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Apr 6, 2007

The name Easter originated from the two names, one Babylonian, Ishtar, and the other Phoenician, Astarte (or Ashtaroth) both names of the pagan Goddess of Fertility and therefore Spring.  Both Astarte and Ishtar were pronounced "Easter." The Goddess Ishtar/Astarte held several titles and like the Hindi Goddess Kali, in time came to symbolize both a creator and destroyer. In the Saxon/Sachsen cultures of ancient Europe the Goddess Astarte was written as Eostre/Eastre.  The celebration of and to Eostre/Easter involved making sacred (sacrificing) the festival meal/meat and showing reverence to the rising Sun. It was a time for the tribes to gather and enjoy stories and celebrate the arrival of Spring, the season of Astarte. It was strongly associated with all the rites of spring, including the coming / birth of the new animals.  Like the symbol of rebirth, Spring represented the coming of new grasses, grains, and the rebirth of mother Earth.  In ancient times the hare/rabbit was in itself a strong fertility symbol. Imagine how much more powerful a symbol when you have the hare carrying/delivering eggs!  Wrap this together with the treasure egg hunt, its origins date back to the tales of Astarte creating the golden egg in the garden.  By the 4th century of the current era, the Holy Roman Church, had placed its mark on many pagan holidays and festivals, Easter was no exception. The Romans took it and proclaimed that it was the celebration of the 'rising of the SON', that is the rebirth of Christ.  Symbolically, Easter made an easy acquisition to the list of official 'Christian' holy days. Today, as all those around our mother planet, the Earth, celebrate the festival of our ancestors many thousands of years old, let us raise our goblets and toast our hither come lately sisters and brothers of Christendom who have come to our table in only the past 1,600 years to give praise to the Sun, Earth, and the season of Astarte.  We welcome all, to gather tribe, family, and friends in breaking bread, eating the sacrificial animal, such as honey ham, hunt for the treasure egg of Astarte, and recognize in hope, joy, and beauty the abundance of Eostre – the rebirth of Mother Earth – and the blessings of the Creator.  It is sometimes lost or overlooked, the understanding that when we celebrate and honor the Creator/Creation we are also celebrating and honoring ourselves and all who came before us. 

From Women's Dictionary of Myths and Secrets by Barbara Walker

Merry Eostre -

Springtime sacrificial festival named for the Sacon Goddess Eostre, or Ostara, a northern form of Astarte. Her sacred month was Eastre-monath, the Moon of Eostre.

Astarte, the Lady of Babylon, is one of the oldest forms of the Great Goddess in the Middle East, identified with Egypt's Hathor, Mycenae's Demeter, Cyprus' Aphrodite. She was the same creating-preserving-and-destroying Goddess worshipped by all the Indo-European cultures, and still typified by Kali as the symbol of Nature. Astarte was the "true sovereign of the world," tirelessly creating and destroying, eliminating the old and generating the new. Sidonian kinds could not rule without her permission. Each king styled himself first and foremost "Priest of Astarte."

Saxon poets apparently knew Eostre was the same Goddess as India's Great Mother Kali. Beowulf spoke of "ganger' waters, whose flood waves ride down into an unknown sea near Eostre's far home.

The Easter Bunny was older than Christianity; it was the Moon-hare sacred to the Goddess in both eastern and western nations. Recalling the myths of Hathor-Astarte who laid the Golden Egg of the sun, Germans used to say the hare would lay eggs for good children on Easter Eve.

Like all the church's "movable feasts," Easter shows its pagan origin in a dating system based on the old lunar calendar. It is fixed as the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox, formerly the "pregnant phase of Eostre passing into the fertile season. *** 

I would note also the further influence of Astarte/Eostre/Estre in that the female hormone associated with fertility is Estrogen – a term that comes from the fertility Goddess Eostre.

 

Take Care – Be Well – Blessed Be,

Carl

 
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Posted: Friday April 6, 2007, 6:53 pm
Tags: easter christian pagan ishtar astarte [add/edit tags]

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Carl Ehlig
male, age 62, married, 1 child
Altadena, CA, USA
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