Are Holidays Holy Days? Part 4 – Easter

Healthy Easter Basket Ideas

A holiday with colorful eggs being hunted and bunnies being made out of chocolate while at the same is in celebration with the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Let’s dig into this and see what it is all about.

History

To start at the beginning we will first look at the word ‘Easter’ itself. The etymology of the word comes from the Old English word Easterdæg, from Eastre, and from Proto-Germanic austron meaning “dawn” which is also the name of a goddess of fertility and spring; Greek being Eos and Roman being Aurora. It is claimed from Bede that the Anglo-Saxon Christians adopted the goddess’ name for the celebration mass of the resurrection of Jesus. The Easter egg was declared in 1825 and the Easter bunny in 1888. [1]

Mythology

There are several goddesses that are plausibly related to this holiday so we will look at all of them. We have already mentioned Aurora/Eos but we also have a Saxon goddess of the name Ostara (Oestre or Eastre) and Ishtar from Babylon (Inanna from Sumeria). A lot of various names but we will keep them compiled to just three sections.

Aurora (Roman) / Eos (Greek)

Looking at Eos she is clearly defined as the goddess of dawn, daybreak, and/or the sunrise and being related to the sun-god and the moon goddess of Greece. One of the most notable features is that this goddess had an unquenchable desire of young men and known to have at least four different lovers. This desire that Eos had,  was created by Aphrodite the goddess of love [2].

Another very interesting detail when looking into Aurora, is said that she is the mother of Lucifer the morning star. She is also described to be forever young and rides a chariot to bring up the sun.[3]

Ostara (Oestre / Eastre)

Just like that of Aurora and Eos, Ostara is also the goddess of dawn to the Saxons. On the day of the spring equinox for the Northern Hemisphere, Wiccans and other neopagans observe the day for her in a festival of season change from winter to spring [4]. She is also known as a goddess of fertility since she is renowned for bringing spring in season and “new birth.” A couple interesting facts is one, the female hormone estrogen derives for her name, two the rabbit being known for its quick reproduction rate was her sacred animal, and last eggs (along with rabbits) were known to be used in the festivals of Ostara which are also symbols of fertility.[5]

Ishtar (Inanna)

Just the same with the other goddesses, Ishtar is a goddess of fertility or in other words sex. Besides this, she is also known to represent war as well. To understand her connection, two famous mythological stories must be looked into.

Her first story is of her descent into the underworld (hell). She passes through the seven gates of hell which each undresses her to lastly being bare. Her purpose being there was that to forcefully remove her sister, Ereshkigal,  from power and take over. Ereshkigal was the queen of the underworld but ended up holding Ishtar captive. In order for her to leave, Ishtar had to find someone to take her place, which ended up being her husband Tammuz. She was at first angry with him, thus being the reason she chose him but eventually was sorrowful over her choice.  Afterwards, she ended up choosing his sister to replace him for six months of the year. According to those who support mythology, this is explained to be the reason of the colder seasons and warmer seasons.[6]

With this we can see the “similarities” of this myth and that of the true story of Jesus dying at the cross for our sins, retrieving the keys to death and hell, and resurrecting on the third day. The myth of Ishtar is almost as a mockery of Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Nimrod, Semiramis, and Tammuz

If you have not heard of this trio of names, there is a lot of study behind these and a wide foundation of content. The information regarding these are various in their nature but I encourage good research on these. Things will make sense as pieces are found and then put together.

To start off, everyone should know of Nimrod or at least what he was most famous for; building the tower of Babel. This whole event is the root of why there are different languages in the world. This event can be seen in Genesis chapter 11 and the start of Nimrod’s kingdom is mentioned in Genesis chapter 10:8-12.

For Semiramis, this name is not mentioned in the bible however it is said she was mentioned as none other than the women in the book of Revelation as Mother of Harlots. If this is true, then this makes perfect sense to the fact that Semiramis is claimed to have many names such as that of Isthar, Inanna,  Ostara, Aphrodite, Isis, Shingmoo, Astaroth, Venus, Jupiter, etc all being goddesses of sex or “fertility.” Her connection is of being Nimrod’s wife and having a son named Tammuz. Obviously there can be much study into this but from what has been looked into just with this study pieces can be put together.[7]

Tammuz is one of those pieces that connect Semiramis to at least that of Ishtar here within this study. According to the myth of Isthar, her husband was Tammuz not her son right? That is correct. However there is the situation of the story that Semiramis used Tammuz to represent the reincarnation of Nimrod thus probably being his wife also. Some say Tammuz was not the son of Nimrod but that of another’s what is clear is that he was the son of Semiramis. Another interesting fact is mentioned straight from the bible which states:

Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the Lord’s house which was toward the north; and behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz. [Ezk. 8:14 KJV]

So why would women be weeping over Tammuz here in Ezekiel’s time? Tammuz is also known as a pagan god that had a cult following. This cult held rituals twice each year for this pagan god. [8] Here for Ezekiel, God revealed to him this practice of abominations which was very sexually oriented of prostitution.[9]

What the Bible Says

Granted yes, the word Easter does occur in the bible once.

And when he Had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people. [Acts 12:4 KJV]

However, we must understand the word here in Greek is Pascha or Paschal which is referring to the Passover.

In conclusion I personally believe the word ‘easter’ is of pagan origin referring to that of the dawn (being where the sun rises in the East) and ties connections with the goddesses of Isthar, Ostara, and Aurora and even Semiramis. Also, from this study I belief that the involvement of the eggs and rabbits are that of pagan symbols relating back to fertility worship. This time should be that of the awesome deed of what Jesus Christ done for us on the cross along with his eternal life and not with that of modern pagan rituals trickling in. During the last supper Jesus instructed the disciples to have communion in remembrance of him (found in Luke 22:19 and 1 Cor. 11:24-25).

References:

  1. http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=Easter&allowed_in_frame=0
  2. http://www.theoi.com/Titan/Eos.html
  3. http://www.thaliatook.com/OGOD/aurora.html
  4. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/19/ostara-2015_n_6895952.html
  5. http://www.goddessgift.com/pandora%27s_box/Easter-history.html#Ishtar : Goddess
  6. http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Ishtar
  7. http://ministeriomisionerodepoderenjesus.blogspot.com/2010/06/semiramis-sacerdotes-nimrod-tamuz-y-su.html (Uses Google Translate)
  8. http://www.bibletools.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/Topical.show/RTD/CGG/ID/805/Tammuz.htm
  9. http://www.bibletools.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/Topical.show/RTD/cgg/ID/13229/Weeping-for-Tammuz.htm
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