“Every moment of light and dark is a miracle.” ― Walt Whitman
As our awareness develops and expands, we tend to question more. The traditions that we have taken for granted for most of our lives can begin to beg a sense of relevance or a deeper understanding. Raising a family also causes many of us to examine the traditions we pass on to our children. Living in a retail-centric culture, many holidays are reduced to materialistic rituals. Parents crowd bins of pastel-colored plastic novelty items, aisles of bunny-shaped chocolates, and brightly-died marshmallow peeps. As families gear up to celebrate Easter, some may consider this an opportune time to shed a conscious light and meaning on this holiday.
Reflecting on both pagan and faith-based symbolism and ritual, we can extract universal truths and gain insight surrounding the celebrations of the season. In the spirit of oneness, integrating traditions and identifying the common ground between them highlights universal beliefs. With some conscious reflection, we can educate our children why their Easter baskets are filled with chocolate bunnies and bright colored eggs. Or perhaps, we can select new traditions in which to commemorate the arrival of spring.
Pagan springtime celebrations revolved around fertility and new life. Many cultures marked the spring equinox by celebrating the revival of life after the bleakness of winter. Hares or bunnies and eggs have long been symbols of fertility, abundance, and rebirth. In Christianity, there is the story of the sacrifice, death and resurrection, which thematically exemplifies overcoming the power of darkness. In Judaism, Passover is a commemoration of Jews’ liberation by God from slavery in Egypt, and their freedom as a nation. The matzah on the sedar plate symbolizes their freedom. The egg on the plate celebrates spring, renewal and rejuvenation.
The common thread between these observances exalt victory over darkness. Celebrations are a way to rejoice in the rebirth of nature and to ritually act out this seasonal change. The symbolic death of the earth in winter is resurrected through the blooming which follows the spring equinox. Barren trees, landscapes, and hibernating animals awaken to a new cycle of life. The Vernal Equinox signals the return of weather that favors humanity’s ability to perpetuate ourselves. This is reminiscent of the concept of the guru, in which we move from darkness into light.
Beyond eggs, bunnies and baskets, we can take this opportunity to renew connections to ourselves and one another. Where in our lives can we shed rejuvenating light into our darkness? Perhaps it is an old thought pattern or habit that keeps us from bearing fruit. Maybe a new relationship, opportunity for expansion, or an idea has been hibernating and is now ready to birth. We can also use this time to teach our children about the cyclical nature of time, the beauty of second chances, and the soul’s ability to overcome challenges.
May we channel the bunnies abundant potential within us to enlighten humanity with our talents, fertilizing the planet with more love and compassion. May we cultivate the eggs of new ideas, born into the world to rejuvenate the old ways with fresh, sustainable conscientious energy and intention. May the springtime enliven our community, rejuvenate our sense of oneness, and dedicate our budding fruits to the world of compassion and abundance.