by Jose Prado
This is a small Summary from a much larger article I wrote called the Pagan Origins of Easter. Here's a small over view on what was discussed there.
While children go on their Easter Egg hunts most people seem not to have forgotten it's original origins. While most people think it is a purely Pagan holiday, it is a season with both Pagan and Jewish roots. The name 'Easter' comes from an Ancient fertility Goddess who seems to exist in various religions and cultures under different names. Known as Ostara, Eostre, Ishtar, and Aster, this Mother Deity was a renewer of Life whose energies came at their peak at the time of the Spring Equinox.
Today, Wicca and other Pagan groups celebrate this holiday as Ostara. According to Germanic legend, Ostara wandered the forest one day during Spring and found a bird whose wings were frozen. In order to save the poor creature, she enchanted the bird and transformed her into a Hare. But because she had once been a bird, the Hare did not give birth to live young but to children who hatched in Eggs. Then 500 yrs ago when Dutch immigrants settled in Pennsylvania they brought with them the legend of male Hare (presumably a descendant of the female Hare of Ostara) named Osterhas or Oschter Haws (not sure if that is the correct spelling) who visited good children and gave them eggs to eat. Basically, a Spring Santa Klaus. Later he was changed from a Hare to a Rabbit and became the Easter Bunny.
Pagans had an ancient fertility symbol of three Hares who chased each other in a triangle. The sign of the Tripple Hare is based on the Triquetra, a Trinitarian symbol of the moon that symbolizes the Tripple God and the Tripple Goddess. Pagans believed that all things would die and be reborn around this time mystically. And Sex is a personification of life and death. During intercourse, Millions of sperm die and only one survives so from death comes life. It is a total renewal of all things.
Pagans knew this and would perform all manner of ritual including sex magic in order to channel the powers that are unleashed around this time for spells and worship. The Hebrews also had their own celebration called the First of Fruits (recorded in the Bible) in which the first and choicest fruits were harvested. They also believed in magical energies that were released around this time.
In fact, it's believed the reason Jesus of Nazareth the Ascended Master and Deity manifested in the flesh died in March and was able to return from the dead was because the energies of the First of Fruits. Pagans also believe that the God dies and is reborn from death around this time like the Phoenix. Ever hear the term 'mad as a march hare'? The reason for that is due to the fact that mating season for the Hares happens in March.
So whether you celebrate Eostre with Sex, Chocolate Eggs, Eggs in vinegar, or Fruit just remember to pray to all of the Gods and Goddesses and give thanks for this renewal of Earth energy.
Blessed Be and Ache my Brothers and Sisters