AiTT #5: Easter/Ishtar - We're Still Missing the Point
I'm sure we've all seen the meme - Ishtar is actually pronounced "Easter" and is originally a holiday around sex and fertility...
...and Christians are stooopid & rah rah science!
Then the backlash against the meme as all bullshit and even Snopes weighed in on it as false and & rah rah religion, boo science and miseducation!
It's all missing the f*cking point.
These are symbols of truth - not truth itself.
Eostre, Easter & Ostara are northern forms of Astarte - which is another name for Ishtar.
Ishtar was also known as Ashtoreth, Anath, Asherah & Esther.(11)
The Anglo Saxons in 1000 AD understood the interchangeable nature of goddesses aligning Eostre and Kali in Beowulf with; "Ganges' waters, whose flood waves ride down into an unknown sea near Eostre's far home."(2)
All were considered interchangeable names for the manifestation of the Goddess depending on where you were in the world.
...but we're still missing the point.
Symbols of Spring & Abundance
attendant with all the field fertility and fecundity symbols that an agricultural based civilization worshipped;
Divinity observed though the seasons and production of the Earth.
Jesus Christ is just another form of the wheat king -
The "Grain God" of the field who sacrifices himself so that his body and blood will fertilize the fields and ensure an abundant harvest for his people.(8)
Indeed."Eat of my body."
In most forms of this myth he requires rescue by the Goddess to return to wholeness (often through the joining of male and female together - heheheh). (39)
Easter itself is still based upon the pagan lunar calendar - first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox - the "pregnant" phase of Eostre. (1) Rabbits are the moon-hare sacred to the goddess in both hemispheres - the myth of Hathor-Astarte who laid the Golden Egg of the Sun for humanities benefit - Germans said that the hare would lay eggs for good children on Easter eve. (3)
But we STILL miss the point.
There was a great crime committed & swept under the rug
The Goddess is in there somewhere.
I don't care whether it's Ishtar, Astarte, Ostara, Persephone, Demeter, Kore... They all represent the Female Divine presence acting within a sacred right of Earth worship that has been Christianized and has REMOVED THE PRESENCE OF THE GODDESS FROM WORSHIP.
There is a tremendous amount of comparative religion and mythology research undertaken throughout the 20th century that illustrates again and again the Christianization of previously pagan and FEMALE CENTRED divine practices that minimize or erase the DIVINE FEMININE.
Christianity has repeatedly erased female divinity completely or turned the goddesses into demons and whores.
The purpose of the sacred symbol
All religion is symbol pointing to a deeper truth.
Religion is not FACT. It acts as a symbol to go deeper into the experience of being alive. The symbol is not the truth - it is a way for us to access the deeper experience of that truth in our life.
It's purpose is to connect us to the awesome & mystical experience of being alive.
To deny women a Divine Mirror by erasing all forms of Female Divinity is misogyny at it's most brutal.
The Judea-Christian traditions deny female divinity. (Except in the mystic traditions like Kabbalah and Sufism - which are awesome... Christianity still has no form of divine feminine worship.)
Not only did Christianity replace female-centred Earth worship with a Divine Father and Son... the one woman that they allowed a small role in their sacred mythology was valued ONLY as a mother (which explains why they church wants so desperately to control our bodies)...
Can't be a leader and definitely no sexy times.
But not just a regular mother either, she was a VIRGIN mother - so she still had no ownership or authority over her body or her sexuality.
This is the FUCKING POINT, of the meme of Ishtar... regardless of small errors - is to push back against the misogyny of inherited Judeo-Christian belief systems and make room again for the Goddess.
To quibble over one of the myriad names of the Goddess that could substitute in this context is mansplaining away how Christianity covered up the Divine Source for women.
P.S. Stop quoting The Venerable F*cking Bede
Probably not an expert on the Divine Feminine.
Stop using The Venerable Bede as your source for Ishtar isn't Eostre.
I've quoted but a tiny fraction of the research available on this subject that goes far beyond what was available to The Venerable Bede in his monastery in the 7th & 8th centuries, especially since there's no evidence that Bede ever ventured further than the British Isles where he was born and died.
And excuse me if I'm disinclined to believe that a dedicated monk of the Holy Church would be invested in representing a true and unbiased depiction of Goddesses worshipped by heretics. eye-roll
Read The Golden Bough by Frazer. Read The Masks of God (all 4 volumes) by Campbell. Read The Great Mother by Neumann - there's plenty of support.
1: Richard Payne Knight, The Symbolical Language of Ancient Art and Mythology. 157
2: Norma Lorre Goodrich, Medieval Myths. 18.
3: Claudia de Lys, The Giant Book of Superstitions. 117
8: Sir James G. Frazer, The Golden Bough 362.
11: Robert Briffault, The Mothers. 169
39: Homer Smith, Man and His Gods. 201