Sunday, March 23, 2008

Eostre's Eggs and the Legend of the Easter Bunny

From the author, Edain McCoy, and her book~>
Ostara: Customs Spells, and Rituals for the Rites of Spring

The Anglo-Saxons hailed Eostre as the Goddess of Spring, The Greening Earth, and Fertility. Her name means "moving with the waxing sun." Around the time of her festival, on the day when light and dark are equal, the local animals began giving birth or going into their sexually receptive cycles, named "estrus periods" after the goddess. From the fiercest to the most humble, the woodland animals--who also worshipped and loved Eostre--would play in the warmth of spring light and feast on the new vegetation Eostre provided.

One of Eostre's devotees was a small hare who wished very much to give a gift to his goddess, but he didn't know what he could possibly offer that would be of any value to her. Then one day while foraging, the hare came across a fresh egg, a very prized commodity indeed. The little hare wanted very badly to eat the egg, as it had been a long time since he'd feasted on anything finer than dry grasses. Before he could take a bite of his prized, he realized this egg might make the perfect gift for Eostre. But, he pondered, Eostre could have all the eggs she wanted, anytime she wanted them. She was a goddess, a creator, the embodiment of life itself. Giving her just any egg would never do. How, he wondered, could he make this egg a fit offering for his goddess?

The little hare took the egg home and pondered how to make it as beautiful and new as Eostre made the world each spring. He began to decorate the egg. He painted it in the hues of Eostre's spring woods and placed upon the shell symbols sacred to Eostre. When he felt he could not make the egg any more beautiful, he took it to Eostre and offered it to her.

Eostre was so pleased by the little hare's sacrifice of his egg to her, and by the manner in which he decorated it for her, that he wanted everyone--especially children, who are themselves symbols of new life--to enjoy these representations of her bounty. Since that Ostara day long ago, the descendants of that hare have taken up the task of delivering decorated eggs tot he world's children at spring. They are called Eostre's bunnies or, more commonly, the Easter Bunny.

Rebirthing Spell

Gently place one egg in a pan that is half-filled with boiling water. As you watch the egg boil in the steaming pot, concentrate on something you feel is gone from your life that you wish to have manifest back into it. Conceptualize this desire as living within the egg, a need that will be birthed into being with the egg's assistance. Visualize this miracle happening with as much clarity and detail as you are able. Do this for at least five minutes, then remove the pan from the heat and allow it to coo.

When the egg is able to be handled, take crayons or felt markers in any color or colors you feel best represents your desire and draw a symbol or some other representation of your wish on the egg.

Bury the egg near your front door, as deep as is reasonable. Each time you walk past the place where the egg is buried, be sure to remind yourself of its purpose by restating to yourself an affirmation of your desire.

In a short time the egg will break down, the shell cracking open and the yolk decomposing. This symbolic life, death and rebirth of your wishing egg is linked by magic to your life, and it will help your desire to be rebirthed soon.

1 comment:

Victoria said...

Thank You for providing an online copy of this. One of my girl friends sent me a message today about wanting to include some thing pagan while her kids are doing Easter with their catholic grandfather. I pulled me book remembering the Eostre bunny store from Mccoy and when to see if any1 had provided it online so i could email it to her before they went Easter egg hunting.
Thank you so much!