Ostara: The Festival of Rebirth and New Beginnings

March 04, 2021

Ostara: The Festival of Rebirth and New Beginnings
Ah, lovely Ostara! The festival that inspired the Christian Easter is a time for breathing fresh air, welcoming new buds and animals and focusing on our own goals and spiritual awakenings. While Imbolc teaches us to plant the seeds of hope and promise, Ostara shows us a little reward. It’s time for the rebirth to begin. It’s interesting to me that the hormone oestrogen is named from the Goddess, Eostre. This, along with the Christian adaptation of the symbol of the Easter egg, gives us a hint into the meanings and symbolisms of this
Sabbat: rebirth, new beginnings, revitalisation.
For me, this is a time that is all about new energies and refreshed ideas. The winter is well and truly fading away now, and it’s time to get raring for another warm season. Yes, in a literal sense, it’s time to start planting the seeds. But, in a not so literal sense, it’s time to start planting the seeds, if you know what I mean. No more hiding indoors and waiting for the sun to shine – the sun is heating up, and he wants you to get out and start turning that soil.
In a modern sense, I like to think of it like this – it’s time to purge your belongings, and release what no longer serves you. For me, that looks like opening my closet and throwing out all my party clothes, because, let’s face it, I’ve been wearing leggings for a year and the thought of putting my feet into high heels makes my stomach turn.

Things are still a little different from last year – in the United Kingdom, we’re in our third lockdown, and we’re getting a bit stir-crazy. In light of that, here are some ideas for celebrating this sacred Sabbat for the modern witch.


Refresh Your Altar
Yes, it’s time to clean down your altar. Take everything off of it, use some natural cleaning spray and give it a good dusting down. Now, think of symbolic representations of new life, revitalization and growth. Some nice ideas here are seeds, eggs (I suggest using an ornament rather than a real egg – minimize the potential for damage!), and spring flowers like daffodils and crocuses, sweet blossoms and roses. This is going to be one deliciously fragrant altar. Add some splashes of white and green, and those glorious springtime pastels.
I like to add lace to my Ostara altar for no other reason than I think it looks beautiful with the flowers.



Prepare a Spring Meal
It’s all about the balance, and this festival gives me extra joy because we can enjoy two foods that are polar opposites: salad and cake. Celebrate those spring greens and sprinkle in some budding edible flowers. Crisp, juicy, crunchy salad is the trademark of Ostara. And now that you’ve done that, reward yourself with a rich, fragrant spiced honey cake. Equally,
anything that features and celebrates eggs is a great choice for Ostara, so bust out your grandmother’s quiche recipe. For me, it will be the family favorite of egg and bacon pie (recipe below).

Spring Clean Your Soul
If you’ve been thinking about reducing the clutter in your home and life, then it’s time to take action. Breathe new life into your space, as it were. Ostara truly is the time for the Spring Clean, physically and mentally. Write down a Fear List of everything you’ve been putting off during the colder months that needs to be done, and tick one thing off that list every day. I cannot tell you how powerful this is going to make you feel, and it will set you up to move forward into the summer with all your spring ducklings in a row.


Decorate
This bit is fun. Ostara, for me, is a great time to think about the design of your home. If you’ve been thinking about an interior refresh, why not start now? Dust your pictures (actually, just dust everything. How long has it been since you dusted anything?) and buy a new rug. Upcycle a piece of furniture and re-arrange your living room.
Remember, this festival is all about rebirth. I like to think of it as time to shake off the wintry months and give ourselves a spiritual B12 shot. The sunshine is coming, and the season is ripe for shedding the skins of the colder months and greeting the sun.
I must leave you with a recipe, because that’s my jam. I’m not going to suggest you hand- make the pastry, but do it if you’d like. Life’s so short.

Egg and Bacon Pie
Ingredients:
- 6 large eggs
- 4 slices of bacon (you can skip this if you’re a veggie)
- 1 large leek
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- Pre-made shortcrust pastry (make sure you take this out of the fridge/freezer so it’s room temperature)
- Salt and pepper
Preheat your oven to 180°C/356°F and get your pie tin lined. This pie wants a lid, so make sure you have enough shortcrust for that. Pop on the bottom and get that ready. I like to blind bake it
for about 15-20 minutes to make sure the pie is nice and toasty on the bottom. Nobody likes soggy pastry.
In a large frying pan, sweat your butter, chopped leek and garlic. If you fancy it, you can throw in some herbs – sage or rosemary are nice here. Once that’s sweated down, leave the mixture to cool. Meanwhile, fry off your bacon.
Add your leek and garlic mixture to the blind-baked pastry shell. Now, sprinkle half of your fried bacon over the top, and then crack your whole eggs into the pastry shell. Yes, we’re cracking whole eggs. We want to see those glorious yokes. Crack of salt and pepper over that. Sprinkle over your remaining bacon, whack on the pastry lid and poke some holes in it. You can decorate this if you like, it's up to you.

Brush over some butter, grind some salt over the top and bung it in the oven. We’re going to let this bake for around 30 minutes or until golden. Serve with that delicious green salad and some ketchup, if you’re a basic witch like me.
Enjoy!
xxK




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