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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in easter
Rejoice, for the Light‘s Returned!

Blessings and good tidings, fellow Witches and Pagans!

After the long winter (or short winter, if you’re from the U.S. West Coast) spring has finally come, bringing with it the renewal of the earth and the flowering of life. Today is Ostara, better known as the root word of “Easter,” and the Spring Equinox, representing the point in time at which the balance between night and day switches decisively in favor of the latter. Of course, if you’re in the southern hemisphere it’s the opposite, Mabon, as winter approaches after a long summer. Either way, it’s an important point in the year!

As per usual we’ve gathered both all of our articles on spring as well as several stories we thought you might find interesting. We hope you enjoy!

-Aryós Héngwis

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Happy, um, Pasch

Hey you. Yeah, you: Christian.

Hey, check this out. Did you know that  Easter is really the name of a pagan goddess? Seriously. Easter is a pagan goddess: goddess of dawn. And spring, of course. Really.

Says so right here in Bede. Yeah, that's the one, the “Venerable Bede.” Always a venerable, never a saint, ha ha. Well, actually, I think he is a saint now, isn't he? Didn't they canonize him a while back? A saint wouldn't lie about that kind of thing now, would he?

Hey, check this out: Pasch. Rhymes with “flask.” Nice, hunh? Beautiful. (Makes sign of aversion behind back.) Gotta love that funky spelling.

Fine old Christian word, Pasch. Actually the original name for the holiday, back before the pagans got their mitts on it. Goes all the way back to Aramaic. Really. The language of Jesus, right. Used the word himself, no doubt about it. Whatsoever. Jesus. Yeah.

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Egg-Dyeing Secrets of the Elders of Paganistan

There are lots of edible, natural dyestocks that can be used to color eggs. Listed below are those with which we've had the most luck over the years.

The results will vary from batch to batch and from year to year, depending on amount of dyestock used, length of cooking time, and various other imponderables, possibly including (who knows?) the phase of the Moon. The colors you get may not be predictable, but they'll certainly be beautiful.

Most natural dyes are heat-applied; realistically, this means that you add the dyestocks while you hard-boil the eggs. Dyeing eggs is, of course, a controlled chemical reaction in which loose radicals in the dyestocks bond with the calcium molecules of the eggshells, and heat facilitates this bonding. As always in the pagan world, it all comes down to relationship.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Equinox People

Tomorrow's one of my favorite days of the year: Egg-Dye Sunday.

We've been doing it every year since 1979 (what they call the Paganolithic). On the Sunday before the Equinox, a whole slew of us get together, stoke up the dye-pots, and (using only the finest natural dyestocks) dye up tens (if not scores) of dozens of eggs.

(With the advent of Paganicon, our local weekend-before-the-equinox Pantheacon North, the egg-dye, like clocks at Daylight Savings, has jumped forward. Old-Stylist that I am, I can't say that I'm best pleased with this turn of events, but the Old Ways haven't survived all these years without staying flexible.) 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Michele
    Michele says #
    Thanks!
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    According to Diana Kennedy (the Julia Child of Mexican cookery), one needs to boil the achiote seeds for 5 minutes, then soak them
  • Michele
    Michele says #
    So glad you left blank pages in the back of the Prodea Cookbook so I can add the recipes for the achiote seeds and liquid chloroph
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    what a wonder post - thank you - we are indeed an Equinox People!
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Will do, Sarah. Watch this space!

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Celebrating Ostara

American Asatru has a major holiday that does not exist in Icelandic Asatru, which is Ostara. Ostara is the heathen and pagan Easter. Because Easter is a major cultural holiday in the USA, with many holiday traditions in which people of all faiths participate, it has also become a major holiday among many American pagans and heathens. Like many of the seemingly secular traditions surrounding Christian holidays, Easter has pagan roots. 

Ostara is the Germanic spelling of Eostre, the English goddess name that developed into the word Easter. A goddess of spring and dawn, Ostara's sphere of influence is the fertility of animals, as exemplified by the fertility symbols the bunny and the egg. The holiday of Ostara can be celebrated on the Spring Equinox, or for a few weeks after. The American secular holiday tradition of hiding dyed chicken eggs and then having the children hunt for them replicates the way real farmers hunt for the eggs of free range chickens. 

The Easter Egg symbol is used in different ways by different individual heathens and pagans and by different heathen and pagan groups. Some families do the traditional American Easter Egg Hunt for their children. Like other Americans and some Europeans, they might dye or decorate the eggs at home, a project in which children can participate. Others buy candies in the shape of eggs, chicks, and bunnies as substitutes for the real thing.

Some kindreds fill blown eggs with confetti and break them on each other's heads to bless each other. There was a group in California that had an annual Ostara campout at which eggs and nickels were placed in a replica Viking longship, and the boat was set on fire and launched into the Pacific Ocean as a sacrifice to the sea goddess, Ran. 

Find out more about American holidays in my book American Celebration: http://www.amazon.com/American-Celebration-Erin-Lale/dp/1304916138/ref=la_B004GLACQQ_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1425318146&sr=1-3

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Dawn of the Year

We're getting our dawns back.

At the latitude at which I live—44.9798º N—we lose our dawns during the winter. The Sun goes down; it's dark. The Sun comes up; it's light. But the rich, varied colors of Dawn—the roses, the ambers, the saffrons, the teals—go down into the Dark of the Year and are gone.

But now they're returning. Into the colorless world of winter, color comes flooding back.

The Dawn of the Seasons, the Dawn of the Year, approaches. For 6000 years and more, spring has been the special season of Dawn, ever-young goddess, and the many and varied dawn goddesses of the Indo-European-speaking world are known wherever those languages are spoken. In English we call her Easter.

Some have postulated a myth in which, through the dark winter, Dawn is held captive in the Underworld. And now she's coming back to us again, free at last.

Last modified on

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Easter Ego

My most brilliant ideas always come with Easter. Like as if my ego just gives way to deeper knowing and numinosity. There's myriad ways to interpret the Easter festival, Pagan and Christian and and and... For me, this giving way of the ego is poignantly described in the Easter myth. 

The ego is like the habits of the psyche. They long for something fresh, a drop of dew, a stroke of light, fresh air... The psyche will do anything to find something fresh, but.. The amazing things is, that when it finds it, the ego will bite and gnaw at the new whatever until it fits within the containers of the ego..

So it is with Sacred Space. Whenever we find it, the ego will start gnawing and biting at it. Which is beautiful when we see it as an invitation to find it again and agin. Build no fixed temples or churches, for they become the opposite of what you want. 

...
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