I’ve got to say, around this time of year, altars can get very fancy.
They’ve got loads of cool and intriguing items on them — flowers, antiques, incredible athames, and homemade wands.
My altar, on the other hand, tends to be pretty chill. I have the same items that I switch out time and time again, and many of the same items stay on the altar all year round. For example, my candle of feminine energy (goddess candle) and my candle of masculine energy (god candle) stay there all year. The grapevine circle behind them is also a staple. And the tree branch that I found outside some time last spring has made it through the whole year as well. I might have to rethink it soon since it’s incredibly brittle by this point, but at the moment I’m still enjoying it. Plus it’s a great place to hang my Witchy necklaces and other jewelry.
For my Ostara altar, we have some of the typical symbols of springtime, along with some fun little touches. Honestly, though, I don’t know if this is the final product or the epitome of an Ostara altar. If I had the time and the resources to really get an amazing altar going (and if it were a slightly bigger table), I’d love to make something really impressive. As it is right now — well, this is what I’m working with.
I’m sure all of you frugal Witches will understand.
As you can see, my altar cloth is pink and stripey, bringing to mind the pastels of the springtime. Unfortunately, where I live, there is still a boatload of snow on the ground…but the Sabbat represents the ideal, in a way. Next,
we’ve got some of my other lovely staples: an incense burner, a myriad of candles, the central cauldron, and a
displayed Tarot card. The Tarot card I wanted to display for Ostara is Temperance, which is, for me, a symbol of balance.
Balance is actually a very important part of Ostara (it being the vernal equinox, and therefore the time when daylight hours and nighttime hours are roughly equal). I tried to show balance and contrast a few different ways with my altar. Of course, the goddess and god candles are balanced on their own. However, we’ve also got a small white tealight candle and a small black tealight candle in the forefront, with some crystals that represent Ostara, divided by their light and dark counterparts. (I was supposed to have two on each side but my moonstone is somewhere in the jumble of everything in my room.)
Then, of course, we have the rabbit. Rabbits are, as most of us know from years of Easter decorations, a symbol of this time of year — as are eggs. This little rabbit started its life as an Easter decoration in the home of my great aunt. When I was a kid, we made plans to visit my grandparents for Easter and my great aunt (who lived in the same town) was invited to come to Easter services with us. On Easter morning, she said she didn’t feel well and stayed home. When my grandparents went to check on her later, she had passed away in her bed. It seems strange now, but we all gathered at her home after she had been taken out and ended up taking mementos with us. One thing I chose was this little rabbit snow globe, since she had her Easter decorations out. I’ve kept it all these years and now he has his place on my altar — a symbol of fertility, life, hope, and new beginnings, even though the woman who once owned him is no longer here.
Among the other things on my altar are spring-scented and brightly-colored candles, my full moon candle that is standing in place of an egg-shaped one, dried roses, and feathers. These are just things that seem to bring to mind the inevitable brightness of the season.
Lastly, I can’t forget the little Irish touches that I have on my tree branch. Although I’m not Irish (that I know about), I love the history of the British Isles, and I obviously celebrate the Celtic Sabbats. That means I also look forward to St. Patrick’s Day. I know that it’s a very controversial day for Pagans — St. Patrick drove the “snakes,” in other words the pagans, out of Ireland, after all — but I can’t help but enjoy the way that, for a day, everyone appreciates the mystery and myth of the Emerald Isle as much as I do all the time. This year, we plan to host our neighbors for a traditional dinner (I’ll be eating a vegan version), and I made a playlist of Irish traditional music that’s nearly two hours long. I do love Spotify.
I hope you all enjoyed reading about my Ostara altar. It’s been such a blessing to be able to expand my path and make it more open as time goes on. My mom even jokingly called me a “Wiccan” the other day (I don’t identify as a Wiccan specifically…but it’s a start).