Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Eaostar/Ishtar/Esther/A Star

This entry is linked to my Community Service BLOG, since there is some overlap:

Today during moontime I just needed to do art and not think for awhile, so I was doing community service hours and combining archeomythology study by painting Easter eggs for the Community Garden Easter Egg hunt on Easter with symbols from The Language of the Goddess. We had previously prepped the eggs by poking a small hole in each side and then blowing out the raw egg into a jar. We've then used the eggs in the jar at a later time. We also have a number of plastic eggs that you can open and put things inside.

I was inspired to see if Gimbutas' book had anything to say about them or their significance and came across "ch. 19/Egg" in The Language of the Goddess.

As my beloved consort continued to paint, I read...

I read that egg symbolism emerged in the earliest stages of the Neolithic and has continued to survive in folk customs around the world up to and including, "the ritual use of eggs at New Year's and Easter in European villages...Eggs painted with red and black whirls, spirals, snakes, crescents, and plant motifs are carried around and given to each family in the Baltic and Slavic countries to celebrate the coming of Spring. To ensure the renewal of vegetation, eggs are placed in the ploughed earth."

This was amazingly synchronistic news. First of all because 1/4 of my Cherokee hubbie's lineage goes back into the region Gimbutas described and he was the one who came up with the Easter Egg hunt idea in the garden. Also the collage I did for Organic Inquiry had a central, National Geographic-style 2-page, photo-spread of a family in Lithuania (where Maria Gimbutas is from) gardening, and it describes the significance of the land to those people. Our own community garden land is what originally inspired my Organic Inquiry project, as well.

But what was really crazy was that we were painting some of the eggs with red and black paint (although on some of the eggs we added yellow, and even made orange, and blended textures and designs; surprising what you can do with 3 colors.)

I only wanted to use two main colors for my bodymap in Archeomythology: Red and Black, with just a bit of Yellow for the solar-disc/owl eyes. I chose red and black because I was inspired, through my studies and inuition, that they were feminine colors of life and fertility, so that was all the paint that we had and here we were doing exactly what the book said people had been doing probably more or less continually in some parts of the world (either consciously, like in Europe or unconsciously as in our case) since Neolithic times!

After this I read,"the egg plays a role in feasts of the dead and is placed as an offering in graves to prompt regeneration."

I just about fell off my chair! I flashed back to hearing the brilliantly inspired scholar of ancient manuscripts, Glenn Kimball, once say that "the three Mary's brought eggs to the tomb of Jesus" [!!!]

The text continued and so did the serendipity:

"This is an ancient association; from the eraly Neolithic onward, burial pothoi (jars) are egg-shaped, symbolizing the womb of the goddess from which life would re-emerge.

Egg-forms - circles, ovals, ellipses - as meaningful symbols go back even further into the upper paleolithic. In Magdalenian art, circles and ovals are engraved over female buttocks and the bodies of bulls" and then the text cites a picture of a bull painted on a cave floor from the "Middle Magdalenian period, Pyrenees, Southern France, circa 12,000 B.C.E."

It just can't be a coincidence that someone decided to name an archeological age based on caves and cave paintings that still survive in the same region where well-known legends persist about Mary Magdalene was mediating in caves in the very same region, later in her life. [Note to the reader - I had read all of the source material for the Da Vinci Code a decade before the book even came out, just so ya know.]

Further significance of the coinciding of all of these events is that Easter is still to this day calculated according to a lunar formula.

And one of my greatest (sweet) secrets is tied up in the word "Easter."

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