Sunday, March 31, 2013


We found some twigs from the garden, painted them white, arranged them in a pot of soil and decorated them with Easter paraphernalia.

Et voilĂ  our first Easter Tree. It was a thoroughly enjoyable exercise, especially for my 3 year old daughter.

It was my mum's idea - I was joking with her as we made it that we channelling our Pagan roots and making a symbol of fertility to sit in her window.

Looking at my 3 high-energy kids that drive me to the point of insanity regularly she replied: "I hope not!"

But seriously, we did sub-consciously make a Tree of Fertility. A symbol of the real meaning of Easter. The Pagans carried out Easter rituals such as decorating trees and eggs in the vibrant spring sunshine colours in order to encourage fertility in the soil for the seasons ahead. That was their way of blessing the land and encouraging good harvests.
For Pagans, who were around thousands of years before Christianity, Easter time is about the rebirth of the sun and celebrating the wonder of nature. It's about a goddess of fertility called Eostre who is depicted with a rabbit's head and the symbols of eggs and rabbits.

These fertility symbols have become so intrinsically linked with Easter that we no longer question why we surround ourselves with them, or why images of the Easter bunny (the modern day translation of the Goddess Eostre) are everywhere.

Goddess Eostre

The word Easter shares the same root with "east" and "eastern," the direction of the rising sun.

The blossoming of spring is a life-renewing time of the year for us all, when winter has finally passed (hopefully once this cold snap ends) and the sun is born again.

Meanwhile, a different type of Easter involving a man's murder and resurrection is taken very seriously here in Catholic Ireland.

On Good Friday the pubs are closed, no drink is taken and people won't eat meat - as a mark of respect for the anniversary of Jesus' death.

Everyone is supposed to go to church to listen to men in cloaks talk of sacrifice. Hours and hours of church sermons to sit through, if you like that kind of thing.

It makes me somehow feel alien in a country that I've embraced as home. It makes me question the origins of the Christian belief system.

Read up about the history of Easter and you'll discover it is widely believed that the early Christians only embraced Easter after they realised it was such a big celebration in the Pagan calendar. In a bid to convert them to christianity, they merged the Spring Equinox to coincide with Christ's resurrection. They worship the SON at this time of year, not SUN like their Pagan ancestors.
The more you research this, the more you find that 'son' and 'sun' are interchangeable as historical symbols of renewal and spring equinox. Consider for one minute, the coincidence of Easter being exactly 9 months prior to a very famous December 25th celebrated birth date? A natural life cycle.

Easter might represent the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the religious, but its origins derive from the annual "crossification" of the sun through the vernal equinox (Spring), when the sun is resurrected as the day begins to become longer than the night.

There's so many similarities that you can see why Easter is a special time for everyone, even if most of us and kids are only interested in chocolate eggs and Easter egg hunts.

So this weekend, I'm embracing my dormant inner Pagan, tuning into nature and celebrating the glory of the EGG. And relaxing in the spectacle of my kids stuffing their faces with chocolate and decorating trees as the sun shines brighter in the sky once more. 

If you want to read more about this, check out these links....


Post a Comment


  1. Well my goodness I had no idea when Idid my own version of an easter tree this year that I was tapping into my pagan roots! I've been doing a version of this for a few years now because (or so I thought) it makes sense to me to decorate with natural things like twigs, stones and flowers in at this time! Your tree is beautiful. The white paint really highlights the shapes and your little girl is gorgeous: )

  2. Well my goodness I've been doing versions of this for a few years now and didn't realise the pagan link but I like it! It makes sense to me to use things found in nature to decorate. Your tree turned out gorgeous, love the white and your little girl is just gorgeous


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...