Tags: eostar


"Spring has now unwrapped the flowers"

XKCD today was about Good King Wenceslas

I went looking on Wikipedia and found out that the carol was based on an earlier 'secular' tune called "Tempus adest floridum" "("It is time for flowering"), a 13th-century spring carol first published in the Finnish song book Piae Cantiones in 1582."
Tempus adest floridum, surgent namque flores
Vernales in omnibus, imitantur mores
Hoc quod frigus laeserat, reparant calores
Cernimus hoc fieri, per multos labores.

Sunt prata plena floribus, iucunda aspectu
Ubi iuvat cernere, herbas cum delectu
Gramina et plantae hyeme quiescunt
Vernali in tempore virent et accrescunt.

Haec vobis pulchre monstrant Deum creatorem
Quem quoque nos credimus omnium factorem
O tempus ergo hilare, quo laetari libet
Renovato nam mundo, nos novari decet.

Terra ornatur floribus et multo decore
Nos honestis moribus et vero amore
Gaudeamus igitur tempore iucundo
Laudemusque Dominum pectoris ex fundo.

With a very few alterations the English translation by Percy Dearmer (1867-1936) makes a good pagan song.

Spring has now unwrapped the flowers, day is fast reviving,
Life in all her growing powers towards the light is striving:
Gone the iron touch of cold, winter time and frost time,
Seedlings, working through the mould, now make up for lost time.

Herb and plant that, winter long, slumbered at their leisure,
Now bestirring, green and strong, find in growth their pleasure;
All the world with beauty fills, gold the green enhancing,
Flowers make glee among the hills, set the meadows dancing

Through each wonder of fair days Earth Herself expresses;
Beauty follows all Her ways, as the world She blesses:
So, as She renews the world, font of life unfailing,
In Her flood of glad new birth we will be availing.

Earth puts on her dress of green; flowers and grasses bind her;
We go forth in charity—children all around her;
For, as we this glory see in th’awakening season,
Reason learns the heart’s decrees, hearts are led by reason.
lunar clock

Happy Eostar

I hope you all enjoyed a beautiful Spring Equinox (or Fall Equinox for those of you in the Southern hemisphere).

Blossom by Blossom Spring Begins
(Lindt chocolate bunny and Hershy's Special Dark eggs
photographed around new shoots growing in traffic island east of Ithaca Commons)

Atalanta in Calydon (1865)
For winter's rains and ruins are over,
And all the season of snows and sins;
The days dividing lover and lover,
The light that loses, the night that wins;
And time remembered is grief forgotten,
And frosts are slain and flowers begotten,
And in green underwood and cover
Blossom by blossom the spring begins.

-Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837–1909)
Atalanta in Calydon (excerpt)
Atalanta in Calydon: A Tragedy (complete text)

The Vernal (spring) Equinox.
Also called Easter after the Teutonic goddess of spring.

The equinoxes are the two days of the year when the day is the same length as the night.In the Northern hemisphere the vernal equinox occurs around March 21 and is called the "first day of Spring" regardless of the weather.

Easter, like Persephone (Proserpine), is a goddess of flowers and her return is celebrated as a herald of fertility and abundance. Rabbits and eggs emphasize this fertility aspect.

The masculine aspect of spring is represented by the resurrection of dieing gods such as Adonis, Dionysus, and Tammuz. The strength and force of new shoots breaking out of the earth are reminders of vegetable vitality. The returning life force of spring will not be denied.
goddess and god

Eostra, Meditations join mind and body

What Does the Easter Bunny Have To Do With Easter?
by Lauren Effron, Discovery News, ‎Apr 2, 2010‎
"Bunnies, eggs, Easter gifts and fluffy, yellow chicks in gardening hats all stem from pagan roots. They were incorporated into the celebration of Easter separately from the Christian tradition of honoring the day Jesus Christ rose from the dead.

According to University of Florida's Center for Children's Literature and Culture, the origin of the celebration -- and the Easter bunny -- can be traced back to 13th century, pre-Christian Germany, when people worshiped several gods and goddesses. The Teutonic deity Eostra was the goddess of spring and fertility, and feasts were held in her honor on the Vernal Equinox. Her symbol was the rabbit because of the animal’s high reproduction rate.

Spring also symbolized new life and rebirth; eggs were an ancient symbol of fertility. According to History.com, Easter eggs represent Jesus' resurrection. However, this association came much later when Roman Catholicism became the dominant religion in Germany in the 15th century and merged with already ingrained pagan beliefs."
Derry couples seeking Pagan weddings - claim
Derry Today - ‎Apr 1, 2010‎
"Mr MacSuibhne says that, despite the rise in interest, the ancient religion remains misunderstood.

