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Ostara 2024 | Goddess OSTARA and the POWER of STORYTELLING


flowers and grass during a sunrise

The Divine Warrior Witches 2024 Ostara Ritual was held on Sunday, March 31, at Crescent Moon Gifts in Tacoma. It was originally scheduled for Sunday, March 10, but had to be rescheduled due to illness.

For 2024, we are following the theme of DEITY. In each class, in addition to honoring the turning of the wheel, we plan to also introduce a deity or two associated with the sabbat being celebrated.


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two women standing in front of an altar in floral dresses, one is wearing rabbit ears
High Priestesses Serenity and Heather presenting at Ostara

THE CLASS:

The educational portion of our events is now split into three categories: So Below, As Above, and Deity. Here is some of the information that was presented during class...


So Below | Ostara

The Wheel of the Year has continued to turn and we have now arrived upon Ostara, the Spring Equinox, which marks the very first day of Spring! The Spring Equinox occurred on March 19th, 2023, at 8:06 PM, PACIFIC TIME. On this magickal day, we find ourselves in a time of balance. Day and night are equal, the light illuminates as long as the darkness devours.  The soil softens, buds bloom, birds sing, and creatures of the earth, such as the mighty bear and the agile hare, reveal themselves after hibernation and nocturnal living in appreciation for our shining sun and in search of loving companions. 


Woman speaking behind a music stand
High Priestess Cawnawyn presenting at Ostara

As Above | Astrology

TRANSITS:

APRIL 1 - Mercury in Retrograde in Aries

APRIL 8 - Solar Eclipse in Aries

APRIL 19 - Sun Moves Into Taurus

APRIL 20 - Jupiter Conjunct Uranus in Taurus 21°

APRIL 23 - Full Moon in Scorpio

APRIL 25 - Mercury Stations Direct in Aries



High Priestess Cawnawyn discussed the significance of this eclipse occurring during the Aries season and how we may try to embrace Aries characteristics (independence, courage, action) to evolve our soul’s journey. She emphasized that eclipses are especially powerful for banishing and cleansing ourselves of the obstacles we place in our own way of achieving what we truly desire. Remember to build a relationship with the energies of the universe, but then to act! Any action you choose in response to what you gain in knowledge is the right one; choose to act on behalf of yourself!

books about the Goddess Ostara on an altar with candles
Books used for our Ostara ritual research

Deity | Ostara


Ostara, or Eostra, is a deity we collectively know very little about. Her name first appearing in written history around the 8th century, any brief appearances since have rolled out like a game of telephone and an archetype of spring, fertility, and kindness has developed.

In planning for this ritual, we knew we wanted to honor Ostara; however we didn’t know much about this spring goddess other than some stories we’d heard from her folklore. 


It took quite a bit of digging in the local library to eventually find only a couple of sentences about Ostara in just one book. So, we went back to stories and discovered numerous children’s books with various tales this goddess, her bird, and her hare and suddenly it all fell into place.

STORIES. This is where Ostara comes from, and this is where we keep her alive.

The stories and folklore we share and pass down through generations forms our history. In this, there is power. At ritual, we encouraged the attending warriors to explore their own stories, their own lore. What is your archetype? How do you want to be remembered? Using our answers to these questions, we decorated candles and charged them with our hopes and with our power.

“Let these candles burn brightly, as we each craft our fate. Archetypes our own, stories ours to create.”

High Priestess Serenity shared this story of Ostara, the bird, and the Hare with practitioners:


Ostara, the goddess of spring, once slept beneath the earth until roused by wild hares. Her powers thawed winter into spring. 


One year, when Ostara struggled to wake on time, she realized the earth had frozen over. As she traveled, she came across a sparrow nearly lifeless on the ice. Ostara, feeling pity for the sparrow, breathed into it. Little did Ostara know that her breath would not only revive the little sparrow but also pass some of her power onto it. 


a sparrow next to lavender

The sparrow, grateful for a new chance at life, began to sing to Ostara. As it sang, it used its newly given powers to call the four winds. Together, Ostara and the sparrow would warm the earth with their song and travels. 


