Friday, April 6, 2012

Celebrating and some sweetness..

So it is almost Easter time and I wish those who celebrate a Happy Easter. But unfortunately I am kind of disappointed I started bringing this holiday into our house because now I kind of want it out. See for me growing up holidays weren't about religion they were about family. And that is great! But as I have gotten older and realized what these holidays are all about it makes it really hard to want to continue celebrating them.

I consider myself Pagan with a strong attraction to Buddhism as well. I saw someone call themselves a Buddhagan the other day and I thought that was great honestly! So why on earth would I be celebrating things I don't believe in? It makes no sense at all. But I do love the excuses the holidays give (not that you need any!) to do fun holiday related things especially with your children.

This has all really started to bother me recently more then ever because now my 6 yr old is asking me what these holidays are about and sometimes I realize I don't even know the answer! Like St Patricks Day. I really had no clue I just "knew" it was Irish and leprechauns and clovers and what not. Really now that I have actually done the reading why in the world are there leprechauns and heavy drinking by Irish loving people on this day? Seems to me it has nothing to do with the actual meaning. And why on earth would I celebrate someone who tried to make the Irish Druids become Christian (Catholic? i don't even know the right answer from conflicting reads on the net)!? As a Pagan celebrating someone who tried to make Druids history is ridiculous!

And then we have Easter now... Easter bunnies and chocolate eggs? Really what is the Christian significance behind those and a reason they are a part of this day? They aren't. They are from pagan centered stories.

                                     Image Designs By Willow How beautiful is that?!

The story of Eostre and Ostara. There are many versions of this story but I liked this one best as it is child friendly.

Eostre, the Goddess of Springtime, was bringing Spring to the land when she happened upon a young girl who was weeping in the forest. The girl had found a bird who had frozen to death in the snow. Taking pity on her, Eostre went to the girl to bring the bird back to life but Eostre could not save the bird's wings so she turned the bird into a rabbit instead.

Having once been a bird, the rabbit retained its ability to lay eggs and every Spring thereon the rabbit would lay eggs in all the bright colors of Spring as a thank you to the goddess Eostre for saving its life.

And that is the story of the Easter Bunny and the tradition of why we decorate eggs in bright colors. Eostre was the Goddess of Springtime and fertility hence the further symbolism of rabbits (procreation), eggs (fertility) and chocolate (aphrodisiac).

Lovely story isn't it? And this resonates much more with me then anything the Easter holiday has to offer. I am still having a bit of a time struggling with being prepared for certain Pagan holidays as the Christian holidays are so ingrained in me from growing up with them.

I did make sure we had a nice little day for Ostara this year but I forgot to prepare eggs for dying and Ostara baskets before it was too late! So since I love seeing my boys faces light up we are doing our egg dying and baskets on Easter this year.

So it is clear I love everyone. I don't care what your religion is as long as you are good to others. These commercialized Christian holidays are just not for me. Although I will admit we will probably still celebrate Xmas in the usual traditions just with a more Yule feel (although it is already pretty Pagan to begin with, without changing anything!). Same with Valentines day which we will be calling Love day! We are full of that and I am happy to make a day even more filled with love then the rest of our days already are. 

I just had to get that off my chest because it has been bothering me! I certainly was not trying to offend anyone. <3

We have been thoroughly enjoying this spring weather and have been trying to make the most of it. Just the a few days ago we decided we would make Violet Jelly. It was such a fun thing to do and boy I have never worked so hard for some jelly in my life! Picking violets out of the grass in our yard with a 30 pound baby on my back was quite the workout! But worth the fun! This was our first Violet Jelly ever and we weren't sure what to expect.

2 cups of violets. Big L helped me pick some too!

This was immediately after pouring boiling water onto them and the first thing that came to my mind was wow this might make an excellent natural egg dye! So I told myself if I was up to picking some more we would try that as well this year! And we now have violets sitting in the kitchen waiting to do their thing, so stay tuned for that probably being posted tomorrow!

After sitting in the fridge for 24 hours. So beautiful!

Big L stirring after adding lemon juice. What another beautiful color!

Getting ready to put into the water bath.


Only thing bad that I can say about this fun experiment is that this IS NOT healthy. It is pretty much pure sugar and naturally colored water... I am hoping to come up with a better recipe because you might as well be eating candy with how much sugar is in these! And it is white sugar at that, which we never use or eat.

OH! And in case you are wanting to make your own Violet Jelly this is the recipe we used! :) VIOLET JELLY! <3

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