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Louise Sommer

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Éostre - The Origins of Easter

 

Easter is such a beautiful time within the Christian institution with roots in ancient myths and traditions. One of these stories is about a  female shaman called Éostre ( who can transform into a rabbit). I would like to share some of her story  and the origins of Easter with you here.

 

 

 

 

The Circle of Life

 

The Spring Celebrations that are placed around the time we now know as Easter, have their very roots in  ancient Europe, celebrating the different times of the seasons. However, in pre-Christian times throughout Europe, the Wheel depicting the changing of our four seasons, was deeply connected to a spiritual experience of being a part of The Circle of Life. This deeper and spiritual sense of Oneness with the movement of life, was also expressed through various mythological stories, as well as Goddessess/Gods, who were related to the mythologies and each of the four seasons. 

 

 

The Rabbit

 

Looking into European history one will discover that Spring was celebrated the strongest in those cultures who lived in the darker and colder parts of the continent. So when looking towards the cold north, one will find the spring goddess who took the shape of a rabbit, hence the Easter bunny. Her name was Éostre. A name that is very close to Easter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Èostre took the shape of a rabbit. In mythology, as well as in indigenous cultures worldwide, we hear stories about shamans who takes the shape of - or are guided by - an animal. This always refers to the world of shamanism. Èostre is therefore a tale about a female shaman. 

 

 

The return of the Sun

 

What is exceptionally beautiful about Éostre's mythology, is that she travels on the rays of the Sun. Éostre brings the sun with her after the darkness of winter. This symbolism has strong similarities to the legend of Sankta Lucia. They both: bring such beautiful light to those around them. And no symbol represents the Power of Spirit stronger than the sun; in many cultures, the sun is called The Giver Of Life. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Egg

 

The egg, on the other hand, comes from other cultures. In fact, it seems as if the symbol of the egg was a widely used methaphor in many cultures, also outside of Europe, and often depicted together with the serpent. The egg is yet another symbol of Life; a New Life. However, the egg was just as much the symbol of the sacred Wholeness of the universe and the eternity of Life! Therefore, the egg's symbolism of New Life is pointing towards an ancient understanding, that the human life on Earth with is eternal Circle of Life, was deeply connected to a sense of Oneness with the Universe.

 

 

So, what I'm saying is...

 

Easter is about celebrating our deep spiritual connection with the universe and the mighty Circle of Life; the constant Circle of Life and Death. It is about experiencing the eternal light of divinity inside ourselves, opening up to it, allowing it to enlighten us. 

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