In celebration of the EASTER weekend, I decided to create a flower mandala as a celebration and offering of gratitude for the beauty of Spring.
For me, Easter is a time to honour the fertility and rebirth of the natural world. Here in the northern hemisphere, we see buds and blossoms blooming in full glory after the dormancy of winter.
Tree blossoms offer the promise of fruits to come, gardens burst forth with colour and many animals and birds begin the hard work of producing and raising adorable babies.
It’s truly one of my favourite time of year – so full of hope, promise and possibility. The darkness of winter is truly behind us, and the light of the sun has returned to lead us into summer. This outer expression of renewed life from darkness can act as a metaphor for our lives as nature mirrors back to us the energy of new beginnings and renewed vitality.
It’s a great time to infuse fresh inspiration and energy into beginning new projects, and inspire us to make positive change into our lives. As we let go of the darkness, the heaviness and negativity in our own lives, we make space for bright new beginnings to fall in it’s place.
Below, my flower mandala is an explosion of colour, form and symmetry – reflecting the beauty of Spring, the underlying order of nature and also the fragility of this time of year. It was created mindfully as I reflected upon the symbolism of the celebration, of which I will share below.
What sprang to mind most prominently was the transient nature of the season and how death was a natural part of life. My bouquet of spring blooms were reaching the end of their short lives, and yet instead of mourning their demise, I was immortalising their beauty in the creation of this flower mandala.
Like many spring blooms, I am reminded of how the Cherry blossoms exalts great beauty, yet one gust of wind and they are gone.
They remind us how precious life is and to live life to the full, never taking it for granted. It’s for these very reasons that the Saumurai Warriors of Japan revered the cherry blossom as a reminder not to fear death and saw it as an ‘ideal death’ since the blossom falls at the moment of its peek beauty. Short lived lives of great beauty.
EXPLORING THE ORIGINS OF EASTER
Most modern day celebrations focus on the resurrection of Jesus, and celebrate with symbols of eggs, chocolate and bunnies. But how many people stop to wonder why, since these symbols are totally unrelated to the Bible story!
Unearthing the pagan roots of Easter, helped me understand the symbolic reasoning, and unearthed what it really means to me.
Most historians, including Biblical scholars, agree that Easter was originally a pagan festival. According to the New Unger’s Bible Dictionary says: “The word Easter is of Saxon origin, Eostre (Ostara), the pagan goddess of spring and fertility.” Yet by the eighth century Anglo–Saxons had adopted the name to designate the celebration of Christ’s resurrection, therefore erasing the true origins from mainstream consciousness.
Oestre, the Goddess of Light, brings fertility with the Spring. This is the root of the word ‘oestrus’, the time in an animals sexual cycle when it is fertile and oestrogen, the hormone that stimulates ovulation, is produced. The Church overlaid this festival with Easter and its theme of rebirth and resurrection from death. It’s timing is based on the old lunar calendar: the first Sunday after the first full Moon after the Spring Equinox, formerly the pregnant phase of Oestre passing into the fertile season.
The pagan tradition celebrates the spring maiden and the ardent young male at this time. Their union makes all of nature fertile. The sexually potent young woman of the spring equinox is balanced with the sexually potent young man. Here we can make contact with their archetypal energy within ourselves. We need to balance this energy within ourselves regardless of gender. It is the energy and power of the rational conscious mind when joined with the energy and power of the intuition and inner wisdom, which brings fertility and manifestation. This is the union, which brings forth new life on many levels.
- REBIRTH AND RENEWAL: At this time, the earth is bursting forth with fertility and renewal and the sun has been reborn after the darkness of winter. Even the Easter story of the crucifixion and resurrection is symbolic of death, rebirth and renewal and retells the cycle of the seasons, the death and return of the sun. Nature renews itself in continuous cycles of death and rebirth; new growth arising from last years ashes.
- FERTILITY: Eggs and hares are a literal symbol of fertility and new life. They relate to the old Germanic fertility goddess Eostre (Ostara). Ishtar, a Mesopotamian goddess of love, stepped down into the underworld of death but was revived. Read more here…
However you choose to celebrate Easter, may you enjoy a truly blessed time surrounded by loved ones.
Extract from Sacred Earth Celebrations, Glennie Kindred