Ostara – Paint a Journey With New Life
Did you ever wonder which came first, the rabbit or the egg? What? You didn’t know that rabbits layed eggs? Where do you think the tradition of Easter Eggs came from? I’m getting a little ahead of myself here, I’ll come back to that in a moment.
First of all, a little history. What is Ostara? It’s more common name is the Spring or Vernal Equinox. Equinox litterly translated means, Equal Night-day and night are about equal length all over the world. So, it’s Vernal here in the northern hemisphere and Autumnal in the southern.
Ostara was also the name of the Virgin Goddess of Spring in ancient Germany. The many myths and customs surrounding the equinox come from several different cultures that concern their deities and their struggle to return from the Land of the Dead. When they eventually do return, they have life renewed, both literally and figuratively, and we see this symbolism repeatedly throughout many traditions.
The Teutons honored their Goddess of Spring, Eostre which is where the Christian holiday of Easter dervied it’s name. The modern belief that eggs are delivered by the Easter Bunny, come from the legend of this Goddess. The story goes that this rabbit wanted to please Eostre so much that he laid sacred eggs in her honor and then decorated them to present to her. She was so pleased that she wanted all of mankind to share in her happiness. The rabbit then went throughout the world and distributed his little decorated gifts.
And now, you have the answer to the age old question of which came first, the Rabbit or the Egg.
Eggs have long been a universal archetype of new life, and with the tradition of brightly coloring them, I will Paint my Journey With New Life, by passing on this much loved tradition now with my grandchildren. We will then venture out of doors (weather permiting) to enjoy all the the new spring life and colors of the season.
Fertile egg of ancient life
Bring joy and laughter-ease all strife-
And with your great fertility
Grant perfect love and harmony
To all who live within these bounds
Be they person, thing, wild life, or hound