"Paganism is commonly mixed up with Atheism, a belief that no Divine being exists. Within the Pagan community, belief in the Divine, as manifested in the world that surrounds us, is very strong, and for many Pagans it forms the core of their belief systems.

"Other misconceptions concern Paganism being anti-Christian. But as Paganism pre-dates Christianity by millennia, this is obviously incorrect."

He says Easter is as important a time for Pagans as it is for Christians.

"Many people are surprised to learn that Easter was originally a Pagan festival, with the familiar symbols of Easter bunnies and brightly coloured eggs having a history that pre-dates the foundation of Christianity by thousands of years.

"The name Easter originated with the name of an ancient Pagan deity, Eostre, who was the Great Mother Goddess of Northern Europe. The symbol of the Easter Bunny came from worship of Eostre, whose earthly symbol was the Rabbit."

He says the tradition of Easter eggs also has its roots in Paganism while modern day Pagans view Easter as a "a time that the renewing signs of life become evident, and a time to celebrate the first buds and shoots that emanate from Mother Nature.""
Easter: Traditions, Celebrations, Religion & Hot Cross Buns
Only Kent (blog), ‎Apr 1, 2010‎
"In Saxon times people celebrated the coming of spring with a festival which they called Eastre, the name of the goddess of fertility and spring. Missionaries gradually changed the festival transforming it into a Christian one as more and more people became Christians because the Pagan festival occurred at the same time.

Of course Jewish people celebrate Passover, or Pasch at the same time and Pasch is still the name for Easter in most non-English speaking countries. Traditions which were passed down from the original Pagan festival include Easter Bunnies
, which symbolize fertility, and colored Easter eggs.
It’s interesting to note that during the time of Lent, eggs were one of the foods which were banned. This led to them being pickled and at Easter children would play with them by rolling them down hills. Easter egg hunts and egg rolling originate from this tradition."
The pagan roots of Easter
by Heather McDougall, The Guardian guardian.co.uk, Saturday 3 April 2010
"The Sumerian goddess Inanna, or Ishtar, was hung naked on a stake, and was subsequently resurrected and ascended from the underworld. One of the oldest resurrection myths is Egyptian Horus. Born on 25 December, Horus and his damaged eye became symbols of life and rebirth. Mithras was born on what we now call Christmas day, and his followers celebrated the spring equinox. Even as late as the 4th century AD, the sol invictus, associated with Mithras, was the last great pagan cult the church had to overcome. Dionysus was a divine child, resurrected by his grandmother. Dionysus also brought his mum, Semele, back to life.

In an ironic twist, the Cybele cult flourished on today's Vatican Hill. Cybele's lover Attis, was born of a virgin, died and was reborn annually. This spring festival began as a day of blood on Black Friday, rising to a crescendo after three days, in rejoicing over the resurrection. There was violent conflict on Vatican Hill in the early days of Christianity between the Jesus worshippers and pagans who quarrelled over whose God was the true, and whose the imitation. What is interesting to note here is that in the ancient world, wherever you had popular resurrected god myths, Christianity found lots of converts. So, eventually Christianity came to an accommodation with the pagan Spring festival. Although we see no celebration of Easter in the New Testament, early church fathers celebrated it, and today many churches are offering "sunrise services" at Easter – an obvious pagan solar celebration. The date of Easter is not fixed, but instead is governed by the phases of the moon – how pagan is that?

All the fun things about Easter are pagan. Bunnies are a leftover from the pagan festival of Eostre, a great northern goddess whose symbol was a rabbit or hare. Exchange of eggs is an ancient custom, celebrated by many cultures. Hot cross buns are very ancient too. In the Old Testament we see the Israelites baking sweet buns for an idol, and religious leaders trying to put a stop to it. The early church clergy also tried to put a stop to sacred cakes being baked at Easter. In the end, in the face of defiant cake-baking pagan women, they gave up and blessed the cake instead."
Some people like to describe Wicca as "dualistic" because we have the masculine/feminine duality. But not all dualisms are the same. Wicca emphasizes balance and harmony, a greater unity, not zero sum conflict where one must defeat the other.

Meditations join mind, body
by Jeanette Rackl, The Mirror, ‎Apr 1, 2010‎
""Paganism generally encompasses earth-centered religions that have grown out of historical investigations of what are sometimes referred to as ‘primitive' religions," Koenig said. "The connection between many Pagan people and nature creates a belief system that lacks many of the dualistic separations that are expressed in Christian living and some Christian teachings."

Koenig has focused her project on trying to understand what implications dualist or non-dualist theology and faith practice has upon ethics.

