Easter Colors, Vestments and the Chakras

To start, here’s a little backstory on the history of this day. Easter is the modern name for the Anglo-Saxon goddess, Eostre (aka Ostora and the ancient Indo-European Aurora). Her sacred symbols were the hare and the egg.

Estre, et al, was the goddess of spring who flew through the heavens on beams of light with baby animals. She was a daughter of the Pagan Gods and the bringer of spring like Persephone was to the Greeks before she was abducted by Hades.

When the English and Germanic people were collectively converted to Christianity in the 6th and 7th centuries, Eostre’s April festival was renamed Easter and repurposed as a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ. That’s why Easter is one of the holiest days in Christendom and is celebrated in churches and with painted eggs and bunnies.

Easter colors also have a fascinating history and spiritual significance. They are reflected in the vestments worn by bishops and priests in the liturgical year. In his treatise, The Mystery of the Sacred Altar, Pope Innocent III,says the rotating colors of the vestments were inspired by the lyric poems of Ecclesiastes known as The Song of Solomon.

Accordingly, White, is the color of purity, light, joy, innocence and glory. It is worn by priests in all celebrations of the Lord and especially on Easter. With white the color palette is complete. It contains all color, as can be seen through the refractions of a prism.

Violet is the color of sorrow, royalty, intuition and spirituality. Violet is the color of Lent the period of reflection upon Jesus’ 40 days of fasting before his trial and crucifixion.

Pink is the color of love and joy. It is worn only twice a year by Catholic priests. On the third Sunday of Advent (the coming of Christ) and the fourth Sunday of Lent.

Green is the color of of eternal life. This is worn by priests after Easter. It is a primary color of nature, lauding the return of life after a season of barrenness and hibernation.

Red (in contrast to the pastels of spring) is the color of blood, fire and sacrifice. In the liturgical year, priests wear red primarily during the Pentecost, 50 days after Easter to honor the descent of The Holy Spirit.

In Eastern yogic tradition, these colors correspond to the Chakras, a subtle system of ascending light vibrations that correspond to areas of the human body.

In that belief, Red corresponds to the Root Chakra located at the base of the spine. It is where the coiled snake of the fiery Kundalini lies dormant until it is awakened by the yogi for spiritual enlightenment. This chakra is about our physical grounding, stability, energy and action.

Green, in this tradition, is associated with the heart chakra. The vibration of compassion that harmonizes the lower energies of the body with the higher vibrations of the spirit. In Pranic Healing Meditation, the inner light of the heart is Pink.

Violet is associated with the Crown Chakra and the Pineal gland. From the POV of biological evolution, this gland is linked to the parietal eye, a light sensing organ called the third eye which produces melatonin and serotonin. Intuition and telepathy arise from this area of the brain. Rene Descartes believed it to be the seat of the soul.

Last but not least, White is the highest and purest color of all. It is associated with the celestial light of the Most High, which enters through the crown from above. Mystics experience the white light as a connection of their soul with God.

So there is much behind the colors of Easter and at least two major spiritual belief systems that may not be so different after all. This year, Easter was ushered in by the Pink full moon last night and occurs in conjunction with the Jewish Passover and Muslim Ramadan.

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