My mom was very much into the holidays when I was growing up. Christmas has always been her favorite because her birthday is in December, but after that, her love was Easter. As a devout Christian woman, she celebrated Easter as the celebration of the brutalization, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and so did I. I always thought my parents were so strict, and they were in many ways, but at the very least, they weren’t those kinds of fundamentalist fuddy duddies who didn’t allow us to celebrate the more commercial aspect of the holidays. We did the holiday parties, gifts, decorations, crafts, songs, just like most others. My favorite part of Easter was dyeing eggs. Oh, and the excessive amounts of candy. Even school was full of stories and projects about the various novelties of the season. At home, my mother would always tell me to, “Remember the REASON for the season!” and then go on babbling excitedly about The Lord. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’ve been all over the map (and off of it) spiritually, so my stand on holidays has evolved quite a bit. With all of that being said, this is is why I, Dava Greely, celebrate this time of year.
I give respect to Yashua Ben Yosef (Jesus) for the lessons of his life, his being, but even more so than that, I celebrate to give respect to Mother Earth, Gaia, for her grace and sacrifice. Earth Mother is the bearer of the ether into physical reality. Everything about her is abundant, from core to atmosphere. Her essence is to give – naturally, endlessly, and without conditions. She makes flourish our every need. Yet, she is used, abused, and crucified EVERY SINGLE DAY – oil spills, deforestation, air pollution, fracking. She suffers for every moment that she has to watch her children destroy each other and everything around them with violence, famine, pestilence, war, elitism, greed. She succumbs to her pain and sorrow and dies every night and rips the veil so that we may set our eyes on the Cosmos, so that we may know that there’s something bigger than ourselves. And every morning, she is resurrected with the Sun. She raises up from the deep every morning. So, why celebrate this day? Well, the Earth moves with the natural rhythm of seasons and each season represents something different. Ostara and other similar traditions are the celebration of fertility and new life. It’s animals coming out of hibernation, the birds coming back from migration, bees buzzing, crops peaking from beneath the soil, flowers blooming, and butterflies coming out to play. It’s the snow capped mountains beginning to melt and creating streams and waterfalls that will flow into rivers, lakes, and finally to the ocean’s depths. It’s the celebration of childbirth. It’s giving praise for the way a sunrise looks like a baby’s head crowning as it emerges from the darkness of it’s mother’s primordial womb. Happy Resurrection Sunday, indeed.