Tag Archive: hares


Pink Moon – April

April’s Full Moon is a few days away on the 25th this year. Interestingly enough, we will also be experiencing an eclipse as well. Here are a few interesting links to check out concerning the Full Moon and the lunar eclipse in Scorpio: “Scorpio Lunar Eclipse: Shadows and Truth” at Aepril’s Astrology and “Full Moon/Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio – April 25th, 2013” at Celestial Space Astrology by Dipali Desai.  Here is Moon Circle’s 3 minute Taurus Scorpio Full Moon Ritual by Dana Gerhardt; “April’s Full Pink Moon” by Robert McDowell; and “Scorpio Full Moon/Lunar Eclipse: Snake in the Grass, Dragon in the Heart” by April Elliott Kent.

Journeying to the Goddess

The Farmer’s Almanac tells us that the name “Pink Moon” comes from the herb moss pink, or wild ground phlox, which is one of the earliest widespread flowers of the spring. Other names for this month’s celestial body include the Full Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon, and among coastal tribes the Full Fish Moon, because this was the time that the shad swam upstream to spawn.

According to the Wise Witches Society, this moon is known as the Hare Moon; the sacred animal was associated in Roman legends with springtime and fertility.

 

APRIL; Growing Moon (April) Also known as: Hare Moon, Seed or Planting Moon, Planter’s Moon, Budding Trees Moon, Eastermonath (Eostre Month), Ostarmanoth, Pink Moon, Green Grass Moon
Nature Spirits: plant faeries
Herbs: basil, chives, dragon’s blood, geranium, thistle
Colors: crimson red, gold
Flowers: daisy, sweet pea
Scents: pine, bay, bergamot, patchouli

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This graphic on Facebook has been driving me crazy all week – thanks to The Belle Jar for putting this together to address the mis- and disinformation being put out there that has absolutely no scholarly evidence or lore to back those claims up.  I also found this on the Suppressed History Archives Facebook page: “A real connection, not linguistic or diffusionist, can be found in the spring festival of eggs, whether Pesach or Easter. Pesach (Passover) has been shown to incorporate Babylonian cultural elements (from the Jewish Babylonian) – beyond the egg and greenery on the plate, it incorporates the names Esther (Ishtar) and Mordechai (Marduk). Still today Iranians play games with painted eggs for Nowruz (Persian New Year, coinciding with Spring Equinox). Dunno if this is allowed now in the Islamic Republic of Iran, but looky here:” History of Nowruz, the Persian New Year.  Also this from the Northern Grove, Cultural Appropriation, Ishtar, Eostre, and Easter.  Good stuff to read!

The Belle Jar

If there is one thing that drives me absolutely bananas, it’s people spreading misinformation via social media under the guise of “educating”. I’ve seen this happen in several ways – through infographics that twist data in ways that support a conclusion that is ultimately false, or else through “meaningful” quotes falsely attributed to various celebrities, or by cobbling together a few actual facts with statements that are patently untrue to create something that seems plausible on the surface but is, in fact, full of crap.

Yesterday, the official Facebook page of (noted misogynistandeugenicsenthusiast) Richard Dawkins’ Foundation for Reason and Science shared the following image to their 637,000 fans:

Naturally, their fans lapped this shit up; after all, this is the kind of thing they absolutely live for. Religious people! Being hypocritical! And crazy! And wrong! The 2,000+ comments were chock-full of smug remarks…

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Goddess Ch’ang O

Painting in the Dunhuang Series by Zeng Hao

Ch’ang O’s themes are the moon, relationships, purity, devotion, instinct, growth and manifestation. Her symbols all lunar symbols or items.  This Chinese moon Goddess is stunningly beautiful, shining on our lives with all the best energies of the moon. On this day, Her birthday, She reaches out to embrace the earth and its people, inspiring pure, devoted relationships, stirring long-forgotten insights and sharing energy for growth and manifestation in nearly any area of our lives.

Celebrating the Birthday of the Moon is in honor of the moon Goddess and is a national event in China; the traditions are easily adapted to our efforts. Begin by gathering with family or friends and exchanging moon gifts (anything that represents the moon and meets a magical need for the person to whom it’s intended).  After the gift exchange, enjoy some moon-shaped cookies or cakes, as well as other foods that invoke Ch’ango’s favor, like dumplings shaped like a crescent moon (dim sum) and grapefruit slices.

Don’t forget to go moon gazing (if the weather is poor, use a poster or book image). Hold hands with your companions and bask in the silvery glow. Moonlight is said to enliven creativity, romance, and other positive emotions today.Additionally, looking upon Ch’ango’s visage draws the Goddess’s blessing and protection.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“Chang-O” by Lisa Hunt

Patricia Monaghan writes: “In ancient China, it was said that this moon Goddess originally lived on earth, where Her husband was a famous archer.  To honor the mans’s prowess, the gods gave him the drink of immortality, but Chang-O beat him to the bottle and drank it down.  Then She fled to the moon, where Shed asked the hare who lived there for protection from Her (probably righteously) furious husband.

