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The images below are for the Easter 2021 Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack.

"The Many Eostres / Easters: A Choice of Rebirth Hallelujahs" 

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Eostre and Mary Magdalene with Egg

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Because the Easter holiday falls around the time of the Spring Equinox, it  is the Christian version of the pagan Springtime festival.The Germanic/Anglo Saxon Eostre or Ostara (associated with hares and eggs), the dawn goddess of fertility, is today most associated with the Spring season in neopagan circles. And the Spring in many cultures is recognized as the time of "rebirth."

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Eostre Goddess of Spring

Eostre Goddess of Spring

Ostara Goddess of Spring

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Easter is a “movable feast” and does not have a fixed date. However, it is always held on a Sunday between March 22 and April 25. Over a 500-year period (from 1600 to 2099 CE), it just so happens that Easter will have most often been celebrated on either March 31 or April 16. Around Easter time, neopagans will greet each other with "Happy Ostara" instead of "Happy Easter." They will also ritually honor the goddess of Spring as "Blessed Ostara (Eostre)"

Eostre or Eastra was an Anglo-Saxon goddess of the dawn. Her name comes from an Indo-European root word aus, meaning “to shine,” from which also comes Eos and Aurora, the Greek and Roman names of the dawn goddess. (Her name may also derive from an earlier ausrion, meaning “morning”). Her holiday was celebrated near the Spring Equinox, as Easter is celebrated on the Sunday following the full moon that follows or falls on the Spring Equinox. Thus, Eostre or Eastra is a goddess of spring. She is especially honored by dawn rites (as is still part of the Easter tradition). The same Indo-European root aus gives us “east,” the direction of the dawn, and on the Spring Equinox the Sun rises due East. In Old High German, we learn of the goddess Ôstara and her connection to dawn and the east. (Again, the word Ostr can be linked to the Latin word aurora and the Greek word eos, which both mean “dawn.”)

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Thematic Images of Ostara 

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Explanations of the Pagan Origins of Easter

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Thematic Images of Eostre-Ostara, Hares and Eggs 

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Some scholars believe that Easter gets its name from Ēostre or Ôstara, a Germanic/Anglo-Saxon pagan goddess. However, in neopagan terms, Ēostre's festival falls on the March Vernal Equinox because this marks beginning of Spring in the northern hemisphere. Some neopagans, such as Wiccans, now call this first day of Spring, on the Vernal Equinox, Ôstara (or "Lady Day"). This Goddess of Easter represents the dawn sunrise and fertility; the renewal of life. Ēostre’s two symbols were the Cosmic Egg and the March Hare. The Egg is the most basic symbol of rebirth, renewal, and new growth. The Hare, as the symbol of Ēostre, also represents fertility and fecundity, and as such is also a symbol of rebirth. This sacred Egg and Hare, with the coming of Christianity, morphed into Easter Eggs and the Easter Bunny.

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Ostara's egg  of rebirth

Ostara's egg  of rebirth

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"The Moon Hare," or "The Fabled Hare," was sacred to the Goddess in both eastern and western nations. Relying on the myths of Hathor-Astarte, who laid the Golden Egg of the sun, Germans used to say the hare would lay eggs for good children on Easter Eve. Thus, in German folklore, the goddess Ôstara, the Spring Equinox festival goddess, was always accompanied by a fabled hare.

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Thematic Images of Pre-Christian Goddesss & Gods Behind Easter

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Thematic Images for Christ's Easter Sunday Resurrection

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Christ Appearing To His Disciples (Blake)

The Sun at His Eastern Gates (Blake)

Easter Sunday dawn (Santa Cruz mountains)

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For some Spring-Easter poetry, click the link button.

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For a detailed account of the Church's Easter dating controversy, click the link button.

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For a detailed account of then origin of the Easter Egg and Easter Bunny, click the link button.

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From the GS's Introduction to the musical essay, "The Many Easters/Eostres: A Choice of Rebirth Hallelujahs," here's a paragraph on the problem Easter presents for Christians. 

… there are probably an increasing number of Christian families today who spend more time doing the Easter Egg and Bunny celebration for the kids than they do in church. Or, to put it another way, people who identify as “Christians” and mark the holy day on Easter may go through the motions of honoring the event of the Resurrected Christ, but have a limited understanding of the significance and meaning of the event and thus a harder time seeing how it connects with their secular lives. Indeed, statistics show that a growing number of Christians have a hard time believing in the literal truth of their savior’s Resurrection.


Here are some recent articles giving statistics on this problem:

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