There are a lot of things that Easter is and there are things Easter is not. Easter is a goddess. Easter is a queen. Easter is real yet it is make belief scene. Easter is sanity yet requires a degree of insanity. Easter is recognition of Jesus’ death by name but Easter dishonors Jesus’ death in deeds and fame. Easter is poisonous yet Easter is good for you. These are all factual despite seemingly diverse views. WHAT? How comes? Here goes.
EASTER, ISHTAR or Ashtoreth which means goddess of fertility, has been a part of my life for more than five decades. As a child, my Easter kite was one of my most prized possession. (Lost a few friends and got several spankings because of kite flying). Sigh. Bun and cheese and fish. That was my dish during Easter. Of course, I was carted off to church on “Good” Friday as well as bright and early morning Easter Sunday.
Was a glorious time though. Easter. “Good” Friday and Easter Monday were public holidays so no school, or as I got older, no work. It was a lot of fun and frolic , if not careful you could eat until you get colic.
I don’t recall our doing any Easter eggs but then again, maybe I was too caught up in kites and bun and cheese to noticed. What I remembered though was that there were images of an unfortunate man, called Jesus Christ, severely battered and strung up on a cross. Not so sure what he did to deserve such a wretched death. He seemed okay to me. I heard stories he raised people from the dead, healed the sick and also fed multitudes. Not sure why you would kill someone for that.
Well, you could say Jesus was kind of out of order or rude to go into the church and turn over the tables and then whipped the money changers. Maybe it border on destruction of property and physical assault occasioning bodily harm, felonious at worst but still not worthy of death. Also, he was a bit over confident and his claims about being with god when the earth was made was a bit troubling if not arrogant, but still not enough reasons to kill him like that. Mentally disturbed. Maybe. Criminal. Come on.
The man on the cross had a “crown” of thorns on his head and this was the sad part about Easter, so I thought. I even use to wonder if this crucified man on the cross was being celebrated or tolerated. I was perplexed why they allow us kids to foster a liking for such savagery and even required us to wear the cross(es) around our necks and had them placed in our homes. Interestingly, theses cross(es) were sold to us too. (Marketing or trickery?)
My family tried to explain to me that this seemingly wretched man was indeed of royalty and was the son of god. (Wow, there and then went my ambitions for royalty). They explained that he came and bore our sins and by his death and blood we were healed and our sins paid for upon his resurrection, three days and three nights after his death. To show our appreciation of this death and resurrection we celebrate good Friday for his Death and Easter Sunday for his resurrection. Needless to say, my mathematically inclined family could not, to this day, determine how we get from Friday evening to Sunday morning to consist of three days and three nights.
Such was Easter until I began working with the Library Service and got exposed to the world of reading and knowledge. Suffice to say, knowledge had me confused at first as I realized that many facts are fiction and many things seen as fiction are facts. Ignorance is not bliss and knowledge is not freedom missed.
Say, have you ever wondered what or who is Easter? When is Easter? Why is Easter? Is Easter real or make belief and just a figment of the imagination? Here is a possible, albeit, controversial if not heretical take on Easter based on literature and intuition. Read on and draw your own conclusion.
WHAT OR WHO IS EASTER?
As mentioned, Easter or Ishtar or Ashtoreth means “goddess of fertility”. In a nutshell, Easter is an attempt by our pastoral fore-parents to recognize and celebrate the fact that when Spring comes, nature comes back alive after the long cold dreary dark winter. Fertility reigns and new born life flourish. Animals reproduce and plants and birds strive. Such glorious things need to be encouraged and one way to do this is to have rites and festivals of appreciation.
Our ancestors realized that the Moon, Sun and Venus influenced their agricultural output so these created things became the creator and were worshipped as the source of life. The Winter Solstice was given to the Sun (male) and the Spring Equinox was given to the Moon and Venus (female) . Of course all forms of worship need priests and a power order. Hence the origin of Winter and Spring worship and by extension religion.
