Friday, April 8, 2011

Some April Tidbits

And Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth's dark breast
rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.

- Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Sensitive Plant
Spring has sprung.  At least it felt that way last night as I headed home from work, but, of course, Mother Nature has been rather fickle this year, and more than once has lulled me into the mistaken idea that winter has finally gone.  Why, it was just last Friday that I sat in my office watching the snowflakes as they blew in the wind.  I even remember one Easter that fell in mid-April a blizzard that left behind about three feet of snow.  Easter was cancelled that year; everyone was snowed in.  This was about 40 years ago, and I was still a country girl.  Anyone remember that one?

....But, generally, April is a rather gentle month that warms both our bodies and our spirits. I have to say it is my favorite, a month that brings me so much joy as I watch the delicate blossoms push up through the soil and small animals that hibernate come out of their burrows. The birds fly back northward and settle down to have their families, serenading me with the joyful trill of their songs.  The bees and butterflies begin to gather nectar from the first flowers of the season. Everywhere you look, new life is beginning to emerge. April is the month to celebrate the sacred rebirth.

In some parts of the world, it is harvest season, and while we are celebrating rebirth and renewal, they are preparing for a time of rest and reflection. But, wherever you are located, April always begins with a day of fun and jokes - April Fool's Day. Arbor Day is a day for celebrating and planting trees, and it is observed on various April days. The Jewish festival of Passover, the eight day observance which commemorates the freedom and exile of the Israelites, is celebrated in April. This year it begins in the diaspora at sundown on April 18th. Easter is almost always in April, and, this year is actually quite late...April 24th. With it comes the other Christian celebrations such as Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, and Good Friday.

The month of April was called Eostre month by our Pagan ancestors, and Easter was at one time an ancient Pagan festival, held in the spring of the year, in the month of April, in honor of the great goddess of sensual love, known in different nations and at different times by the names of Astarte, Isis, Aphrodite, Venus, Flora, Ceres, Ashtaroth, Diana, Eostre, and Easter. The 40 days of  Lent is also borrowed from Paganism.

The word Lent comes from a Germanic root meaning Spring but is more often associated with the 40 days from Ash Wednesday to Easter Saturday. It originated in the Babylonian pagan religion, but was folded into Christianity when the Roman Empire adopted Christianity as its official religion.  Legend has it that Tammuz, the Mesopotamian god of fertility, was killed by a wild boar when he was 40 years old.  Accordingly, 40 days of weeping, a day for each year of his life, were set aside for weeping and fasting so that he would once again come forth from the Underworld and cause Spring to begin.  This observance was known not only at Babylon, but also among the Phoenicians, Egyptians, Mexicans, and, for a time, even among the Israelites.

The resurrection of our Saviour at that season of the year was seized upon by the Roman Church as a convenient pretext, or opportunity, for adopting this Pagan festival. It is by birth, by name, and even by manner of celebration, a Pagan festival, and wholly outside the pale of Christian ordinances. A decree of the council of Nice in AD 325 rendered the time for the celebration of Easter the same in all the churches.

"Come, fill the Cup, and in the Fire of Spring
The Winter Garment of Repentance fling
The Bird of Time has but a little way
To fly -- and Lo! The Bird is on the Wing.

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it."

- Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám- 

Wishing you all a springlike weekend filled with magic and joy.  


  1. -grin- Another way that those *sneaky* old-time Christians, grabbed Pagan ways and used them. -chuckle-

    I have to chuckle when I see Christians waxing poetic about THEIR religion's stuff.

    Oh well, ignorance is bliss....


    1. I have to chuckle when neopagans sneer at Christians for doing what cultures throughout history have done.

      Ignorance truly is bliss.

  2. Good morning Mary.....I agree with Auntie!! Have a wonderful weekend.


  3. Hope your weekend is every bit as good as the one that you wished me. ;0)

  4. Have a great weekend and enjoy doing your herb pot x x x

  5. Enjoy your time digging and planting Mary...I can just see you over there! :)
    Hope magick alights on your beautiful self always!

  6. I love April too (apart from it being David's birthday). Such a time of renewal, warmth and busy-ness, with birds singing very early each morning.

    Glad things are turning around for you. Sending cyberhugs your way.