Thursday, April 5, 2012

April 5: Approaching Easter

The moon ripens as we approach Easter weekend. Easter is the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox. Interesting that such an important Christian holiday would have lunar--and thus, dare I say, pagan--origins. In fact, the very word "Easter" probably derives from the name of an ancient fertility goddess--Oestre, Astarte or Ishtar. The fertility symbolism is even more obvious when you think about the main representatives of Easter: rabbits and eggs. (I witnessed first-hand as a child, during a rabbit cage-cleaning moment gone awry, the phenomenal fecundity of rabbits.) Even the concept of the resurrected god dates back to many pre-Christian cultures with stories of Attis, Mithras, Osiris, and more. So you don't have to be Christian to fully embrace the feeling of revival in the air right now, as sap rises in the trees, leaf buds swell, the day's light lingers longer, green shafts of lily leaves re-emerge from the underground, loon returns to the river to fill the night with his stirring tremolo, and goldfinches molt into bright breeding plumage. Renewal seems possible for any of us. It's just the way we roll in spring.

Finch sprouts more yellow--
even the birds glow brighter
as Easter moon swells.

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