Ostara, Easter, and somewhere inbetween...

Jodi - posted on 03/15/2012 ( 14 moms have responded )

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Okay, I am a non-traditional Pagan. To sum up my beliefs, I think mother nature is to be revered, and since we are a part of mother nature, we need to revere ourselves and one another. I believe that no matter what religion you are, we all believe in the same God, he just comes to us in different versions, different names etc etc. I believe in many Gods and Godesses, but, like the Holy Trinity in the Catholic Religon, they are all one and the same and come down to one God.



Okay, so next week is Ostara. It's the celebration of the Vernal Equinox, the celebration of the coming of spring, the lengthening of days, the end of winter, etc etc. Traditional rituals include egg dying and usual worship type things (I'm just not going into indepth detail!) I was raised Catholic, and celebrated Easter every year until I moved away. I have celebrated Easter with children, simply because I didn't know how "not" to with my family. This year, I want to celebrate Ostara with my children. BUT, part of Easter growing up, was getting a basket of toys to get us through summer. You know, bubbles, sidewalk chalk, rocket balloons, that kind of thing. I have all these "supplies" for my children, and I would like to give it to them in a basket form from the Easter bunny, but on Ostara.



My family is having an issue with this, and to a point I can understand. If I'm going to celebrate Catholic Holidays, why call myself anything but right? Here's my way of thinking, I don't actually celebrate the catholic Easter, the Easter Bunny is a more modern invention, and to the best of my knowledge, has nothing to do with Jesus rising from the dead. It's like Santa Clause, Santa Clause doesn't *actually* have anything to do with the birth of Jesus. Yes, there's a St. Nicholas, but he has his own holiday aside from Christmas.



I am not asking if I have the right to do so, It's a free country and try to stop me! lol I am asking your opinion on the matter. Seeing as how the Easter Bunny is not a religious figure, does it really matter? I plan on telling my daughter(s) (the twins won't remember or care!) that most people celebrate Easter, but we don't, we celebrate Ostara, and the Easter Bunny knows this and comes to our house early to help us celebrate. I've started talking to her about Ostara and what it means (on a deeper level, I havn't even brought up the Easter Bunny) with my 3 year old already, and she's excited to dye eggs, and plant some seeds and make bird feeders and whatever. What do you think?



Also, I would love feedback from other Pagans, to know what you do with your children for the Equinox. I'm new to this, and have yet to physically meet another Pagan (that I know of) and would love hear how you all do things!

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Stifler's - posted on 03/16/2012

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I have no religion. We don't do easter bunny. Just buy chocolate and make a roast and celebrate having a week off work.

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Mother - posted on 03/21/2012

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Jodi, yesterday marked the first day of SPRING!!!!! Happy Spring Equinox my friend!! Enjoy :)

Stifler's - posted on 03/17/2012

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I know how you feel Jodi my parents were religious and I don't think I ever believed or took any of it seriously even as a little kid.

Stifler's - posted on 03/17/2012

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Damian gets a few days off at easter I think a 4 day weekend or maybe 5 days (the company doesn't work so you can't opt to go to work). At christmas they get 10 days off. I don't work so it's all good. I celebrate that everyday though

Mother - posted on 03/17/2012

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OMG!!!!! My Mother is still in denial as well. We have THE TALK from time to time.....she is the only one who leaves the conversation upset. I'm sure she runs home and PRAYS for me. I'm the same....I revere Mother Earth as sacred. I live by the seasons. And try to live a simple life. I can't deny I do partake in rites when necessary. however it is only done in private or with a select few and it isn't something I advertise. I'd be burned at the stake for sure!!! I knew at a very young age that this was my path. My sister and I tried to order a book about Gavin and Yvonne Frost. Needless to say MOM intercepted. My sister and I did funky things as kids....stuff that just came natural. Mother Nature and mother Earth are AMAZING.

Jodi - posted on 03/17/2012

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Bahahaha Mother, MY mother insists I'm going through a rebellious phase and that I'll find Jesus again. The thing is, from the first day of first grade I KNEW I didn't believe in Jesus. It just absolutely NEVER rang true for me! Then I read about paganism (I had been taught all pagans are a bunch of devil worhsipping psychopaths lol) and it was like..."Hey, that's how I feel! That's what I think!"



I don't do the whole witchcraft thing, I'm good with revering mother nature, burning the occasional sweet grass or what have you, but I'm not much for rituals or rites or anything.

