Why Bother Dying Eggs?
I mean isn’t it just a big stupid hassle??
As you may have read before, I’ve struggled with Easter in the past, making it feel relevant. For most of my adult life I just ignored it. Once I had kids I kinda had to think a little more deeply about it – so I could explain why I don’t care and not hiding chocolate eggs for them to hunt. Over the last few years, though I’ve gone a little deeper in understanding Spring and its equinox.
The Summer and Winter Solstices are the more dramatic of seasons . . .
the ones that call out most strongly for recognition. However, the measured equanimity of the middle seasons, Spring and Fall, are full of opportunity too.
A few years ago, my handler, Josie Fae, introduced me to this little audio-zine that exists in a small recessed corner of the internet. It’s called The Witch’s Child and it helped me unlock a deep and profound understanding of my European lineage’s connection to Spring.
In contemplating it again this year (as we listen to it while painting our easter eggs), Hettie chimed in with the perfect quote:
“… Spring has to be welcomed, or it never comes. For the spectator, Winter never ends. Spring is an insurrection. A hammer that cracks the walls of seed pods, a bud that breaks the sheets of ice. An erotic meeting that shatters the contemplation of Winter and upsets all the old orders by the untamed collision and growth of bodies.”
How do we welcome Spring?
May Day is a month away. Come summer, we will be making salves, tinctures, rose water etc. What do we need to do to wrap up / prepare? It may be different for everyone. Here are a few things we need to do around here: make candles and soap, spring clean, planting protected seeds . . . These are all material things. I wonder:
How do we prepare our spirits?
How do we prepare our spirits for the work of Spring? Hettie told me once that Spring is the season of birth and death as they are contained in union and the hope of fertility. What if decorating eggs were a short cut to the proper psychic welcoming of Spring, a welcoming that is just as important as all the material stuff. Hettie pulls these out:
“Often the hands will solve a mystery that the intellect has struggled with in vain.” – Carl Jung
“The practice of decorating eggshells as part of spring rituals is ancient, with decorated, engraved ostrich eggs found in Africa which are 60,000 years old. In the pre-dynastic period of Egypt and the early cultures of Mesopotamia and Crete, eggs were associated with death and rebirth…” ~ Wikipedia
“Eggs may be buried near the doorway of a house to protect the health of the people there, or buried by the barn or stable door to protect animals.”
“The most elaborate designs are found in Eastern Europe, where women are traditionally the artists responsible for decorating eggs.” ~
Perhaps, through decorating eggs, our hands can show us something for, and in, us that we can’t figure out only with our minds. If Spring is also an inner “insurrection. A hammer that cracks the walls of seed pods, a bud that breaks the sheets of ice”, recall your deepest beseeching from the darkness of Winter, and listen to your hands as they paint, etch, dye, pattern and bury. They might just solve the problem of melting, of opening, of uniting after long introspective and contractive months of Winter.