The Contemporary New England Witch

The Contemporary New England Witch
Ms Faith

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Easter . . . Why Bunnies, Baby Chicks and Eggs? They're all Pagan Really!

Good Afternoon,

The Christian holiday of Easter is right around the corner, and as Pagans we are getting ready to celebrate a much older, ancient forerunner of the Easter holiday. As Pagans we celebrate Ostara, the Spring Equinox. There's a lot happening with this sacred Holy day, let me tell you what I know.

The Spring Equinox is a day when the hours of light and darkness are equal. This will happen, this year, on Friday, March 20th, coinciding with a new moon.  Also, the ancient holiday (or Holy day) for Pagan people this time of year was Eostre. This was the Spring Equinox. Over the years this became the Sabbat of Ostara.

Many who follow my discussions here at "The Life and Times of A Contemporary New England Witch" already know that many Pagan holidays were absorbed by early Christians and made their own. This is true of All Hallow's Eve, and All Soul's Day which surround our Samhain on November 1st, as well as Christmas which is near our Yule in December around the 25th. Well the same holds true for Easter.

What you may not know is that the word Easter itself is taken from the letters of the Pagan Sabbat Eostre. Besides being at the time of the equinox, Ostara and Easter arrive at a time, on the agricultural calendar of the Wheel of the Year, when the spring grass is greening in the fields. The baby chicks are being born in the barn yards, baby bunnies are being born in the fields and birds are laying eggs in nests in the trees. It is a time of renewal and rebirth. One correlation between the Pagan Sabbat of Ostara  and the Christian Holy Day of Easter is the 'renewal' or rising of Jesus Christ after being entombed for three days. The number three also has many sacred meanings and symbolism for Pagans and Christians alike.

But whether you celebrate one or the other, we each of us find ourselves, celebrating the return of springtime after, this year especially, a long, hard winter. I think we can all agree on this one point.

 I like that the holiday of Easter has kept a lot of it's Pagan symbolism. If you can find yourself coming from a place where being Pagan isn't considered evil, merely different, it allows for a larger, broader, more complete holiday where everyone can gather and come together in celebration. In truth we have all been celebrating this spring holiday together for thousands of years.

I'm glad we still can celebrate it together. It is one holiday that is a beautiful amalgamation of both sides, both beliefs and understandings. So hard boil and color your eggs, decorate your house with images of rabbits, bunnies and chicks and gather together to welcome in the spring, the renewal of Life and enjoy one another.


Peace and Happiness and Happy Ostara, Eostre and Easter to you all! Ms. Faith


 

© 2010-2015 Faith M. McCann. Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. Please note that the copying and/or further distribution of this work without express written permission is prohibited.

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