Sunday, March 22, 2015

Celebrating Ostara*

Image result for quotes about pagan easter
The PNW's 2015 vernal equinox arrived wrapped in drops of rain, scenting the air with the unmistakable aromas of fertile soil birthing new life. In the several days since March 20th, sunshine and blue skies have elicited birdsong of the kind we humans have come to recognize as mating calls. 

The arrival of spring signals new growth, new beginnings, for all living things. Each season brings its own gifts, yet springtime has always been my favorite time of year and Easter Sunday is the perfect day for my gathered loved ones to celebrate our mutual, unbridled, pagan-like joy in the arrival of this season of rebirth.

My hairstylist, Anie, is also secular. However, she particularly likes the advent of Lent. Each year it spurs her to give up a couple of things she feels are negatively impacting her life. She says it's easy to do and even after Lent she often keeps these things out of her life.  

Anie throws a party every Easter Sunday Eve. The focus is the celebratory, just-after-sunset, burning of the "Yule Tree," which she and her wife brought into the house on Winter Solstice, December 21st. The tree has been in their garage since January 1st, awaiting its immolation. Ukrainian Easter eggs, (pysanky) as well as various springtime ornaments, will decorate the now sere tree. 


*"Ostara," the Great Mother Goddess of the Saxon people in Northern Europe, derived from the ancient word for spring, "eastre." The Old English, "Eostre," means "dawn."