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Easter - The Egg and Bunny

When it comes to celebrating Easter, the focus is generally on the celebration of Jesus Christ's resurrection. In schools across the land we are taught this and we are usually not offered many alternative beliefs until later life. Which is fine, however there is so much more to the story. 

Eggs were originally part of a pagan celebration for the spring, whilst the early Christians adopted the symbol of eggs as a remembrance of Jesus's resurrection.  

‘Pasch’ meaning passover is the correct term for this Christian tradition. As in 'Easter', the name, actually derives from the Saxon Goddess Eoster or Ostara’s translating into 'dawn'. Eoster is Goddess of Spring, Fertility and New Life according to ancient Gaelic, Druid and Pagan beliefs.

Art by Wendy Andrew's - 'Eostre and the Hare's Egg'

This is interesting because it reveals similarities within this Christian celebration and the Spring Equinox, which is the Druid celebration of the rising Sun. Could they be sharing the same celebrations?

Whilst the decoration of eggs is something that has existed for thousands years, the ‘Serpents Egg’ remains a working tool of the ancient druids.

Taken from the book, ’Celtic :- Golden Dawn’, speaking on ‘The Serpents Eggs'; “A fanciful tale taken down solemnly by Greek and Roman authors held that it was formed from the congealed breath or spittle of many serpents and had to be stolen away from it’s makers by the intrepid Druid, who was required to leap on horseback with his prize and gallop away as fast as he could until crossing running water putting an end to the reptile’s pursuit.

Those ‘Serpent’s Eggs’ that have been handed down through the ages of certain Celtic families, by contrast, are beads or spheres of glass. It has been suggested by certain scholars, notably Lady Flavia Anderson, that the original serpent’s eggs were sphere;s of clear crystal that were used by the Druids of old to light the Beltane (May Day Festival) fires by means of focused sunlight.“

Quartz Crystal Egg

So the use of these eggs were essential to the ancients who supposedly harnessed the natural energy of the sun to create fire in their celebration of the brighter seasons. Not only that, but these eggs were filled with salts of vervain and used in Ovate initiations and with four herbs used in Bardic initiation. These are magical influences at play and it’s no surprise that the egg is an emblem amongst ‘Pagan’ culture.

And what better protecter of the Serpents Egg than the Hare. The Hare or Gearr, is a sacred animal seen to represent Rebirth, Intuition, Balance and much more. It’s been talked about throughout the ages by almost all cultures on the planet and it’s surrounded by some pretty awesome tales. For instance, Ancient people believed that hares may have been hermaphrodites, male one month, female the next and this continued well into the 19th century. This may have been due to the fact a female hare can initiate superfetation, which is the fertilisation of an already pregnant female which causes the simultaneous development of eggs of two different ovarian cycles within the genital tract. So, imagine seeing a female giving birth one month then in the absence of a male to do ‘the business’ with, the female then produces another bunch of leverets (baby hares) soon after.

You can see why this animal baffled curious civilisations for ages and became an animal of rebirth.

 

Moon gazing hare and stone henge by dinglidale

With all this said and done and without wanting to persuade too much thought, it would seem that like most things there’s usually a good reason as to why and how things are the way they are. What we may have seen before as a shapeshifting, super-fertile-wonder species, actually has a logical & scientific explanation. However that will never take away the mysticism brought forth from the hare and it’s ancient origins. It will stay playing a massive role in the celebration of Easter.

With so many religious beliefs we often argue our sides and it’s usually about differences... Isn’t it about time we started celebrating our similarities?

HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE! 

Peace, love & light, 

Zen