Mother - posted on 03/17/2012

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UGH....Agreed. I know of the odd one around my area but no one I'd be inclined to celebrate with. To me, they appear to be dabblers that don't really take things serious. People who like to go around bragging they are "into" witchcraft. People who go around asking if you do white magic or black?? You know the type....fluffbunnies. LOL



This town I'm in is VERY Christian as well. although, if people know me they overlook it as one of my MANY "quirks" *chuckling*

Jodi - posted on 03/17/2012

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Mother, I too wish there were more...or any...Pagans around!!! Living in a very conservative, very Catholic town, I do try to keep it to myself, it would not be received well, but my family knows and my friends.



Emma, you get a whole week off?! *jealous!*

Jocelyn - posted on 03/16/2012

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We celebrate "Easter" as the day the easter bunny comes and brings candy and hides coloured eggs around the house. The reasons are entirely pagan based for us. So I guess you could say we celebrate Ostara on the wrong day :P

Although this year I totally want to get the kids to decorate zombie bunnies (because I also call it Zombie Jesus Day) LOL

Mother - posted on 03/16/2012

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Jodi, as a fellow Pagan I struggled with this a while back. My daughter was still young enough to "believe" but noticed that my one sister and I celebrated on different days. We still joined in with our Christian family celebrations but she and I quietly did our own thing as well. I don't see any reason not too. Most Christian holidays are in fact Pagan holidays. The christians put their holidays on or as close to the actual Pagan holiday dates so that conversion to Christianity was easier.

Here's a link that might help..

http://www.goddessgift.com/Pandora's_Box/Easter-history.htm



I was always with the understanding that the Easter bunny brought eggs because that was the symbol of fertility. The equinox is about renewal and rebirth so it kinda made sense to me. My daughter has never celebrated the holidays in a Christian fashion. She doesn't even know what their Easter represents. Santa was a great fat guy who brought her presents and the Easter bunny brought her candy and goodies. Samhain was her favourite. We always set up an alter for our loved ones and we have been contemplating a feast for the dead. We always have a bale fire and I usually have a big pot of stew bubbling. I wish I had more Pagans around.....it could be so much fun.

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I don't know. I never got toys on Easter (Episcopalian upbringing). We had eggs and a basket of small chocolates/jelly beans. I was really surprised when I got older and found that people got huge baskets of toys, etc. It wasn't something we did and very few people I knew got baskets like that.



I personally do not celebrate Easter in any of its forms. I haven't since I walked away from Christianity 8-9 years ago. My son's father comes from a very ethnic Polish background and they do the huge Easter brunch with the blessed baskets. I've been known to call it the Festival of Meat because it's full of cold meats like ham, cold roast pork, fresh and smoked polish sausage and tons of eggs. I'ts not a thing I enjoy although I do love meat. The only thing I miss these days is my 2nd ex husband's grandmother's bread. She is Ukrainian and made the most delicious bread on her Easter (Ukrainian Orthodox.)





I don't see why you can't take whatever symbols you want and make your own celebration. We reall have little anthropological data on exactly how ancient pagans celebrated a lot of their holidays or by which tribes but we do know of many customs that were translated into Christian holidays to win them over. So why not create your own? Want a bunny? Have it I say.



It does no harm and it's fun for many.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/15/2012

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Well, I am not Catholic either. I am an Agnostic Theist BUT we celebrate Easter and Christmas and all inbetween.



We don't celebrate these holidays as a religious thing. We celebrate them on their newer meanings. Most of all, on the gathering of Family. The laughter and excitement of the children. The love we all feel when we come together and enjoy each other.



For us, Easter is about the children and the Easter Bunny. It is about the kids getting super excited the night before and waking up to search the house for cool little nic naks. No reason the big earred guy can't take part in the Ostara fun too... ;)



If it were me, I would do exactly what you said. I would explain to them that for you guys the Easter Bunny comes early to celebrate Ostara.



The Easter Bunny is so cool, he can come anytime of year, you just have to believe it... ;)



I had to tell my daughter every single year that Santa would find her at my mother's house. Since until she turned 11 we always spent Chirstmas Eve at my Mom's (not anymore) and she was always worried that he would miss her, since she wasn't home. I also, made sure to have something at home for when we returned, so she knew that Santa did infact come there too and read her letter that she was at her Nan's.



So, honestly, it is all about what you make it. IMO, as long as it is still a bunch of fun for the kids, since it is all about the kids, then who cares when or how you do it. ;)

Chrystal - posted on 03/15/2012

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In our home we don't call him the Easter Bunny it's the Ostara Bunny so there is another way to go lol. A bunny is a completely fitting figure for Ostara in my view much more so than it is for Easter if your looking at Easter for it's religious meaning. This year will be the first Ostara we will celebrate beyond a family meal since our oldest is now walking. We plan to color eggs, do a small egg hunt, and break ground on our new garden with the children.

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