Hello, my loves and welcome to WiccaNow. Recently I’ve been talking about some of our Sabbats, like these posts on Samhain, Imbolc and most recently this post on Ostara. I want to continue down this path today and talk about some of the fun ways you can set up a powerful Ostara altar.
I’ve mentioned before that I like to set up a separate altar for the sabbats. This is a personal choice however and really isn’t something you have to do if you don’t want to. You can add extra things to your existing altar, or if you choose not to have a dedicated altar space you can simply add a few touches to a mantlepiece or table. Basically, you can do whatever you want, in whatever way works best for you!
I tend to set mine up pretty simply, with some fresh spring flowers, some painted Ostara eggs and some of my favourite crystals. Because this is a Sabbat which represents the balance of energies, it’s also nice to add some objects touching on this to your Ostara altar. You can add a black and a white candle, a yin and yang symbol, or something a little more abstract like an un-sprouted bulb and a flowering one. Anything that reminds you of the power of opposites and the balance of the universe is great.
Below I’ll outline some of my favourite decorations for my Ostara altar along with some tips and tricks on how and where to set your altar up. If you are interested in reading more about some of the Sabbats, check out these posts on Imbolc symbols, an Ostara ritual, some festive recipes for an Imbolc feast and a guide to setting up your Imbolc altar.
This is something that people often ask me about. While there are no prescribed colours, pastels are often recommended to symbolise the softness of spring. I think there is a little room for other colours here too though.
What makes you think of spring? For me, the neon green that comes with new leaves is particularly poignant and a shade I absolutely love. In saying that, it’s a colour that’s incredibly hard to find outside of nature so I don’t add that to my decorations unless I find a particularly pretty branch with new leaves.
Other colours closely associated with Ostara
- Pastel pink
- Pastel green
- Pastel yellow
- Pastel purple
- Pastel blue
Ostara Altar Cloth
Whether you want to use an altar cloth or not is up to you, personally, I like to use one. I’ll often use a quiet colour, or even just a white linen because I don’t want the base of my altar to be too bright here. Again, pastels are your friend but don’t feel obliged to use them.
If you are crafty, you might choose to paint something onto your cloth or embroider something that makes you think of spring. Have fun with this and use something that brings you joy and makes you happy when you look at it. Ostara is all about frivolous fun and childish joy.
Ostara Altar Decorations
There are a lot of different things you can use to decorate your altar that represent Ostara. Fresh spring flowers are a favourite of mine, things like daffodils, irises, hyacinth and snowdrops are great. Add something to represent the growth that’s about to occur. I like to do this by adding a potted bulb or two. Hyacinths are great here because you’ll have both the flower and the bulb on your altar. Did I mention how amazing they smell?
Small trinkets which represent the season can be fun. I found a small brass rabbit at a fleamarket which I love and looks great among my spring flowers. Add a candle to represent the warmth and power of the sun.
One of the major decorations I always add to my altar is Ostara eggs. I’ll find a pretty branch outside and make an “Ostara tree” by hanging my painted eggs off it. It’s such a nice way to display your decorated eggs and encompasses everything about the season. Creativity, budding growth, new ideas and fertility of mind and body.
These are really fun to make. We always used to make them in my family for Easter, so it’s actually really nice to still be able to paint them now. There is an old folktale that the Goddess Ostara (or Eostre) saved a bird from dying by turning it into a hare, but didn’t complete the transformation and so the hare ended up being able to lay eggs. In gratitude for saving its life, the hare decorated the eggs it had laid and then gave them to the Goddess.
Another version of this story is that all the animals in the kingdom wanted to thank the Goddess Ostara for bringing them spring. The hare found an egg, which she desperately wanted to eat as they were rare and incredibly delicious. She made a sacrifice and chose to give it to the Goddess instead. As she went to give it to her, she realised that Ostara could have as many eggs as she wanted (because she’s a Goddess and can make anything she wants) so the hare decided to decorate the egg extravagantly instead. Ostara was so pleased with the hare’s gift that she made the hare her companion and now uses eggs as one of her symbols.
Make your own Ostara Eggs
If you want to decorate your own eggs to put on your Ostara altar, there are a few tips that can make it a little easier. I don’t decorate my eggs when they still have an actual egg in them. I’ve always painted eggs that have been blown out and dried instead. This means that you can not only hang them on a pretty branch on your Ostara altar, you can also keep them for more than one year, meaning if you make a particularly great one, it’s still ok to use the next year!
To make your own blown out eggs
- Make a smallish hole at the top and the bottom of an egg. Both holes should be as small, but you’ll soon realise they can’t be too small. Start with a 1mm hole and make it bigger if you need to. I tend to make the hole at the pointier end smaller and the one at the larger end a little bigger.
- Place your mouth over the top of the hole at the pointier end of the egg, and direct the bottom of the egg over a bowl. Blow as hard as you can. This might make your cheeks hurt.
- If the egg doesn’t come put, make the holes in your eggs incrementally bigger and keep blowing until the egg comes out.
- Run water through the eggshell, block both ends and shake the water inside to remove any residual egg otherwise it might not smell so great later which we don’t want!
- Dry the eggshell (or shells) out and get painting!
I like to use watercolours to paint my eggs as I like that they are a bit thinner and you can layer them nicely. Use whatever you want though. Maybe you want to coat it in glitter or glue gemstones onto it. It’s totally your choice!
