Five ways to celebrate Easter

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Five ways to celebrate Easter

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 any barriers that may divide us based on religious conflict and unite in the joy and hope of new life and return of the light. 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.

Christian Easter Sunday culminates Holy Week celebrations and is generally a joyous, festive time as it brings to a close a preceding 40 day period of fasting, penance, and prayer. Easter is closely linked with the Jewish Passover, both in terms of symbolism and due to when it lands on the calendar. Passover is an important week-long Jewish holiday that celebrates the liberation of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery. Easter, Passover, Ostara and spring all carry the theme of transformative new beginnings. Regardless of our specific beliefs, we can all relate to the timeless desire to relieve our suffering and begin a new life, liberated from previous constraints. We all, at times, dream of being born anew.

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!

Here are five ways to celebrate Easter:

Meditation and Prayer. Greet this day with a meditation and prayer – prayers for wisdom and guidance to be shown your own path to transcendence. Give thanks for all your blessings, and ask to be shown where you may serve others. Spend as much time as possible outdoors.

Dyeing Easter Eggs. Christianity’s Easter sprouted from the pagan feast of Ostara or Oestre, which celebrated the Germanic/Saxon spring goddess of light. The importance of the egg, which is a symbol of new life, has always been shared amongst the various and ancient sects and cultures around the Earth. We honor nature as she offers the first blooms of the new year by dyeing eggs with the vibrant colors and patterns of spring. First, protect your work station with newspaper or paper bags. Add one teaspoon of vinegar in one cup of boiling water and 20 drops of food coloring in a heatproof bowl. Dip your hard-boiled egg in the bowl until the color has completely saturated the egg. Remove and allow your eggs to dry on the covered surface.

Easter Egg hunt. Easter egg hunts have been around for centuries! The Easter Bunny is the signature symbol of Easter for many people of varying religious traditions. This grew from the Easter Hare of old, that was noted for its magical fertility. Pagans believed that Eostre’s rabbits laid eggs all around the Earth, signifying the emergence of spring. In celebration, adults hide their beautifully dyed easter eggs in the pockets of their chosen area – mostly in nature – and children hunt to find them. The child with the highest amount of eggs, wins.

Sunrise Services. Easter is also the end of the Lenten season, where Christians give up one of their vices for 40 days – starting from Ash Wednesday until Good Friday. At the end this period, they honor their dedication by attending the church of their choice at sunrise, where they are encouraged to make a wish as a reward for their penance. Easter is a powerful day, and no matter what your beliefs, I encourage you to step into the sanctuary of your choice. It’s important on this holiday, to 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.

Egg Knocking. The egg tournament! So you’ve dyed your eggs in beautiful, bright colors and displayed them inside your woven easter baskets. Dinner time is almost over and your eggs have one more use before the day is over. Egg knocking, or tapping, is a traditional easter game where guests are invited to battle their eggs by tapping their opponents eggs. Test your eggs, see which one is the firmest, strongest egg, and pick your opponent. Grab your egg by the pointy end and tap. Whichever egg cracks first is disqualified. And on and on it goes until one egg is left standing.

In light, love, and transcendence,
Athena

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