Recently we attended a meeting of the pagan-studies group associated with the Beckley fellowship of the Unitarian-Universalist Association. Today’s blog stems from some remarks of the group’s leader J. L. and from the discussion that followed.
In this year of the Common Era 2008, Spring Equinox occurs on March 20. In this year the pre-Christian way those other folks use to calculate Easter* has brought the two observances unusually close together.
Ostara is really the time to observe your own private beginning time of year. Samhain is good for shared observances at the full moon nearest November 1, and we Frosts would be reluctant indeed to forgo its observance; but our personal lives might make more sense if we as pagans made our personal new year’s resolutions at the vernal equinox, a time when we all want to get out and do things. Join us now if you like, in rolling up your sleeves and reviewing your assumptions. Let’s start with a little research.
Easter – Our Oxford Etymological Dictionary says: Easter is derived by Bede from the name of a goddess whose feast was celebrated on the vernal equinox Eostre (related to east) and from the Sanskrit word Usra (dawn).** We are all familiar with the idea of spring cleaning and dawn in the east and the east correlating in our way with new beginnings.
We ourselves have been tilling and planting our small city garden. The task gets us out of the house after a long winter season of short, gray daylight hours and encourages us to put our hands into actual soil … maybe not a bad thing.
How about not only making new resolutions but also actually doing something?! You might start with a good look at your spirituality, giving a good polish to those things you firmly believe, and sweeping away all that old rubbish that people have been blathering at you since you were born. Sum this up as:
What do you believe, and why do you believe it?
It’s just a thought, but it’s one we like.
So bright blessings to you who will polish up your spirituality but will also get out into the real world and do something. Gavin and Yvonne
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* Find Spring Equinox. Find the next full moon. Find the next Sunday. That will be Easter. (Do you believe it?)
** Anotehr cognate occurs in the words Ostrogoth (Eastern Goths) and Visigoth (Western Goths).