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Easter, Paganism & Christianity

Easter for me is radically different than it is for many people I suspect. When I was a little girl in the very fundamentalist cult, we didn’t celebrate pagan holidays which included Christmas and Easter. Pagan was synonymous with evil in my parent’s eyes.

After I left home I let go of any religious affiliation of any kind and eventually found my own truth.

The so-called Pagan holidays have a new meaning for me. In my new awareness, Easter is a celebration the resurrection of life. It is a celebration of life renewing itself as it does each spring. It is a celebration of the magic of renewal as life rises from the darkness and into the light. It is a celebration of the Divine Feminine resurrecting life through all things. This has been the celebration since the time when humans first made the correlation between the phases of the sun and the moon and life sprouting from the earth.

eostreFor those of you who like to dig into the evolution of belief, one of my favorite subjects, Eostre is the Germanic Goddess of Spring. Also known as Ostara or Eastre, She gave Her name to the Christian festival of Easter (which is an older Pagan festival appropriated by the Church), whose timing is still dictated by the Moon. Modern pagans celebrate Her festival on the Vernal Equinox, usually around March 21, the first day of Spring. Christianity celebrates it on the first Sunday after the first full moon, following the spring equinox – that’s about as Pagan as one can get.

Eostre is connected with renewal and fertility. Eggs and rabbits are sacred to Her, as is the full moon, since the ancients saw in its markings the image of a rabbit or hare. She is also a dawn goddess, and may be related to the Greek Goddess of the dawn Eos. She is shown here at dawn, quickening the land, while the full moon sets behind Her.  (image by Thalia Took)

It is no coincidence that the Christian church chose this time of year to celebrate rising of Jesus from the darkness of death in the cycle of life, or that his people celebrated the passing over of death for a second chance at life in their Passover traditions.

All of it celebrates one thing and that one thing is gratitude for life and its renewal.

Spring is life renewing itself as it strives to flourish and thrive. I wish you a very Happy and Abundant Spring!

Until next time, be Fearless, Fabulous and Free!
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