Down to Earth Inspiration from the Celts for Celebrating Ostara

by Emma-Jane Cross


The Spring Equinox, known as Ostara (for centuries), energetically is literally one of the busiest festivals in the wheel of the year! At Imbolc we first saw the signs of life returning to the land and now here at Ostara everything’s coming up. Nature is hustling and strutting her stuff! At Ostara the dawn chorus fills the morning air, new life is shooting up from the earth and the buds on trees are beginning to burst and everywhere, the Daffodils are blooming. (As a proud Welsh woman that always makes me smile.) Wherever you look there is something going on. It can all feel a little overwhelming. So how did our ancestors cope with all of this busyness and celebrate Ostara? 

Well, actually we know very little historically about how our ancestors held Ostara celebrations or pre-Christian Spring Equinox holidays of Northern and Western Europe. It is very likely they observed the Spring Equinox, as their surviving megaliths are aligned on a solar basis.  But there is no clear evidence that the Spring Equinox received any special attention by the pre-Christian Celts, and no reference to Ostara itself can be found before 725 C.E. 

However, we do know that our ancestors, like the modern farmers today, were clearing and preparing the land, getting ready for the planting season. And probably like the local farmers in my little corner of the world spreading muck which, believe me, gives an interesting nuance to the spring scent! In that smelly ancient world they were all hands on deck manifesting the things they would need from the land and sea, 

There is such a whirligig of activity in the land and in the solar system at this time of year, so it is not surprising if you are feeling like time has sped up and everything is a bit off kilter. Ostara really is a big shift in energy. Winter is 100% done and Spring is here in abundance.

One of the big things I have noticed throughout my years of working with the wheel of the year is that at the big solar shifts, Solstices and Equinoxes, we humans feel it and emotionally we tend to get wobbly in the build up to the shifting positions of the sun and the moon. So if you are feeling wobbly in your life right now, don’t worry, this will pass or at least calm down once the Equinox has passed. Traditionally the Equinoxes in the wheel of the year are all about balance. And if you tune into that energy it is possible to ride the equinox wave smoothly. 

So how can you attune to the equinox energy in the next few days and both plant your seeds, balance and celebrate Ostara without feeling overwhelmed by the busyness? 

Personally I like to keep it simple (and sparkly).  And like our Celtic ancient ancestors I like to focus on the practical and the energies of clearing, planting and balance and doing that in the most gentle way possible. Here are a few of the different things I like to do at Ostara that help me align and feel less overwhelmed with the energy and the work of the season. 



If you don’t have a garden or are not out prepping the land and out spreading muck I find the easiest way to connect with the clearing energy of Ostara is simply to clean. Cleaning is manageable. It’s a very physical down to earth way of cleansing. I was once taught that when we clean up our home we also clean up on the inside of us. And remember you don’t have to clean everything, just something!

If you want to go the extra mile, opening the windows and smudging your home with some herbs of your preference is another way to energetically cleanse. 

Or if all you have is a stick of incense you can smudge yourself. These things don’t have to be fancy. They just need to work for you with what you have to hand and the energy and capacity you have available. 


Planting seeds

As seeds are something we have to plant with intent, nurture and eventually harvest, I like to combine planting my seeds with manifesting my goals for the wheel. Now for this you will need a pot, some earth and some seeds, plus a piece of paper where you have written down the things you want to manifest and are willing to put the work into to manifest. After all, you have to nurture the goals as you would nurture your plant. 

Hold each seed in your hand. What does this seed represent for you? Which of your goals?

Think about your goals and visualise the final, successful outcome of your efforts. The more specific you make your intention the greater likelihood that what grows will be what you actually want and need. Whatever you choose to plant, think of it now and meditate on what it will bring into the world.

As you visualise, plant the seed and say:

“Awaken, stir, and swell

Grow strong, grow well.”

When you have planted all your seeds, every time you water them or move them to a bigger pot, use it as a reminder to put work into manifesting your goals. We can ask the universe, but we also have to put in our own energy. 



The balance between the sun and moon is the strongest energy of Ostara. The Equinox has been and will be happening for centuries. The most powerful way to connect with this energy is to observe the sunrise and sunsets. I was taught to observe 3 days of sunsets and sunrises at Equinox: the day before, the day of, and the day after. And truly if you have the opportunity and time for this, do it. You will feel that shift in the energy. However just going outside and connecting with nature on Equinox will help you to feel calmer and attuned.

Another way to rebalance and centre at Ostara is to do a form of balancing and grounding meditation. It’s best outside in a park or wood or if you can find a Celtic place of power, somewhere where two things meet – eg. a lake where the land meets the earth – if not, in your home is absolutely fine. I love to do a tree of life meditation or a chakra balancing something that allows me to realign and reset just as the sun and the moon are doing. 

Oh, and one last and important thing (said the fairy godmother to Cinderella!), if this is your first time celebrating Ostara, or you are an old hand at this but feeling overwhelmed at the idea of celebrating all the aspects above, I would suggest picking one. Balance, clearing or planting – and focus your celebration around that one thing. After all, simple celebrations that are meaningful to you are always the best ways of connecting with nature and following the wheel of the year. I am 100% certain our ancestors would approve. 





EMMA-JANE CROSS is a spiritual coach and author specialising in creating spiritual connection with nature and the wheel of the year. Her roots are in Celtic and Norse traditions, from her Welsh childhood, her training in Shamanism, Druidry and Witchcraft at Avebury, and her work as Viking historical-interpreter within Scandinavian Museums. From her home by the fjord Emma-Jane guides people worldwide to rekindle a spiritual connection and personal growth journey aligned with nature’s seasons. She teaches workshops in Denmark and online at and regularly speaks and teaches Celtic spirituality, earth magic and seasonal spirituality at events.




Walking The Wheel Of The Year: Re:Root In Nature, Reconnect Your Soul by Emma-Jane Cross, published by Green Magic, paperback (210 pages).

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