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Showing posts from March, 2016

Origins of Easter

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Easter, the principal festival of the Christian church year, celebrates the Resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his Crucifixion. The origins of Easter date to the beginnings of Christianity, and it is probably the oldest Christian observance after the Sabbath (observed on Saturday). Later, the Sabbath subsequently came to be regarded as the weekly celebration of the Resurrection. Meanwhile, many of the cultural historians find, in the celebration of Easter, a convergence of the three traditions - Pagan, Hebrew and Christian. The origins of the word "Easter" are not certain. The name "Easter" originated with the names of an ancient Goddess and God. The Venerable Bede, (672-735 CE), a Christian scholar, first asserted in his book De Ratione Temporum that Easter was named after Eostre (a.k.a. Eastre). She was the Great Mother Goddess of the Saxon people in Northern Europe. Similarly, the "Teutonic dawn goddess of fertility [was] known variously a…

Bring in the Season of New Life with Cernunnos

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At the dawn of prehistory, it is said, humanity worshiped a Goddess who often co-existed with a male Deity, sometimes depicted with horns. Such figures represent humanity's elemental search for survival and meaning in mortality, a relentless quest for unity with the divine and the interdependent nature of the existential web.
Cernunnos is a horned god found in Celtic mythology. He is connected with male animals, particularly the stag in rut, and this has led him to be associated with fertility and vegetation. Depictions of Cernunnos are found in many parts of the British Isles and Western Europe. He is often portrayed with a beard and wild, shaggy hair -- he is, after all, the lord of the forest.
With his mighty antlers, Cernunnos is a protector of the forest and master of the hunt. He is a god of vegetation and trees in his aspect as the Green Man, and a god of lust and fertility when connected with Pan, the Greek satyr God of the Wild. In some traditions, he is seen as a god of…