With Easter around the corner, what better time to write about it. The idea that Mary Magdalene is somehow tied into this ‘ceremonious’ holiday quite intrigued me.
Key themes or ideas to keep in mind are the use of symbolism and allegory by the artistic masters of the time periods we are talking about in this post.
It is noted that allegory in art was never crude or unduly surreptitious, especially not from masters like Leonardo DaVinci. Symbols and emblems were often used in art to convey things that could be written as descriptive explanations in a book. It’s like that saying, “a picture paints a thousand words.”
There were many famous artist portrayals of Mary holding a red egg. In the Russian church of Saint Mary Magdalene in Jerusalem there is a painting of her holding a red egg in the presence of Emperor Tiberius. Mary wears a white nun’s habit – a familiar
Magdalene attribute in artwork at the time, notably in paintings emanating from Dominican and Franciscan sources.
The egg presentation is apparently the original Easter scene of the Christian movement. The egg is symbolic of birth and new life.
I remember as a child being taught that the use of the colour red within the church context denoted someone or something very unvirtuous; short of saying a woman was a ‘harlot’. Funny, isn’t it, how others form our attitudes and thinking on our behalf without any objective input from us? We, as children, absorbed it all like human sponges.
Eostre, Goddess of Spring
Every year there was a Celtic festival to celebrate Eostre. The Celtic festival was not a Passover celebration in the Jewish style, nor was it anything to do with Yeshua.
The festival of Eostre was a fertility celebration.
This rather makes sense and would explain the portrait of the red egg in Mary Magdalene’s. It was a sign of fertility and life; a lifeline perhaps.
Easter “Adopted” Existing Eostre Goddess of Spring Celebrations
History tells us that at the 664 Synod of Whitby in England, the Roman bishops achieved a first doctrinal victory over the traditional Celtic Church. The main debate was about the festival of Eostre, the ancient goddess of spring. It was decided to subsume the Eostre (Easter as we now know it) custom into mainstream Christianity.
The purpose of the “Easter” creation was apparently to separate the crucifixion and resurrection of Yeshua from their historical association with the Jewish Passover. It so happened that the Eostre spring celebration so coincided with Passover so made a “good substitute.”
The Feast of Passover falls on the 14th of Nisan (March-April) every year. Easter is not fixed because the Pope wanted it to fall on a Sunday, after changing the Sabbath to a Sunday.