Spring is coming - and we shift into a new equinox - Ostara/Eostra.
During this equinox there is a change of energy and optimism in the air - we all feel it, it awakens our senses and puts a literal spring in our step. After resting and hibernating in winter during the solstice of Yule, awakening during Imbolc - a time to plan and prepare; we can now invest our energies into putting such plans to action and grow the seeds we had sown.
Named after the germanic goddess who had the head of a hare, Ostara/Eostra represents dawn, renewal, rebirth and fertility. She oversees fresh life associated with spring, when bulbs and buds start to bloom, when birds start to lay their eggs, and when animals get into mating season!
This is the time of year where night and day are of equal length, and with that - dawn and dusk are balanced; coincidently, this is when hares are most active.
Eostra is what Easter has evolved out of, along with its symbolism of rabbits and eggs. Folklore has contradicted and changed over the years, but the general theme is that the hare was actually a bird, the goddess transformed it into a hare in order to be more hardy, to withstand the colds of winter. To honour its previous existance, the hare was able to lay eggs to herald in the beginning of spring.
Conversly Eostra is thought to be the origins of eostrogen - a female fertility hormone.
Embracing Eostra - our own inner hare!
The hare carries alot of symbolism - too much to include here, primarily they are linked to the moon and represent fertility (female hares can still conceive when pregnant). The moon is thought to die each morning, yet rises each night - it is reborn. It is believed that the hare is immortal, it holds the energy, vitality, and full moon of life. In dawn and dusk, hares have an ability to be between worlds, and were believed to be magical creatures
Some herbs to consider...
Many herbs are starting to peak through, I'm seeing a few come up at work which always brings me joy. It's a reassurance to see them again - and like old friends I often stop and say hello!
Cleavers: Using fresh plant is best, it clears the lymphatic system (where most of our immune cells live), boosts the blood, and supports the kidneys. Cleavers are considered to be a spring cleaning herb
Chickweed: A cooling herb that can be eaten fresh, juiced, or decocted (boiled in a pan of water for at least 30 mins), this is also thought to cleanse the blood and lymphatic system. A poultice can be made and applied topically to the skin where there is irritation. It is also thought to aid in constipation - a clearing herb!
Nettles: A nutritious iron rich herb that again boosts the blood (there is a theme emerging here!), used for anaemia, and which is great for convelescence (or like winter hibernation), it supports the kidneys, can be used to reduce inflammation seen in ailments such as eczema, and osteoarthritis.
*These will all be coming up in more detail in the near future, as always seek guidence from a qualified herbalist/naturopath. Plants may be natural, but they are not always safe*
Make some time to welcome in Ostara/Eostra, in whatever way that may be, even if it is (and I have to add this in most of my blog posts) just taking the time to indulge in a nice cup of herbal tea!
Emma is passionate about promoting good health, and likes to keep things simple. She enjoys yoga, meditation & being outdoors, yet likes to indulge in coffee, wine & cake - Everything in moderation!