostre“.

 

 

 

Suggested Links:

Aloi, Peg, Witches’ Voice, “You Call It Easter, We Call It Ostara“.

The Blue Roebuck,”Eostre“.

Cavalorn. Cavalorn.livejournal.com, “Eostre: The Making of a Myth“.

Fox, Selena. Circle Sanctuary, “Ostara Meditation“.

Goddess E-zine, “The Goddess Ostara, the Easter Bunny, and Their History in Easter Tradition“.

Goddessgift.com, “Goddess Ostara: History of Easter Eggs, History of the Easter Bunny, Goddess Ishtar and the First Resurrection“.

Goddessgift.com, “Ostara (Oestre): Saxon Goddess of the Dawn and Spring“.

Love of the Goddess, “Ostara, Celebration of the Goddess of Spring.”

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “Eostre: walk with a ‘spring’ in your step“.

Wikipedia, “Ēostre

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