The images below are for theEaster 2020 Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack,
"The ManyEostres/Easters: A Choice of Rebirth Hallelujahs"
Eostre-Ostara with egg of rebirth
Mary Magdalene with egg of rebirth
Thematic Images of Eostre-Ostara, Pagan Hares and Eggs
Most scholars believe that Easter gets its name from Ēostre or Ôstara, a Germanic/Anglo-Saxon pagan goddess. However, in neo-pagan terms, Ēostre's festival falls on the March Vernal Equinox because this marks beginning of Spring in the northern hemisphere. Some neo-pagans, such as Wiccans, now call this first day of Spring, on the Vernal Equinox, Ôstara (or "Lady Day"). This Goddess of Easter represents the sunrise, spring-time and fertility, the renewal of life. Ēostre’s two symbols were the Cosmic Egg and the March Hare. The Egg is the most basic symbol of rebirth, renewal, and new growth. The Hare, as the symbol of Ēostre, also represents fertility and fecundity, and as such is also a symbol of rebirth. This sacred Egg and Hare, with the coming of Christianity, morphed into Easter Eggs and the Easter Bunny.
The Moon Hare was sacred to the Goddess in both eastern and western nations. Relying on the myths of Hathor-Astarte, who laid the Golden Egg of the sun, Germans used to say the Hare would lay eggs for good children on Easter Eve. Thus, in German folklore, the goddess Ôstara, the Spring Equinox festival goddess, was always accompanied by a fabled Hare.
Explanations of the Pagan Origins of Easter
Thematic Images of Pre-Christian Goddesss & Gods Behind Easter
Thematic Images for the Resurrection Theme Before, During, and After Christianity
Ah, through the open door Is there an almond tree Aflame with blossom! - Let us fight no more.
Among the pink and blue Of the sky and the almond flowers A sparrow flutters. - We have come through,
It is really spring! - See, When he thinks himself alone How he bullies the flowers. - Ah, you and me
How happy we'll be! - See him He clouts the tufts of flowers In his impudence. - But, did you dream
It would be so bitter? Never mind It is finished, the spring is here. And we're going to be summer-happy And summer-kind.
We have died, we have slain and been slain, We are not our old selves any more. I feel new and eager To start again.
It is gorgeous to live and forget. And to feel quite new. See the bird in the flowers? - he's making A rare to-do!
He thinks the whole blue sky Is much less than the bit of blue egg He's got in his nest - we'll be happy You and I, I and you.
With nothing to fight any more - In each other, at least. See, how gorgeous the world is Outside the door!
~D,H. Lawrence, "Spring Morning"
This spring as it comes bursts up in bonfires green, Wild puffing of emerald trees, and flame-filled bushes, Thorn-blossom lifting in wreaths of smoke between Where the wood fumes up and the watery, flickering rushes.
I am amazed at this spring, this conflagration Of green fires lit on the soil of the earth, this blaze Of growing, and sparks that puff in wild gyration, Faces of people streaming across my gaze.
And I, what fountain of fire am I among This leaping combustion of spring? My spirit is tossed About like a shadow buffeted in the throng Of flames, a shadow that's gone astray, and is lost.
~D.H. Lawrence, “The Enkindled Spring”
flower and heart are equal. as one unfolds the other is closing. the fist of charm. the dance of fathoms. of voids. of veils. layer after layer. wall after wall. there is always more. there is always more after.
the scalloped edges of further valour. the vigil of soldiers. foot and circular. the waving tremors of empty warriors. a thorn in the wound of love. of torture. another immeasurable pain to suffer.
first dealing w/entry into the spirit. the wall is pierced and the will assaulted is vaulted. is shimmied into. is fenced. fencing defending the sheets of the flesh winding and binding and then to relax.
seconds of suspension in the pass of pain wailing, exhaling. passed thru the strange. this is the formula. the force of the father. the hand that extends. the heart that is bleeding hard then harder then silent and beating.
in a space warm and glowing. infinite yet dense. the tune of chain caught then stretched. the is the communication of the future. death is a dance. a ballroom. a glove an extension of total abandon in/love.
