Coloring Eggs? Who Came Up With This Idea?

Welcome Ostara

If you ask what do colored eggs have to do with Easter, chances are someone will tell you about how the Catholic Church co-opted/stole pagan traditions and holidays.  They will tell you that eggs are sacred to Ostara, the Goddess of Spring and that coloring eggs and hiding them was originally part of her celebrations.

My own natural dyed eggs. The orange ones came from onion skins - 1.5 hours. The blue ones from red cabbage - 4.5 hours.

My own natural dyed eggs. The orange ones came from onion skins – 1.5 hours. The blue ones from red cabbage – 4.5 hours.

However, no one asks the follow up question.  Why in the world would people start coloring eggs in the first place?  Especially when you realize how difficult and time consuming coloring eggs is when you don’t have Paaz or food coloring.

The answer is fascinating and takes us back to the first few centuries after the Agricultural Revolution.  Imagine yourself in Germany, Northern France, Great Britain or Ireland during this period.  You put aside as much food as you could last fall, but winter is long and this last one was particularly hard.  Your stored food is getting kinda low and nothings been planted yet, much less harvested.  But the days are getting longer and the snow is melting.  The children have been cooped up inside for months.  Yeah, they go outside more often than our children, but still with blizzards and freezing temperatures, they’ve been inside more than outside.

So while you and the other adults are working on extending the food supply by hunting or fishing, you send the kids

Wild bird eggs come in an array of colors.

Wild bird eggs come in an array of colors.

outside with their own job.  “Go find us some eggs.”  This is before wide spread domestication of chickens.  So the children fan out across the fields, moors, forests and glens looking for birds’ nests.  They find the nests of robins, quail, plover, partridge, pheasant, cormorant, heron, egrets, kestrel and owls.  They come home with woven reed baskets filled with a rainbow of colored eggs.  The baskets are lined with fresh grass to prevent the eggs from cracking against each other.  The fuller the basket, the easier it will be for your family to make it to the bounteous late Spring and Summer.

It is easy to imagine how this annual scavenger hunt became connected to the Ostara celebrations which happen in mid-March.  As poultry domestication became wide spread, the need for the egg hunt decreased, but children didn’t want to let it go.  Why would they?  It sounds like a lot of fun.  So easy to acquire chicken eggs were used, but they’re just boring white.  Kids wanted their rainbow of colors in their baskets.

So, like mothers have been doing since we were still chimps, the moms took on extra work to make their children happy.  They began boiling eggs in onion skins, cabbage, blueberries and anything else that would give the eggs color and hid them in the grass.  Presto, the tradition of coloring eggs was born!

Ostara eggs banner

So Ostara/Easter Eggs truly are heralds of Spring.  A full egg basket meant you and your family are going to make it to Summer when days are warm and food is abundant.  Pagan or Christian I hope you had a full basket of rainbow colored eggs to herald a bounteous year for you and your family.  Blessed Be.

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Visualization: Not as Easy as It Looks

There's more to it than just contemplating your navel.

There’s more to it than just contemplating your navel.

A Facebook friend of mind recently posted about the trouble she was having visualizing things and making them manifest.  Her post went something like “I’ve been visualizing like crazy, but all I have to show for it is a big pile of … dirt.”  The comments offered very nebulous advice.  “Keep trying the Goddess will provide.”  “The universe will always give you what you ask for.”  “You need to visualize your desires more clearly.”  None of the advice seemed very helpful to me and I’ve been successfully visualizing things and having them manifest for years.  Many new practioners have similar problems so I decided to write out my tips for successful visualization.  I hope they are helpful.

We make it sound so easy. ‘Just visualize what you want and the universe will give it to you.’ What a bunch of bullshit! It ranks up there with the love advice “As soon as you stop looking for a boyfriend, you’ll get a boyfriend.” and the psych 101 game of “Stand in the corner and don’t think of a white elephant.” AHHHHH!!!!

