Archive for Easter

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!

She is Risen

Knowing what I now know through listening to my inner truth, Easter has a whole new meaning from what I once believed. For me it is a celebration of the Divine Feminine.

As a little girl I was taught that Easter was a Pagan holiday and should not be celebrated. Although I had no idea what “Pagan” meant, it was clear by the way my parents talked about it that was evil and it was something to fear. In the tiny commune of my childhood only holidays that were sanctioned by our unique brand of religion were recognized and celebrated. We celebrated the death and resurrection of Jesus on the 6th of April every year, rather than following the phases of the sun and moon that determine Easter’s dates.Resurrecting Divine Feminine

By the time I reached high school the eggs, bunnies and other Pagan Easter traditions could no longer be squelched, although for many years I felt very confused about what bunnies and eggs and phases of the moon had to do with The Christ’s resurrection. As I began researching what I call “the evolution of belief,” I began to understand how Christian holidays merged with pre-existing traditions that celebrated and worshiped the Mother. Individuals were allowed to keep their traditions if they disavowed their beliefs and became Christian, or succumb to death for not conforming.  As religion came to rule the world, humans began to see worshiping the Divine Feminine as something to fear, feminine gifts were considered witchcraft and all things feminine were reduced to near nothingness. The more than men and their religions ruled the world the less valuable women and spirituality became.

Unfortunately, in our collective evolution, much of humanity stopped recognizing the Divine Feminine when man created God in man’s image.  Slowly She almost ceased to exist. Were in not for the indigenous peoples and polytheistic beliefs, we may have destroyed Her, and ourselves, altogether.

This time of year is a celebration of the Divine Feminine, whether we recognize it or not. Easter is celebration of the return of warmth and renewal. It is a celebration of
the nurturing, loving, healing, giving Mother. It is a celebration of the birthing and renewing life. It is a celebration of the Earth restoring life in all of Her abundance. It is a celebration of Her generosity and unconditional love. It is a celebration of the light and hope for the future. It is a recognition of our own resurrection and ascension in the cycle of life.

Each year when we celebrate all of the Goddesses represented by Easter traditions, and the resurrection of Jesus in Christianity, we are celebrating life being restored to it’s fullness as new life emerges from the depths of the earth to live again, renewed and whole it is perfection. We are celebrating Her resurrection.

Love is rising!  

Victoria Reynolds Signature