Normally Easter falls right after Ostara and the equinox, but this year it’s later. Did you wonder why? Well, Easter falls on the first Sunday following the first full moon following the vernal equinox. But, by ecclesiastical rules, the equinox is fixed on March 21. That mean this week’s full moon did not take place after the equinox, even though, according to astronomy, it did. The upshot is that 2019’s East Sunday will fall on April 21.
By the way, the name Easter is as pagan as it gets, named after Eostre, the virgin goddess of spring in ancient Germany. The lily, appropriated as a Christian symbol of death, was a symbol of life in pagan Greece and Rome, where it adorned Ostara altars and temples. Young men, playing the role of the lusty young God, would present them to the women they were courting. Accepting the lily meant much the same thing as accepting a diamond ring does now. And that’s why lilies are used so often in bride’s bouquets.
The idea of wearing new clothes at Easter also came from an earlier Teutonic pagan tradition. It was considered the worst of luck to wear one’s spring clothing before Ostara, and the Teutons would work through the winter in secret to prepare elegant outfits for the Sabbat celebration.
The lamb is another symbol of Ostara, and was sacred to virtually all the virgin goddesses of Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. This symbol was so ingrained in the minds of the people of those regions that it was carried over into the spring religious rituals of the Jewish Passover and Christian Easter.
The modern belief that these eggs are delivered by a rabbit known as the Easter Bunny, comes from the legend of the Goddess Eostre. So much did a lowly rabbit wish to please these goddess that he laid the sacred eggs in her honor, gaily decorated them, and then humbly presented them to her. Eostre was so pleased with her gift that she ordered the rabbit to go throughout the world and deliver these little gifts of life.
If you’d like to use natural dyes for your eggs this year, try these:
Orange – Paprika, onion skins (1 is enough for orange; more makes a copper color)
Red – Red onion skins, Cayenne
Violet – Purple grape juice, red raspberries, beet juice
Green – carrot tops
Blue – Blueberries
Pink – Heather
Here are the pagan meanings of the colors:
Red - new life, sexuality, root chakra, Mother Goddess, war, fire.
Orange – God, attraction, summer. Naval chakra
Yellow – Creativity, knowledge, intellect, Solar God, solar plexus chakra
Green – Earth Mother, fertility, prosperity, money, earth, heart chakra
Blue – Healing, peace, astral projection, air, spring, throat chakra
Indigo – Past lives, healing, third eye chakra
White – purification, Virgin Goddess, crown chakra
Pink – Romantic love, peace
If you celebrate Easter, consider this your holiday blessing early.
And if you just want a reason to laugh and be happy, March 25 is Hilaria, or Laughing Day in Rome. Originating from the rituals of Cybele and Attis, Laughing Day is the original Eastern Easter celebration of the resurrection of the Earth. So, go to a comedy club, laugh at least seven times, and make a joke of yourself. Just what the Goddess ordered!