Friday, March 21, 2008

OSTARA: Spring Goddess of Fertility.

I love Godchecker.com and their "Deity of the Day. Today's featured deity is Ostara. It was studying mythologies of other societies in ancient times that brought me to understand that humans create their gods, their religions, legends and myths and many of them influenced the religions and myths that came after them.

From Godchecker.com


"She has her own festival on 21 March, the Spring Equinox, in which bouncing springy behavior is encouraged."


OSTARA was very popular with the Anglo-Saxon pagan brigade who worshipped her under the name EOSTRE — and kicked off the whole Easter business without a JESUS in sight. If you ever wondered what eggs and bunnies have to do with crucifixion and resurrection, the answer is: absolutely nothing.

OSTARA's sacred animal is a cute wittle wabbit — an obvious symbol of fertility — and the egg is her symbol of fertile purity. So Easter Egg hunts are actually packed with symbolic meanings of rebirth and renewal. And Elmer Fudd is obviously just a high priest of the Great Easter Bunny.

In case you think we're being flippant, recent research suggests that OSTARA herself was actually invented during a mischievous moment by the Venerable Bede. This well-known monk mentioned her in connection with the pagan festival Eosturmonath in a book written in 750 A.D. — but extensive research has failed to find a trace of her prior to that. Could he possibly have been fibbing?

Rabbits and hares are ubiquitous in mythology. Every culture seems to have a Rabbit God — and they're nearly always trickster spirits. This, we feel, explains a lot. We also have a terrific theory explaining why stage magicians love doing tricks with eggs and rabbits. Was OSTARA pulled out of a hat?

1 comment:

Jason H. Bowden said...

I already have a messiah.

(evil grin)