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Thread: Ostara/Spring Equinox: Symbolism, lore, etc

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agaliha View Post
    Some resources on Ostara and Spring Equinox symbolism, traditions, lore and whatnot. Feel free to add more links and discuss!

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    The Spring Equinox is associated with, or known as: Alban Eilir, Eostar, Eostre, Feast of Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Festival of Trees, Lady Day, NawRuz, No Ruz, Ostara, Ostra, Rites of Spring, and the Vernal Equinox.

    Spring Equinox



    Ostara


    Other Spring Festivals

    Symbols
    Eggs:
    see this post, link here

    Rabbits/Hares & Hot Crossed Buns: see this post, link here

    (more to come!)


    Thank You for the resources!!! I am always looking for accurate resources on the seasonal holidays, I have a hard time finding resources other than those based in Celtic lore. It is nice to see Lady Day in your list I didn't think anyone even recognized it any more Thank You
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Illumae
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  2. #12
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    Jan 2010
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    Since we're past Imbolc, currently in Carnival season, and with Lent coming up, meaning we're getting closer to Spring...

    Noticed some mistakes in some of those articles, including a huge one regarding the Easter Bunny. That one's a major pet peeve of mine. There is no historical or mythic basis to asociate hares with Eostre, nor should there be.

    Eostre was a Sun Goddess according the the only source we have regarding her, Bede. Hares are associated, in all myths around the world, with the moon, and Moon Goddesses. We never hear about the "Rabbit in the Sun." We see the Hare/Moon Goddess association even today in pop culture, such as Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter series and Sailor Moon.

    The Christian Easter, like the Jewish Passover that it comes from, happens with the first full moon following the Vernal Equinox. In other words, the Easter Bunny comes with Spring's first full moon. So, those 16th Century German Protestants had the Moon and Hare lore right, and so many modern Pagans have it wrong.

    Many have retroactively just made Eostre a Moon Goddess, so she can be the origin of the Easter Bunny, but that doesn't fit the actual account of her, Bede's description. Nor is there anything to associate the painting of eggs for Spring with Anglo-Saxon Pagans. It's well documented that that started with the Monotheistic Persians over 3000 years ago for Nowruz, their Vernal Equinox festival. The only thing Pagan about Ostara is the name. Literally everything else about it comes from Monotheistic religions originating in the Middle East.

    Not that I consider that a problem. The Wiccan Wheel of the Year mixes Celtic and Germanic festivals, after all, so why not Middle Eastern ones, too? Some modern Pagans just call it something else, give it a Celtic name, or just call it the Vernal Equinox. Alban Eilir is Celtic, and avoids the Christian Easter associations and symbols, but it's symbols are taken from St. Patrick's Day, so... Well...

    I've come to just see the period from the St. Patrick's Day celebrations through the Equinox through Easter Sunday as one big welcoming of Spring. Whatever you call it, that's what they are. Take, for example, the Catholic explanation of Lent, the lead in to Easter...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6D8o2At_UUc

    It's just that some things are centered around the Equinox, and others around the full moon following it, like the bunnies.

  3. #13
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    Thanks for all the great posts everyone!!

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by perceval23 View Post
    Eostre was a Sun Goddess according the the only source we have regarding her, Bede. Hares are associated, in all myths around the world, with the moon, and Moon Goddesses. We never hear about the "Rabbit in the Sun." We see the Hare/Moon Goddess association even today in pop culture, such as Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter series and Sailor Moon.
    I don't know that I'd call Eostre a sun goddess, Bede didn't either as far as I know. I think many have associate her name with PIE roots having to do with "east", "dawn" or "shining". So a rising sun goddess, perhaps, but that's a rather different function than a sun goddess.
    Parallax Error

    A shift in point of view.

  5. #15
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    Jan 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by parallax View Post
    I don't know that I'd call Eostre a sun goddess, Bede didn't either as far as I know. I think many have associate her name with PIE roots having to do with "east", "dawn" or "shining". So a rising sun goddess, perhaps, but that's a rather different function than a sun goddess.
    It's also worth noting that Bede is the only source for the existence of Eostre, which is unusual for European Pagan deities. She doesn't even have a counterpart with the Norse, like every other Saxon deity does.

    And, a deity representing the rising sun wouldn't be lunar, and therefore wouldn't have the hare association.

    Early Wicca was based heavily on Margaret Murray's theories, leading to attempting to force fit old Eoropean Pagan lore and traditions into fitting with them. Murray was proven to be wrong in just about everything, but many who haven't looked into these things just take her theories as, well, Gospel. Again, that's mainly a personal pet peeve, but it does set me off, a bit. Going so far as to try to claim every Christian Holiday tradition is based on some European Pagan thing, like painting eggs and the Easter Bunny, just damages the credibility of Neo-Paganism as a whole.

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