This article was posted by CrystalWind.ca

A+ A A-

The Pagan Roots Of Easter

The Pagan Roots Of Easter

From Ishtar to Eostre, the roots of the resurrection story go deep. We should embrace the pagan symbolism of Easter.

Easter is a pagan festival. If Easter isn't really about Jesus, then what is it about? Today, we see a secular culture celebrating the spring equinox, whilst religious culture celebrates the resurrection. However, early Christianity made a pragmatic acceptance of ancient pagan practises, most of which we enjoy today at Easter. The general symbolic story of the death of the son (sun) on a cross (the constellation of the Southern Cross) and his rebirth, overcoming the powers of darkness, was a well worn story in the ancient world. There were plenty of parallel, rival resurrected saviours too.

The Sumerian goddess Inanna, or Ishtar, was hung naked on a stake, and was subsequently resurrected and ascended from the underworld. One of the oldest resurrection myths is Egyptian Horus. Born on 25 December, Horus and his damaged eye became symbols of life and rebirth. Mithras was born on what we now call Christmas day, and his followers celebrated the spring equinox. Even as late as the 4th century AD, the sol invictus, associated with Mithras, was the last great pagan cult the church had to overcome. Dionysus was a divine child, resurrected by his grandmother. Dionysus also brought his mum, Semele, back to life.

In an ironic twist, the Cybele cult flourished on today's Vatican Hill. Cybele's lover Attis, was born of a virgin, died and was reborn annually. This spring festival began as a day of blood on Black Friday, rising to a crescendo after three days, in rejoicing over the resurrection. There was violent conflict on Vatican Hill in the early days of Christianity between the Jesus worshippers and pagans who quarrelled over whose God was the true, and whose the imitation. What is interesting to note here is that in the ancient world, wherever you had popular resurrected god myths, Christianity found lots of converts. So, eventually Christianity came to an accommodation with the pagan Spring festival. Although we see no celebration of Easter in the New Testament, early church fathers celebrated it, and today many churches are offering "sunrise services" at Easter – an obvious pagan solar celebration. The date of Easter is not fixed, but instead is governed by the phases of the moon – how pagan is that?

All the fun things about Easter are pagan. Bunnies are a leftover from the pagan festival of Eostre, a great northern goddess whose symbol was a rabbit or hare. Exchange of eggs is an ancient custom, celebrated by many cultures. Hot cross buns are very ancient too. In the Old Testament we see the Israelites baking sweet buns for an idol, and religious leaders trying to put a stop to it. The early church clergy also tried to put a stop to sacred cakes being baked at Easter. In the end, in the face of defiant cake-baking pagan women, they gave up and blessed the cake instead.

Easter is essentially a pagan festival which is celebrated with cards, gifts and novelty Easter products, because it's fun and the ancient symbolism still works. It's always struck me that the power of nature and the longer days are often most felt in modern towns and cities, where we set off to work without putting on our car headlights and when our alarm clock goes off in the mornings, the streetlights outside are not still on because of the darkness.

What better way to celebrate, than to bite the head off the bunny goddess, go to a "sunrise service", get yourself a sticky-footed fluffy chick and stick it on your TV, whilst helping yourself to a hefty slice of pagan simnel cake? Happy Easter everyone!

Credit

Heather McDougall is a writer and music teacher with a background in comparative religion (Buddhism and Catholicism) and interests in Aquinas, ethics, and philosophy of religion. She comments on Cif belief as savvymum

Source Here


CrystalWind.ca is free to access and use.
Please support us with a small gift of $11.11 or $22.22 or $33.33. 

or
Please buy us a coffee!
Thank you!
ॐ Namasté - Blessings!
"Life is an echo, what you send out comes back."
© 2008-2021 crystalwind.ca. All rights reserved.
Pin It

CrystalWind.ca is free to use because of
donations from people like you.
Donate Now »

CrystalWind.Ca Donation!

Free Reading Here!!

crystal-wind-oracle-mobile-app
 
Cut Through The Illusions!
Available On The
Apple  / Android / Amazon
NEW Expanded Version - 53 cards!

Who is Online Now

We have 1554 guests and no members online

Featured This Month

Page:

The Hazel Tree: August 5 - September 1

The Hazel Tree: August 5 - September 1

Celtic Symbol : The Rainbow Salmon Zodiac Degrees : 12º00` Leo - 8º59` Virg... Read more

Lugh - Celtic God Of The Sun

Lugh - Celtic God Of The Sun

The god Lugh was worshiped in Ireland as a deity of the sun. This connection... Read more

The Season of Lammas

The Season of Lammas

The season of Lammas (also called Lughnasadh) begins on August 1st and conti... Read more

Ripe Berries Moon

Ripe Berries Moon

Sturgeon - Garnet and Iron - Raspberry - Red July 23 to August 22 Th... Read more

Larimar

Larimar

The Atlantis Stone - The Dolphin Stone Found exclusively in the Dominica... Read more

Lammas

Lammas

Lammas Ritual Celebrated August 1st. Lammas is also known as Lughnasadh, La... Read more

Lughnasadh Meditation

Lughnasadh Meditation

The Seventh Sabbat of the Wheel is Lughnasadh. Lughnasadh is celebrated on A... Read more

Sun in Leo

Sun in Leo

An Overview of Sun Sign Characteristics for Leo The ruler of Leo is the Sun... Read more

Birth Totem - Salmon

Birth Totem - Salmon

Birth Totem Salmon Birth dates: July 22 - August 21 Birth Totem is: Salmon... Read more

Leo's Lucky Gem - Imperial Topaz

Leo's Lucky Gem - Imperial Topaz

Imperial Topaz Birthstone: Sagittarius, Leo Planet: Sun Element: Fire Ch... Read more

Lammas by The Hedgewitch

Lammas by The Hedgewitch

Although in the heat of a Mid-western summer it might be difficult to discer... Read more

Leo

Leo

Artwork By Lisa Iris! www.lisairis.ca LEO July 23 - August 22 Spirit: ... Read more

Red Raspberry

Red Raspberry

Reminds you to be grateful for all of life’s ups and downs. Gender: Feminine... Read more

Cinnabar

Cinnabar

The Merchant's Stone Cinnabar is said to attract abundance, gently increasi... Read more

Lughnasadh (Lammas) - The Celtic Harvest Fes…

Lughnasadh (Lammas) - The Celtic Harvest Festival

The Celtic harvest festival on August 1st takes its name from the Irish god ... Read more

© 2008-2021 CrystalWind.ca. Site Creation by CreativeInceptions.com.
X

Right Click

No right click