Of all the annual Sabbats, or Pagan celebrations, the best well known and universally practised is Ostara. In the Northern Hemisphere this point of the year, one marked astrologically by the entry of the Sun into the sign of Aries, falls on the 21st March. It is more commonly known as the Spring Equinox.
For those living in colder climates this date is particularly revered for it marks the progression of the long dark period of winter into the lighter and brighter days of spring. Given that this is time when cosmic forces rise and energise both the natural world and the human psyche it is perhaps not too surprising that celebrating the Spring Equinox quite so popular.
Kerri Conner has been a practitioner of the Craft for twenty-five years. She is the author of three other books on magic, runs The Pagan Review website, and is a High Priestess of The Gathering Grove. In her book Ostara: Rituals, Recipes & Lore for the Spring Equinox she reveals some of the many magical ways that she personally celebrates the arrival of Spring.
An Ancient Festival
Ostara opens with a historical perspective of this vitally important point in the Solar year along with its Pagan roots in the worship of the Goddess Eostre. From there she describes some of the more modern ways in which this festival is celebrated in the Northern Hemisphere.
As the Spring Equinox marks a point of new beginnings Conner offers a number of practical ways in which the reader can move forwards in their life, embrace new ideas, and adjust to changing circumstances more comfortably. These practices are also engineered to help the reader maintain a sense of equilibrium during times of dramatic change.
Eat, Drink, and Be Merry
A festival is no good without a partying and so the author offers a number of different food and drink recipes that use ingredients commonly available at this time of the year.
In the later section of her book titled Prayers and Invocations, Conner presents a range of different ritual practices including meditations, prayers, and other practical ways to work with deities associated with this time.
The book closes with correspondences for Ostara, further reading, bibliography and an index.
Our Review of Ostara by Kerri Conner
Each of the titles in the Llewellyn’s Sabbat Essentials series follows the same format. If you have any one of the eight books then you will know what to expect regarding the structure of this title.
Whilst I have thoroughly enjoyed each one of them I have to say that this title is perhaps one of the best of the series due mainly to its sheer sense of energy and vibrancy – which I guess reflects the dynamic of the Spring Equinox itself.
I particularly enjoyed the author’s perspectives of the goddess Eostre – something that flows through its pages. Also of note are the exceptional, and unconventional food and drink recipes the author includes.
So perhaps it is fitting that the most import Sabbat of the year is marked by a publication that captures, harnesses and reflects back to its reader the sense of dynamic optimism that emerges around this time each year. Buy this…buy the series. You won’t be disappointed!