"While I still have a lot of research to do, these meditations are one way I am attempting to examine what is made possible through religious practices rooted in physicality," Koenig said. "
goddess and god

Happy Eostar

What happens at the Vernal Equinox?
by Elton Gahr, Helium, March, 20 2010
"Twice a year the tilt of the earth's axis matches perfectly with the sun. This means that on the equinox the sun is directly over the equator, but this is more than a symbolic. Because of the position of the sun in the sky the sky the equinoxes are the days of the year when day and night are most equal. This is not to say that day and night will be perfectly even but they are as close as they are likely to get. The Vernal Equinox is also the official change of season from spring to summer
Among the ancient artifacts that demonstrate this ancient understanding of the equinox is the 4500 year old Egyptian Sphinx which faces due east on the vernal equinox and across the world the 3000 year old Stonehenge which marks the position of the rising sun on the vernal equinox and even in central America the Mayan Caracol Tower and the temples of the sun and moon have alignments that match with the sun's position on the Vernal Equinox.

In the modern world there are still many celebrations on this day. Among them is the somewhat silly, and untrue belief that this is the only day in which you can balance an egg. In fact you can balance an egg just as easily on any day of the year. More serious celebrations also occur on this day. The Japanese celebrate Shunbun no hi by setting the day aside for honoring nature and family while in Wicca it is one of the eight major sabbats and of course the first day of spring.

In addition to religious holidays and celebrations this is also a significant day for astronomy and many schools and observatories have lectures and stargazing events on this day. This is an excellent excuse to look at the beauty of the stars even if you don't particularly care about the length of the day."

Spring Equinox Linked to Religious Celebrations
MyFox Nepa, Friday, 19 Mar 2010
"In the religion of Cybele the Phyrgian fertility goddess had a partner believed to have been born "via a virgin birth." The consort was Attis, said to have died and been resurrected each year between March 22 and 25, when the vernal or spring equinox fell in the Julian calendar.

Early Christians would celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ around the same time. Easter Sunday now falls between March 22 and April 25. The Roman Catholic Church and Protestant denominations celebrate it on the first Sunday after the first full moon after March 20.

Schooloftheseasons.com remarks that the month of March contains holidays dedicated to the mother goddesses, including Astarte, Isis, Aphrodite, Cybele and the Virgin Mary."

Orlando Wiccans celebrate the beginning of spring
Orlando Sentinel (blog) by anika palm on March, 20 2010
"The Wiccan Religious Cooperative of Central Florida will celebrate from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. today at the First Unitarian Church of Orlando, 1901 E. Robinson St., Orlando.

The WRCF also will have a picnic from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. (rain or shine) and egg hunt on Sunday at Langford Park in Orlando.

Yes, an egg hunt. Per the WRCF, the Spring full moon “is sacred to Eostre, the Saxon Lunar Goddess of fertility (from whence we get the word estrogen), whose two symbols were the egg and the rabbit.”

If those things sound familiar, it’s because early Christians are said to have adopted some pagan traditions for Easter (sounds not unlike Ostara, or Eostre, right?), the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection.

Traditionally, Wiccans eat leafy vegetables and nuts during Ostara events and activities can include planting or tending gardens.

Wicca is a pantheistic, pagan faith — often called witchcraft — that began to be popularized in the 1950s."
goddess and god

Asheville Mother Grove Goddess Temple to celebrate spring equinox, SU Chaplain

Asheville Mother Grove Goddess Temple to celebrate spring equinox
by Carole Terrell, Asheville Citizen-Times, March 19, 2010
"Saturday officially marks the first day of spring, being the day of the spring equinox.

Members of Mother Grove Goddess Temple will celebrate at 7 p.m. Saturday with A Breath of Appalachian Spring: A Ritual in Celebration of the Spring Equinox, in the parish hall of the Episcopal Cathedral of All Souls in Biltmore Village.

Saturday's event is open to all faith traditions, said Byron Ballard, wiccan priestess and a member of the temple. Mother Grove “isn't a wiccan group, though some of us are wiccans,” she said.

“Mother Grove is an outgrowth of the work of several people in the goddess/earth religions community,” Ballard said. “Its goal is to create a permanent sanctuary, where people of all faith traditions may openly and safely celebrate the divine feminine, the goddess.”

Wicca is a modern religion built on the ancient agricultural religions of Europe, she explained. “Wiccans may also refer to themselves as witches.”
The celebration will consist of raising a circle, singing, “whistling up the wind” and flying prayers written on paper airplanes. Ballard will lead the ritual, explaining that it is a joyful expression of the beginning of spring and coming together as a community.
Ballard said that “whistling up the wind” is an old English and Appalachian tradition. March is usually the windiest month, so the element of wind will be emphasized at the celebration. One person will whistle while three others honor the elements of earth, fire and water.

