Every Christian holiday has derived from a pagan origin, and so has Ash Wednesday which is known as the beginning of Lent, a time of fasting or doing without something that you usually do.
I found this article by Craig Portwood very interesting:
“The practice of putting ashes on one’s forehead has been known from ancient times. In the Nordic pagan religion, placing ashes above one’s brow was believed to ensure the protection of the Norse god, Odin. This practice spread to Europe during the Vikings conquests. This laying on of ashes was done on Wednesday, the day named for Odin, Odin’s Day. Interestingly enough, according to Wikipedia, one of Odin’s names is Ygg. The same is Norse for the World Ash. This name Ygg, closely resembles the Vedic name Agni in pronunciation.
The Norse practice which has become known as Ash Wednesday was itself, drawn from the Vedic Indian religion. Ashes were believed to be the seed Agni , the Indian fire god. It is from this name that the Latins used for fire, ignis. It is from this root word that the English language got the words, ignite, igneous and ignition. Agni was said to have the authority to forgive sins. Ashes were also believed to be symbolic for the purifying blood of the Vedic god Shiva, which it is said had the power to cleanse sins.”
For the past week I have been thinking about what I should deprive myself of ( I mean I am already a vegan, do not smoke, drink moderately, buy organic, etc) and my conclusion was I should try and get rid of the negative. Negative thoughts, negative comments about others, negative people who try to rob your energy, you get the picture. Instead I will focus on positivity and encouragement. I will try to praise the kids more often and shed more light on my positive sides.