I know, I know. I AM crazy! It’s the absolute truth. I simply can’t help myself. I had so many fun things bubble up around Easter for me today (writing this on Easter), that I simply couldn’t wait until next year to share, even though you will probably read this after Easter…no big deal. I know you’ll find it interesting.
As a child raised celebrating both Jewish and Christian traditions culturally, I have always been curious as to the way in which many of these celebrations coincide. There always seemed to be this incredibly happy joyful feeling around the celebration of Easter and I have always loved it, and yet at the same time felt a bit unreconciled about the meaning I wanted to put behind it’s celebration. After all, why the bunnies and eggs? It all made no sense. (Picture taken from Red Tent Lost Forest Lodge FB site)
Though I am not a Christian, I believe deeply in the teachings of Jesus Christ. After all we share some things in common, like our belief in the power of love and forgiveness, our both having Jewish roots, and we both love Mary Madgdalene also! She’s pretty AWESOME!
Now when Christianity, as a religious practice, was spreading, the church wanted to find a way to encourage the Pagan people to participate in the Christian celebrations. At the time, the Pagan people were celebrating the coming of Spring, honoring the East and the rising of the light and sun in the name of the Goddess Estarte,Estare, Ishtar, Eostre, Eostare. The germanic root means “to shine”. Eostre was the Goddess of the seasonal dawn. She embodied the quality of dawn. She was a maiden goddess, a virgin. Not virgin like we know it to be. A virgin back then meant “a woman unto herself”. She was not ruled over. She was within her freedom. She was strong AND passionate. Eostare embodies that excited bubbley energy of “I can do anything”!
Early Christians were celebrating Passover on the 14th Day of the first month of the Jewish calendar. So Easter and Passover were not the same at all. Eostare was traditionally celebrated on the first Full Moon after the Vernal Equinox. So it was determined in 325 AD by the Nicaean Council that Easter should be celebrated on the first Sunday after the first Full Moon after the Vernal Equinox. Hmmm…interesting, no? In 399 AD the Theodosian Code attempted to remove any connotations that the Christian holiday of Easter had with the celebration of the Pagan celebration of Estare by banning any practices that were associated with the celebration.
HOWEVER…one of the traditions that the Pagans had was to really embrace the power of fertility of the ground/earth, of the animals, and of ourselves as humans. There are stories of how the Goddess Eostare turned a baby bird into a hare in order for her to better survive the winter, but the bunny, to me, is the obvious symbol of being a very prolific species and eggs are the symbol of new life, creation. Sorry Theodosian Code, but you can’t keep down a good Eostare egg hunt!
But why on earth did I title this Estrus day? Well there are different schools of thought as to whether the root of Eostare, Estare, are linked to the Greek word Oestrus/Estrus…the term used for “The periodic state of sexual excitement in females that immediately precedes ovulation and during which the female is most receptive to mating.” Regardless of if there is a linguistic link, the simple link of celebrating fertility of the traditional Spring/Eostare and celebrating our estrus AND menstrual (process of discharging blood and mucosal tissue from the uterus) cycles seems all too fabulous to not mention.
So last year, I wrote a blog about going deep into my hips in my yoga practice, and I promise to give an update on that soon enough (Hippity Hop Estare’s on Her Way), but it just dawned on me as I was reflecting back around the deep work that I have been doing on my hips over this past year that we women have a beautiful baskets of eggs. The basket is our pelvic bone and our uterus is lined with this gorgeous soft nurturing endometrial lining much like the soft grass we might put in our Easter baskets. And we are born with six to seven MILLION eggs! Hello! Talk about a bountiful basket of eggs! Which leads me to why celebrating our beautiful messy lovely exciting femininity is just THE BEST! I love being a woman. We are amazing, amazing, amazing creatures.
Here’s to Estrus and Menstrual Cycles! This is probably just the beginning of my chitty chat about this topic. But here’s a few things you can keep in mind during your cycle of bleeding and just before.
- Try to rest more if you can both leading up to your time of bleeding and during it.
- Pay attention to your dreams. I find that I often times have telling dreams around this time of my cycle that can help me in my waking life.
- Eat well, light exercise, more water and chocolate in moderation.
- And one that is SUPER important…The Oxytocin workout. What’s that? That’s fancy code for girlfriend time. When we are with our girlfriends we can generate large amounts of oxytocin that relax and nurture our overall body’s ability to carry on its regular daily functions.
This song is pushing it, and you never would have put it together with your menstrual cycle, but in the tradition of leaving you with a song, here’s one from Ellie Goulding, My Blood. Here are my recommended lyrics for the chorus, I just changed it slightly:
And Goddess knows I’m not dying but I bleed now,
And Goddess knows it’s the only way to heal now,
With all this blood I wash anew,
Reminds me I am strong and true.
(I wanted to add a lot of other cool lyrics about how amazing we women are in holding our vulnerability and power in our egg baskets…the softness of the grass, the strength and possibility of the egg…but that will have to wait because I want to get this out for you to read and enjoy and it is taking me FAR too long to be creative and funny with the extended lyrics.)
And of course a fun video from Sex Positive (Sex +) with Laci Green. I LOVE this girl. She is committed to empowering young girls around their outlook on themselves, their bodies and their sexuality. I think she has some great points that are helpful to women of all ages. Check her out:
Until next time… New moon a comin’ next week! Will be back with more.
-In all our lovely fabulous femininity,
Margaret, Yin-care®’s Mother Rising