After what felt like the longest winter ever, the spring equinox is finally showing up. The clairvoyant in me loves it when seasons change because it shifts energy for new opportunities to come into people's lives. Spring is a feel good and happy season. During one of my psychic reading sessions the German and well known pagan goddess, Eostre, showed up. It was in alignment with this time of year since she known as the "Spring Goddess" and the inspiration for Easter.
Eostre is the pagan connection to Easter. Does that mean that Easter is a pagan holiday? There is not a simple answer to this question. This has been an ongoing debate for years. There are people who swear up and down that Easter has pagan roots. That fact is why some people do not celebrate the holiday. They deemed it a holiday filled with black magick. I even found web pages dedicated to the evil side of Easter. I never would have imagined that little bunnies were such villains.
There has been conversation as to whether the goddess named Eostre ( also known as Estre, Ostara, Oesrtre) even existed. The first time this goddess was mentioned is by a scholar named Bede. In his book, De Temporum Ratione, he wrote that April was known to the Anglo-Saxons as Eostremonth, named after Eostre. However this goddess does not appear anywhere in Germanic mythology. The long story short of it is that no one knows for sure if this goddess was made up by Bede or not. Though there was a bit of proof that Eostre existed in verbal stories being passed down through the generations. When Eostre showed up on the goddess scene that will probably remain a mystery. For me it does not matter, because now her energy is a big presence during every spring equinox.
What could support the theory that Easter was inspired by Eostre is that during the same time as Easter, on the Pagan calendar is the celebration of the High Feast of Ostara. During this celebration there are chants to the goddess Esotre. There is a feeling of love, hope, time for planting and new beginnings. All of these attributes sounds rather similar to Easter. The similarities do not stop there. For instance the rabbits during Easter, were taken from a symbol of Eostre and her fertility.Then there are the colored eggs that are given out. Eggs were always a big part of pagan festival and celebration.
While Jesus is the star of Easter, there are pagan rituals clearly a part of the holiday. Ostara and Easter are so close together in date that it would makes sense that some pagan rituals were picked up along the way. As a matter of fact it is stated that it took about 300 years before the timing for Easter was selected. Who knows what else got mixed into the holiday from other rituals and celebrations. I am a huge fan of Easter not just because of the pagan roots or awesome Easter candy. Any time new beginnings and creation are in focus, I find it a very good reason to celebrate.