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Now that the Neo-pagan holiday of Ostara is behind us, the secular/Christian celebration of Easter looms ahead. I know that many of us celebrate the mainstream holiday with the rest--especially as it has become a more secular event where all kids expect an Easter basket, and probably to take part in an egg hunt.
Due to our avoidance of eggs, we vegans have to adapt this holiday a bit more than other Neo-pagans. Here is an article that I wrote up about the season, and ways vegans can join in the fun....
I really enjoyed watching a movie called Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons ... until its end. It's a fun, comedic takeoff on finding enlightenment and has a good message ... until its end. There it was: the gender oppression.
The plot: two demon hunters are in love with each other, but the male refuses the woman's love because he's trying to find enlightenment and believes that there is great love and small love. When she dies, his remorse brings him to enlightenment, and he realize that there is no "great and small love."
I am sick of plots in which a woman dies in order for a man to become enlightened. Or plots in which her death gives him the apparently requisite rage to finally conquer his enemy—who, of course, killed her.
Women's lives are not props for a man's story or his victory. A woman's death should mean more than its relationship to a man. Think for a moment about the results of a woman's death constantly portrayed in films as having no importance beyond its impact on a man.
As we move past the Sabbat of Imbolc, we feel its energy of new beginnings. As we have learned from the recent events on the American political and social landscape, change can be both a wondrous and a terrifying thing. In either case, it galvanizes our sense of purpose and moves us down the path of our chosen desires. Whether we are promoting a change or resisting it, the energy of Imbolc calls us to action.
The bat is a wonderful totem for initiation and transformation. When these little Goth mascots come flitting out of their night time sanctuaries, they symbolize rebirth. Again, they symbolize both the beautiful and the frightening within the archetype of transformation. They tend to be stigmatized due to their habitat and their nocturnal ways. Since we associate them with creepy haunted houses and dreary caves, we see them as symbols of death. In reality, bats are important pollinators. Their control of insects like mosquitoes also protects us from disease. I will go into the bat in more detail in an upcoming issue (probably issue 92) of SageWoman. For now, let's suffice it to say that the bat is a really good representation of the scary side of change....
And that takes us back to the root issues here. It's not bad to be a visionary, to be an abstract thinker. But when you add in ego wounds of poor self esteem, lack of self confidence, or other related issues, what you often get is a perfectionist control freak, or a know-it-all. Or both....