Pagan Blog Project 2013 - E is for Easter

Today I decided to go ahead and do E is for Easter.  When you Google Easter the following definition appears – “The most important and oldest festival of the Christian Church, celebrating the resurrection of Christ.”  However a Christian scholar stated that the name Easter was actually named after Eostre, the great Mother Goddess of the Saxons in Northern Europe. The name was derived from the ancient word for spring – eastre.

Many religious cultures have a resurrection story associated with them, Osiris for example.  The stories of all religions seem to cross over and mash into a very common thread. 
To me I never really understood how Christians could take the obvious Pagan symbolism of holidays like Easter and Yule and incorporate them into their own festivals and not see the links to paganism.

In research for this post, I found out that apparently early Christians stained eggs in order to represent the blood sacrifice of Jesus or the shell is somehow representative of the tomb.  However coloring eggs predates Christianity in a spring celebration called No Ruz, the Zorostrian new year.  In Iran, a mother eats one colored egg for every child she has.  Again here, the goddess Eostre, is a fertility goddess which is a classic association with eggs.

As a child growing up in the south and raised as southern Baptist one of the most visited church days was Easter Sunday.  Everyone gets all dressed up in their new shoes and new dresses and head out to church.  Fancy homes had Easter Bonnets to wear.  The constant contradictions in my world related to religion left me thinking that Easter was a time when a bunny came out and rolled a big chocolate egg out of the way of a tomb so that a man could rise from the dead, and then head out to heaven again.  And if I were good, and blessed, Jesus would make sure we had food, fancy cars and Easter Bonnets.

Needless to say that’s not what happened.  My mother’s “friend” always bought my sister and me our Easter dresses and we got our candy from my mom and grandma.  

Here I am with my mother's "friend".  He always brought us pretty Easter dresses and cracker jacks.  He was a really nice man.  I'm the one sitting on the seat.

Photo Credit - Renee Olson

Here I am with my grandma, I'm the one sitting closet to the basket.
Photo Credit - Renee Olson

Here I am below, I'm the one on the right, sitting so lady-like.  (LOL)

Photo Credit - Renee Olson

Every year I always checked my basket for a stuffed bunny.  I wanted one so bad.   When I turned 8 or 9, when my mother told me that I was too old to get Easter anymore; that year she gave my two younger sisters stuffed bunnies.  After I told my hubby this story, the first 3 years we were together, he always came home with a stuffed bunny for me at Easter.

Today, I celebrate spring.  I go outside and enjoy the day.  I welcome Mother Earth and the plants coming back to life.  I don’t get chocolate eggs or an Easter Bonnet but I do get the joy of having my own fresh eggs from my hens outside and getting set to plant my garden.
How do you celebrate?

Namaste and Blessed Be

1 comment

Gemmi Fuchsbau said...

Very nice! I read the legend of the chocolate cave blocked with an egg and the blessings of fancy cars and bonnets to my Jewish honey, Bearded Bob! We both loved this post!
What a hero that Easter Bunny is!