IS EASTER REAL?
As suggested, Ishtar or Easter is the incarnation of nature at the Spring Equinox into a goddess and is one of the earliest form of documented worship and control.
Yet, the question still abound: Is Easter or Ishtar real or make belief? She is as real and as make belief as how the names of the days of the weeks are real but make belief. In other words, Easter is based on real things but is not real.
Is Sunday or Monday or even Wednesday real? Depends. What is real is that every 24 hr we see a repetition of things and we call it a day. For example, in the Caribbean, the sun appears first in the East almost same time everyday after 24 hours. That is fact and real. However when we give a name to a particular batch of time of 24 hour as Sunday or Monday or Wednesday, that is make belief and imaginary.
In reality, there is a day but no such thing as Sunday or Monday unless we imagined it exist by painfully taking note of each 24 hours and giving it a name. Now a days, we use a calendar to help with the make belief and ensure we keep the counting right.
In short we create a world of make believe where we all agree that a particular 24 hour is designated by a name and every 7 day we call it a week and start all over again. We go froward then back, forward then backward. This imagination is called civilization and progress and result in what we now call mid life crisis. Why not every 8 day or 10 day or no day is a week?
Similarly, Easter is an imagination or confusing state of mind associated with the full moon. (Recall people are believed to go crazy near full moon). That is what happen at Easter. A bit of shrewdness, schizophrenia and truth encapsulate in stories called Myths and Legends. Myths and Legends are boasty words for lies and fiction.
These stories were created with a shrewd copying and explanation of real things with a special goal of warping and training minds for proselyting and deception. Developed from before the time of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, these myths and legends were used to justify power and claim to leadership. The Easter story is one of the first set of myths and legends developed to honour nature (Moon) and to set up power and control over mankind. It was the first type of religion.
THE FIRST EASTER
Easter started seven thousands of years before the birth of Christ but was first considered organized religion with the Nimrod and tower of Babel story from a biblical perspective. The yarn was first spun in Mesopotamia. It’s recognition and justification centred on the notion of Myths and Legends which are normally far fetched stories embodying some truth. Of course, different nations had their version of the “truth”.
According to these myths, Inanna, was the first name for the Spring Equinox deity as coined by the ancient Sumerian who called her goddess of love, beauty, sex, desire, fertility, war, combat, justice, and political power. She was also known as the Queen of Heaven. Later on, Inanna was worshipped by the Babylonians and Assyrians under the name Ishtar or Ashtoreth or Easter. She was associated with the planet Venus which as we know is the brightest “star” apart from the sun and moon.
In Greek Mythology she was called Aphrodite and her husband was Adonis or Dumuzid the Shepherd (later known as Tammuz). Ancient Egypt had her as Isis and her husband Osiris. Her most prominent symbols included the lion, and the eight pointed star.
So far, we have been looking at inanimate things surrounding religion and worship and the idea of Easter or Ishtar. Well, the plot thickened and this is where reality and imagination dove tail or become blurred.
WHO IS SEMIRAMIS?
Some literature state that Ishtar actually started out as the infamous Semiramis, the wife of Nimrod, of biblical fame who was an opponent to the Creator. The idea is that Nimrod started religion with the help of Semiramis. She influenced him to create a mystery religion based on the stars and zodiac. This polytheism (many gods) was to replace the Creator’s monotheism (one god). The place associated with this is Assyria and as such, most early myths began in Mesopotamia. As Assyria lost its world power status, Babylon simply adopt the concept with change of names. Persia, Greece and Rome did the same upon becoming world powers. The conqueror usurp the beliefs of the conquered.
For example Ishtar is akin to Venus (Rome), Aphrodite (Greek), and Isis (Egypt).
It is unclear how Nimrod died as in in the Book of Jasher it is said that Esau, son of Isaac killed him; while Josephus stated that Shem, the son of Noah, killed Nimrod. However, after his death, Nimrod body ascended into the heavens and became the sun god himself. A bit horrifying but here comes the romantic part.