There, some say, Chang-O gained immortality – as a toad.  Other legends say that Chang-O’s residence was one of the twelve moons, each a different shape, that cross the sky” (p. 84).

Now apparently, there are at least 3 different versions of Her story; click here to read them.

While researching Chang-O, I found this commentary particularly insightful: “I feel like She has grown beyond Her silly mistake – that perhaps that was the necessary fumble for Her, so She would be in isolation, and able to explore the mysteries of humanity and divinity in solitude.

I see Her, not as selfish or stupid, but as gentle, and grown wise from Her mistakes. I feel that She has a lot of compassion for humans, being that She once stood where we are now.” [1]

“Alternate names: Hêng Ô, Chang E, T’ai-yin Huang-chin (‘The Moon Queen’), Yuehfu Ch’ang Ô (‘Ch’ang Ô of the Lunar Palace’)”. [2]

 

 

 

Sources:

Autumnsdaughter. Tarotforum.net, “Goddess Tarot: 9 ~ Contemplation: Chang O“.

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Chang-O”.

Took, Thalia. A-Muse-ing Grace Gallery, “Ch’ang Ô“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Kuchinsky, Charlotte. Yahoo! Voices, “The Myth of Chang O, Chinese Goddess of the Moon“.

Moonbird, Maeve. Order of the White Moon,Ch’ang-O Chinese Goddess of the Moon“.

Wikipedia, “Chang’e“.

Wikipedia, “Mid-Autumn Festival“.

Pink Moon – April

The Farmer’s Almanac tells us that the name “Pink Moon” comes from the herb moss pink, or wild ground phlox, which is one of the earliest widespread flowers of the spring. Other names for this month’s celestial body include the Full Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon, and among coastal tribes the Full Fish Moon, because this was the time that the shad swam upstream to spawn.

According to the Wise Witches Society, this moon is known as the Hare Moon; the sacred animal was associated in Roman legends with springtime and fertility.

“Madonna Blue” by KAGAYA YAKUTA

 

APRIL; Growing Moon (April) Also known as: Hare Moon, Seed or Planting Moon, Planter’s Moon, Budding Trees Moon, Eastermonath (Eostre Month), Ostarmanoth, Pink Moon, Green Grass Moon
Nature Spirits: plant faeries
Herbs: basil, chives, dragon’s blood, geranium, thistle
Colors: crimson red, gold
Flowers: daisy, sweet pea
Scents: pine, bay, bergamot, patchouli
Stones: ruby, garnet, sard
Trees: pine, bay, hazel
Animals: bear, wolf
Birds: hawk, magpie
Deities: Kali, Hathor, Anahita, Ceres, Ishtar, Venus, Bast
Power Flow: energy into creating and producing; return balance to the nerves. Change, self-confidence, self-reliance, take advantage of opportunities. Work on temper and emotional flare-ups and selfishness.

 

 

Sources:

The Old Farmers’ Almanac, “The Full Pink Moon: April’s Moon Guide“.

Willow Grove, “The Witch’s Esbats“.

Wise Witches Society, “Full Moon Names and Their Meanings“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

The Fine-Arts and Bluesband & Poetry Press, “The Names of the Moons

National Geographic, “Full Moons: What’s In A Name?

What-Your-Sign.com, “Symbolic Native American Full Moon Names“.

Goddess Ostara

“Ostara” by Asaenath

“Ostara’s themes are fertility and rebirth.  Her symbols are eggs.  The Teutonic Goddess Ostara presides over personal renewal, fertility and fruitfulness. Now that spring is here, it’s a good time to think about renewal in your own life. Ostara represents spring’s life force and earth’s renewal. Depicted as lovely as the season itself, in earlier writings She was also the Goddess of dawn, a time of new beginnings (spring being the figurative dawn of the year). One of Ostara’s name variations, Esotara, slowly evolved into the modern name for this holiday, Easter.

All spells and foods that include eggs are appropriate today. If you’ve been ill, try an old folk spell that recommends carrying an egg for twenty-four hours, then burying it to bury the sickness.

To improve fertility of all kinds, make eggs for breakfast at dawn’s first light, the best time to invoke Ostara. As you eat, add an incantation like this one:

 ‘Ostara, bring to me fertility
With this egg now bless my fruitfulness!’

Or, if you’re feeling down and need a little extra hope, get up before the sun rises and release a symbol of your burden to the earth by dropping or burying it. Don’t look at it! Turn your back and leave it there. Turn toward the horizon as the sun rises, and harvest the first flower you see. Dry it, then carry it with you often as a charm to preserve hope in your heart.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“Ostara” by Mickie Mueller

The Goddess Ostara, or Eostre, is the Anglo-Saxon Goddess of Spring, the East, Resurrection, and Rebirth, is also the Maiden aspect of the Three-fold Goddess.  She gave Her name to the Christian festival of Easter (which is an older Pagan festival appropriated by the Church), whose timing is still dictated by the Moon. Modern Pagans celebrate Her festival on the Vernal Equinox, usually around March 21, the first day of Spring.

