Friday, March 20, 2009

Blessed Easter, Happy Spring!

(spring pentacle by Jane Brideson )

As a Pagan family, Alex and I made the decision years ago to honor our spiritual path and celebrate the Vernal Equinox by welcoming back the Hare, the goddess Eostre and all life renewed. It never made sense to us to celebrate the Christian interpretation of Easter, wrought with pagan symbolism--eggs, bunnies, lambs, flowers--when we aren't Christian. It seemed inauthentic to us to adhere to a moveable date, that Christians aren't even agreed to and that is centered on an assassination, hmm. So, instead we celebrate during the vernal equinox, March 21. We have a tradition of welcoming the Hare (for an interesting look at the symbolism of the Hare, look here ), who leaves baskets for Olivia and Adam. Then the kids go searching for painted eggs, hidden outside if the weather is nice or in, if it is not, as so often is the case in mid-March, ie, mud season, in Maine. I decorate our mantle (our altar) with painted eggs, vintage Easter cards and fresh flowers.
For us, Easter is a celebration or new life, color, spring's renewal, equal days and nights and fertility of the body and mind. Welcome Spring, Blessed Easter!

(Ostara artist unknown)

(from the Bradstreet vintage Easter card collection)


  1. I have to say that as a Christian, EVEN I have always struggled with celebrating the Christian version of Easter. I have spent a lot of time studying the origins of Holidays and have many issues with how they are celebrated today. In order for our children to feel a part of something and not left out of all the celebrating, I finally caved in a little though. We decorate our house now based on the Seasons and try to be extra conscious about not getting caught up in all the materialism and consumerism surrounding many holidays. It's important to me that our children also understand why we celebrate what we do and where those traditions came from. Regardless of what anyone believes or how they celebrate, I feel the most important thing is that our children grow up with warm, comforting, happy memories spent together as a family. :)

  2. Amy, Your altar is lovely!
    I decorated ours when I got home from work today.
    This makes more sense to me than years of the "Christian" holidays I've celebrated. I'm on a new journey lately and I love to visit here. I feel right at home. I will spend some time checking out the links you've posted.
    Like Erin, I too have spent many hours studying the origins of holidays this past year. At first I felt bewildered, now I'm finding my place where I feel at peace. A more nature based religion:)
    Happy Spring!

  3. The Ostara painting, so beautiful!
    I love celebrating spring as a time of rebirth. We enjoy learning about how other cultures see it as this but with their own myths and traditions. (I often think in metaphors..assasination-winter, resurrecton-rebirth/spring) And my kids love having two egg hunts, one at home and one with our relatives! Lovely post Amy, thank-you for sharing!

  4. Happy Easter! Isn't Spring just glorious? Your home, as usual, is so welcoming and beautiful.

  5. oh wow! i had no idea! sweet, another pagan family! i am so happy. we had to postpone the spring celebration due to illness here at home. but oh how i love ostara.

  6. This was a very thought-provoking post, at least to me. I never really questioned the basis for the Easter Bunny and the eggs, and how any of that relates to why Christians celebrate Easter. But your post gave me some things to think about. I've always known that the Christians came along and adapted/absorbed/stole many Pagan traditions (like the Christmas tree,) but I never knew about the Hare or that Easter eggs came about, in part, because Catholics used to have to give up eggs for Lent (I just learned that from Wikipedia). Looks like I may need to do some holiday research myself! So, thanks for the education...and the beautiful pictures, as always.

  7. Erin, I appreciate your thoughts on this. We are agreed on the creation of family memories, of course, and that an examined life is one worth living, and whatever spiritual path that may lead us down, as long as an open heart and mind were involved, I think it's a good thing.

    Anet, high praise, coming from you (everyone go check out Anet's mantle, asap, it's beautiful.) I'm so glad you feel at home here, what a nice thing for you to say, thanks so much.

    Thanks, Denise and Shonah and Gabrielle. Rebirth, renewal,'s all good. You are all so kind.

    Heather--oh, good to know! Merry Meet! I hope you and yours are on their way to recovery just in time for some early spring sunshine and warmer temps.

    Eleanor--wow, I love provoking thoughts, so I'm so glad I was successful. ; ) I'm so happy you dropped by! I feel like I'm constantly questioning why we do or believe certain things and sometimes it's a matter of stumbling onto information because I never thought to look, does that make sense? (I had this experience just the other day and it was a forehead slapping moment for sure). Thank you for the feedback and compliments, E.



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