Happy Eostra or whatever you like to call it!
There are many schools of thought but I think most historians would agree that Easter was originally a pagan festival.
The word Easter is of Saxon origin (Eastra) and is associated with the Goddess of Spring Eostre (also known as Ostara), in whose honour sacrifices were offered around the time of Passover each year.
Eostre is the Goddess of fertility and spring time and was the original bouncy bunny girl. She has her own festival on 21 March which is the Spring Equinox. She’s celebrated as the bringer of sunlight and balance between night and daytime hours. She’s a powerful lady to call on if you want to increase your fruitfulness, fertility or if you want help to embark on new ventures and ideas.
So where does the Easter Bunny come in? You may well ask, I’ve often wondered about that myself. Certainly, there is one thing we all know bunnies are famous for …
The hare is a major symbol for fertility and abundance as the hare is able to conceive while pregnant. Over the centuries the symbol of the hare at Eostra has become the Easter Bunny who brings eggs to children on Easter morning, the Christian day of rebirth and resurrection.
The Celts believed that the Goddess Eostre’s favourite animal and spirit guide was the hare. Representing love, fertility and growth, the hare was also associated with the moon, dawn and Easter, death, redemption and resurrection. Legend has it that Eostre changed into a hare at the full moon.
I’m sure you’ve noticed that Easter changes each year. That always baffled me as a kid. Actually, the date is chosen to correspond with the first Sunday following the full moon after the March equinox and occurs on different dates around the world since western churches use the Gregorian calendar, while eastern churches use the Julian calendar. How interesting and cool that Easter’s timing is governed by the phases of the moon. How pagan is that?
Lots of fun things about Easter are pagan. Exchange of eggs is an ancient custom, celebrated by many cultures around the world. The egg is another symbol of new life, fertility and rebirth. The tradition of painting hard-boiled eggs during spring time pre-dates Christianity, its thousands of years old. I used to love decorating our eggs as a kid but who wants a boiled egg nowadays when you can have chocolate eggs?
Talking about chocolate eggs, here’s a fun thing you can do with yours. Ever thought about doing a chocolate reading?
I always do this with my Kinder Surprise eggs. I do it with fortune cookies too but in honour of Easter why not try a chocolate egg reading?
To do a reading you will need a regular Kinder Surprise egg. Hold it in your hand and think of a question or area in your life where you want some guidance. Ask your question, make sure it’s an open question, ie not one where the answer would be a ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
Unwrap your egg and open your gift to reveal your answer. As you enjoy the chocolate and build the toy, think about what the toy is and how it relates to your question. You’re going to need a bit of imagination for this, but as every good mystic will tell you, your intuition is strongly connected to your imagination. Go for it!
I did this the other night, and asked which direction my career would take me. I’ve been thinking about getting back into art and have a few ideas for creative projects I’m throwing around in my mind.
I opened my egg and found a bright orange goofy looking standing rabbit. Each of its paws has a coloured pencil tip, two orange and two blue.
So, what did I have here?
A rabbit (abundance, fertile mind, new creative ideas, success ventures, an opportune time to make changes). The bunny being a symbol of Easter, might this be a good time to start my projects? The crayon arms and legs – a reference to drawing and art? Well, I’ll take that! The colours are complementary on the colour wheel, orange and blue – so there’s balance. I’m taking that as a positive.
Since the rabbit itself is so orange, I searched for the meaning of the colour orange and found:
“Orange is associated with meanings of joy, warmth, heat, sunshine, enthusiasm, creativity, success, encouragement, change, determination, health, stimulation, happiness, fun, enjoyment, balance, freedom, expression, and fascination.”
What will your chocolate egg tell you?