Posts Tagged ‘April full moon’

Happy Eostre. #spring

Happy Eostre. The Gift, Droid Shots, Minneapolis, Minnesota, March 2013, photo © 2015 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

season of Eostre:
abundance lives
in the skillful art
of not placing all your eggs
in one basket


A few years ago, I was getting a haircut when a woman walked in bearing gifts. She carried a basket of hollow, elaborately decorated eggs and asked the patrons in the shop if they would like to choose one to take with them. I had seen pysanky (what we called Ukrainian Easter eggs) before, but had never taken part in the gift-giving ritual. It lit up my day. I took the oval-shaped treasure home and placed it in a raku bowl on my altar where it lived for many months.

There is a booklet produced by the American Folklife Center (1982, long out of print) that gives a brief description of European egg decorating traditions, and explains the techniques (complete with black and white photos) for producing elaborate designs. EggArt can be found in the online collections of the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress (LINK). Here is an excerpt:

Egg Art Cover Image: Easter Eggs Decorated with Various Traditional Patterns. Photo by Carl Fleischhauer, 1982.

Egg Art Cover Image: Easter Eggs Decorated with Various Traditional Patterns. Photo by Carl Fleischhauer, 1982.

Traditionally, the egg, both plain and decorated, has been an object with strong mystical and symbolic force throughout the world. It has been associated with the myth of creation, with the concept of birth, and with the hope for abundance. Eggs have been sacrificed to sanctify the construction of dwellings, public buildings, and bridges in many lands. They are traditionally given at the birth of a son in China, and they have been used for fortune telling in the British Isles. In many Western cultures the egg has become an integral part of the complementary celebrations of the Easter season and of the renewal of life in spring.

It is in Eastern Europe, however, where Christian associations with the egg were grafted onto strong, pagan beliefs which connected the egg with sun worship, worship of the renewal of life in spring, and with rituals to maintain or restore health, that the rich traditions surrounding eggs have remained strongest. More secular traditions practiced in the spring by communities of European ancestry include egg tapping, egg gathering or hunting, egg rolling, and egg tossing contests.

It is said that the Venerable Bede, (672-735 CE), a Christian scholar and monk, first asserted in his book De Ratione Temporum that Easter was named after Eostre (or Eastre, the ancient word for spring). And that Eostre, the Great Mother Goddess of the Saxon people, Germanic Goddess of Spring, gave her name to the Christian festival of Easter. After the dark Midwest winter, I find it an uplifting season, and feel grounded in the timing still dictated by the Moon.

-posted on red Ravine, Saturday, April 4th, 2015

-Part of a yearly practice to write a short form piece of poetry in a Moleskine journal once a day for the next year. Related to post: haiku 4 (one a day) Meets renga 52

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I was torn. Pink Moon, Frog Moon, Moon of the Greening Grass. I liked Flower Moon and Broken Snowshoe Moon. I imagined fumbling out of a leather strap on an antique snowshoe, ice jamming the buckle, stepping out just long enough to sink knee-deep into what’s left of Winter. But it is the Frog Moon that stuck with me.

In April, the frogs began to call from across the fields, lakes, and valleys. A throaty, mating call, unmistakable in pitch, guttural. Pink is for the wild ground phlox, first blooming flowers of Spring. Spreading like wildfire.

Pink Moon reminds me of Nick Drake, loner, folk singer of the early 70’s. He died in 1974 of an overdose of the antidepressant, amitriptyline. You might know his song, Pink Moon, from the VW commercial that aired in the year 2000. It skyrocketed his song to stardom in the long slow wake of his death. How does that work, that mournful brush with fame.

What do I want to say about the Pink Frog Moon? Early in the month, I could not see her. She was hidden by the gray, foggy end of Winter. In her first quarter around the 12th, I saw her high in a powder blue sky. It was morning; daylight reflected in deep craters with names like Sappho, Isis, and Isabel, washed her out.

At the Full Pink Moon, I was sleeping. The night was cold. Liz came into bed, said, “The deck is on fire with moonlight.” I wanted to drag my body up, to walk out into the cold and bathe in moonlight. But I was too tired. I slept right through the full moon.

This week, we are at the last quarter of the Pink Frog Moon. Liz’s family is in town for her graduation. When we got home from dinner, I grabbed a giant, double package of toilet paper and a 12 pack of Zero from the silver trunk, closed the door, stopped and looked up behind the oaks before ascending the steps. No moon. The sky is clear. She has yet to rise high enough for me to see her.

Last Saturday, it snowed, blizzard flakes and 18 degree winds. I stepped out of the church without my coat, walked around the stained glass windows with the Canon, took a few shots of snow resting on green leaves, snow kneeling at the feet of Jesus, falling indentations between layers of budding, yellow tulips. How do they survive in April snows? It’s supposed to rain tomorrow, another hidden moon.

I’m thinking about ybonesy in Colorado, her uncle hiding behind the moon. I miss her energy when she’s gone. It is quiet. The seasons change. We have to answer the call. Alicia Keys wears earrings in the shape of a quarter moon. They are big as as the moon, too, and fall low to her neck. David Letterman reaches over to give her a hug.

I sit in the background, chattering away on the keys. I don’t have anything profound to say. Only this practice. I am tired and need to go to bed. But first, the Pink Moon. And the croaking of ancient frogs.

-posted on red Ravine, Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

-related to posts: winter haiku trilogy, PRACTICE – Wolf Moon – 10min, PRACTICE – Snow Moon (Total Lunar Eclipse) — 20min, and PRACTICE – Wind Moon – 20min

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