So, in my research, I found two possible origins for Easter. The first is a celebration of Ishtar, and the second is a celebration of Ostara. Either a day of fertility or day of new beginnings. Which is the true origin? Or is Easter an amalgamation of several goddess celebrations?
I would argue that they’re all kind of based off each other, due to mixing of cultures, traveling, etc.
The origin of Ostara is sacred prostitution, where male priests and priestesses were sodomised by men and this was honouring the divine Mother Asherah the consort of Baal which is celebrated on Walpurgis night.
Those two things are actually related.
Easter marks the beginning of Spring, a time of new growth and new beginnings. It’s also the time when animals begin to get frisky after the long winter. It is the resurrection of the land, and the return of the light.
However, the holiday’s is far more related to Ostara, than Ishtar, though there are some elements related to both goddesses. Ostara was the divinity of the radiant dawn, symbolising renewal, and the egg and the rabbit were her symbols. Ishtar was a goddess of war, fertility and sex, true, but her symbols were the lion, the gate, and the eight pointed star, none of which are part of Easter.
@Rav I think you’re confused. Sacred prostitution was Ishtar’s thing, NOT Ostara.
Easter as we know it today, is nothing more than a clusterfuck of different celebration, from different ancient (or not so ancient) civilizations.
As a word, for the English speaking countries the celebration we know as Easter it comes indeed from Eostre/ Eastre.
For non English speaking countries (maybe not all but several of them actually), the celebration is named after the Hebrew Pesach which is literally “the Exodus of the Children of Israel from Egyptian slavery” so it’s named (depends the country) Pascha, Paaske, Pashka, Pasqua etc Ofc non of them besides Jewish celebrate the actual Exodus. It’s just named as such.
As a celebration is a mix of the local ancient (pagan, so to say) celebrations for spring equinox and resurrected figures (gods, heros, demi-gods etc) that usually, but not always, were celebrated in a different season than spring equinox.
For example, ancient Greeks during spring equinox were celebrating the Anthesphoria which marked the beginning of Spring in honour of Persephone (goddess of spring) who raised to the upper world from the Underworld.
The same time, the Great Dionysian or City Dionysia were also celebrated during the spring equinox, and the Orphics who actually were a reformed cult of the early Dionysian religion were celebrating the death and reborn of Dionysus Zagreus.
But as a story for someone who died and came back to earth, Greek and Egyptians were celebrating the Adonia in honour of Adonis the lover of Aphrodites and Persephone’s, same as Babylonians were celebrating the festival for Tammuz, in midsummer. And not on Spring Equinox.
Since there are several myths around it from different civilizations, it is best to look at the one you’re most interested at, instead of trying to figure which one was the original one. You’ll end up misinformed, if for example you fall into books such as the one from Kersey Graves that names someone called Thulis as the more ancient figure that got crusified and resurected to save the world.
Fyi there’s no other record than his and one more guy’s who’s name I forget that mention this…Thulis and some say he confuses Thulis with Osiris. So, don’t bother, for your own sanity.