My thinking about the goddess Eostre and the Vernal Equinox has changed.
I have noticed in myself, and some Pagan friends, a need to fill our calendars with deities, especially at the eight major points in the wheel of the year. Like debutantes of yesteryear, filling their dance cards, we want to make sure that there is no ambiguity as to Who will partner us at these important festivals. So, I noticed that it was with some relief that I penciled Eostre in for March 20th - even though we haven't been properly introduced. I will be open to her energy, and curious to know her. I had a nice little daydream of Bride taking her by the hand and leading her into my ritual space, as if to say "There is room for you here." At the time I wasn't thinking about this in terms of Bride having reigned over Imbolc, and handing things over to Eostre now, and I'm not saying that this is what is happening, although it's an interesting angle to consider. I was simply seeing Bride as one of my "household Gods", welcoming a Being rather similar to Herself into our space.
If I had to describe my "pantheon" or "hearth culture" I suppose I would define it as "British Isles" rather than "Celtic" anyway, so I have no problem with a goddess who was widely worshiped in Northumbria and other parts of England. I'm simply glad to meet her, and interested to see where things go between us in the future.
In case you didn't realise, a jackrabbit is member of the hare family. In fact, they don't look much different than European brown hares. I have to remind myself to call them jackrabbits -- a name that I'm told was popularised by Mark Twain. The story goes that folk were beginning to call them "jackass rabbits" due to their spectacularly long mule-like ears, and Twain picked this up and spread it around. I've long been aware of the hare's association with spring and fertility, with their madcap romps, and that somehow they were associated with eggs. Not surprisingly, they are also closely associated with Eostre.
I'm very glad to have hares here, and to make the connection through this goddess to the land around me, and especially for that to be a connection which vibrates to my old sense of the land in Scotland, too. I have been asking the spirits of nature here to speak to me, as I feel quite disconnected from it. Perhaps this is a step in that direction.
I'll leave you with this video. It's a thirty minute BBC wildlife documentary from the 1990s, all about both the natural history of hares and their mythological and spiritual associations. Hare coursing (chasing hares with greyhounds or lurchers) was long a popular country pursuit in Britain, and it is discussed in this programme, however, there are no bloody scenes or anything, so don't worry. Hare coursing has been illegal in Britain since 2005, quite some time after this film was made. I'm sure you will enjoy this video - it even has great music!
The Symbolism of Rabbits and Hares by Terri Windling I really enjoyed this well written piece, which includes many beautiful images!
Eostre's Egg by Maria Ede-Weaving. A look at the symbolism of this holiday from a more personal and psychological perspective.