The Pagan Grove has a great post up about Eostre the Goddess for last week’s “E” post. I don’t know that I can do half as good a job as she has done with the subject, so you should definitely go read her post! An excerpt about Esotre herself:
Eostre is a rather elusive deity. In the lore, She is attested to only by the Venerable Bede in De Temporum Ratione, where he talks about the Anglo-Saxon month of Ēostermōnaþ; claiming it is named for the Goddess Eostre who was honored that month. Normally, if all the evidence we had for a deity was one post-conversion scholar, I would probably dismiss it. But the curious thing about Eostre is, though Her existence is not attested to by other authors or place-names, She is rather easy to trace through the etymology of Her name.
According to Ceisiwr Serith, an expert on Proto-Indo-European religious reconstruction based on linguistics, there was probably a PIE Goddess whose name was similar to Xáusōs – in fact, She’s one of the only PIE Goddesses we can pin down. Her name, and probably Her functions, are the etymological source of many Indo-European Goddesses, such as Eos, Aurora, Saule, and our Goddess, Eostre. This indicates that She is a Goddess related to the dawn – to the liminal time between light and dark – but it does not tell us anything specific about an association with the spring. No other Indo-European dawn Goddesses that I could find have specific spring associations. However, Bede tells us that the entire month (near our modern-day April) was named after Her. Her association with the season was apparently so strong in Anglo-Saxon England that Her name supplanted the more traditional, and Christian, European name for Easter (variations of Paschal).
I connect to Eostre for the spring equinox (even though her official month is probably in April), as a goddess of spring and of the dawn. She is a liminal goddess for a liminal time – the change between dark and light, winter into summer. I ask for her blessings on my new endeavors for the year and for all the things I plant and grow (even if I plant them pretty far before April).
I have a copy of Pagan Goddesses in the Early Germanic World that I have not yet read, but it’s getting close and closer to the top of the (ever-growing) stack. It focuses on Eostre, Hreda, and the Matrones, and so I am hoping it will be very useful in my personal practice.