Nimrod, the sun god, became rays of light and implanted his seed into his wife, Semiramis now a widow, and impregnate her.
The myth further stated that the child was called Tammuz , son of the sun god. He was responsible for bringing light into the world and to fight darkness.
Can you guess when Tammuz was born? If you said at the Winter Solstice (December 22 – 25) you are correct. For those steeped in religious studies, you will recall that Invictus Sol (the unconquerable sun) was born on the shortest day of the year or the Saturnalia (December 22 -25) and we worship him today every December 25. That is Tammuz. Some customs called him Baal, or Mithra and more recently Jesus Christ, to legitimize its worship. An apple by any other name is still an apple though. Click here to See my blog on December 25 worship
As the myth would have it, Tammuz mother, Semiramis died and the gods looked favorably on her as she was the mother of the son of the sun god. She was sent back to earth as the Spring fertility goddess, Ashtoreth/Easter, always shown as a well endowed bare breasted queen of fertility. According to the myth, she emerged from a giant egg that landed in the Euphrates river at sunrise on the Sunday after the full moon after the Spring equinox.
(By the way, that is how we set Easter dates. The Sunday after the full moon after March 21. Thus, Easter can be as early as March 22 or as late as April 25).
Semiramis, the queen of heaven, was “born again” as the goddess Easter (Ishtar/Ashtarte/Ashtoreth). To prove her divine authority, Semiramis, now Ashtoreth/Easter, changed a bird into an egg laying rabbit. Hence, decorated eggs and stories about rabbits are still part of today’s Easter ritual.
The Old Testament even referred to her. “The women were engaged in kneading dough and baking cakes of bread for the “Queen of Heaven” ” (Jeremiah 7:18). (Fertility, ability to have children, is important to a woman).
THE RITUALS AND FESTIVITIES OF EASTER
Cakes and buns: Our hot cross buns originated from the cakes which were baked and given as presents to Easter or the Queen of Heaven.
Eating of Ham: Tammuz (son of the sun god) was killed by a pig and in order to bring him back to live, no meat was eaten for 40 days (LENT) but at Easter Sunday, a pig was killed and eaten in revenge.
Fish eating on “Good” Friday: The fish symbol also represents the goddess of fertility and is considered as a woman’s vulva: the creator of life. The eating of fish on Fridays was a sacrament to the goddess also called Dagon.
Virgins sex: As the cult of Ishtar developed, the priests would take and impregnate young virgins on the altar of the goddess of fertility at sunrise on Easter Sunday.
Blood sacrifice: A year after impregnation, the priests of Easter would sacrifice these three-month old babies on the altar at the front of the sanctuary.
Easter eggs: The priest dyed Easter eggs in the blood of the sacrificed infants as eggs were great examples of the embodiment of fertility and life. (Recall the myth of how Semiramis came back to earth from a giant egg and then turned a bird into an egg laying rabbit).
You must be saying wow. You knew Easter was bloody but it was suppose to be the blood of Jesus, that was shed to save the sins of the world. Not the blood of infants.
WAS EASTER CREATED BEFORE JESUS CHRIST’S DEATH OR AFTER?
Until I was in my late teens, I honestly and fervently believed Easter was in recognition of Jesus’ death and resurrection. I began working with the Library Service and all that changed. In fact, I began to realize that Easter dishonored Jesus’s death.
The evidence show that the crucifixion of Jesus was only attached to Easter, 300 years after Jesus Christ died, under a political and ecclesiastical marriage of differences, initiated by Emperor Constantine of Rome to keep his subjects under rule. (Council of Nicea). In short, Easter predated Jesus by thousands of years so this negate the idea that Easter was being celebrated as the recognition of Jesus’s death and resurrection.
Interestingly, it should be noted that the new testament even mentioned Easter by name and being around at the time of Christ and the Peter, the disciple.