When decorating, keep in mind that there are colours which are associated with Ostara so it might be nice to incorporate these in your egg decorations. I don’t purely use these colours although you could if you wanted to. Colours also have specific meanings, so you might want to have a theme for your eggs or paint them according to what you want to convey on your Ostara altar.
The magickal meanings of colours
|Red||Red is linked to the life cycle of birth, death and rebirth. It represents lust, desire, passion, courage and strength.|
|Orange||Another colour which can represent the sun, this is often used for attraction spells and friendship charms. If you are aiming to increase your willpower and drive, this is the colour for you.|
|Yellow||This colour represents creativity, communication and the power of the mind. It’s symbolic of the sun and its power and is of course linked to egg yolks.|
|Green||This is the colour of the earth in spring and summer. Use it to relate to abundance, prosperity, and fertility.|
|Blue||This represents the more psychic elements in magic. It’s linked to dreams, astral projection, sleep, peace and healing. Paler shades of blue are linked to early spring and to the triple goddess in her Maiden aspect.|
|Violet||This links to a more intense spirituality and is used when trying to communicate with the divine. It can represent deep sleep and spiritual communication as well as healing and discovering your past lives.|
|Pink||This represents spring and also romanticism and healing|
|White||If no other colour speaks to you, white is always a great all-purpose option! Use it for purification and healing.|
|Silver||Use this to reference the moon along with inner healing and the inner self.|
|Gold||Used for wealth and success in business. It also represents both sides of the divine and is symbolic of the sun.|
|Brown||This is the colour of the earth and animals and can help to ground you and intensify your connection the earth.|
|Black||Black is used to dispel negative energies and represents the Triple Goddess in her Crone aspect. This isn’t a particularly popular colour for Ostara eggs but I say go with what makes you happy, plus something to absorb or dispel negative energies is always a bonus!|
If you don’t feel like painting eggs, you can dye them with natural colours too! This is fun if you plan on making hard-boiled eggs to leave on your Ostara altar.
To dye eggs, pick a colour you like or whatever you have at home and make a strong “tea” by boiling the ingredient in water. Add vinegar, cream of tartar and salt to fix the dye into the eggshell. Soak the eggs in the “tea” until the colour you want has been achieved. Note that if you are boiling the eggs, either do this while they are still in the “tea” or expect to lose some of the colour in the shells.
Common ingredients to use as natural dyes
- Carrot tops – Yellow
- Tumeric – Yellow
- Dandelions – Orange
- Onion skins – Orange
- Paprika – Orange Brown
- Blackberries – Reddish Violet
- Red Cabbage – Blue
- Blueberries – Blue
- Cayenne Pepper – Rust
- Beetroot – Pink
I’m a fan of crystals and I know Amethyst LOVES them. They’re so pretty on any type of altar so I’ll normally add a couple of favourites to my Ostara altar too. Pick stones that stimulate creativity and growth. Amethyst is a good one, try and find a lighter purple geode to add. Rose quartz and tigers eye are also great additions.
Great crystals for your Ostara altar
- Carnelian; the stone of creativity.
- Tangerine Quartz; increases the flow of new ideas and brings playfulness and curiosity.
- Citrine; carries the power of the sun.
- Tigers eye; stabilises energies and harnesses the energy of the sun and the earth.
- Amethyst; provides emotional balance.
- Rose Quartz; brings harmony to your life.
- Jade; brings luck
- Obsidian; represents the duality of life and helps with finding balance.
Where to Set Up Your Altar
As with everything, this is very subjective! I tend to make my altar on the sideboard in my lounge as this way it’s not in the way of anything and I can put a couple of my smaller plants on it without them getting in the way. As I mentioned earlier, I like to go out and find a nice branch, either with a great shape or with some new leaves on it (preferably both) onto which I can hang some Ostara eggs. Having this in the lounge means I have a pretty altar to look at which I really like
If you have a garden, you could make a small altar outside in a quiet corner. This is a great way to connect with the spring and if you wanted to, and if it’s warm enough, you could plant a couple of bulbs rather than having them in pots. If you have an outside altar and you’re leaving eggs out, be prepared for them to have been eaten the next day because you never know what hungry critters are around. With an outdoor altar, I’d suggest not putting anything on it that might get ruined, so I’d skip the altar cloth.
Choose a spot that you feel good about. Maybe you get great morning light and can set your altar up to catch the first rays of the morning sun. Do you have a huge dining room table which you can use one end of? If you’re limited on space, why not make a small terrarium with some tiny crystals and a mini chocolate egg? Your altar options are endless so don’t think you have to follow a prescribed method or a certain format.
Wherever you situate your altar and whatever you do to decorate it, remember to have fun with it. This is a light, gentle and joyful Sabbat so your altar should represent that. If you aren’t feeling inspired, try heading out on a nature walk. Pick a couple of things along the way and voila, you’ve got the perfect Ostara altar decorations!
Other Activities for Ostara
Because this Sabbat is all about balancing energies and personal growth, why not try out some yoga? If you are feeling blocked and uncreative, how about rearranging your lounge furniture or bedroom so you have a more positive energy flow? Try using this as a kick in the butt to clean out that closet you’ve been avoiding for ages. Rearrange your kitchen so everything is easier to get to and a pleasure to use.
So my darlings, that’s it from me today! I hope I’ve given you a few helpful hints about how to set up your altars this Ostara.
Until next time,