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The Cottage March/Ostara 2002

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March Deity - Eostre

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Norse/Germanic Goddess: Old High German - Ostara, Anglo-Saxon - Eostre

Sacred Animal: The Rabbit

Sacred Symbol: The Egg

Eostre is a very obscure Goddess. Her name is connected for words for "east" and "shining." It is therefore related to the Greek godname Eos, Goddess of the dawn in their pantheon. In order to understand anything about the Goddess Eostre (or the Goddess or Goddesses worshiped at that time) we must draw on the traditions associated with the holy tide. Grimm in his Teutonic Mythology maintained that "Ostara, Estre, was goddess of the growing light of spring." Based on this Eostre would appear to be a Goddess of purity youth and beauty as well as one of new life beginnings.She personified the return of the day and also of the year with its
springtime renewal of nature. She is also identified with health and healing,
agriculture, purification, and fertility.



The story of the Easter Bunny which delights children so much in America comes from the legend of a humble little rabbit's dealings with the Goddess Eostre. As the legend goes, a lowly little rabbit wanted so much to please his Goddess that he laid sacred eggs in her honour and decorated them in beautiful rainbow colours. When the rabbit presented Eostre with his gift, she was so pleased that she desired for all humans to share in her joy and asked the little rabbit to go throughout the world distributing the little gifts.


Her totemic animal in Germany and England was the hare. In addition to being
a fecund animal that is normally associated with the creatress goddess, the
Germanic peoples commonly recognize the rabbit in the dark areas of the moon.
This could identify Eostre as a celestial goddess.

In Germany, stone altars to Eostre were once the sites of celebrations in
memory of the ancient spring goddess despite Christian edicts against them. The
stones were decorated with flowers as children danced around them by the light
of bonfires.

Ostara guided meditation by Selena Fox

MeditationFind a comfortable, safe, and quiet place to be for this meditation. Close your eyes. Relax and center yourself by taking deep slow breaths. Now journey inward. Imagine that you are in a hilly countryside. It is just before dawn at the beginning of Springtime. The land is nearing the end of its Wintertime slumber. You face the East and watch the Sun as it begins to rise. Rays of light shimmer onto the land and into the sky. Experience the beautiful colors of light that is the Dawn. Now, as the glowing disc of the Sun becomes visible above the hills, you see the Goddess Ostara appear on the land in the distance in the East. She is beginning to move toward you. As She moves, the land awakens with new life. You see Her coming toward you in the form of a Beautiful Maiden. You see Her radiant face and flowing gown. She is carrying a golden basket filled with colored eggs. Beside Her is Her companion, a frisky magical Rabbit. As They come closer to you, you see that with each step that They take, the land around them bursts into new life and grows green. New grasses sprout from the ground. Herbs flourish. Trees grow new leaves. You call out a welcome to Them and to the Spring they bring. As you meet face to face, you see that the Goddess Ostara and the Rabbit are both smiling a welcome to you. Ostara then holds Her golden basket toward you and invites you to chose one of the eggs in it as a gift of Spring. You notice that each egg has a different color. You see the beautiful array of choices. You feel more drawn to one of the eggs than the others and choose it. Now you hold the egg that you have selected in both of your hands. You first focus on its color and reflect on what that color means to you. ..... Then Ostara invites you to ask this Sacred Egg to give you a message about personal growth. You ask this and then are quiet as you pay attention to whatever words, symbols, sensations, impressions, and/or other forms of message emerge. ...... Ostara now invites you to take this Sacred Egg and its power of new growth into yourself. You hold it to your heart and as you do this, you absorb it into your being. You experience the renewal of Springtime. You radiate vitality. Be immersed in this experience. ...... Continuing to experience vitality within you, you prepare to end this meditative journey. You reflect once more on the color and message of the Sacred Egg. ..... You bid Ostara and Her Rabbit companion farewell for now, knowing that they continue to live within your consciousness to guide you in your Springtime growth. ..... When you feel ready, take several deep, slow breaths to aid you in returning to waking consciousness. .... Then slowly rise, stretch, and orient to the here and now, as you carry with you the memory of your experiences on the journey you have just completed. Take a few moments now and note down your experiences, including guidance your received for personal growth. ..... Now, let the vitality of Spring renewal continue to be with you as you go about your daily life.
 
 
2001, Selena Fox, PO Box 219, Mt. Horeb, WI 53572 USA; (608) 924-2216. an earlier version was published in the Spring 1998 issue of CIRCLE Magazine.