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Friday, 6 April 2012

Ostara Blessings to Everyone!

Druid Animal Oracle Worthington /Carr-Gomm 1995

The Hare from the Druid Animal Oracle (Will Worthington & Phillip Carr-Gomm, Touchstone 1995) is the card for today, in honour of the Easter holidays. 

'As representative of the Corn Spirit and the two equinoxes, the hare brings the excitement of rebirth, fertile abundance and willing release as each creative cycle comes to an end,' Carr-Gomm writes, in the guidebook to the deck. 'With the hare as your ally, you will be able to draw on your intuition to guide you through life.'

LAPWING EGGS : The First Easter Eggs

You may notice some eggs on the Hare card. They are lapwing eggs. Did you know they are thought to be the origin of the Easter egg? And do you know why Easter eggs are linked to bunnies? Read on... 
'It seems the tradition of giving eggs at Easter came over to our shores with the Saxons. The Venerable Bede in the 8th Century recorded eggs were exchanged and eaten in Ēostur-monath, the Anglo-Saxon month equivalent to April.
Lapwing eggs
'Most bird eggs were eaten at this time but the poor lapwing bore the brunt as its eggs were reputably rich and delicious, and being a ground nesting bird, they were easily harvested. Put it down to bad nest timing but for a millennium in this country lapwing eggs were eaten in and around Easter. However it was the Victorians, as with so many things, that took it too far.
'Lapwing eggs - or plover eggs as they were known - had turned into a vast commercial market with reports of basket after bucket of plover eggs for sale in London's markets at Easter. Queen Victoria favoured her plover eggs cooked in aspic and Mrs Beaton supplied several recipes for the discerning cook.
'With this demand came dedicated teams of 'egg pickers'. In 20 years they had stripped the whole of the south of England as far up as Lincolnshire. By the end of the 1880's plover eggs had to be ferried in from as far a field as the Scottish highlands and Holland. It was only in 1926 and the introduction of the Lapwing Act did this officially stop.
'It is from this wild harvest, however, that historians believe lie the origins to the classic Easter custom of the egg hunt. Lapwing eggs hidden in the long grasses would be fairly difficult to find and the children's garden egg hunt is most likely mimicking this pursuit. 
'Bizarrely it seems we also have the lapwing to thank for the Easter Bunny. Originally the Easter bunny was a hare but an animal so entrenched in Pagan lore was deemed 'unfitting' for Christian purposes. Hares, unlike rabbits, live their entire lives above ground. They hide from predators by making a shallow indentation in the soil known as a form. Lapwings classically inhabit the same territories as hares and make a scrape of a nest on the ground; in fact, quite often a lapwing will hijack a hare's form and lay eggs in it' (Source: 'Lapwing: The Unsung Hero of Easter and Farm Icon').
Lapwing in buttercups 
And so, that's why we have Easter Egg hunts, and that's why at Easter, bunnies lay eggs. And now you know! 

Happy Ostara and a blessed Full Moon! (In my tradition, the current moon is the Seed Moon, a time for planting that which you hope will grow and flourish. So make a wish to the full moon tonight!) 

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