I will tell you what helped me crack the ‘visualize it.” riddle.

First was advice from my friend Bob. Do something concrete to aid in your visualization. Bob had me write out a sentence in the present tense of what I wanted. {Here is what it is “I live in a three bedroom house with a basement, backyard and garage which I can comfortably afford). Then he told me to write that sentence once a day and to move 1% toward that goal every day. Another thing I did was build my “New House” playlist filled with songs that captured what I wanted in a house and home. I listened to that constantly. Finally, I made up a game with my sons. When we were bored or unhappy with the house we were living in, we would discuss decorating, organizing and furnishing our dream house. (Note – you can only do this with kids old enough to know that the dream house isn’t going to be the house you get. For example, even if everything works out perfectly we are never going to have a zoo in our backyard.)

No matter how big my dream house is, it will never have a zoo in the backyard.

No matter how big my dream house is, it will never have a zoo in the backyard.

Another good way to visualize something is to make sure you see it frequently every day.  This can be a picture that you put up where you will see it often – on your cubicle wall, by your bathroom mirror, or taped to your front door.  It can be a picture you draw, print off the computer or cut from a magazine.  If it is an abstract idea – love, abundance, balance – try using a Tarot card or other symbolic image.  So lesson one – do something physical to help keep yourself focused on your visualization.

A lot of times when we try to visualize bringing something into our lives we accidentally focus on the lack thereby reinforcing the absence and calling more of the same into our lives. This is a particularly huge landmine in money spells/visualizations. When trying to call money, we focus on what we need the money for and we summon more of the need to us instead of the money to fill the need. It took me forever to get past this hump.  What finally did the trick was the Cherokee parable about the two wolves. The grandfather is teaching the children and tells them a story. ‘Inside each person are two wolves locked in a constant battle. One is filled with joy, peace, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, goodness, joy, courage, strength and love.  The other is filled with anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, lies, false-pride evil, grief, bitterness, and hate.’ His grandson pipes up, ‘Which one wins?’ and the grandfather answers, ‘The one you feed.’

I love that story and the first time I heard it, it made me think about all the things I feed with negative talk, hyper-critical self-talk and just everyday run of the mill griping. So I learned to monitor my thoughts and my speech and even my Facebook posts. When I’d catch myself feeding something negative, I would stop myself and switch to feeding the opposite.  I’ll give you an example. When I would drive, particularly in the rain, I’d constantly fuss ‘Will I get pulled over?’ ‘What if I get in an accident?’ ‘What if something bad happens?’ You would not believe how many bad things I drew to myself with that self-talk. So when I catch myself beginning that mantra of evil, I say out loud. “No, I’m not going to feed that.” Then I’d say a quick prayer to the Goddess. “Mary, please bring me safely there and safely back.” The incidents of bad things happening while I drive has gone down dramatically.  Lesson two – be careful what you feed with your energy.

Finally, write a mantra.  This is similar to the sentence described above.  However, this is something you say out loud to yourself several times a day.  Mantras need to be positive, strong and in the present tense.  They can be direct and concrete like “I enjoy eating healthy foods” or abstract and intricate like “As I see the deeper meaning, of what happens in my life, I let go of blame for all the pain, as my growth is worth the price”. (from the Pele Report by

Kaypacha's Mantra for March 27th of this year.

Kaypacha’s Mantra for March 27th of this year.

Kaypacha.)  Rhyming can help if you have that gift.  I don’t so my mantra’s are more like the first example.  Whether you go for basic or flowery, a strong mantra can give your visualization the power boost it needs.

There are many ways to improve your visualization skills.  You can find books, videos and blogs galore to help you improve.  These few tips should give you a good foundation to start.  The main thing to remember is that just like a lot of seemingly simple things in life, visualization is a lot harder that it appears.  So give yourself a break.  Be patient and keep working at it.  You’ll get better at it and then life really will bring you what you need.

Blessed be.