Spring is busting out all over! Well, maybe in some places a little more than others. Right now, I have snow flying past my window. Ahh. Michigan. But, the hope of Spring is here. Renewing energy within the earth and self, recharging mind and spirit. Ostara brings this change of season to the forefront as the days march forward. This is why we celebrate!
Spring Equinox in Northern Hemisphere
As a child, the season I enjoyed the most was Winter. I mean, what’s not to like? Snowflakes, a long break from school, and Christmas are all popular aspects of the season. However, as an adult, I have come to love Springtime the best. Why?
Well, the sun begins to peek out from behind cloudy skies more often. Temperatures begin to rise. For Michiganders, highs in the upper forties or low fifties is a short sleeve, no coat kind of weather day. Bicycles are pulled out of garages and families emerge from their hidey holes to breathe the fresh air.
Yes. We can still have snow showers through most of March. Icy roads during morning drive-time can be an issue. Even so, when the calendar steps over onto March 20th, the changing of the season from Winter to Spring brings with it renewing energy. You can feel it, see it, smell it, hear it, and taste it.
New life sprouts from where old has decayed. Winter chill releases its grip. Suddenly, the ground is turning from brown to green, buds are appearing on trees, and crocuses are poking out of the still-cold earth. Animals come out of their warm spaces, birds return in greater number. The process is beautiful to behold. And while the phrase may be corny (thanks a lot Disney), it is a “circle of life.”
I’ve written about Ostara, as well as its patron Deity — Eostre, in the past. My family and I have two episodes devoted to the topic. So, I thought I’d share ways to honor the Earth Deity or whatever goddess/god you follow with a few recipe suggestions for Ostara/Spring Equinox. These may be a separate meal or enjoyed in tandem with ritual. Whatever works best for your particular path or practice.
Food is a staple of holidays and celebrations. In my family, it’s always been turkey for Thanksgiving, ham for Christmas, and bean soup for the New Year. Corned beef and cabbage are the meal in honor of my husband’s Irish heritage on March 17. And for Ostara/Spring, our meal will be made with lamb in a “Shepherds Pie.” There is an excellent recipe in Gwion Ravens’ book, The Magick of Food. However, I’m including a simple recipe below as well. Remember to add your intention into the food you serve, to bless your family, friends, or whoever may be enjoying an Ostara/Spring Equinox celebration with you.
Gwyn’s Shepherds Pie
1 lb ground lamb
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/3 cups mixed vegetables, cooked
2 cups prepared mashed potatoes
One can of tomato soup
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Additional herbs you prefer
Cook the onion and garlic in a skillet until glossy. Add in the ground lamb, stir over medium heat until browned. Drain grease. Stir in the vegetables and tomato soup. Add a half can of water to the mixture, stirring until incorporated. You can add more water but the sauce should not be runny. Add in the spices, herbs, salt, and pepper.
Stir the mixture and then pour into a casserole dish. Top with the mashed potatoes, spreading in a layer. Sprinkle shredded cheese if desired. Put the dish into the oven. Bake at 350 degrees for thirty minutes. Allow cooling for ten minutes before spooning into bowls to serve.
Here is a tasty, fresh combination with which to play. Offer some to Eostre (or whoever you are honoring) but be sure to save a glass for yourself. What’s below is non-alcoholic and finds inspiration in a delicious mead-based cocktail invented by Ode. The measurements are my estimates for one glass. Feel free to play with it to get the taste you want (do you want more cucumber or elderflower flavor to come through? Do you prefer the drink sweet or less sweet?) or to create a larger amount to serve.
One ounce of Elderflower Syrup
A half an ounce of Lime Syrup
Half an ounce of Cucumber Syrup
Eight ounces of Sparkling Water
Add all syrups into a shaker with ice. Shake to mix. Add the sparkling water. Shake to mix. Pour into a glass. Enjoy yourself or offer to deities as part of a ritual.
Spring and Ostara Celebration Ideas
Hike in the woods.
Enjoy a day in the park.
Plant seeds in trays.
Clean your dwelling space.
Begin an art project.
Cast spells for renewal.
Pour an offering to the Earth.
Enjoy an egg hunt (kids and adults).
Decorate house and altar in Spring colors.
Perform divination for focus in the coming weeks.
Hail the Sun (even if it’s hidden behind clouds).
Greet the trees as they awaken from slumber.