All about Ostara and Easter

Ostara is one of 8 neopagan sabbats, or holidays, that make up the Wheel of the Year. Ostara takes its name after the Germanic goddess, Eostre/Ostara, who was traditionally honoured in the month of April with festivals to celebrate fertility, renewal and rebirth. Ostara heralds the beginning of spring. She is the Maiden Goddess, full of potential, representing the opportunity of growth and rebirth after the stagnation of winter. In Germany her warm nature is still marked by bonfires lit at dawn on the Spring Equinox. This Goddess is also known as Eostre and although much of her story has been lost, her name lives on as it is the root of the English words for both Easter and estrogen. There are several different translations of the meaning of her name:- East, dawn and morning light indicating the returning warmth of the sun's rays and the lengthening days. It was from Eostre that the Christian celebration of Easter evolved, and indeed the naming of the hormone Estrogen, essential to women's fertility.

The Goddess Ostara has the shoulders and head of a hare. In Celtic tradition, the hare is sacred to the Goddess and is the totem animal of lunar goddesses such as Hecate, Freyja and Holda - the hare is a symbol for the moon. The Goddess most closely associated with the Hare is Eostre, or Ostara. The date of the Christian Easter is determined by the phase of the moon. The nocturnal hare, so closely associated with the moon which dies every morning and is resurrected every evening, also represents the rebirth of nature in Spring. Both the moon and the hare were believed to die daily in order to be reborn - thus the Hare is a symbol of immortality. It is also a major symbol for fertility and abundance as the hare can conceive while pregnant. Over the centuries the symbol of the Hare at Ostara has become the Easter Bunny who brings eggs to children on Easter morning, the Christian day of rebirth and resurrection. Hare hunting was taboo but because the date of Easter is determined by the Moon together with the Hare's strong lunar associations, hare-hunting was a common Easter activity in England (and also at Beltane).

AND The egg (and all seeds) contains 'all potential', full of promise and new life. It symbolises the rebirth of nature, the fertility of the Earth and all creation. In many traditions the egg is a symbol for the whole universe. The 'cosmic' egg contains a balance of male and female, light and dark, in the egg yolk and egg white. The golden orb of the yolk represents the Sun God enfolded by the White Goddess, perfect balance, so it is particularly appropriate to Ostara and the Spring Equinox when all is in balance for just a moment, although the underlying energy is one of growth and expansion. The egg (and all seeds) contains 'all potential', full of promise and new life. It symbolises the rebirth of nature, the fertility of the Earth and all creation. In many traditions the egg is a symbol for the whole universe.

There is so much to look forward to with the coming of Ostara, Easter and with the heralding Spring. Budding trees, friendly blossoms, and the new births of our furry friends. With all these wonderful elements of Spring, some of us will also encounter allergies. An allergy is your immune system responding to a foreign substance in your body that is not usually harmful. These substances are of course called allergens. Allergens can include pet dander, foods, and with the coming of Spring, pollen. Your immune system wants to keep your body healthy and will attack anything that is a potential danger to you. Depending on the allergen, this protective response could include inflammation, sneezing, coughing, and so many other symptoms.

Luckily, there are several remedies available to you to help you avoid these symptoms. One particular product that can only be found at Shop Apothecary | Maze Apothecary is called Aller-Ease. Aller-Ease in our natural allergy relief essential oil blend that is made up of well known natural histamine blockers; lavender, lemon and peppermint. The lavender oil will have a relaxing and calming effect while also supporting your intuition and clarity. The lemon oil, which is high in vitamin C, has anti inflammatory, antioxidant, antiseptic and detoxicant properties makes for a powerful addition to this blend. The peppermint oil will bring an uplifting and energizing effect along with fresh and cooling aromas to soothe you. These all come together with clearing Eucalyptus to soothe irritated passageways, refresh your sinuses, and ease your body from crown to soul. Although we sell this blend in our popular Elixir size, I personally like it as a roll-on during allergy season as it’s very conveniently tucked into a pocket for discreet use as often as needed.

May your Spring be filled with new life, fresh starts and new perspectives, take advantage of this abundant energy coming forth from Mother Earth. She is for us and with us.