Here we are again in the Easter season, and the stores are filled with Easter Bunnies, Easter cards and Easter Eggs, trying to be as big a commercial success as the other season that also used to be a pagan religious event, Christmas.
There are still many Christians who believe that it is part of the original Christian religion to observe Lent, "Holy Week," "Good Friday," to buy hot cross buns at the bakery, to have colored eggs, to dress up and go to Church on Easter Sunday, perhaps to attend an Easter sunrise service! They haven’t examined their belief system, or its origins.
Easter tide had been celebrated all over the world for thousands of years before the beginning of Christianity. Jesus isn’t the reason for this season either. It isn’t a Christian festival, merely one that the Catholic Christians took over for the Church because the pagans wouldn’t give it up.
For 1600 years the western world has been taught that Easter is to do with the time when Christ rose from the dead on a particular Sunday morning. This is a lie, and always was. Nothing unusual about that in Church history. Actually the word is merely the slightly changed English spelling of the name of the ancient Assyrian goddess Ishtar, pronounced by the Assyrians exactly as we pronounce "Easter." The Babylonian name of this goddess was Astarte, consort of Baal, the Sun god, whose worship is denounced by various Old Testament prophets as the most abominable of all pagan idolatry. Yahweh was always insanely paranoid about rival gods and goddesses. No tolerance there.
Look up the word "Easter" in Webster's dictionary. You will find: "AS. (Anglo-Saxon), from the name of an old Teutonic goddess of spring". The Teutonic peoples had a goddess of dawn and fertility who had various names among the dialects of these people. She was named after the old word for spring which is Eastre. Some of the forms her name took were: Ostare, Ostara, Ostern, Eostra, Eostre, Eostur, Eastra, Eastur, Austron and Ausos. Those of you with European DNA have this goddess in your past, whatever your current religion.
Those who are locked into believing the Bible may note that the word Easter occurs only once in the Bible and that only in the King James translation, occurring in the Authorized Version as the translation of 'Pascha' in Acts 12:4, 'intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people'. The Revised Version, and many others have translated the word correctly as ' Passover.’ More about this later. Of course, the fact that it occurs in the Word of God at all is enough for those who think that Jesus and Paul spoke late Elizabethan English.
The earliest followers of the teachings of Jesus always celebrated the time of his death at the time of the particular Passover involved in the story. Which makes a lot of sense. St.Patrick’s Celtic Christians also used to celebrate Passover, one of the many reasons he was considered to be a heretic by the Church authorities.
The World Almanac, 1950 edition, page 704, says: "In the second century, AD., Easter Day was, among Christians in Asia Minor" (that is, in the Churches at Ephesus, Galatia, etc... the so-called "Gentile" churches raised up by the Apostle Paul) "the 14th of Nisan, the seventh month of the Jewish calendar." In other words, the 14th day of the first month of the sacred calendar, and it was not then called by the older name of the pagan deity "Easter", but by the Jewish name "Passover".
Passover, the days of unleavened bread, Pentecost, and Jewish holy days were all observed by the early apostles, and the converted Gentile Christians as a memorial of the crucifixion. Passover, observed by the early believers, occurred not on Sunday or any fixed day of the week, but on a calendar day of the year based on the Jewish calendar. The day of the week varies from year to year, as the Passover still does today. It’s based on a lunar calendar, not our Gregorian solar calendar. It’s only because of the Catholic Church that there is an Easter Sunday every year. It used to occur on other days.
And if you have Jewish friends who still obey the Old Testament ruling and keep Passover, you will know that they do not fast, actually or figuratively for forty days before or after. Lent has absolutely nothing to do with the original Christianity.
So let’s look at how this totally foreign entity became bolted onto the Church dogma over the centuries, so that now the Christians are actually celebrating several pagan festivals when they do their Easter stuff. And the Catholic Church knew this, and still knows it. But the catholicism of the Jesuits is not the catholicism of Irish peasants.
