Easter – What does it mean?

Ostara (1884) by Johannes Gehrts. The goddess flies through the heavens surrounded by Roman-inspired putti, beams of light, and animals. Germanic people look up at the goddess from the realm below.

Once again Easter is upon us.

Like many similar festivals at different times it is a blend of religious tradition along with a lot of non-religious cultural traditions.

Why Easter?

If we pull back the top layer, the obvious Christian beliefs, we find deeper layers. Something dramatic has happened right across the entire northern hemisphere. The dead barren earth of winter is suddenly waking up and new life is emerging from its winter slumber. It transcends human beliefs and cultures, almost universally we celebrate this rebirth cycle, a resurrection.

Cherry Blossom festivals, Spring Festivals such as Holi, the “Festival of Colours” that celebrates the triumph of good over evil are now here.

Christianity might attempt to advance an exclusive claim for the idea of a celebration of death and resurrection, and feel that they uniquely have a story of goodness winning the day. The problem is that it is simply not unique nor exclusive, simply popular. It is universal to our species and transcends any specific belief. Once in the long distant past the natural seasonal cycles were deeply mysterious and attributed to gods.

Most might indeed now fully grasp that seasonal variations are not in any way supernatural. We appreciate that life itself is like this because it has naturally adapted to cycles of slumber during the depths of winter only to then burst forth once again.

Now that the great awaking is once again upon us in this northern hemisphere it is indeed a time to celebrate and join the dance.

It is in many ways akin to facing the sweet counter within an old Woolworths store where a dazzling array of delights beckons and calls. We can pick up and relish what brings joy and simply ignore the offerings that are not to our taste.

For those of a religious disposition there are multiple religious traditions to select from, and for those that are not religious there is still a vast rich choice to reach out to.

In other words, it is not, nor has it ever been, the exclusive preserve of the religious, but instead is universal and part of the human experience.

Enjoy and have a very happy cherry blossom chocolate bunny time. Celebrate with awe and wonder the amazing reemergence of life now that spring is once again here.

Digital Easter Eggs – Tweets


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