What do colorful eggs, bunnies, flowers, and Christ have in common? Scrolling through Facebook this question from a friend along side a few other posts about Easter caught my eye. My friends list is comprised of an eclectic mix is people from various communities, religions, and walks of life so there was a full gamut of expressions from memes like, “He has risen” typed on a background of sun rays shining over a mountain, families coloring eggs with their little ones, witchy rituals, harrowing news about massacres in Sri Lanka, and the list goes on and on.
So how is Christ related to the pop culture rituals associated with Easter? For me this question conjures image from a scene from the “American Gods” TV series on Starz where Ostara, clad in her southern Sunday best is hosting a brunch for all the different representations of Jesus Christ. At one point the character they call Wednesday is trying to convince Ostara to join him in a war against the modern gods of Tech, Media, and Mr. World. Like any savvy salesman he is pressing her pain points and asking if she is truly happy sharing her holiday with that long hair hippy who has overshadowed her glory. A poignant point based off Christianity placing its major holidays upon the times pagans celebrated their rites and rituals. Monotheistic religions and systems of thought began to overshadow earth based practices and religions in the past 2000 years as Christianity was spread throughout the world through Roman Catholicism. Like any polite southern lady, Ostara shrugs it off and says she is happy sharing the holiday and that people have not forgotten her, pointing out that people still celebrate with eggs, gifts, flowers, and fertility symbols like the bunnies, who in the show are her eyes and ears.
The theme of resurrection and rebirth seen in Christianity and Paganism do overlap nicely, but as Wednesday digs in deeper he reminds Ostara people have forgotten her name and don’t know where symbols like the eggs and bunnies came from or how they are connected.
It’s all about the triumph of life over death! Fertility, resurrection, new bounty after barren winters when plants spring to life, these are the themes beneath the stories and symbols. This is what we celebrate in a culture who fears the end of our cycle on this planet, food scarcity, and the unknown. An so Christ’s death on the cross followed by a miraculous resurrection also is a symbol of this idea.
We all go through many deaths and losses throughout our lives. Often forgetting the meaning behind our rituals, ceremonies, and celebrations.
Personally I played the hermit most of the weekend as I grappled with a big life decision and sought Divine guidance. By the end of the weekend I too emerged having remembered parts of myself I had put aside while in an enmeshed relationship and going through a massive healing of my body that resulted from multiple car accidents and me putting it through the wringer in pursuit of external goals.
Pulling the Judgement card, which is all about rebirth and inner calling, I got confirmation with a synchronistic sign and email from a dear friend containing the same image that it was time to serve the larger community through my work. To emerge from my cave in my full feminine power of wisdom and intuition integrated with the masculine associated power of the mind and knowledge. The power to create and destroy like Ostara aka Ishtar, the goddess of love and war, rebirth and fertility, the power of compassion, forgiveness, inclusion, and mastery over the fear of death like Christ. Ultimately they are related because it is about grace and liberation from fear.
38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”Romans 8:38-39
We are all sons and daughters of the Divine and salvation is our birthright. It is not about anything you do or earthly possessions you have. It is your birthright to feel love, peace, joy, and acceptance. This is what the mother goddesses also offered. There was a love for all creation. Christ Jesus is a masculine representation of the feminine like Quan Yin, Ostara/Ishtar/Isis. His teachings are of liberation from an oppressive system, a system that took those teachings and twisted them in order to gain more control. But the truth behind it all still remains. You are love, you are loved, and you belong. The great mother god holds you. Rest in the paradox. It is time to remember the feminine. This earth is your home, until your soul is ready to return to God/the Divine and to be reunited with what I like to think of as the spirit and force behind it all.
Happy Hunting Seekers!
Interested in learning more?
Check out this G
and this article about Reclaiming Jesus offers a perspective of what it means to really be a follower of Christ.