It was most likely based in Europe on the spring equinox festival of the goddess Eostre. She was the great mother goddess of the Saxons of Northern Europe, with all the names I mentioned above.
It was the Venerable Bede who wrote De Ratione Temporum in the 7th century who suggested this. Incidentally he was the Christian scholar who made the terms AD and BC popular for authors.
The same festivals were held all over the Mediterranean area around the spring equinox, though the goddess had different names. Here are some of them, in alphabetical order to show no favoritism: Aphrodite, who arose out of the sea in Cyprus… the Venus of the Romans, Ashtoreth from the mythology of Israel, Astarte from Greece, Demeter from Mycenae, Hathor from the Sinai peninsular, when it was Egypt, Ishtar from Assyria, Kali from the Hindus and Ostara, the Norse goddess of fertility. All of them are “Easter” goddesses.
Every spring festival was to do with fertility, an essential survival component of a rural society. And the Spring Equinox was the time when the light was about to conquer the darkness as Mother Earth revived from her long winter sleep, and baby animals and baby buds began to be seen and heard.
Before going into some different stories, including one based on the Bible, about the origin of Easter, let’s look at the Easter Bunny and the Easter Egg.
It’s pretty obvious, even to the thoughtless, that the Easter Bunny and Egg have not much to do with the Resurrection of Jesus. How come they are still part of the Easter celebrations? Remember, chocolate lovers, that it was Irma Bombeck who said that her children were in 4th or 5th grade before they realized that Easter Bunnies had heads. She was very fond of chocolate.
The Easter Bunny came from the moon goddess’s favorite animal, the hare. It, like the rabbit is a good symbol of fertility. Look what happened to Australia when six pairs of rabbits were introduced into a land where the rabbit had no natural predators. Now they have anti rabbit fences dozens of miles long. Saxons and Celts would tell their children to look for the Hare in the Moon, not the Man in the Moon. Check it out yourself on the next Full Moon.
The Ancient Greeks and Romans used eggs as obvious symbols of fertility AND rebirth. Eggs became symbols of the resurrected Sun and were used in rituals of all the many resurrected gods of the Mediterranean area. So hare and egg became symbolic of female (Moon goddess) and male( Sun) fertility and resurrection.
When the Pennsylvania Deutsch arrived in America they brought many of their Germanic customs with them. I have mentioned some of them in the Christmas postings. They also brought the hexagonal based hex signs, which were warnings of magical protection, and the tradition of Oschter Haws. This was the name of a remarkable Teutonic rabbit who could lay colored eggs in nests for children to find on Easter morning.
Now it’s another all-American tradition to hunt for eggs on Easter morning, though it’s a very recent, and currently unpopular slant on the ritual to shoot the Rabbit with a 12 gauge shotgun, as that famous hunter Dick Cheney did on the White House Lawn not too long ago.
It should be a matter of interest to Christians who follow the current Church teachings of Paul, and not those of Jesus, that all through the Mediterranean region, there was a pre-Christian spring celebration on or around the spring equinox. In this celebration the goddess honored was Cybele the Phrygian goddess of fertility. The fertility goddesses all had consorts. Hers was named Attis.
Like so many of the Mediterranean area gods he was born of a virgin and was resurrected three days after his death which occurred as he bled on a tree. His story came from several other such gods, all born of virgins, who died and were resurrected hundreds of years before the story of Jesus appeared in the same area, spread by Paul.
You have certainly heard of such gods as: Osiris, Dionysus, and Orpheus, But Attis was the major god of Tarsus, where Paul was born, and the death of Attis was always commemorated on a Friday and the resurrection was celebrated three days later on a Sunday. Maybe that’s just another coincidence, though I doubt it.
You may remember from history, or from one of my postings, that the Puritans in America insisted that Christmas should be a fast day, because they knew, and said with justification, that the festivals were just old pagan festivals to Saturn.
