OSTARA is the Scandinavian goddess of spring who symbolized the rebirth of Nature. During her festival it was the Pagan custom to exchange colored eggs as symbols of renewal. Her sacred animal was the hare. Many modern Wiccans point to the festival of Ostara as the origins of the various aspects of the Easter celebration. In some modern traditions of Wicca/Witchcraft the festival of the Spring Equinox is called Ostara. A form of this goddess name appears on such early Christian works as the De Temporum Ratione unter the title "Eostre" (Ostre), who was the Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring. In this text we find a connection between the German word Ostern, denoting an Eastern orientation, and the word "Easter."
Thus the related goddess Ostre (Ostara) can be seen as a goddess of the East and therefore of the dawn. Modern Easter celebrations include a sunrise ceremony symbolic of the resurrection from death symbolized by the dawn. As the goddess of the East, Eostre was worshipped at this quarter of rebirth as the maiden aspect of Triformis, the Three-fold Goddess.
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