Astrological Musings

Astrological Musings

Happy Resurrection Holiday! The Origins of Easter

posted by Lynn Hayes

by Lynn Hayes

Spring renewal.jpg

Art by Diane Clancy  I have always found it interesting that the timing Christian holiday of Easter is based on the lunar cycle and the Spring Equinox.  The holiday that the Christian world celebrates as Easter retains much of its pagan roots as a fertility festival and a time of balance as the days and nights (in the northern hemispheres) are of equal length. Even the name “Easter” is taken from the Saxon fertility goddess Ostara or Eostre, who is related to Astarte in ancient Babylon and Ashtoreth in ancient Israel.  And the Easter bunny is, of course, an old pagan symbol of fertility.
The resurrection story of Jesus is virtually identical to the tale of the resurrection of the Phrygian god Attis who preceded him:  According to Gerald Berry’s Religions of the World: The Record of Man’s Religious Faiths Primitive rites, Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, Christianity and others
written in 1965, “About 200 B.C. mystery cults began to appear in Rome just as they had earlier in Greece. Most notable was the Cybele cult centered on Vatican hill …Associated with the Cybele cult was that of her lover, Attis (the older Tammuz, Osiris, Dionysus, or Orpheus under a new name). He was a god of ever-reviving vegetation. Born of a virgin, he died and was reborn annually. The festival began as a day of blood on Black Friday and culminated after three days in a day of rejoicing over the resurrection.” 
Another interesting aspect to the timing of Easter is its combination of the solar and lunar calendar, taking place as it does on the first Sunday following the 14th day of the lunar month following the Equinox.  The Jewish festival of Passover, which was certainly celebrated by Jesus and his followers, takes place on the 15th day of the month of Nisan in the lunar calendar, which is the first Full Moon after the Equinox.  The ancient Christian leaders, probably wanting to differentiate their Easter holiday, uses an “ecclesiastical” full moon rather than the actual lunar event.  (Passover, however, is not a resurrection festival.)
Other ancient cultures celebrated the resurrection of their dying gods:  Osiris, Tammuz, Dionysus – all are gods who died and were reborn anew. In the Spring, when life springs forth anew from every tree and flower, there is a sense of resurrection and rebirth and an opportunity for a fresh new start. Even in Islam there are some stories (not universally accepted) that Mohammed ascended to heaven on a a white horse, although no effort is made to connect this phenomenon to the Spring resurrection festival.  
Let us celebrate this renewal, no matter what our faith, and the beginnings of Spring!

  • Joe

    Also of interest is the text of this lecture by G. de Purucker in 1931, which is contained in a publication called Questions We All Ask. A snippet:
    Easter is a beautiful season of the year. It is not merely a day, it is rather a spiritual idea; indeed, it is an ideal — as it were a breath of the soul of antiquity, which has come down to us, albeit distorted, from far past ages, this soul-breathing of antiquity arising in the inner spiritual life of man. By these words I mean that Easter represents an actual event which occurs annually in the spiritual life of man, because the events of man’s spiritual life faithfully reflect the events that take place in the spiritual life of the world.
    Well worth reading if you have the time.

  • libramoon

    Thank God, Good Friday
    He came back
    And we can worship, believe
    Not like everyone else
    He did not abandon us
    Dying in a far off war, leaving
    ashen legacy
    never enough
    starvation for affectionate attention
    pummeling harsh walls with
    bloody fists
    Banging against the icy windowpane
    crying salt, oceanic sorrow
    “I tried to be good. I hated hearing
    your screams of disappointment
    muffling shameful despair
    because this was not the life
    you bargained for in the
    promised land beyond
    hot desert wanders”
    Desert, resurrected sea
    where we all began
    Sliding along rocky formations
    begetting, begatting, belonging
    to the Earth, mud creatures
    breathing molecules of air,
    baking in the Sun
    Ready for sacrifice
    carrying crosses along a huge column
    era to era
    Atlas’s and Eves
    burdens of responsibility
    our sacred contract
    broken every time you speak of God
    “Take not my Name”
    for words have consequence
    A cross requires two lines meeting
    A Crucifixion
    requires juxtapositions of history,
    people in bondage
    to their own ideas
    (c) April 10, 2009 Laurie Corzett/libramoon

  • Lynn Hayes

    Joe, thanks for sharing this passage. I love this: “a breath of the soul of antiquity …arising in the inner spiritual life of man.” Very evocative.

  • Rollan McCleary

    Arguably the astrological crux of the resurrection theme is always Scorpio, which anciently included the symbol of the Phoenix rising from its ashes, which is also a somewhat magical/miraculous image beyond the simple spring renewal theme.
    At any rate, as someone who claims to have the true data of Christ’s birth and thus also the data for the Easter week with all its working transits, I would note that the lunar trigger to events on the original resurrection day was moon in Scorpio making a variety of aspects including suitably to asteroid, Anastasia (Resurrection). If one takes all the numerous details it is as intricate as viewing a stained glass with everything and everybody recorded as being present, including the Magdalene, there in the picture. But I particularly like the Scorpio ruler, Pluto (a God symbol), conjunct asteroid Angel, opposite Saturn (any graves) in the fourth house of the grave place and endings, a nice indicator for “Who moved the stone?”
    It is perhaps suitable to write this on Belief Net and also that thanks to various factors, including the problems of narrow Christians around astrology and the indifference of various neo-pagans of the astrological establishment, these discoveries, some of the most remarkable in the history of astrology, are simply ignored or waved away, not considered worth any feature in religious journals or an article in such as Horoscope Magazine or Mountain Astrologer.
    But one has to recall at a season like Easter that the Magi (astrologers) fled Herod while the resurrection itself was long a truth hidden. Accordingly one cannot expect easy recognition of almost anything significant to do with Christ.

  • Brandon Littleton

    Thats right on! I like the fact that u have presented all the facts! very good job, and nice writting btw. What if Pagans had churches on every other corner like the Christians? We need to watch how we educate or lie to our children… matter what we r resposible to educate correctly, all sides.

  • Liviana

    Horary astrology is condemned in Judaism but Natal Astrology isn’t. Very interesting.

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