Well there are some Christian officials today who are willing to concede that using Easter Bunnies, Eggs and cards with such things on them is actually catering to a millennias old fertility ritual and they don’t want to get it mixed up with their own Christian ritual.
So they renamed Easter Sunday as Resurrection Sunday. Way back when St. Patrick was considered a heretic by many of the officers of the Roman Church, he and his Celtic Christians kept Easter on the same date as the Jews kept Passover, which made sense because the story says that was when it happened. As I have already mentioned, this special day varied from year to year being based on a lunar calendar calculation.
But the Roman Christians made up their own date for Easter so that it could NEVER correspond with the Passover Feast of those people who, until a few years ago, had been accused by the Church of causing the death of Jesus. The Pope did eventually apologize after centuries of deliberate lies by the Church had made the lot of Jews pretty unbearable in any country in Christendom. Only among those countries ruled by Muslims could they find any tolerance for centuries.
But about the date, which varies from year to year. This was established at the Council of Nicaea in A.D. 325, when the Christians made their deal with the Emperor Constantine. They couldn’t tell the Roman Emperor that Jesus was crucified by the Romans as a political activist claiming to be King of the Jews. So they made up a TOTALLY spurious story of a custom that allowed the Jews to choose which of various criminals could be punished around Passover, and plugged in into the New Testament scriptures that were organized after that date. They made up a lot of stories, but unlike the pagans, they insisted that they were true.
To find Resurrection Sunday nowadays you just find the date of the vernal equinox, or the first day of spring. It’s usually March 21st or 22nd. Find the next full moon. Resurrection Sunday will be the Sunday after that. As a bit of trivia for those with Palm Pilots, the latest possible date for this day is April 25th which will happen again in 2038, unless the Mayans were right.
I’ve mentioned a major Northern European source of the word and celebration of Easter. What story is there in the Mediterranean area? Well, there is one that like Paul’s synthesis of pagan and Christian beliefs harks back to the Old Testament to claim the undoubted authority of the antiquity of the Jews.
I’ve already mentioned Attis, who died and was resurrected every year during the dates March 22-March 25. The story of Attis and Cybele was derived from the older stories of Tammuz, Osiris, Dionysus and Orpheus. Only the name and location changed. Whatever the current name of the vegetation god he was always born of a virgin, died and then was reborn every year. The Roman festivals began as the god’s blood was shed on a Friday and ended after three days with rejoicing about his resurrection. Sound familiar?
Historically it is seen that whenever Christians and pagans celebrated their festivities around the same time and in the same place there were always quarrels about who was first. There are several scholarly pagan books confronting the Christians in the early centuries of the Church with the incontrovertible facts that just about everything that the Christians reported of Jesus had been done by the earlier pagan gods: walking on water, raising the dead, changing water into wine, healing the sick, getting killed and being resurrected.
The Christian response was that the Devil made this happen, knowing that Jesus was on the way so that he could prepare people to disbelieve in the stories. Spin doctors were always with us, and the Church Fathers were the first past masters of the art.
But the forerunner of Attis in the same area of the world was Tammuz, who obtained some of his authority from Biblical stories. The celebration in the Mediterranean area was called Ishtar, pronounced Easter. The day commemorated the resurrection of Tammuz who was thought to be the only begotten son of the moon goddess and the sun god. His genealogy, like that of Jesus came from the Old Testament.
You may remember the name Nimrod, the mighty hunter, a famous precursor of the NRA. He was the grandson of Ham, who was a son of Noah. A very powerful pedigree. It came about because Ham’s son Cush married an ambitious lady named Semiramis. Their son was Nimrod. After Cush died Nimrod married his mother Semiramis.
If you check in Genesis 10 you will see that Nimrod founded some of the greatest cities of the period: Babel, Erech, Accad and Calneh. These are names for archaeologists to conjure with from the land of Shinar, which we now know as Sumeria in history. According to some findings our Nimrod had the blood of the Annunaki in his veins and married his mother, as the Pharaohs married their sisters and half sisters, to keep the god line pure.
