OSTARA

bouquet, field, on the nature

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The concept of Ostara has had a strong influence on European culture since the 19th century, with many  legends and associations growing up around the figure of the goddess in popular articles based on the early folklorists.

A holiday named for the goddess is part of the modern Wiccan Wheel of the Year (Ostara, 21 March).  Ēostre is “associated with the coming of spring and the dawn, and her festival is celebrated at the spring equinox.

Easter bunnies?

In Northern Europe, Easter imagery often involves hares and rabbits. The first scholar to make a connection between the goddess Eostre and hares was Adolf Holtzmann in his book Deutsche Mythologie. Holtzmann wrote of the tradition, “the Easter Hare is inexplicable to me, but probably the hare was the sacred animal of Ostara; just as there is a hare on the statue of Abnoba.” Citing folk Easter customs in Leicestershire, England where “the profits of the land called Harecrop Leys were applied to providing a meal which was thrown on the ground at the ‘Hare-pie Bank'”, late 19th-century scholar Charles Isaac Elton speculated on a connection between these customs and the worship of Ēostre. In his late 19th-century study of the hare in folk custom and mythology, Charles J. Billson cited numerous incidents of folk customs involving hares around the Easter season in Northern Europe. Billson said that “whether there was a goddess named Ēostre, or not, and whatever connection the hare may have had with the ritual of Saxon or British worship, there are good grounds for believing that the sacredness of this animal reaches back into an age still more remote, where it is probably a very important part of the great Spring Festival of the prehistoric inhabitants of this island

festive music for ostara

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