Thanks for joining us for another Families’ Deity! We’re exploring deities that tie into families and family values, or who are important to the family unit or children in some way. This month, we are exploring the Springtime God, Ēostre.
Who is Ēostre?
Ēostre is an Anglo-Saxon goddess, who some believe lends her name to the spring festival of Easter. She is mentioned by Bede the Venerable where he tells that her name is given to Ēosturmōnaþ, (equivalent of April) during which time feasts were held in her honour. She is known by many names such as Ēastre and Ostara.
She is goddess of the dawn as well as a fertility goddess, guiding the earth back to life after winter and months of dormancy.
There is annual controversy over her origins, ‘provable’ history and the ‘legitimacy’ as a goddess; but it cannot be ignored that, whether she is the member of an ancient pantheon or a new kid on the block, Ēostre is a popular goddess and many Pagans honour her and enjoy her feast at Spring Equinox.
Why is Ēostre one of our Families Deity?
Ēostre is one of only three or four Gods who have a connection to rabbits and hares. As Ostara, there is a myth that she met a bird whose wings were frozen and was close to dying, she turned into a hare/rabbit to save its life and it went on to lay beautiful eggs, hence the association of hares/rabbits and eggs with Spring Equinox and Easter; as well as activities such as making eggs look wonderful and bright.
As a spring Goddess, Ēostre’s role is to preside over fecundity of the earth, encouraging and celebrating the now obvious growth that began at Imbolc. She is a fertility goddess, and her connection with rabbits show highlights this is the time of year baby animals are made. Rabbits are well known to multiply quickly and easily.
Ēostre is a fun goddess and to honour her you can have fun too. Games such as egg rolling, egg decorating, and egg hunts are all perfect ways to embody Her springtime joy.
To prepare for spring you can plant bulbs and other spring plants so they can start to show their colours at this time of year. If you have flowers that are blooming, don’t forget to decorate your altar.
As with many Pagan celebrations, having a fire to symbolically encourage the growing strength of the sun is highly recommended!
Pictures of hares and rabbits
Bookmark our blog to follow our series on Families’ deities and share your own experiences or insights into Ēostre on our Children and Families Facebook group!
Image copyright details: Microsoft Creative Content