What Easter means to me
As many of you know, I was raised in the Christian tradition. I was taught that Easter is a celebration of the rise of Jesus Christ after his crucifixion – his transcendence of the pain of this material world. This celebration of transcendence is beautiful no matter what religious tradition you choose to follow. I honor and appreciate many holidays of varying tradition, for all they add some unique facet to the jewel of my personal practice. Holy-days are steeped in traditions and wisdom, often with shared roots amongst the various and ancient sects and cultures around the Earth. So it is with Easter.
I greet this day with a meditation and prayer – prayers for wisdom and guidance to be shown my own path to transcendence. I give thanks for all my blessings, and ask to be shown where I may serve others. I spend as much time as possible outdoors to honor and commune with Nature as she offers the first blooms of the new year. This is the perfect day to really ground yourself, tapping into the Ostara energy of rebirth and renewal rising from the Earth. The days are lengthening, snow is melting, animals are awakening from winter rest, and trees are beginning to bloom. The very scent in the air uplifts and encourages growth.
A brief history of Easter
Christianity’s Easter sprouted from the pagan feast of Ostara or Oestre, which celebrated the Germanic/Saxon spring goddess of light. To learn more about her and my Ostara ritual you can read here. As it was in the Old Testament of the Bible, much of the non-English speaking world currently names Easter by various derivatives of the Greek and Latin Pascha – a name by which Jesus himself is remembered in the Orthodox Church, especially in connection with his Easter celebration. The resurrection of Jesus is the foundation of the Christian faith; this is what established him as the Son of God in the eyes of the early church.
In the time of the Roman Empire, the rapidly growing Christian Church was converting followers on a wide scale. Many followers of the Old Ways did not willingly convert. Often the church would incorporate the Pagan feast days and traditions into the new calendar in the hopes that this would appease Pagan-based practitioners, allowing for more willing conversions. This is where many of the Easter traditions of the western world grew from. Many Christians attend mass and prayer in honor of Jesus’s transcendence. People dye eggs (a universal symbol of fertility and birth), and have Easter egg hunts for children. Many ancient traditions dye eggs in celebration, including Zoroastrianism. There are Easter baskets filled with treats for children and adults. The Easter Bunny is the signature symbol of American Easter for many people of varying religious tradition, and this grew from the Easter Hare of old, that was noted for its magical fertility. Easter is a powerful day no matter what your beliefs, and I have created a variety of magical Easter offerings for every member of your family. You can find them here.
Why celebrate Easter
Easter celebration is a moveable feast day. This means that depending on the cycles of the moon, and where in the world you may be, the date of Easter varies from year to year. Our calendar follows the cycles of the sun, but Easter is based on the lunisolar Hebrew calendar. The influence of the moon on the date is enough of a reason to incorporate an Easter tradition into your magical practice!
Easter is a union of traditions; this beautiful holiday honors rebirth, renewal, nature, and transcendence. Around the world, people of varying religious beliefs take part in their own traditions on this day, while those of you who may be less affiliated with one particular faith celebrate nature and the return of spring. At this time I like to center my focus on transcending the pain, strife, and barriers that may divide us based on religious conflict. I invite you to join me in this focused intention. Use this time to set your intentions for growth. Take this day as a tribute to your ever-changing beautiful nature, reminiscent of that same nature of the earth. Honor your ability to rise up from everything that would tether you to the material realm. Name this ability and use it to rise above the pain, limitations, and challenges that would otherwise prevent your path to transcendence.
And so it is – in light, love, and transcendence,