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In some legends, eggs, as a fertility symbol, are associated with that other symbol of fertility, the rabbit. How did we get the notion that a rabbit comes around and lays colored eggs in the spring? The character of the “Easter bunny” first appeared in 16th-century German writings, which said that if well-behaved children built a nest out of their caps or bonnets, they would be rewarded with colored eggs. This legend became part of American folklore in the 18th century, when German immigrants settled in the eastern U.S.
In Persia, eggs have been painted for thousands of years as part of the spring celebration of No Ruz, which is the Zoroastrian new year. In Iran, the colored eggs are placed on the dinner table at No Ruz, and a mother eats one cooked egg for each child she has. The festival of No Ruz predates the reign of Cyrus the Great, whose rule (580-529 b.c.e.) marks the beginning of Persian history.
In early Christian cultures, consumption of the Easter egg may have marked the end of Lent. In Greek Orthodox Christianity, there is a legend that after Christ’s death on the cross, Mary Magdalene went to the emperor of Rome, and told him of Jesus’ resurrection. The emperor’s response was skeptical, hinting that such an event was just about as likely as a nearby bowl of eggs suddenly turning red. Much to the emperor’s surprise, the bowl of eggs turned red, and Mary Magdalene joyfully began preaching Christianity throughout the land.
In some Native American creation tales, the egg features prominently. Typically, this involves the cracking of a giant egg to form the universe, the earth, or even gods. In some tribes of America’s Pacific northwest region, there is a story about thunder eggs–geodes–which are thrown by the angry spirits of the high mountain ranges.
A Chinese folk tale tells of the story of the formation of the universe. Like so many things, it began as an egg. A deity named Pan Gu formed inside the egg, and then in his efforts to get out, cracked it into two halves. The upper portion became the sky and cosmos, and the lower half became the earth and sea. As Pan Gu grew bigger and more powerful, the gap between earth and sky increased, and soon they were separated forever.
Pysanka eggs are a popular item in the Ukraine. This tradition stems from a pre-Christian custom in which eggs were covered in wax and decorated in honor of the sun god Dazhboh. He was celebrated during the spring season, and eggs were magical things indeed. Once Christianity moved into the
READ MORE HERE: https://www.learnreligions.com/egg-magic-and-folklore-2562457
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the Silver Sage Witch of Witchcraftandmore.com
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Good information for everyone, but most especially if you’re thinking about acknowledging the Witch in you.
Honoring the Green Ones
The Green Man, Jack-in-the-Green, the Green Lady, and the Garden Goddess are some of the vegetative aspects of deity invoked for this holiday. At this time of year, trees, vegetables, and other plants are at their peak, festooned with green leaves and often with fruit or flowers. These deities represent the luxurious growth and abundance of plants.
If at all possible, celebrate outdoors when honoring the Green Ones. Dress and decorate in shades of rich green. Include leaves, flowers, and fruits whether real or pictured on fabric or altar tools. Crown the High Priest(ess) with a grapevine and extra fruits or leaves.
The Oak King and the Holly King
Many rituals recreate this seasonal myth. The Oak King rules the waxing half of the year from Yule to Midsummer; the Holly King rules the waning half of the year from Midsummer to Yule. At this time, they duel and the Holly King will defeat the Oak King.
This type of ritual theater is performed by two men who represent the Oak King and the Holly King. Traditionally the Oak King is a younger man with lighter hair, dressed in green with accents of white or gold, decked with oak leaves and acorns. The Holly King is an older man with dark hair, dressed in red with accents of black, decked with holly leaves and berries. They hold a mock duel — our coven once did this incorporating a flashy bit of stage magic and it was very memorable.
The Summer Solstice
At the summer solstice, the sun has reached its farthest position from the equator, its peak of power. This is the longest day, after which days will shorten as nights grow longer. This marks the peak of the growing season and lets people know that harvest is around the corner. Solar deities such as Amaterasu and Ra are often honored as part of this celebration, and many religions observe this holiday.
Celebrate solar energy by decorating with yellow, gold, orange, and red. Use images of the sun and hold the ritual at or near noon, outside to take advantage of the sunlight. An impressive trick is to start a small fire using a magnifying glass to focus the sun’s rays.
Litha is one of the fire festivals, when people traditionally build big bonfires. Sometimes offerings are thrown into the flames or people jump over the coals. In modern times, wiener roasts and s’mores are very popular. Given the bonfire and warm weather, Pagans often hold drum jams and