Young woman with spring blossomsOccurring on March 20th or 21st, this holiday is the Spring Equinox and marks the first day of Spring.

After Yule, the days begin to grow longer. By the spring equinox – a precise moment in time on a specific day when the sun is perfectly lined up with the earth’s equator – day and night are equal. Many witches and Pagans call the season around this day OSTARA and celebrate this time of balance, life, fertility, and springtime. Ostara celebrates the balance of opposing forces, light/dark, life/death, etc. with the understanding that after this moment of balance, light and life will reign for a time, until Mabon or the autumn equinox. In Paganism and witchcraft, the name Ostara is a fairly new term. Until a few decades ago the terms Vernal Equinox and Spring Equinox were used to describe this season.

As Spring reaches its midpoint, Night and Day stand in perfect Balance, with Light on the increase. The young Sun God now celebrates a Hierogamy (sacred marriage) with the young Maiden Goddess, who conceives. In nine months, she will again become the Great Mother. It is a time of great fertility, new growth, and newborn animals.

The symbols of Ostara and the spring equinox include painted or fresh eggs, fresh spring flowers, hares/rabbits, and baby animals. Some modern witches use this season for both magical and mundane spring cleaning, rites of abundance/fertility/growth, returning to the outdoors after the winter cold, gardening, crafting such as egg painting, flower crown making, flower pressing, and divination for the year ahead.