~patti smith, "Easter" (la resurrection)
The air is like a butterfly With frail blue wings. The happy earth looks at the sky And sings.
~Joyce Kilmer,“Easter - Poem”
Calendar of the Soul - Easter Mood (First Week)
When out of world-wide spaces The sun speaks to the human mind, And gladness from the depths of soul Becomes, in seeing, one with light, Then rising from the sheath of self, Thoughts soar to distances of space And dimly bind The human being to the spirit’s life.
~Rudolph Steiner, "Spring"
Far from this foreign Easter damp and chilly My soul steals to a pear-shaped plot of ground, Where gleamed the lilac-tinted Easter lily Soft-scented in the air for yards around;
Alone, without a hint of guardian leaf! Just like a fragile bell of silver rime, It burst the tomb for freedom sweet and brief In the young pregnant year at Eastertime;
And many thought it was a sacred sign, And some called it the resurrection flower; And I, a pagan, worshiped at its shrine, Yielding my heart unto its perfumed power.
~Claude McKay, "The Easter Flower"
My townspeople, beyond in the great world, are many with whom it were far more profitable for me to live than here with you. These whirr about me calling, calling! and for my own part I answer them, loud as I can, but they, being free, pass! I remain! Therefore, listen! For you will not soon have another singer.
First I say this: you have seen the strange birds, have you not, that sometimes rest upon our river in winter? Let them cause you to think well then of the storms that drive many to shelter. These things do not happen without reason.
And the next thing I say is this: I saw an eagle once circling against the clouds over one of our principal churches— Easter, it was—a beautiful day! three gulls came from above the river and crossed slowly seaward! Oh, I know you have your own hymns, I have heard them— and because I knew they invoked some great protector I could not be angry with you, no matter how much they outraged true music—
You see, it is not necessary for us to leap at each other, and, as I told you, in the end the gulls moved seaward very quietly.
~William Carlos Williams, "Gulls"
Eostre or Eastra was an Anglo-Saxon goddess of the dawn. Her name comes from an Indo-European root word aus, meaning “to shine,” from which also comes Eos and Aurora, the Greek and Roman names of the dawn goddess. (Her name may also derive from an earlier Ausrion, meaning “morning”). Her holiday was celebrated near the Spring Equinox, as Easter is celebrated on the Sunday following the full moon that follows or falls on the Spring Equinox. Thus, Eostre or Eastra is a goddess of spring. She is especially honored by dawn rites (as is still part of the Easter tradition). The same Indo-European root aus gives us “east,” the direction of the dawn, and on the Spring Equinox the Sun rises due East. In Old High German, we learn of the goddess Ôstara and her connection to dawn and the east. (Again, the word Ostr can be linked to the Latin word aurora and the Greek word eos, which both mean “dawn.”)
Thus, the following poem (like Kilmer's "Easter - Poem") can be understood as a type of Easter (East) poem.
I speak of love that comes to mind: The moon is faithful, although blind; She moves in thought she cannot speak. Perfect care has made her bleak.
I never dreamed the sea so deep, The earth so dark; so long my sleep, I have become another child. I wake to see the world go wild.
~Allen Ginsberg, “An Eastern Ballad”
For a detailed account of the Church's Easter dating controversy ("The Easter Dating Controversy"), see the GS's text:
From the GS's Introduction to the musical essay, "The Many Easters/Eostres: A Choice of Rebirth Hallelujahs," a paragraph on theproblem Easter presents for Christians.
… there are probably an increasing number of Christian families today who spend more time doing the Easter Egg and Bunny celebration for the kids than they do in church. Or, to put it another way, people who identify as “Christians” and mark the holy day on Easter may go through the motions of honoring the event of the Resurrected Christ, but have a limited understanding of the significance and meaning of the event and thus a harder time seeing how it connects with their secular lives. (Indeed, statistics show that a growing number of Christians have a hard time believing in the literal truth of their savior’s Resurrection.)