Friday, April 22, 2011

"Easter" Musings

Recently I asked a group of people where the word Easter came from. Didn't that name always seem out of place? Not surprisingly, no one knew. Easter - it has no correlation to the day. Right? Well, if you dig back into the history of it all it clearly does. Easter is named for the Germanic and Celtic goddess Eostre. Depending on the tribe telling the story, she was either a young maiden who travelled the country side with her rabbit spreading eggs in your garden or a magical woman who transformed into a rabbit in Spring. Virgin, rabbit, eggs - yes, fertility and rebirth - they weren't subtle back then. (Actually, there were many variations on the theme but these were the general avenues of interpretation.)

To celebrate the day of Eostre one would bake breads with the cross of the rising sun which have become translated into hot cross buns and dye eggs. Who said human beings have original ideas?

Interestingly in Sweden they celebrate Easter by celebrating witches! The children dress as the up as the witch Blakulla, make drawings and then go door to door exchanging the drawings for candy. Sounds like a take on Halloween. Interestingly, in Italy, the witch Buffana comes to the children on Christmas Eve. Witches, girls, maidens, they all find their way into someones celebration.

Anyway, back to Astrology and Easter. However, the celebration it is important to remember it all starts with the stars. The Spring Equinox, when the Sun is at the mouth - zero degrees - of Aries, the first sign of the zodiac - the sign that starts the wheel of life again - is March 21. Easter takes place on the Sunday after the first full Moon following the Equinox. Who can guess whether I was taught that little tidbit during eight years of Catholic school? Easter linked to the Equinox - linked to the Moon! Shock.

Passover too starts a day or so after the first full Moon after the Spring Equinox.

This year the full Moon was April 17, so Passover started at sundown on April 18 and Easter is April 24. 

And they both have to thank Aries the first sign of the Zodiac for it. Speaking of Aries, it is still in full force. We currently have Mars, Uranus, Lilith, Mercury, Venus and Jupiter in an Aries stellium (that is, more than five bodies in one sign.) That is a lot of raw, dynamic change energy circulating in the universe. Using it to harness change in your life, new ways of expressing yourself, a new search for love and new way to open new doors. Those people who aren't aware of themselves or their natal planets could be feeling very angry and restless because they embody the shadow of Aries. So that potential for anger, violence and just raw emotions is still very high.

In any case, dye your eggs, plant your gardens and tip your hat to Eostre this weekend!

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