I always think back to my childhood, and this was a story I was told and it has always stuck with me, its a beautiful story. Like any old Myth, everybody tells it differently. So here is my version of the story of the Goddess Ostara and the Snow Hare.
As she walks along a lonely stretch of path, in amongst the darkening, leaf deprived, snow ridden trees in a woodland not fair from where she lay. The Goddess Ostara can’t help but feel mortified she was late for spring, the only time she had ever been late. The woodland from where she grew was the most beautiful and bountiful setting she had ever known. Being the goddess of fertility it was her duty and her love to bring that bounty, to bring the beauty of the spring flowers and grant the trees their leaves that were their clothing and their dignity again. The idea of being late in bringing them those luxuries, those things that were there natural right had disgusted her.
While walking through a dead-beaten track, with mounds of grass either side of her and the disgruntled trees beside of them, she couldn’t help but notice a lot of fuss and rustling coming from afar. After walking cautiously towards the sound of what she could only describe as a something fussing about in the snow, she found a bird. Not just any old bird but a Magpie. This Magpie had been there for a while, its feathers had been parted by the wet and looked ragged and sodden. The poor thing looked very resentful Ostara could not leave this bird here, with its frozen wings and unable to fly. It was her fault that the bird was in this down trodden state, But what could she do. After much deliberation ostara decided to take the bird as her pet. The bird though, was still in agony after having his wings frozen by the snow. Ostara, being the powerful goddess she was and having the ability to turn winter into spring and bring fertility with it, used her ability to not only turn winter into spring where she stood after wallowing in self pity. She also miraculously turns that single magpie into a snow hare.
She felt for a small time that she had done the best she could, but at heart That snow hare was still a bird, she decided to leave the hare with its old ability to lay eggs…But this time, he lay eggs of all colours, This was not only honouring his previous life but also gifting him an ability after she shortly found him to be her one and only lover.
As her lover the goddess and the hare had many a fun time in the woodland not far from were she had begun her journey, But she new as a snow hare they all had a tendency to stray far from the path. She was not to find out for a long time, precisely how far the hare had strayed from the path she had set out for him.
Not long before autumn was about to hatch again, she had found out about an affair the randy hare was pursuing. She was utterly outraged and felt she had been betrayed and was feeling quite the same way the trees had done before. In a fit of anger the goddess took the hare and threw him as high in the air as she could. The hare, being light and easily swingable to the goddess he had ended up in the night sky. The hare, now and forever seated at the feet of the constellation Orion. If you look hard enough, you can see a constellation now known as LEPUS – the hare. There and forever the randy hare will stay, for his betrayal to the goddess was far greater then her guilt of being late. The goddess now disgruntled to love and the hare, has been late every year out of spite for what happened. Still she brings fertility and abundance, but never at the right time.