Acts 12: 4 state that 4 And when he (Herod) had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people. (The Romans were already worhsipping Easter before Jesus was attached 300 years after).
Easter, is also mentioned in the Old Testament, in the time of the prophets such as Isaiah and Ezekiel, thousands of years before Jesus Christ was born. Ashtoreth/Easter is mentioned in the old testament and in every instance that it is mentioned, Jehovah, the god of the Hebrews/Isrealite is pretty much annoyed, and in vengeance mode. In short, Easter dishonoured the Creator and Jesus, his son.
Here are a few examples of Easter or the Queen of Heaven in the Old Testament in abominable associations. Proof that Easter was worshipped long before Christ born.
Ezek 8:14 Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the LORD’S house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz. (Lent)
2 Kings 23:13 And the high places that were before Jerusalem, which were on the right hand of the mount of corruption, which Solomon the king of Israel had builded for Ashtoreth the abomination of the Zidonians, and for Chemosh the abomination of the Moabites, and for Milcom the abomination of the children of Ammon, did the king defile.
1 Kings 11:5-6. He followed Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molech the detestable god of the Ammonites. So Solomon did evil in the eyes of Yahweh; he did not follow Yahweh completely, as David his father had done.
1 Kings 11:33. I will do this (split the nation) because they have forsaken me and worshiped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians…., , and have not walked in my ways, nor done what is right in my eyes, nor kept my statutes and laws as David, Solomon’s father did.
So the people of Israel removed the Baals and images of Ashtoreth. They served only Yahuwah. (1 Samuel 7:3,4)
The women were engaged in kneading dough and baking cakes of bread for the “Queen of Heaven” (Jeremiah 7:18).
Jeremiah 44: 15-18 sated that the people actually believed that because they stopped worshipping Easter or the Queen of Heaven they were suffering. Jeremiah think contrary. It was the worshipping of Easter that caused the calamity.
Jeremiah 44: 23 Jeremiah replied, It is because you made offerings and because you sinned against the Lord and did not obey the voice of the Lord or walk in his law and in his statutes and in his testimonies that this disaster has happened to you, as at this day.”
Again, from the information in the Old testament, common sense, though uncommon, would dictate that if Easter was being worshipped before Jesus was born then Easter is not the recognition of Jesus’s death? Most importantly, it must be noted that the Creator punished peoples who worshipped Easter with the intention to get powerful. These countries flourished for awhile but suffer, eventually. Assyria, Egypt, Jerusalem, Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Italy.
THE LOGIC OF EASTER AS RECOGNITION OF JESUS’s DEATH?
The logic of Easter as Jesus’s death and resurrection is erroneous. Recognizing “Good” Friday as Jesus’s death day and Easter Sunday as his day of resurrection needs a high level of make belief if not schizophrenic tendencies. If we were to believe the scriptures and Jesus Christ, then Jesus Christ must be dead for three days and three nights. “For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Matthew 12:38-40).
By mathematics, Friday Night to Sunday morning was not, cannot and will not be three days and three nights. It is two nights and one day.
The big question then is: WHICH DAY DID CHRIST DIED?
Christ was actually killed or preferably, crucified at midday on a Wednesday and died by 3 pm that same Wednesday afternoon, the day before the High Sabbath that occurred on Thursday that year when Christ died.
If Jesus died at 3 pm, the day before the Sabbath, yet the day after this Sabbath, the bible said, the women went to get spices and prepared them and then went home and prepared for another upcoming Sabbath. It is obvious that we have two Sabbaths happening in one week and days apart instead of a week apart.
The Passover or High Sabbath was not the regular weekly Saturday Sabbath.
Indeed, many of us do not know that the Jews had annual Sabbaths. As a matter of fact, two extra annual Sabbaths called High Sabbaths are observed every year starting at Nissan 14 (March or April) in remembrance of the Exodus of the Israelite from the Egyptians under Moses’s leadership. As a result, there are two Sabbaths every year in a week in March/April.
