Eostre Goddess: The Goddess of Spring and Ostara
Eostre Goddess & Ostara
Do you hear her song whispering through the wind in the highest boughs of the trees? It's quite dim and muted at this point, but the sound will grow louder and louder as Ostara is just around the corner...Eostre Goddess is ripening and getting ready to emerge on this Spring Equinox as the Maiden, once more. Full of youth and innocence...and yet ready to become so much more.
The Goddess of Spring to many Pagans from ancient and even modern times is Eostre Goddess. She is the Goddess of Ostara, also known as the Spring or Vernal Equinox to most. Eostre Goddess represents the Maiden aspect of the Wiccan Trinity - the Maiden, Mother, and Crone. The Maiden is young and pure, growing and blossoming in her youth...she represents birth and beauty at a young age. You can see Eostre Goddess in the newborn lambs and you can hear her in the birds' Spring songs. You can see the Goddess of Spring in blooming tulips and sprouting patches of green green grass. You can smell Eostre Goddess in the freshcut grass and in the distinctive Spring rain.
Who was Eostre Goddess to the ancient peoples of Europe? What is her original Ostara (or Easter) story?
Eostre Goddess & The Ancient Peoples Story of Spring
Have you ever wondered where the term "Easter" originated? You'd never heard it as a word in the Bible, but every Christian refers to Jesus' resurrection day as "Easter". The term "Easter" actually coincides with Eostre. Can you see the resemblance? Uncanny, isn't it?
Eostre Goddess was the Goddess of the Spring and her reign began on the Vernal (Spring) Equinox. She was worshiped by the Germanic folk in ancient Europe (before and a little after the time of Christ). In Bede's 8th Century writings, he refers to Eostre as the Goddess who was worshiped in the Spring and by whom the holiday Easter is named after. The people would celebrate the Goddess Eostre with huge feasts the entire month of the Spring Equinox (March). Apparently this feasting and merriment continued until the Christian Church spread throughout Europe and converted most of the Pagan country folk to Christianity and to most of the new Christian customs.
However, Eostre-month had to be diminished in some way, shape, or form by the Church in order to rid the countryside of all Pagan festivities and holidays. So the Christian Church calculated that the first Sunday after the first full moon, directly following the Vernal Equinox would be called "Easter" and would honor Jesus' day of resurrection. What better way to honor his re-birth than to honor it in the Spring-time when the entire Earth is being reborn, so to speak?
Spring was a time when the ancient Pagans would celebrate the return of the Sun and warmth...after they had to deal with the torturous, blistering cold throughout the winter months. In some accounts in some of the European countries, people would gnaw on bones to quench their hunger, and so Spring offered up a bounty that the hungry people of Europe yearned for to their very cores. Think of this...it is below twenty degrees and you have nothing to keep you warm except some old fur pelts, a dying fire, and your brothers and sisters gathered in around you. The last loaf of bread has been eaten, and the last animal butchered...and you are left with bones and crumbs of bread. Then...Spring comes and there are rabbits and lambs being born, the animals who have been in hibernation are awake again, and the earth is giving forth plants and green once more. How excited and thankful would you be? That is exactly how the ancient people of Europe felt and so they gave thanks to the Gods for Spring every year...as it was much longed for and awaited throughout the Winter months.
Spring is seen as a beautiful young woman, or Eostre Goddess, holding rabbits at her side and Easter eggs in a basket in her hands.
What do the hares and eggs represent? Think about it...fertility! So Eostre Goddess is also a representation of utter fertility, the earth's fruitfulness and bounty getting ready to burst forth from the ground. Eostre Goddess has been around for centuries, possibly millenia, we have just forgotten her...or absorbed her image into others along our way.
How Eostre Goddess Can Aid You This Spring
Eostre Goddess can aid you this Spring in more than one way. She represents fertility of course, so if you're looking to start making babies...have at it and ask Eostre Goddess to instill some of her ever-flowing seed in you. Fertility doesn't always have to relate directly to children. You could also ask for fertility in the sense of accomplishments.
Eostre Goddess also represents new life or rebirth. Are you looking for new beginnings or are you waiting around for creativity to hit you? Invite Eostre Goddess to your circle or spiritual practices and let her guide your creativity and new pathways to enlightenment.
Don't just ask Eostre Goddess to aid you this Spring, but ask her how you can aid her. Plant a tree, some flowers or veggies and give something back to the Earth and to Eostre Goddess. Adopt a rabbit or feed the wild rabbits in your backyard with some left-over veggies or fruits (this is what I'll be doing as I have an entire family of rabbits living in my yard!). Or simply give something to a nearby shelter for children, in light of rebirth and new beginnings of the Spring and to honor Eostre Goddess and her love for children and the entire earth.
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