Ahhh Easter has passed with all its symbols; all the bunnies and chicks, and little ducklings, soft puppies and kitties, everything blooming, I’m sneezing.
And yes, with this post I am behind, but remember Elder Goths can be busy…so to continue…..
As an elder Goth I was thinking….contemplating really….. Easter is a peculiar holiday or feast to celebrate, because a Goth is really suppose to be pre-occupied with the dark side of life. But Easter does have its dark side, look at the full Easter story, the knowing of what’s to come, the betrayal, Judas’ suicide, the false accusations, the mock trial, the torture (enough to make a sado-machonist squirm in pleasure) the suffering, the method of dying, (don’t ask me to get into that but it’s really a form of slow suffocation), burial or entombment and then Horrors---possible grave robbing?
Well Darklings if you want gloom and doom the Easter story has it aplenty.
But as an elder Goth who does go to cemeteries and enjoys reading different funeral procedures, Easter can be a wonderful time, if one can get past all the egg salad from the left over dyed eggs that are not eaten.
For me it means bringing out my spring and summer Goth clothing. This is where one gets to pair black with another color, like yellow or coral or even a light green, Heavens!! A lighter color?? Why Not.
Of late, thanks to the T.V. cable program “Mad Men” more selections have come out and the new colors are a pink or orange coral, and this color is made for Elder Goths, you can pair it with your black clothing, your skirts, tops, dresses, slacks and jackets and not seem dreary, just edgy and fun. I recently picked up a coral colored light weight sweater and sweater shell which will pair wonderfully with my black slacks and skirts, I also purchased a bright yellow bolero jacket that goes well with my black dresses, and one can accent your all black outfits with scarves in those colors, trust me you can find them at flea markets and vintage fashion shows, I managed to find two pairs of cloth gloves, one in orangey coral and the other in yellow, but go easy on the yellow, one does not want to look like a bumble bee.
And black straw hats and purses are just perfect for spring and summer for the elder Goth, just sunny enough without looking out of place or being too Holly Golightly.
Avoid pink if you can, no pink lipstick or polish but Revlon has a great color called Orange Flip and a nail polish called “Chile” as in the spice.
I even saw an elder Goth friend of mine who had her nails done with a very dark blue back ground with white bunnies with pink ears. Who says Goths’ can’t have fun. And during this time it is perfect to have fun.
Near where I live there is several families of wild ducks that have become somewhat domesticated, if you picnic out there they will come up looking for a tasty handout, the female is usually the one in the lead about that, she makes all the judgment calls, when I go there I make sure to have a bag of “Duck Chow” which you can get from any good pet store or feed store. And keep Belladonna on her leash so she doesn’t chase them.
They say you shouldn’t encourage that but these ducks are “urban warriors”, they understand the wilds of city living, then after a time you will see them with their ducklings, I and my friends figure life is hard enough, at least give them a chance to get to adulthood or duckhood as it were, and then take their chances. But seeing the ducklings is enough to soften a hardened heart unless they are a sociopath.
Even at the White House when a mama duck tried to get her babies onto the White House lawn they needed help from the White House security force, last I heard they were doing fine at the East Lawn fountain. Often I’ve seen pictures in the papers of police officers and the general public holding up traffic so mama ducks and their babies can safely cross the street. An Elder Goth who knows how hard life can be, can appreciate the assistance.
Now I have been asked frequently how does one determine when Easter as celebrated by the Christian Church, falls.
Yes, it would seem that it appears to be random, but not if you know the formula. Yes Darklings, there is a formula or calculation as to when is Easter.
Easter is always the first Sunday after the first Paschal full moon after the Spring Equinox.
O.K. if you didn’t understand that here it is again by using astronomical calculations or when certain astrological constellations or stars appear in the sky that determines the first day of Spring, then using the full moon and a calendar, the very first Paschal full moon that appears after the Spring Equinox starts the countdown to Easter Sunday, which would be the first Sunday after the first full moon that appears after the Spring Equinox.
So for this year the Spring Equinox was on March 21 or 22 determining where you’re at, but the first full moon after that date does not happen until Friday, April 6, so Easter Sunday is on April 8.
Because of when the full moon makes its appearance after the Spring Equinox, determines if Easter will be early in the Spring or late in the Spring. Now it has to be a Paschal full moon because if one reads one’s bible (either NKJ or Douay) the events occurred soon after Passover, so the calendar has to be both lunar and solar or lunisolar to determine when Easter is celebrated, it can be as early as March 22 to as late as April 25.
And just to confuse you more it also depends if you are on a Julian or Gregorian calendar year, because Easter Orthodox always celebrates their religious holidays about a week later.
Wheewwwwuuuuu!!!! Do not ask me to explain that all again Darklings, look it up in Wikipedia.
I have one Catholic Goth friend who follows the whole Easter Ritual from Shrove Tuesday to Ash Wednesday, Lent to Holy Week to Easter Sunday and then Pentecost. She uses Lent to get her into dieting and cleaning her body system (safely of course) and to spring clean her house, which could include replacing worn out sheets and towels, cleaning out closets and just serious cleaning. Then if the weather is warm enough she’ll also do spring planting of annuals in her garden.
Last year she couldn’t do it because of the horrendous rains we had. This was fine if one is in to serious gloom or “Young Frankenstein”.
But for me I did go to church for Easter Sunday services, and I look for the darkest, gothiest church I can find and I am never disappointed, so far the Catholic and Episcopal Churches offer the best services. But what I like is the Easter Midnight Services which is not done very often now, when one enters the church in the front vestibule is the Paschal fire which the old palm leaves from last years Palm Sunday service is burned the ashes are saved to become the Ashes for next years Ash Wednesday.
The Church is dark with only minimal lighting, in one that I went to they still had the old candle scones and they were lit with glass covers around them for protection. The church is silent with only people softly muttering their prayers, then you hear the church bells chiming the midnight hour and just after the 12th bell has struck, a priest carrying the Paschal candle which has been lit from the Paschal fire at the entrance of the church raises the candle above his head and sings out “Christ is Risen!” That portion of the church lights up, he proceeds down the aisle towards the altar, stopping in the middle of the building and repeats the process and that portion of the church lights up, he continues down the aisle until he is at the altar and sings one last time “Christ is Risen!’ raising the candle high, the dark purple cloths wrapped around the statues& the sanctuary cross are whipped off by assistants and the altar area is lit up with light and the candles on the altar are quickly lit as the organ plays and a choir breaks into song as High Mass begins.
One cannot be affected by this amazing ritual of rejuvenation and redemption, you leave the church tired but strangely at peace with one’s self and with the world and sleep well knowing the dawn will look brighter.
Even now I have my palm frond from this last palm Sunday, I burned carefully my old one from last year and added it’s ashes to the box that holds the ashes from previous years, when I die I want these ashes to be scattered into the grounds of a garden or in a dark forest of redwoods to become something rejuvenating.