The High Sabbaths don’t have to be on a Saturday as they are dates not days and can be any day of the week. They are celebrated to recognize the Passover and Israel’s miraculous exodus from Pharaoh’s Egypt.
Recall the Exodus story and the Passover? How Moses had a hard time convincing Pharaoh to let the Israelite go. Jehovah had to kill all first born in Egypt except those whose doors were marked with a Red Cross . Before, the slaughter, the Hebrews who had killed animals for the last meal in Egypt, use the blood to smear the posts of their houses and the Lord passed over them and none was killed. Exodus 11:4-5.
Hence the creation of the Passover and the two High Sabbaths which were required to be commemorated annually by the Israelite. Leviticus 23: 5 – 8.
As mentioned, these two holy convocation or High Sabbath sometimes fall in the same week of Easter and sometimes they do not. The year when Christ was killed, the week of Passover and the Feast of the Unleavened Bread (High Sabbath) fell on a Wednesday/Thursday with the next day, Friday evening being the start of the Saturday, normal Sabbath.
Summarily, the bible mentioned two Sabbaths during the week of Christ’s death. The annual High Sabbath which occurred the Wednesday evening Christ was killed and the weekly Saturday Sabbath, the evening he rose.
Still a bit fuzzy? Let’s use the Gospels as our guide to get a clear idea of the timeline for Christ’s death. By the way, remember that in Christ’s time, a day began at sun set or in the evening. Not at midnight as we now do in the West. So Saturday actually begins Friday evening and ends Saturday evening with Sunday beginning Saturday evening and finishing Sunday evening. Hope that helped.
|DAY/TIME||EVENTS||Days/night of death|
||First night (6 pm – 6 am)|
||First day (6 am to 6 pm)
Second night (6 pm – 6 am)
||Second day (6 am to 6 pm)Third night (6 pm – 6 am)|
||Third day (6 am to 6 pm)|
If the gospels are right that Christ fulfilled the prophecy and was dead for three days and three nights, it questions the premise on which Easter is currently associated with Christ’s death on a Friday afternoon.
EASTER: GODDESS BUT NOT CHRISTLIKE
Easter, goddess of fertility and queen of heaven, is one of the great deities of all times. It is a pastoral recognition of the Spring Equinox, and although a figment of the imagination, her incarnation is glorified in myths and legends and rites and rituals.
Whether real or imagined, she has influenced our lives in many ways. As a pastoral pagan entity, her followers have done some ignoble things that would make it despicable to associate Easter
with righteousness or with followers of Christ.
Spring Equinox worship, Venus planet deification, hot cross buns, bunny rabbits, eggs painting, and human sacrifices are not really noble and Christlike traits despite the association of Christ’s name to Easter.
Of course, stars and full moon worship at the spring equinox make for great fireside tales but borders on schizophrenia masked with arrogance and power battles when used to influence our lives. This is utter darkness compared with the bright light of righteousness.
In fact, any attempt to turn darkness into light by giving the rituals and practices of Easter acceptability by simply designating the activities as those for Christ, can be dubious if not deceptive. With the fact that Easter precedes Jesus, attempts to continue this make belief that Easter is in recognition of Jesus is fruitless.
Easter or Ishtar is great by herself, and if people
want to break the first of the ten commandments and worship her, it is okay. We have choices and if we choose to follow a multitude to do wrong: so be it.
The only noble thing is to let Easter and Jesus remain in separate camps so we can clearly without blinkers, see the things that are Caesar’s and the things that are Jesus Christ’s. That is the only way we can render to God the things that are God’s. Yeah. A clear understanding that Easter is now Christianity and that the real reason for the season is a battle between dark and light: Christianity/Easter the dark vs Jesus Christ teachings, the light.
This year, 2018, Easter falls comfortably and fittingly on April 1 which is very suggestive if not profound. April 1 is All Fool’s Day but try not to be fooled.