Egg History & Rituals for Ostara + The Spring Equinox
Ostara, also known as the Spring or Vernal Equinox, is the dawn of the fertile season on the Wheel of the Year. Light and dark are in equal balance and moving forward, the light of the sun will outshine the dark of night, pushing nature into a flurry of growth and expansion.
This season corresponds to growth, fertility, manifesting, and the maiden aspect of the Triple Goddess. The energy of this season calls you to begin taking concerted actions towards your desires. Eggs and hares are common symbols associated with this season, but their associations may not be as ancient as you thought.
I went down a bit of a rabbit hole, no pun intended, on this one! So, before we dive into egg rituals for you to practice, I want to share a bit about the history (we do know) of Ostara. If you don’t care, skip on through to the egg rituals, but personally, I find the history of our rituals not only interesting but important in crafting a meaningful practice.
Eggs and Ostara, Where’s the Connection?
There are a couple of stories that link Ostara to eggs and hares. One being that a hare out foraging for food found an egg and gave it to Ostara an offering for Spring (read a more elaborate version of this story here.) The other story speaks of Ostara finding a bird with frozen wings that she turned into a hare to save. The hare retaining its ability to lay eggs, laid an egg for Ostara as a show of gratitude. You can find variations of stories passed down similar to these or possibly have some in your lineage.
As with much of Pagan and spiritual practices from the Celts and Anglo-Saxons, these traditions were passed down orally. However, there’s actually no written pre-Christian evidence of the Goddess Ostara and her connection to hares and eggs. Ostara is first mentioned in a text by a Christian monk named Bede in 725 AD.
This isn’t to say that it’s not possible that ancient Northern European folks honored hares, eggs, and maiden Goddesses like Ostara and Freya during this season. Still, there’s no written evidence supporting these stories. Here’s a great article that dives deeper into the history we know about Ostara and her connection to eggs and hares.
When Christianity dominated these areas, the oral traditions were slowly extinguished, as well as many of the ancient practices associated with them. So the truth is, we may never know if Ostara and her connection to hares and eggs were real. You can view this as a hardship or an opportunity. I choose the latter. Not having a script for our ancestors’ ancient ways offers you an opportunity to go within and form personal meaning with each season.
Give this post a listen here:
Symbolism of Eggs
Regardless of how the connection of eggs came to be associated with Ostara and this season, their connection to fertility, life, and union is found worldwide. Vedic texts reference the cosmic egg, the Orphic egg in Greece, and the Serpent’s Egg in Druidic practices, just to name a few, all of which deal with the beginnings of life and fertility.
Many of the ancient mythologies surrounding eggs tell stories of life, balance, and creation, which are all energies undoubtedly linked to the energy of the Spring Equinox. For these reasons, regardless of the history of eggs and Ostara, the egg is still a beautiful and potent symbol to work with during this season, or really anytime you’re focusing on fertility and growth.
Egg Rituals for Ostara
Here are a few simple ways to weave eggs into your Spring Equinox rituals. Vegan? No worries, use fake eggs. As with most magical practices, your intention is the most important part. Working with fake egg-shaped decorations is an ideal substitute for the real deal. You can purchase egg shapes in paper, plastic, and wood at most craft stores. For the rituals shown below, biodegradable eggs made from paper or wood are best. Please, don’t bury plastic eggs!
- Eat them!: Obviously, if you’re vegan, you can skip over this one. But if you’re not, enjoy eggs in your favorite way or bake with them to connect with their energy of creation. Consider holding the egg in your hand and infusing it with your desires that you’d like to manifest over the coming months.
- Decorate: Place plain or decorated eggs on your altar or in your home as a symbol of fertility, balance, and growth. If you’re using real eggs, you can blow out the contents of the egg with a needle and a straw; otherwise, fake eggs will work fine as well (raw eggs shouldn’t be used if left out for more than two hours.)
- Egg manifesting ritual: Write wishes, draw Runes or a Sigil on an egg (raw, hard-boiled, or a fake egg) in alignment with your desires. Bury your egg in the ground to let the fertile energy of the earth help it manifest. Amplify this ritual by burying your egg alongside some seeds. As your plants grow, they will serve as a reminder of your desires being manifested.
- Egg offering: Hard boil one or more eggs and leave them as an offering out in nature to give thanks for the season’s fertility and growth.
Now you can work with eggs this season and have a better idea of what we do know about their history in regards to Ostara. Remember, even though we don’t have written history, it doesn’t mean that Ostara wasn’t honored. In the end, this season is a time to work with the energy of fertility and growth, and if honoring Ostara, the hare, and eggs is a way that helps you do that, I encourage you to do so! Continue creating a practice that’s meaningful to you.
Check out our past blog posts about Ostara here.
Categorised in: Card spreads, Goddess, Ostara, Rituals, Seasonal magick, Wheel of the Year, Witchcraft
Cassie Uhl is the author of five books and two card decks, an artist, intuitive energy healer, and death doula. Her lineage and practices are rooted in pagan earth-based spiritual practices of Northern Europe. She approaches her work and clients with trauma-informed support through all phases of life. She currently resides on the land of the Myaamia people in so-called Indiana of the US.