Friday, March 21, 2008
Happy Spring Equinox!
I found a lovely story that explains why a bunny delivers eggs to children as part of various Spring celebrations (Easter, Eostre, Equinox, Ostara).
Pronunciation of the Spring Goddess' name Eostre = EES - tra
The Goddess Eostre (where the name Easter comes from) had a special fondness for children. They followed her wherever she went, as she loved to sing and entertain them with magic.
One day, while sitting in a garden with her young entourage, a lovely songbird fluttered down to sit on her hand. She whispered a few words, and the bird was transformed into her favorite animal, the rabbit.
This delighted the children, until they noticed that the rabbit was trembling with fear and anguish. That's when everyone realized how unhappy the rabbit was at this transformation, as it could no longer sing nor soar into the sky. Instead, it had been changed into a mute, defenseless, unhappy creature, unable to defend itself against predators, be they animal or human.
The children begged Eostre to reverse the spell, but having broken the rule "as ye harm none, do as ye will," she found her power diminished to a point where she was no longer able to do so. Thus the former bird must remain a rabbit for the most part of the year.
Except at the onset of spring, when Eostre's power is at its height, then the rabbit can return to its bird-form for a short while and lay its eggs. In celebration of its brief freedom and to reward the children who asked the Goddess to undo the spell, Eostre's rabbit carries its eggs to children throughout the world.
To remind the world of her folly, Eostre herself etched the outline of a rabbit into the face of the full moon, where you can see it facing left with its ears going back to the right. Thus it soars safely against the sky, far removed from the perils that threaten it down here on Earth.
The story comes from http://www.kitchenproject.com/history/Easter/BunnyEggs.htm
at 11:31:00 AM