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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Eostre

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Vernal Equinox: a Rite of Spring

At this time, celebrate the festival of Ostara, the Saxon goddess who is the personification of the rising sun. Ostara is derived from the Anglo-Saxon Eostre or Oestre, and her totem is the rabbit. Legend has it that her rabbit brought forth the brightly colored eggs now associated with Easter. At this time the world is warming under the sun as spring approaches. Every plant, animal, man and woman feels this growing fever for spring.

This ritual is intended for communities, so gather a group. Tell everyone to bring a “spring food” such as deviled eggs, salads with flowers in them, fresh broths, berries, mushrooms, fruits, pies, veggie casseroles or quiches. Have the food table at the opposite side of the gathering area away from the altar, but decorate it with flowers and pussy willow branches that are just beginning to bud. These are the harbingers of spring.

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1500 years ago, the English-speaking ancestors worshiped (or at least, knew of) a Goddess of Spring and Dawn Whom they called (depending on which dialect of Old English you spoke) either Éostre or Éastre.

(Their Continental cousins, of course, called Her Ôstara.)

So: let us say that Her worship had continued, unbroken, down to the present day. If Her Name had remained in constant usage and undergone all the usual sound changes, what would we call Her today?

The question is easily answered. We would today call Her Easter.

Personally, I think that we still should.

 

I know, I know, that name has been co-opted and misused by others. For some, Her modern Name is too tainted by association to be taken back.

I don't agree. The Name is Hers, and—as Her people—it's ours to know Her and call Her by. When I hear non-pagans use the term, the sheer irony of it delights me. If only they knew.

It also rather delights me that, around here, we have (in most years) Three Easters (Ôstarûn, the Old Germans would have said): Pagan/Heathen, Catholic/Protestant, and Orthodox.

Guess whose comes first?

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  • Victoria
    Victoria says #
    Éostre was not the goddess of spring, that is a modern pagan misconception. The Anglo Saxons recognised two seasons; winter and s

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 

 

As pagans in the Northern hemisphere prepare to celebrate the feast of the Many-Named Goddess of Dawn and Spring, I would invite us all to contemplate Her many titles.

I've written out some here as an extended litany; the list, of course, could be extended indefinitely.

 

 Litany for the Dawn Goddess

 

Many-Named Goddess

Lady of Dawn

Lady of Springtime

Lady of Dawn

Lady of Daily Spring

Lady of Dawn

Lady of Yearly Dawn

Lady of Dawn

Dayspring

Lady of Dawn

Ever-Young Goddess

Lady of Dawn

Undying Goddess

Lady of Dawn

Lady of Color

Lady of Dawn

Lady of Birds

Lady of Dawn

Lady of Birdsong

Lady of Dawn

Lady of Eggs

Lady of Dawn

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

In planning my kindred’s Ostara ritual for this year, which we canceled, I ran across an interesting association with similarly named dawn goddesses. The goddess Ostara may be older than we think.

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I remember Deep Space 9 sufficiently to get the analogy.
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Anthony, glad it was clear!

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Ever-Young Goddess

Hail Dawn, goddess of many names!

 

Éostre (Old English, West Saxon dialect) AY-aw-streh (ay as in say, aw as in awe)

Éastre (Old English, Northumbrian dialect). AY-ah-streh (ay as in say)

Both forms are used by contemporary pagans. Occasionally—probably under the influence of Ostara—written Oestre. (Technically, this form is historically incorrect, if you care about such things.)

*Ôstarâ (Old High German) OH-sta-ra (but most English-speakers say oh-STAR-a; technically, this is historically incorrect, if you care about such things.)

Name reconstructed by the Brothers Grimm. Probably the most frequently-used name for the goddess, and her springtime festival, among contemporary pagans and heathens.

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As the Day Overtakes the Night...

...it’s time for us to celebrate that particularly sacred time, the Spring Equinox, also known to many Pagans as Ostara! Representing the midpoint between the dark nights of winter and the long days of summer, the Equinox is the moment when the Earth’s equator lines up with the Sun. In some cultures it is regarded as the start of spring while others perceive it as the midpoint (with spring beginning around early February and ending in May).

For our annual megapost in celebration of the Equinox we’ve gathered all our relevant content from PaganSquare this year as well as some links from other sites we thought might be of interest. May the coming summer be filled with joy and exuberance for all of you and your loved ones!

-Aryós Héngwis

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Easter is Risen!

English

Easter is risen! Indeed she is risen!

 

Old English

Éastre arás! Sóþlice héo arás!

 

Greek

Kórê anéstê! Alêthós anéstê!

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