Special Aromatherapy oils for Eastertime



 Astrology - The Date of Easter


The Easter Story


Eggs-tra Special Aromatherapy


Astrology - The Date of Easter


Bistort, an Easter Herb


Beautiful Eggs for Easter


An Easter Bouquet


Easter Dinner


A Dozen Pace (Peace) Eggs


Pace Egging Song

Easter Bunny Maze











Why the date of Easter is not set, and how it is linked to the vernal equinox.

Many ancient festivals were timed according to the seasons and depend on astrological /astronomical events such as the solstices and the equinoxes. When Christianity sought to convert followers from the old faith, instead of trying to wipe out the old well established festivals, the church sought to “Christianise” them. Thus, Samhain became All Hallows, Yule, (Winter Solstice) became Christmas etc. The vernal equinox, of course, was the time to celebrate Spring, and Spring is about renewal and rebirth and victory over death. The Jewish feast of the Passover falls around this time as well, and the Bible tells us that Christ was crucified just before this feast. All this made the equinox the ideal time to celebrate the feast of Christ’s resurrection from the dead.

If the early Christian missionaries to Celtic lands were looking for an equinox festival to appropriate, they were not disappointed, for this was the festival of Ostara whose Anglo Saxon name was Eastre. She was a goddess of light, Spring and fertility. Her symbols were eggs and rabbits (or hares). Is any of this starting to sound familiar? So the name Eastre became Easter, and the festival became a commemoration of the resurrection of Jesus.

But the Christian holiday could not be celebrated on the actual equinox because it had to coincide with the Jewish Passover, or Pasch, which the Jews celebrate on that 14th day of the month of Nisan in the lunar calendar, which is the first full moon after the equinox. After some discussion, the council of Nicea in 325 A.D. ordered that Easter would fall on the Sunday that immediately follows the full moon that happens upon, or after, the vernal equinox .... except... that if this falls on Sunday, or if Easter and the Passover coincide, then Easter takes place one week later.

There is a complicated formula by which we can calculate the date on which Easter will fall in any given year. The timing of Easter combines the solar and lunar calendar. Reconciling three unrelated factors  - the week, the lunar month and the solar year - can be complicated. Early church leaders, probably feeling the need to make their holiday ‘special’, used an ‘ecclesiastical’ full moon rather than the actual lunar event. Using the ecclesiastical rules (based upon the golden number, epact, and Dominical letter), the full moon doesn’t always coincide with the astronomical full moon. In the Hebrew calendar, occasional extra months are added to a year to keep in line with the solar year and with the solar event, the vernal equinox.

What all this means is that Easter is celebrated on a Sunday on varying dates between March 22 and April 25 and is therefore called a movable feast. The dates of several other Christian festivals,  are determined by the date of Easter

As far as the zodiac is concerned the Vernal (spring) equinox is the Astrological New Year when  the Sun passes from Pisces into the first sign of the zodiac, Aries the Ram. Aries is ruled by the planet Mars, (from which the month "March" takes its name), and brings transformation and change - as the winter changes into spring. During winter, the vegetation is dormant - its life force is underground. But as the raw, unbounded energy of Aries enters the scene, everything is enlivened. As Chaucer puts it (my readable interpretation):

When April with his showers sweet
The drought of March has piercéd to the root
And bathed every vein in such liquor       
Of which force engendered is the flower;
When Zephirus too, with his sweet breath,
Has inspired in every holt and heath
Tender shoots, and the young sun     
Has in the Ram half of his course now run...

The days lengthen and temperatures begin to rise, calling forth green shoots from the ground and blossoms from the trees. The feeling of renewal is all around. Eventually this wild energy of Aries will be channelled and grounded by Taurus, but for now we can enjoy his exuberance as we  celebrate the renewal of spring. We resonate to nature's cycle and seasons. We must learn to live in harmony with them and use their power to propel us onward and upward.  

The following quote is from a lecture by G. de Purucker given in 1931. “Easter is a beautiful season of the year. It is not merely a day, it is rather a spiritual idea; indeed, it is an ideal - as it were a breath of the soul of  antiquity, which has come down to us, albeit distorted, from far past ages, this soul_breathing of antiquity arising in the inner spiritual life of man. By these words I mean that Easter represents an actual event which occurs annually in the spiritual life of man, because the events of man’s spiritual life faithfully reflect the events that take place in the spiritual life of the world.”

Happy Easter

By Sylvia Richards 27th March 2011


© 2011 Sylvia Richards www.yourspiritualhaven.com All rights reserved.