Celebrating Easter through Creative Ritual

Ostara by Wendy Andrew / paintingdreams.co.uk

Happy Easter everyone, or Ostora if you celebrate the origins of Easter (see my blog post; ‘The Origins of Easter‘ to read more about the true essence of the festivity.)

I love nothing more than to unearth the ancient roots of our modern-day festivities as it helps to enrich my celebrations with greater reverence and soulful significance.  And as always, I like to carve out time to partake in creative ritual and nature connection, something that has become a critical act of self-care during these challenging times. Being creative has an enlivening yet centring effect upon me as I become naturally present, calm and receptive to intuitive insight. Furthermore, using natural materials as my medium helps me attune to the seasonal cycles of the earth, which I feel expresses the essence of each festival.

6 Simple ways to celebrate Easter

I share with you a selection of celebratory ideas that you can do alone, with a group or with family, children especially love to get crafty at Easter. Whether created ritualistically or not, simply adorning your home with natural objects is a wonderful way of bringing nature indoors, appreciating its beauty and attuning the the seasonal cycle. It is my intention that these ideas inspire you to forge your own unique ways of honouring Easter in a way that feels true to you. There are no hard and fast rules on this path of nature-based spirituality, I discarded dogma and doctrine a long ago in favour of simply honouring the seasonal cycles, which help me feel more connected to our earth and in turn connect more deeply to myself as an extension of nature.

  1. Make a Nature Mandala

The Spring flower mandalas below were created mindfully and intentionally to honour Easter / Ostara, or the Spring Equinox, which is when pagans generally celebrate this festivity. I used flowers foraged responsibly from my garden and locality and surrendering creative control, I allowed the shapes to form organically and intuitively. I did however plan to work with the four fold geometry of the cross, symbolising balance, harmony and the meeting of heaven and earth.

To me these are the perfect expression earths fertility and of the spirit of renewal, rebirth and transformation. The ephemerality of making such mandalas emphasises the impermanence and ever-changing nature of an earth bound by seasonal transformation. It helps me learn to let go and trust in the flow of life, and also to appreciate the perfection of imperfection as natural beauty shines forth despite its irregularity. Above all else, it’s a glorious celebration of the colour and majesty of Spring, and serves as an offering of gratitude for the beauty and bounty of the earth at this time.

2. Create an Egg Candle Ritual

Eggs represent fertility and the potential for new life, which exists in all of us. They remind us of the vast creative potential to create a new, so can be used symbolically to invoke that which we wish to birth in our own lives this coming year, be that new life, new love, new job, new home, creative projects etc.  I created these sweet tealights out of emptied egg shells and melted soya wax. Once hardened, I lit the candles and took some time to contemplate and connect to the well of infinite light within, to my divine heritage that lies beyond this physical form.  Some describe this as the Christ-consciousness, an energy that exists within all beings, and which is particularly potent at Easter time with so many focussed on Jesus. I visualised my own inner light expanding along with the strengthening sun at this time. It’s also an opportunity to seed intentions for the coming growing cycle, praying to be blessed with the sustenance, strength and fortune necessary to live our best possible lives. With this in mind, I made three prayers as below:

1. for myself

2. for my loved ones

3. for the world at large.

I then placed them on my Equinox alter and adorned with spring flowers.

3. Paint some Eggs

Decorating eggs is a fun way of working with the symbolism of eggs and adorning your home at the same time. They can be hung to an Easter tree, cut from a branch of blossom, pussy willow or forsythia. You can buy plastic eggs in craft stores or use real eggs hard boiled or hollowed using the technique of egg blowing. I used water colours to loosely lay the colours, mindfully chosen according to colour psychology in order to harness the desired qualities of each. See a summery below of generalised colour meanings:

RED: Power, passion, love, courage

ORANGE: Optimism, adventure, fun, enthusiasm, warmth

YELLOW: Joy, happiness, optimism, positivity, expansion

GREEN: Growth, harmony, fertility, balance, generosity,

BLUE: peace, tranquillity, self-expression, calm, unity, trust

PURPLE: nobility, spirituality, wisdom, enlightenment, mystery

PINK: nurturing, compassion, care, tenderness, acceptance, love

4. Make your own Birds Nest

Creating your very own birds nest reminds us of the architectural ingenuity of birds who are busy at this time creating nests in which to birth their young. It also looks great positioned on an Easter alter or table decoration. A nest symbolises family stability, growth, commitment and dedication to building a happy home as well as the associations with fertility and new life. I gathered dried grasses and twigs to weave together mindfully as I imagined weaving my wishes and prayers in a circular fashion. The circle represents wholeness, divine creation and the infinite nature of existence, so in essence, a bird’s nest is a natural mandala. The Sanskrit word Mandala is derived from the root ‘Mandra’ translating as essence and ‘La’ translating as container, this revealing the Mandala as a container for essence, energy or spirit. I therefore place my painted eggs inside the nest to incubate my wishes and intentions.

5. Build a Spring Wreath

Again, working with the symbolism of the circle as a representation of eternity, wholeness and divine creation, I created this cute birds nest wreath to hang above my alter. I mindfully foraged hazel twigs to form the base by weaving over and under. I carefully attached some moss with a little help from a glue gun, which I also used to affix some mini eggs and duck feathers. I love how super rustic and imperfectly perfect it is, which brings a smile to my face each time I see it!

6. Plant some Seeds

Spring signals the start new growing season, a rebirth of crops that have been dormant through the winter. This promise of a plentiful food supply was crucially important for the farmers of antiquity, who’s very lives depended upon a successful crop. They prayed to the Sun god and made offerings of gratitude for the earths bounty to ensure continued sustenance in the coming year.

Plating seeds in our gardens at this time is a beautiful way of honouring new beginnings and celebrating the fertility of the earth. As we sow, we can set intentions for that we wish to seed metaphorically in our life, be that a new home, renewed health or renewed inspiration for creative projects for example. Last year I planted these bee-friendly wild flowers and this year I will be planting baby yew trees to form a hedgerow in my garden. The druids associate the yew tree with the resurrection of Christ for they possess an amazing ability to renew themselves, resurrecting from the brink of death and as such symbolise immortality, protection, rebirth and reincarnation. The perfect symbol for Easter time!  

However you choose to celebrate this Easter, may it be a bright and blessed one, infused with nourishment, gratitude and infinite joy.

With love, Emma. x

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