They became the best of friends and were inseparable until the day came when a new member of the hare clan met them on their path. This hare was different than the rest. He was confident and curious, and when he noticed the sparrow, he instantly desired her companionship. The hare danced and pranced for the sparrow, showing off his skill and speed, and the sparrow delighted so much in this demonstration that she began to sing along to his movement. 

a hare eating a flower in a field of grass

It was clear to Ostara that her sparrow was smitten by this hare. Ostara kissed the sparrow, which transformed into a beautiful she-hare equal in magnificence to the confident hare that danced for her. The two creatures, elated, thanked Ostara, and after receiving her blessing, they began their new life together.


Alone again, Ostara's sorrow grew. Noticing her depression, the hares decided to remind her of her joyous duties. One year, when the time came to perform their dance for Ostara, they gathered in great numbers and thumped, danced, and spiraled about. They led her to a nest where the transformed sparrow and the confident hare had birthed a leveret together.


colored eggs on a linen cloth with flowers

Ostara was delighted to learn that her sparrow, now turned hare, had created this new life! It reminded her that she was destined to continue changing the seasons so that all new life could flourish. This renewed Ostara's sense of purpose, and she embraced her role as the goddess of spring, no longer feeling alone.


a woman sitting telling a story wearing rabbit ears
High Priestess Serenity telling the story of the Goddess Ostara

High Priestesses Heather and Cawnawyn shared similar versions of the story.


Heather told of a Hare who presented his only possession, an egg, to Ostara. She is delighted with him and makes him her special animal.


Cawnawyn told of a frozen bird transformed by Ostara into a hare with incredible speed. When the hare grew very old, he was made immortal by Ostara transforming him into our constellation “Lepus” so that he may fly forever in the heavens. 


A woman writing on a small white board
High Priestess Heather giving a demonstration on sigil work

In preparation for the ritual, High Priestess Heather gave a short demonstration of making a sigil.


THE RITUAL:


The Hare, the Bird, and the Goddess Ostara gave each practitioner three items. The Hare, portrayed by Priestess Serenity, gave a large paper mâché egg. The Bird, portrayed by Priestess Cawnawyn, gave a scroll with a message of transformation. The Goddess Ostara, portrayed by Priestess Heather, gave a white candle. 


a basket of eggs, black gift bags, and white candles on a table
Our paper mâché eggs given by the Hare, take home Ritual Kits, and White Candles given by Ostara

Practitioners were invited to decorate their candles with ribbons, charms, and drawing sigils. They were encouraged to customize their candle to celebrate their own story or desired archetype.


a book, worksheet, and flower crown with colored lights
Our ritual worksheet and books used for Ostara



Finally, we performed a blessing over our candles together with a spell provided in the class packet.

After feasting on cakes and ale, there was an impromptu gathering in a circle as the Priestesses led practitioners in a few rounds of joyful song. This was an especially magical moment!


CAKES & ALE:

To alleviate any concern over recent illnesses, cakes were store-bought for this ritual. They were vanilla pound cake with strawberry frosting. 


Originally, Priestess Cawnawyn intended to make the cakes. She has provided her recipe for Ostara carrot cake here:


Recipe (makes 16-20 cupcakes)


For the cupcake:

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup coconut oil (or vegetable/canola)

4 eggs

a bundle of carrots on a wooden table with daisies

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

5 large grated carrots


For the frosting:

1 package cream cheese

1/2 cup unsalted butter

2 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. Line cupcake pan with cake liners.

  3. Making the cupcakes. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.

  4. In a separate medium bowl, whisk oil, eggs, brown sugar, granulated sugar, applesauce, and vanilla extract. 

  5. Add grated carrots to wet ingredients and mix well. 

  6. Pour wet ingredients into bowl of dry ingredients and mix until well combined.

  7. Fill each cupcake liner until about 1/2 full.

  8. Bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out of center of cakes clean.

  9. Making the frosting. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract until smooth and to desired stiffness. 

  10. If you need it creamier, add more butter in small amounts. If you need it stiffer, add more sugar.

  11. Assembly. Frost your cupcakes, store them in an airtight container, and enjoy!


cupcakes, bottles of apple cider, and books on a table
Cakes and Ale served at Ostara

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