Today, Christians celebrate their well-worn myth of a savior risen from the dead. Some neo-pagans esteem the relatively obscure female deity, Ēostre. Satanists note that traditions for this day stem from ancient seasonal celebrations which tend to include symbolism of the rising of dormant vegetation, and thus “rebirth” and “resurrection.” There is certainly much beauty in the early flowers now abounding here in the Haunted Hudson Valley, one of which is pictured above from our garden here at The Black House. Since we are free of any holiday obligations, we might choose to ignore this date altogether. Yet, we diabolists may also enjoy whatever we find to be pleasing from festivities associated with this time of year. Why not indulge in things that might bring us delight?
While candy is often a part of this day—and there are some yummy jelly beans available nowadays—shunning those wax-like effigies of hares and eggs in favor of more delectable and well-wrought chocolates could be in order. Tasty, hot, freshly-baked buns topped with icing crosses wouldn’t drive a peckish Satanist away as we are certainly not nosferatu. And if decorating eggs and playing hide and seek with them intrigues you, especially if it might amuse the young at heart in your life, then have at it.
Atheist composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov completed his Russian Easter Festival Overture in 1888. He uses liturgical themes from the Obikhod, though his purpose was to capture “the legendary and heathen side of the holiday, the transition from the gloomy and mysterious evening of Passion Saturday to the unbridled pagan-religious merrymaking on Easter Sunday morning.” Here’s a splendid performance by David Zinman and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. The composer’s use of the tam-tam to evoke giant church bells and the wonderful joyous clangor that completes the work make for exciting listening.
A growing number of Satanists enjoy rebranding this day, exchanging greetings of “Happy Beaster!” for they use this occasion as a reminder of the love, respect, and awe we have for non-human animals, with whom we are so evidently kin. It is always delightful to have yet another way to celebrate the glories of Nature’s fauna, especially our “bestie beasties,” who share our homes and environments.
Whatever pleases you to do this day—even if it be amused observations of those around you—may your vital lives be filled with an abundance of joy and a plethora of delights!
—Magus Peter H. Gilmore