The Spring Equinox is a time of balance - winter and spring.
On Ostara the hours of day and night are equal - this is the first day of true spring, as light is overtaking darkness.
Even the name Easter comes from the Saxon Goddess Eostra. She is the Goddess of innocence and enchantments, the Goddess of rebirth and renewal; resurrection after the death of winter.
The Teutonic people so loved this beautiful Goddess, that they refused to allow the Church to degrade Her to the rank of a demon, like many of their other Goddesses and Gods had been.
Instead, they transferred Her name to the Christian feast of Easter. It had long been a custom to exchange presents and brightly colored eggs on this day. Some of the eggs even contained symbols of life on them.
The Christians decided to continue to celebrate this day, but declared that the egg was symbolic of the Resurrection.
In various parts of Germany, stone alters can still be seen, which are known as Easterstones, being dedicated to the fair Goddess Ostara. The alters are covered with flowers, while the young dance around them laughing, full of the energy of spring.
In Northern Europe, traditional Easter egg painting still reproduces the ancient sacred motifs of their culture. Eggs encircled with lines which bind in the energy, and symbolize the eternal circle of life. The tangled thread pattern, binding in the energies is a common motif, as are grids, which serve a magickal function. The eightfold heavenly star and sun wheels commemorate the seasonal cycle.
The eggs are first boiled, then painted red. We then decorate our Ostara eggs with the Sunwheel symbol in gold, and a rune in green.
While drawing the Sunwheel we are reminded of the balance that represents this holiday - the balance that Mother Earth is in need of. While drawing the circle, we are reminded of the continuance - neither a beginning nor an end.
These are given to friends and family; all of them knowing the meaning behind the symbols. We then draw a rune over the Sunwheel. This rune is a symbol of what we are planting, what we plan on doing this year.
One is then 'planted' or given to the Mother Earth.
Today we honor Eostra, new beginnings and the Mother Earth Goddesses: Frigga, Sif and Nerthus.