Like most collectors, I arrived at the frustrating point of having my collection of Celtic Deity statues (symbolic abstractions of the nature of GOD) complete with one notable exception. Ostara, Goddess of the Vernal Equinox, representative of the fire element in Aires, and Goddess of Dawn & Spring was missing. Search as I may, she could not be found. Then I remembered her name with the northern Germanic Celts was Eostre from which we get words like estrogen and Easter (from old High German). Finally locating her statue in a shop in Germany, she completed my collection, becoming the most expensive member considering shipping costs from Europe.
Why this interest in Ostara? She was first written about by St. Bede. An 8th century monk accused of manufacturing her character for hundreds of years. That is until in 1958, hundreds of religious icons were discovered dating back to at least 150 C.E.
Today, Ostara is associated with Easter and her companion the Easter Bunny. Bringing the light of spring, renewal, fertility and rebirth. Many of the world religions have similar fertility celebrations, Easter in Christian lands, Hogan in Japan, New Year in Persia, Passover in Jewish beliefs, and Festival of Color for Hindus. But only Ostara celebrates spring with a rabbit.
The Hare is the symbol of this Goddess and the Hare has been sacred to Celts since well before recorded history. The Hare not only represents fertility but also the balance of male and female energies, new beginnings and energy expansion.
Many myths exist explaining the connection of Ostars, the Hare and decorated eggs. Historically, in the very early Christian Church, eggs were forbidden to be eaten during Lent as they represented rebirth. Children would go door to door the week prior to the beginning of Lent begging for eggs. Much like our “Trick or Treat” at Halloween. Decorating eggs to be given to the children became a custom. So where does the rabbit come in?
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