So Nimrod, like the Pharaohs became a god man to his subjects and Semiramis, his wife and mother became a powerful Queen of what was then called Babylon. Here the story begins to blend with Egyptian material. Nimrod was killed by an enemy and cut into pieces which were dispersed, just like those of Osiris, all around his kingdom.
Semiramis undeterred found all the pieces but one, and as in the case of Osiris the missing part was his penis. We aren’t told what happened to the penis of Nimrod. That of Osiris was eaten by a crocodile egged on by his enemy Set. Isis had to do some really powerful magic to solve that problem. It’s a great story. The result was the god Horus.
Semiramis told the people that Nimrod could not return to earthly incarnation without it, was now co-equal with the Sun, and was to be worshipped as Baal, the sun god. She became further inspired and invented a new religion, forestalling Joseph Smith and his cousin Cyrus by thousands of years. She said that Baal was always present wherever a flame was used in worship, whether sacred fire, candle or lamp. Then she pointed out that she herself, the mother of the god, was immaculately conceived. Nothing is new.
She said that the moon too was a goddess who went through a 28 day cycle as women did, and ovulated when the moon was full, and that she herself had come down from the moon in a giant egg that landed in the river Euphrates. And this happened at the time of the first full moon after the spring equinox. Another amazing coincidence!
All this without Fox TV to spread the word to the ignorant. Semiramis became known as Ishtar, pronounced Easter, and the egg from the moon was Ishtar’s egg. As Ishtar she became pregnant, and claimed that the rays of Baal the sun god had impregnated her. The resulting virgin birth child was named Tammuz.
According to the story Tammuz, like his father was a mighty hunter, but unlike his father he was fond of rabbits. Tammuz was killed by a wild boar when hunting. Not the only god who had this fate. But Queen Ishtar told everyone that Tammuz had gone home to Baal his father and that when the worshippers lit the sacred flame they would be there as Father, Son and Spirit.
Ishtar by now had acquired the titles of Mother of God and Queen of Heaven, which is where the Blessed Mother of the Catholics got a couple of Her names later on. She pointed out to the worshippers that when Tammuz was killed some of his blood fell onto a stump of an evergreen tree, and the sacred blood acted as a divine fertilizer, and the tree became full grown in one night. So the evergreen tree joined the collection of sacred items. You may have seen them in other religious ceremonies and rituals familiar to you.
Knowing that you had to deprive people of something before they valued it, she proclaimed a forty day fast from eating meat prior to the anniversary of the death of Tammuz. When the fasting worshippers meditated on the sacred mysteries they crossed themselves with the sign of the T, the Tau cross. Their sacred meatless cakes were marked with a T, ancestors of the hot cross bun.
Let’s look at the Bible for a moment to see how this custom irritated the God of Jeremiah. Check out chapter 7 of his book in the Old Testament.
"The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, TO MAKE CAKES TO THE QUEEN OF HEAVEN... that they may provoke me to anger.... Therefore thus saith the Eternal God: Behold, mine anger and my fury shall be poured out upon this place, upon man, upon beast... and it shall burn, and shall not be quenched." (Verse 18-20)
He was always touchy about perceived competition. The capitals are mine for emphasis.
The Hebrew word for "cakes" as originally written in Jeremiah is "kavvan," and really means "buns." It is used nowhere else in the Bible, except Jeremiah 44:19, where again, the same idolatrous worship to the queen of the heaven is mentioned.
Every other place in the Bible where the English word "cakes' is used, a different Hebrew word was used in the original. What irritated the God of Jeremiah was that the hot crossed buns were dedicated, not to Him but to the original Queen of Heaven. And so are the buns the Christians eat nowadays. And the Church knew this all the time.
