Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Around the World

I know this is a day after the fact, but sometimes the best time to reflect on something is after it already happened.  After all, hindsight is 20/20 while foresight is often blind.

In Christianity, the celebration of Easter is about Jesus rising from the dead.  He was reborn as a full man into the same life three days after his death.  Why?  To let everyone know his sacrifice was to cover their sins.  He was the sacrificial lamb, so it would no longer be necessary to slaughter animals to cover their sins and appease God. 

Baptism in Christianity is a symbol of rebirth as well.  With Baptists you are fully immersed in water to symbolize you being buried in the earth with Christ and, as you are lifted up, you are born again into a renewed life where Christ is your center.

In Egypt, the Ankh is a symbol of rebirth.  Look at the symbol.  It looks like someone standing tall with their arms out.  Where the heart would be there is a shield.  A shield is a weapon as well as a means of defense.  You cannot stop your enemy's sword without one. 

The ankh is also called the "key of life" or translated in heiroglyphs as "eternal life".  The gods were often depicted carrying these symbols, sometimes carrying two at a time.  Isis in particular was known to be associated with this symbol and was also the goddess to have brough Osiris back from the dead.

In Greece, Persia, China, Israel, and other areas the Phoenix is the symbol of rebirth.

The phoenix must suffer pain and fire before being able to be birthed from its own ashes.  An author colleague of mine, Angela Wallace, had done a fantastic job blogging on the Phoenix in June of 2011.  Her research went into a book called, Phoenix Feather, which is a delightful read and it's available at Amazon.

The Native Americans have ceremonies where those leaving childhood behind to enter into adulthood receive a new name.  This is a form of recognizing the death of one life and the entering into a new one.  But, Native Americans, also believed in the existence of the soul and its rebirth into new lives.  Warren Jefferson wrote a book entitled, Reincarnation beliefs of North American Indians, where he narrates a Winnebago Shaman's two previous lives and what happened inbetween them.

Then there is the ultimate symbol to represent rebirth, renewal, reincarnation: infinity.  The twisting band goes on forever, never meeting its beginning or end because neither exist  This is what I think of in terms of our soul: never-ending.

I'm sure there are far more to discuss, but what will I write about next year if I pen them all now?

I hope you enjoyed your weekend and have a fabulous week.

Happy Reading!


Diana Murdock said...

Consider myself educated, Sista! Some good stuff in there to think about. There is so much out there to learn, you can't possibly put it all in one post.:) It seems everyday I find beliefs to break down and I guess I'm reborn everyday with a new start.

I have Angela's book on my Kindle waiting to be read. I need to bump that up the list.

As always, thanks for sharing!

Maryellen said...

I love reading about various cultures :) Coolness!

Sia said...

Thank you, Maryellen. Thank you for stopping by. I hope you enjoy future postings.

Sia said...

Thank you, Diana, for stopping by with your busy schedule. I still have Elemental Magic to be read on my list to-read on Goodreads. She's flying through the sequels, too.