Ostara was an important Goddess of spring to the ancient Saxons, but we know little else of Her other than this. Some have suggested that Ostara is merely an alternate name for Frigg or Freya, but neither of these Goddesses seem to have quite the same fertility function as Ostara does. Frigg, Goddess of the home, wouldn’t seem to be associated with such an earthy festival and Freya’s form of fertility is more based on eroticism than reproduction.

However, Ostara is associated, almost interchangebly, with many different Goddesses.  [Again, purely speculation] She is essentially identical to Freya, for She is the Goddess of the fertile spring, the resurrection of life after winter. She was equated with the Goddess Idunna, who bore the Apples of Eternal Youth to the Aesir, and many believe that Ostara and Idunna are the same, or represent the same principle. She is almost certainly the same as the Greek Goddess Eos, Goddess of the Dawn. (Again, following the threefold theme — Eos is the Maiden aspect of the three goddesses Eos /Dawn, Hemera /Day and Nyx/Night.) As Ostara is Goddess of the Dawn, we can understand why sunrise services have always been an important aspect of the spring resurrection/rebirth observances of other cultures.

Eggs and rabbits are sacred to Her as is the full moon  [though there is no historical record of this], since the ancients saw in its markings the image of a rabbit or the hare. Pagan Anglo-Saxons made offerings of colored eggs to Her at the Vernal Equinox. They placed them at graves especially, probably as a charm of rebirth. (Egyptians and Greeks were also known to place eggs at gravesites). The Goddess of Fertility was also the Goddess of Grain, so offerings of bread and cakes were also made to Her. Rabbits are sacred to Ostara, especially white rabbits, and She was said to be able to take the form of a rabbit.

One myth says Ostara found a bird dying from the cold. She changed it to a rabbit so it could keep warm. Maybe this is why the Easter Bunny brings eggs to children on Easter. Traditionally German children are told that it is the Easter hare that lays all the Easter eggs. [1][2]

“Ostara” by Helena Nelson-Reed

“Part of the story of the Easter bunny is excerpted below, but you can use this link to read the complete version of Easter History and Traditions, including the stories of the Goddesses, at the website: Easter History and Traditions

The Goddess Ostara and the Origin of the Easter Bunny: A Modern Neo-Pagan Tale

Ostara, the Goddess of Dawn (Saxon), who was responsible for bringing spring each year, was feeling guilty about arriving so late. To make matters worse, She arrived to find a pitiful little bird who lay dying, his wings frozen by the snow. Lovingly, Ostara cradled the shivering creature and saved his life.

Legend has it that She then made him Her pet or, in the X-rated versions, Her lover. Filled with compassion for him since he could no longer fly because of his frost-damaged wings, the Goddess Ostara turned him into a rabbit, a snow hare, and gave him the name Lepus.

She also gave him the gift of being able to run with astonishing speed so he could easily evade all the hunters.  To honor his earlier form as a bird, She also gave him the ability to lay eggs (in all the colors of the rainbow, no less), but he was only allowed to lay eggs on one day out of each year.

Eventually Ostara lost Her temper with Lepus (some say the raunchy rabbit was involved with another woman), and She flung him into the skies where he would remain for eternity as the constellation Lepus (The Hare), forever positioned under the feet of the constellation Orion (the Hunter).

But later, remembering all the good times they had once enjoyed, Ostara softened a bit and allowed the hare to return to earth once each year, but only to give away his eggs to the children attending the Ostara festivals that were held each spring.” [3]  Again, there is no historical documentation or lore that states this and I really have no idea where the tale originated from.

Variant spellings: Eostra, Eostrae, Eostre, Eástre, Austra [4]

 

 

 

Sources:

Ashliman, D.L. The University of Pittsburgh: German 1500: Germanic Myths, Legends, and Sagas,Ostara’s Home Page: The Germanic Goddess of Springtime“.

The Goddess Gift E-zine, “The Goddess Ostara and the Easter Bunny: The Art of Renewal“.

Took, Thalia. A-Muse-ing Grace Gallery, “Eostre“.

Yvonne. Earth Witchery, “Ostara or Eostre“.

 

 

 

Suggested Links:

Aloi, Peg, Witches’ Voice, “You Call It Easter, We Call It Ostara“.

The Blue Roebuck,”Eostre“.

Cavalorn. Cavalorn.livejournal.com, “Eostre: The Making of a Myth“.

Fox, Selena. Circle Sanctuary, “Ostara Meditation“.

Goddess E-zine, “The Goddess Ostara, the Easter Bunny, and Their History in Easter Tradition“.

Goddessgift.com, “Goddess Ostara: History of Easter Eggs, History of the Easter Bunny, Goddess Ishtar and the First Resurrection“.

Goddessgift.com, “Ostara (Oestre): Saxon Goddess of the Dawn and Spring“.

Love of the Goddess, “Ostara, Celebration of the Goddess of Spring.”

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “Eostre: walk with a ‘spring’ in your step“.

Wikipedia, “Ēostre

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