Monday, April 6

Eostre's Eggs

.. and the Legend of the Easter Bunny 

 The Anglo-Saxons hailed Eostre as the Goddess of Spring the Greening  Earth, and FertilityHer name means "moving with the waxing sun."Around the time of her festival, when light and dark are equal, the animals began giving birth or going into their sexually receptive cycles, named "esturs periods" after the goddess. 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 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. One day while foraging, the hare came across a fresh egg, a very prized commodity.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 prize, he realized this egg might make the perfect gift for Eostre. But, he thought that Eostre could have all the eggs she wanted. She was a goddess, a creator of Life itself. Giving her just any egg would never do. How 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 she 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 to the world's children at spring. They are called Eostre's Bunnies or, more commonly, the Easter Bunny.

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