"The protective qualities of the scarlet-dyed egg are still invoked in parts of Europe to guard fields and vineyards from lightning and hail — one of these eggs will be buried on the property for that purpose." Barbara Mickelson
Read more at http://www.snopes.com/holidays/easter/easterlore.asp#pGz4KwlAaSmgwyGt.99
Symbols of new life and resurrection abound in many cultures and religions during this time of year. Some are familiar, like the emergence of the “Easter” bunny. Others are not so familiar to those of us who’ve grown up in the U.S.A.
Don’t forget, cracking open your egg on the small end leads to bad luck and frustration.
Take, for instance, the serpent. While often thought of as “evil” by readers of the Garden of Eden story, it has other symbolic purposes.
”[…]even the lowest serpent sheds its skin and renews itself, it is a token of resurrection. As a symbol of spiritual power, the serpent represents the awakened self.”
The Bible cites the “brazen serpent” (bronze serpent) God told Moses to fasten to his staff to help heal and lead the Israelites. (This is a nod to the Rod of Asclepius, a Greek god of healing.) God also is cited to have proven authority through Moses by turning his rod into a serpent—-one of the miracles in Egypt.
Some Christian iconography represents Christ as a serpent, blending the concept of eternal life (the serpent shedding its skin and becoming “new”) and healing as well.
"Christ compares himself to the bronze serpent saying, ‘And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,’ (John 3:13-15) and in medieval images it was not rare to see crucifixion images with the snake on the lower tier and Christ on the top tier, both hanging on the same cross/tree of knowledge."
-Jonathan Pagau "The Serpents of Orthodoxy"
via Orthodox Arts Journal
The insect world even has a part to play, as is the case with a Scarab beetle in the religious beliefs of ancient Egypt.
"The sun is represented as a beetle, a promise of his next morning rebirth, as well as of the young pharaoh’s resurrection."
"Scarab Beetles as Religious Symbols", Yves Cambefort
The sun dies at night, and resurrects in the morning. The beetles shed bodies and become new=symbols of sacred life.
So this Spring, amid the plastic pastel butterflies and the multi-colored chicks and marshmallow bunnies, maybe it makes sense to throw in a few gummy snakes and a handful of of chocolate-covered beetles. And don’t forget to bury that scarlet egg in your vineyard.
Elizabeth Ellen Everson