Pagans Celebrate the Arrival Of Spring With Ostara Ritual

March 26, 2009

Author: Magdalena Wegrzyn

Source: Longmont Times-Call

Kat Lindgren used a flat feather to expertly fan burning sage over the small huddle of pagans gathered Saturday in the backyard behind her Lafayette home.

As the pine scent settled over the circle and the sun started to set, Lindgren — a clergy-level Wiccan priestess — began the Ostara rite, a pagan ritual that celebrates the spring equinox and honors the Anglo-Saxon goddess Eostre, also known throughout history as Astarte and Ishtar.

Ostara builds on the theme touched on during Imbolc, a high holy day that took place in early February this year.

Imbolc means “in the belly” and celebrates the time between the spring equinox and winter solstice, when the land is “waking up,” Lindgren said.

Essentially, the Ostara rite is “the pagan version of Easter,” Lindgren said.

But to be accurate, the pagan version came first, she added.

Because much of paganism harkens back to agricultural times, spring was historically the time when babies were born and crops bloomed.

“It deals with spiritual growth,” said Lindgren, who also is founder of Temple of the Moon, an organization for local pagans. “It’s renewal. It’s rebirth. It’s the beginnings of the stirrings of life.”