As I look at Easter I have to start with what is in front of me and I see sugar dumping children gorging on chocolate bunnies and eggs. I see a day of colorful, shiny wrapping and Easter cakes, buns, fish, church and resurrections.. But basically its a holiday.
The truth of Easter is actually an X-rated pagan mystery that is proscribed by the movement of the earth, sun and moon. Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon, after the spring (in our case autumn equinox) equinox.
Christians countries are not the only ones who celebrated a festival called “Easter.” “Ishtar”, which is pronounced “Easter” was a day that commemorated the resurrection of one of the Babylonian gods “Tammuz”, he was the only son of the moon-goddess and the sun-god.
In this myth Nimrod, a descendant of Noah (of flood fame) was born to Queen Semiramis. Nimrod’s father died and he married his mum (how Oedipus Rex of him.) In Babylon, Nimrod became a God-Man and Simiramis, the fertility goddess, Ishtar. Nimrod died and Simiramis declared he was the Sun-God, Baal and she the immaculately conceived Moon-Goddess, further more she claimed that she came down from the moon in a giant moon egg that fell into the Euphrates River. This was to have happened at the time of the first full moon after the spring equinox.
Ishtar the Goddess/Queen was, to say the least, promiscuous and birthed a son, Tammuz. He was was eventually killed by a wild pig. Queen Ishtar told the people that Tammuz was now ascended to his father, Baal, and that the two of them would be worshipped in the sacred candle or lamp flame as Father, Son and Spirit. Ishtar, was now worshipped as the “Mother of God and Queen of Heaven.” The lion was her symbol. In the Babylonian pantheon, she “was the divine personification of the planet Venus.
The story goes on, worshippers meditated on the sacred mysteries of Baal and Tammuz, and made the sign of the “T” in front of their hearts as they worshipped. They also ate sacred cakes with the marking of a “T” or cross on the top, every year, on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox. Tammuz was said to be fond of rabbits, how sweet so they became part of the Easter package.
Ishtar was the goddess of love and war, above all associated with sexuality: her cult involved sacred prostitution and she herself was the “courtesan of the gods”. Ishtar had many lovers; however, she was fickle, she treated her passing paramours cruelly, and the unhappy wretches usually paid dearly for any attention paid to them by her.
Animals, enslaved by love of Ishtar, lost their native vigour: they fell into traps laid by men or were domesticated by them. ‘Thou has loved the lion, mighty in strength’, says the hero Gilgamesh to Ishtar, ‘and thou hast dug for him seven and seven pits! Thou hast loved the steed, proud in battle, and destined him for the halter, the goad and the whip .’ Even for the gods Ishtar’s love was fatal. In her youth the goddess had loved Tammuz , god of the harvest, and—if one is to believe Gilgamesh—this love caused the death of Tammuz.
Ishtar was claimed to be the daughter of Ninurt, he was a Babylonian god of rain, fertility, war, thunderstorms, wells, canals, floods, the plough and the South Wind. His name means “lord of the earth” and mankind owed to him the fertile fields and the healthy live-stock.
Easter is named for a Saxon goddess who was known by the names of Oestre or Eastre, and in Germany by the name of Ostara. She is a goddess of the dawn and the spring, and her name derives from words for dawn, the shining light arising from the east. Our words for the “female hormone” estrogen derives from her name.
Ostara was, of course, a fertility goddess. Bringing in the end of winter, with the days brighter and growing longer after the vernal equinox, Ostara had a passion for new life. Her presence was felt in the flowering of plants and the birth of babies, both animal and human. The rabbit (well known for its propensity for rapid reproduction) was her sacred animal.
The deeper version suggests that Oestrogen, the female hormone, drives a female population to mate and breed. When ovulating a woman is attracted to those outside her family/village, unconsciously trying to strengthen the gene pool. Once pregnant she is again attracted to her safe home and family members. Studies suggest that female promiscuity was and maybe still is the driving force of evolution and strengthening of humans, a fact suppressed by a patriarchal church and society. So instead of a celebration of sexuality and renewal, Easter became a tame festival celebrating an event that is symbolic of sacrifice rather than representing the continual cycling of hormonally driven human evolution and nature renewing herself.