Easter Eggs - Calendar of Revelry and Sacred Days

The Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraft: The Complete A-Z for the Entire Magical World - Judika Illes 2005

Easter Eggs
Calendar of Revelry and Sacred Days

Eggs are symbolic of new life, new beginnings and fertility. They are a component of countless magic spells. Decorating, preserving, hiding, and burying eggs are only a few of the techniques used in ancient spells from around the world. The goals of most spells incorporating eggs include protection, purification, spiritual cleansing, wish fulfillment (the goose with the golden eggs), prosperity, and abundance including personal reproductive abundance. When a major fertility symbol like a rabbit presents another fertility symbol, like an egg, a very clear message is being sent. (For those unfamiliar with the basics of the birds and the bees, in real life rabbits do not hatch eggs, ever. Should a rabbit ever be seen with an egg, something magical is going on.) (See ANIMALS: Chickens; Rabbits.)

Easter eggs are decorated with magic symbols. In Greece, they were traditionally dyed red. Easter eggs are given as gifts or hidden so that hunts may be held for them. Once upon a time, the person who found the missing egg, the most eggs or the golden or otherwise special egg could expect to have all her wishes fulfilled in the coming year. (In other communities, she’ll be the first to wed or have a baby.) Hardboiled eggs may be served in their decorated shells as part of the ritual meal, or conversely chocolate eggs, often accompanied by chocolate rabbits, are seasonal treats. Old chocolate rabbit molds are now used to craft beautiful rabbit candles.

Among the most famous of Easter eggs are pysanky or Ukrainian Easter eggs. Pysanky (singular: pysanka) have an ancient history and were created before Christianity arrived in the Ukraine, however they are now an important component of the Easter holiday. Pysanky are beautifully decorated with beeswax and dyes.

The creation of pysanky is considered a feminine sacred art; what may seem to be merely decorated eggshells has deep spiritual resonance for Ukrainians, many of whom believe that each time a woman makes a pysanka, the devil, representing the principle of evil and blight, is pushed further down into captivity and further from humanity. Through an act of creation utilizing symbols of life and the goddess, such as eggs and beeswax, women become spiritual warriors against forces of depravity, evil, and death. As long as women create pysanky, the powers of life prevail but it is also believed that when the last woman to make pysanky stops doing so, then evil will reign triumphant over Earth.

Pysanky are traditionally given as gifts to those one loves or wishes to honor.