“It's a lovely holiday for children,” Ballard said. “The first chance to get out and see what's growing, to welcome baby chicks and lambs, to taste the first little green bits of chickweed. All pagan and wiccan holidays are family-friendly. Many Earth religionists choose to honor their spiritual traditions as a family group.”"
Syracuse University's newest chaplain is pagan priestess Mary Hudson
by Glenn Coin, The Post-Standard, Syracuse.com (blog), ‎Mar 12, 2010
"No dark makeup, no Goth clothing here: In her small office in the basement of Hendricks Chapel she shares with the Catholic chaplain, Hudson, 50, wears faded jeans and a powder-blue knit top.
Hudson is a third-degree priestess -- the highest rank -- in the Church of the Greenwood. She served for nine years as adviser to the SU student group Student Pagan Information, Relations and Learning. SPIRAL meets every Monday night and holds outdoor rituals on campus on some of paganism's eight annual "Great Days."
Former interim dean Kelly Sprinkle said the pagan chaplaincy "helps us expand the direction of how we look at religious life, and it helps us understand religious pluralism."
Hudson's appointment reveals a growing acceptance of pagans and their beliefs, said Jannae Lehman, the secretary of SPIRAL.

"People question the validity of our religion, which we as pagans can't understand because we as pagans don't question somebody else's religion," Lehman said. "If someone believes in their religion, then it's valid.""
goddess and god

White House Easter Egg Roll to Be Environmentally Friendly

White House Easter Egg Roll to Be Environmentally Friendly
Fox News, Monday, 08 Mar 2010
"This year’s White House Easter Egg roll will be eggs-actly what the bunny ordered. The environmentally concerned bunny, that is.

A White House announcement Monday said the eggs at this year’s April 5 roll will be made from paperboard that contains no wood fibers from endangered forests, is recyclable and features vegetable-oil based inks and a water-based coating.

What’s more, they’ll come in purple, pink, green and yellow and feature the stamped signatures of both President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.

The eggs, produced and sold by the National Park Foundation, are given as a souvenir to all children under 12 who attend the annual roll. And if you can’t make it to the White House, the orbs are available online.

This year's theme for the roll is "Ready, Set, Go", part of Mrs. Obama's plan to promote health and wellness in the United States and combat childhood obesity."

White House Easter Egg Roll Honors 'Mother Earth'
by Tom McGregor, Dallas Blog (blog), ‎Mar 8, 2010‎
"For some Americans, Easter is a religious holiday to pay homage to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, whom they consider to be the Son of God. But for President Barack Obama, this is a day to worship the environmental pagan goddess of 'Mother Earth.' No word yet, on whether the government-sponsored pagan worshippers at the Air Force Academy have been invited to attend ceremonies at the White House Easter Egg Roll ceremonies this year.
Nevertheless, it hasn't been determined if every single ingredient to manufacture the eggs, comes directly from the United States, or perhaps China. If some portion of the green-friendly eggs were made in China, then Obama may have to cancel the 'Mother Earth' event, since Sen. Chuck Schumer (D.-N.Y.) is pushing for legislation to outlaw the use of stimulus funds to finance environmental products that were not 'Made in America.'"

Air Force Pagans "Not Invited" to White House
by Tom McGregor, Dallas Blog (blog), ‎Mar 13, 2010‎
"In a stunning rebuke to the pagan worshippers at the Air Force Academy, President Barack Obama and the First Lady Michelle Obama did not invite them to the eco-friendly White House Easter Egg Roll this year. Perhaps, the Air Force pagans do not participate in ceremonies to honor the environmental goddess of Mother Earth, which may explain the disinvitation.

In an e-mail response to the Dallas Blog, Pagan Priest Brandon Longcrier, who was featured in a Fox News article, had written, "No, we (the "pagan worshippers at the Air Force Academy") were not invited. Maybe next year ... and can we not get into whose holiday came first and where from? Christians have Easter, so let them have it and let them enjoy it for what it means to them. We have Ostara, which we celebrate at a different time and for a completely different reason. "Can't we all just get along?" ... Many Blessings to All ... Brandon Loncrier"

Comment written by Brandon Longcrier, March 14, 2010
For the record....I'm not a "Priest" and I we didn't expect to be invited to the White House. There are Pagans much higher up than me that I'd hope would be invited before I was. But I wouldn't turn it down of course. :O)

Brandon Longcrier -"