Every year, and on the first Sunday after the full moon after the vernal equinox there was a celebration of Ishtar’s Sunday, celebrated with eggs and rabbits, real ones in those days. Since Tammuz acquired his god status with the help of a wild boar there was also a meal of pork on that Sunday. Nowadays of course it often comes from a can and is called ham. But it’s the same old same old.
Catholic Christianity delicately acquired just enough of the pagan ceremonies for the Christians to be able to celebrate them without arousing suspicion in the early days. But though they celebrated the resurrection of their own version of the son of the sun god around the same time that everyone else was doing the same, with their own ancient stories, the Christians of the Church always considered that their story was special.
It is said quite often that the whole of the current Catholic and Protestant Evangelical Christianity is based on the remarkable concept that a dead man came back to life after three days in a tomb. Rationally speaking, if he came out of the tomb alive he must have gone into it alive, though possibly in pretty bad shape. Look for just a moment at the Christian scripture on which the whole Christian myth of Easter depends.
Here is a direct quote from page 6 of my book Who was Jesus really?
“Now that the ground has been laid we can start with a few facts about the gospels; facts that are accepted by Biblical scholars of every persuasion. The last twelve verses of Mark are an insertion by a hand other than the writer of the rest of it. They were not in the original gospel. They are what are known as editorial additions."
"This has been known ever since the Greek fragments were examined. The textual critics take it for granted whether they are Protestant, Orthodox, Catholic or atheist. You can check this for yourself in the footnotes in a modern translation such as the NASB or the RSV. The Interpreter’s Bible is probably in your library, check it there too. Every school of criticism agrees on this matter. So what? So this! Those twelve verses contain the first gospel account of the Resurrection and the first visions of the Risen Lord.”
Now the gospels of Luke and Matthew relied heavily on Mark for their material. Matthew has whole sections lifted word for word from Mark. It is more likely than not that their versions of the story are either copies of Mark’s editorial insertion, or insertions by those people who always knew what the story OUGHT to say."
And yes, the very word Easter is in the King James Bible, as I mentioned before, which is enough for those people who are convinced that Jesus spoke English. You can find it in the first few verses of Acts 12. But the Greek word ‘pascha’ translated as Easter, by those who already knew what it should say, was the word used to describe the feast of Passover. In better translations nowadays the word Passover is used.
Remember that the same people translated Elohim in the Hebrew, which is a mixture of masculine and feminine and PLURAL as ‘God’ some 2000 times in the Old Testament, because they just knew there was only one God, even though they quote Elohim as saying “Let US make man in OUR own image”. Capitals again are mine own.
As I have said many times before, there is no currently valid historical evidence that Jesus ever existed as an historical figure. And if he wasn’t an historical figure it doesn’t much matter how old the stories are about him from an historical point of view. Nobody believes now in the literal truth of the Tammuz story or the Attis story or any of the other stories of the vegetation gods, and those stories are even older than the Jesus stories.
But the ancient ones had more than stories. They had Mysteries. These were the ways in which the devotees learned by experience what the allegorical stories were actually intended to convey.
The current Christian religion is a victory for the literalists who actually believed the stories that all the pagans knew were allegories. We know that there was once an inner circle that taught the Mysteries of Jesus in Alexandria. The initiates knew that they were sons and daughters of god because of their experiences. They were Gnostics, knowers, not mere believers, just as the pagan initiates of the Mysteries, people like Plato, Aristotle, Euclid, Archimedes, Socrates, and other intellectual giants knew the real meanings of the stories of the Greek and Egyptian gods. They were different from other people because of their initiations.
We have been given only the stories for nearly 2000 years, and have been told to believe them or else, for many of those centuries. Easter is NOT a celebration of Jesus, and the original believers who knew this named the Church who propagated by force a literal belief in the stories, the Whore of Babylon, the False Church, the Anti Christ. Worth a thought or two. Maybe a hundred million pagans weren’t wrong.