Wiccan and Pagan Celebration Activities for Ostara and Spring Equinox
It’s good for Pagan families to mark seasonal holidays together. Think of the spring equinox as a time to ‘stop and smell the flowers’, when you can introduce your child to those concepts about the cycles of life and nature that you find sacred. Even if you’re not openly Pagan, there are still family traditions you can start that help bring the meaning into your lives without getting too bogged down in ritual or symbolism.
If you’re a Pagan parent and are stumped for what to do this Ostara, try some of these seasonally appropriate activities.
Ostara: The Celebration of the Spring Equinox
Get Outdoors for Ostara
I realize that not everyone is enjoying the full effects of ‘spring thaw’ in March—but if getting out is possible, then by all means take advantage of the chance to shake off the cabin fever. If it’s still cold and snow, try going on a nature walk and looking for some signs of spring. Is the snow receding anywhere? Are the animals beginning to emerge? Are there any early shoots and leaves you can find? Maybe you can build a big bonfire in the yard and tell stories about springtime.
If you live in a climate where the worst of winter is definitely past, then definitely get out and enjoy it. Go on a camping overnight and hike through the woods, go fishing or on a picnic. Start getting the garden ready if you have one.
Good Plant Choices for Window Boxes
Make a Window Box Garden Altar
A window box altar is a living altar, a living testament to the deities your family honors or to Mother Earth herself. Start with a planter. Wood and clay are easier to decorate, but plastic will do as well if you give it a good sanding and cleaning first, then prime the outside of it with a plastic primer.
What images and symbols does your family find meaningful? Pentagrams? Celtic crosses? God and Goddesses? Animals? Decide on your designs and decorate your planter together. You can use:
- Acrylic or poster paints
- Colored pencils
- Decoupage (cut and paste a collage on the pot)
Whichever you choose, only decorate the outside of the planter. Protect your masterpiece by applying a clear sealer.
Next, fill it with potting soil and let the kids pick out non-toxic plants, such as herbs and annual flowers. Plant them on the sides, leaving a little open space of soil for the heart of the altar. Your child might put whatever he likes on it: crystals, gazing balls, a terminated quartz or stick for a wand, a feather for air, a seashell for water, a lava rock for fire or little figurines. He might stick things in the dirt, such as his own decorated paint stirrer sticks, Popsicle sticks or plant markers. Watching his plants grow will be a spiritual experience, taking care of them becomes a ritual.
Spring Equinox Egg Decorations:
Spring Themed Crafts
There are a lot of fun crafts you can do together for springtime. Cheer up the house by making bouquets of tissue paper flowers.
Dye some eggs— either from food coloring or commercial egg decorating kits, or perhaps out of natural, home-made egg dyes. Spinach makes a lovely green dye, beets make a good pink and chamomile tea. Raid your fridge and boil the heck out of leftover produce to make dyes—add just 1 tbsp. of vinegar to the mix and you’re set. Another good source of dyes are fruit juices—cranberry for red, grape juice for purple, and blueberry juice. Just remember to let eggs soak a long time with natural dyes.
You might make birdhouses and bird feeders for the garden! Artistshelpingchildren.org has a few good bird crafts. Put a bird feeder near a viewing area, such as outside a window or right off a patio. That way when your feathered friends flock you can relax and watch.
Even simple coloring pages can be a wonderful activity for young children. Color images of flowers, bunnies, chicks, nature, deities or Pagan symbols. Hang them around the house for the Spring Equinox and to get your home in the spirit of the season. Look up some Easter coloring pages that are not too overtly religious or spring equinox activity printable pages.
I Like These:
Crafts for holidays are a big thing around our house as they help us get excited, decorate, and are the perfect bonding experience as a family. I feel like they make the sabbats more meaningful to all of us, and treasure the memories.
Tell Us About You!
Do you celebrate Ostara or the Spring Equinox as a family?
Have a Partial Fast
Fasting is a practice incorporate into many different religions, because nothing makes us appreciate something more than going without. With a pre-Ostara fast, teach your children about how much our Pagan ancestors worried about surviving every winter.
I don’t recommend a full fast, which can be unhealthy for young children. But you can partially fast by cutting out anything excessive and keeping means simple and basic—lay off the cookies, ice cream, fruits and treats. Eat simple meals like rice and beans, or noodle soup and crackers, plain oatmeal or raw veggies. Drink water exclusively.
Avoid things that are rich, highly seasoned, sugary or indulgent. Just eat to survive for a few days to a few weeks. Talk to the kids about what it was like to live in days when you had no supermarkets to replenish your food stores when they were gone, and how vital the return of the sun was to those who were running out of food.
The Perfect Song for Celebrating Spring
Cookies are Always a Holiday Hit!
Make a Spring Equinox Feast!
Breaking bread together as a family is always a terrific way to celebrate the holiday. If you participated in fasting for the season, then a celebratory feast will be an even more joyous occasion.
Make some kind of rolls or bread sprinkled with seeds. A roast of some sort is always appropriate—whether it’s lamb or chicken or turkey or beef. Make liberal use of herbs in your recipe. If you’re vegetarians, make a hearty vegetable lasagna or stuffed, roasted veggies.
And of course you don’t want to forget dessert. For Ostara, anything with fruit in it is perfect. Or try my recipe:
Brew Up and Bottle Some Springtime!
Make a Spring Rain Blessing Potion
Set out some containers to capture some early spring rain and make a blessing potion out of it. After you’ve collected your water, put it into a pot or a cauldron and pick out some herbs from the garden or spice shelf. Want to bless it with love? Add some basil. Protection? Add bay leaves. You can research magical herbs together to create your own potion ingredients, and add a teaspoon of salt for purification.
Bring the brew to a boil, supervising very carefully if you let your child add things or stir it. Then just shut off the heat and let it cool. Strain it and put it into a jar with a tight-fitting lid, or a spray bottle if you like so your child can spray blessings around the house, and on all those she loves. Keep it in the fridge when you’re not using it. It will keep for at least a couple of weeks.
* Please note, this is not good for plants—it has salt in it. If you want a spring rain blessing potion for your plants, make it without salt.
There are plenty of ways to get into the swing of spring, whether you simply note the season or go all-out for full Ostara and Spring Equinox celebrations. Please share with us in the comments what you like to do, or would like to try!
And happy spring to you and yours!
© 2014 Mackenzie Sage Wright