Years ago, I inherited 8 Pysanky. The number 8 has significance for me, since it is my life path number. I have not felt the urge to decipher what each Egg means until now... but considering my fear of Fire, I see from reading the above website they have offered me protection from it for all these years.
The designs of each Egg is linked to Egyptian ceramics circa 1500 BC and to symbolism of the Trypilljan culture in the Ukraine around 3000 BC.
Trypilljans lived peacefully...a matriarchal, artistic and creative society who linked themselves strongly to Mother Earth. Hence, the symbolism on an Egg closely resembles elements of Nature.
A symbol on a Pysanka is a word picture or code which contains the secrets of a culture. Very like my Tarot deck, in my mind, the symbols also contain revelations on emotions and feelings such as love, hope, fear, anger and so on. Pysanky involve a trinity of symbolisms...the Egg itself, the design, and the colours used.
I discover in my research the most magical Pysanky are those with four or five colours. I look through mine; even the Egg which I considered to be only golden has four other colours intertwined throughout. Each Egg is considered to carry a message of good will, luck and well-being for its owner.
Let's see...I have a predominantly black Egg, a golden one, two red or reddish Eggs, a brown one, two green and one very lovely blue Egg. My favourite is the brown Egg, which has Stags, Rabbits, a Wolf, Pine Trees, a Willow Tree and green and gold vegetation placed in strategic spots. Oh, and tiny golden dots are painted upon the upper half of the Egg...
This one, after peering at it (these images are small) for some time, I've decided is celebrating Spring. The Stags show leadership, victory, masculinity and joy. The Rabbits show the humility of Man as he listens to the lessons of Nature. The Wolf denotes loyalty and teachings of wisdom. The Willow Tree is said to hold the Sun in the Sky, bestowing happiness and benevolence.
The Pine Tree symbolizes strength, boldness, growth and eternal life, while the greenery situated throughout the bottom half of the Egg symbolize the rebirth of nature and life. The golden dots represent the Stars in the Sky, tears or fixed points which have no beginning or end.
The colour of this Egg is predominantly reddish-brown. This colour signifies Mother Earth, bringing forth her bountiful gifts.
I have meditated with this one, not realizing it was a harbinger of Spring, and have had visions of Apple blossoms. Now I understand why.
Blue is used sparingly on these Eggs. I have a totally blue one, with some gold outlining the Chrysanthemums and Roses and Leaves. This Pysanka signifies blue Skies or Air and is a talisman for good health. It also represents truth, fidelity, higher life and trust. I was not able to find out why blue is used less often...everything about a blue Egg sounds wonderful!
The golden yellow Pysanka I have has most of its gilt flaking off...it still shines, though...I had difficulty taking a photo of it with the flash on the camera. It has golden oak leaves and acorns on it, outlined with red dots, and a meandering golden line all around it.
Long ago, when the Eggs first came to me, I knew a lady who understood the symbolism behind each Egg. She asked me to randomly pick one...no thinking about it, just choosing one out of the eight. I picked the golden one, thinking...ahh, a golden Egg, just like the one in the story of the Goose who laid the golden Egg. It must mean wealth...
The lady said...You are strongly connected to the Light. You have persistence and are hospitable and benevolent...you are eternal.
There was no mention of wealth. Not of the material kind, at any rate!
At the time, I really did not know how to respond. Flustered, I almost dropped the Egg when I placed it back in the bowl with the others. I wondered if this wonderful Romanian lady knew that I was intent on Wealth.
She didn't say anything as she picked up each Egg and looked closely at it. She only sniffed when she saw the black Chicken Egg. I've looked it up. From the site Olga's Eggs-Files, I find black is much the same as any other definition of the colour...it represents the absolute, constancy, eternity or the womb, and death.
We spoke no more of them, as we drank our Tea and exchanged news and gossip, as if the whole Egg incident had never happened.
I had no idea when I began this post I would become so involved with each Pysanka. I have found the stories which are embellished on each to be very inspiring and evocative. Perhaps one of these days I will be able to pick up a strange to me Pysanka and know immediately what it is telling me.
These Eggs I have are old...close to being an aged 50 years. I am amazed at how well they look, since my granddaughter loved them when she was young and played with them constantly.
It is a complicated art, taking time and patience to paint each Egg. They are made with an ancient wax resist process. A stylus is used for writing on an Egg with hot Beeswax. A flame from a Beeswax candle is used to melt a piece of Beeswax which has been placed on the tip of the stylus. There are some instructions here.
However they are made, they stand up well. One of the Eggs is from the Chicken, some came from Duck, and some are Goose Eggs. They are available in every conceivable type...from Ostrich to Quail. Mine are heavy, which makes me think they were not blown out. There are only two of them which have the residual hole at the ends.
I keep them in a bowl, with the Marble Egg my parents gave me as a birthday present years ago. And now that I've learned a bit about them, it makes much more sense to me when I pick one up and meditate. Understanding symbols will help if a vision or two should come my way.
All in all, with newfound understanding of the Pysanky, I have found a wealth of knowledge.
It may not be material wealth but...
I believe it's a better kind.