What means the term Easter itself? It is not a Christian name. It bears its Chaldean origin on its very forehead. Easter is nothing else than Astarte, one of the titles of Beltis, the queen of heaven, whose name, as pronounced by the people of Ninevah, was evidently identical with that now in common use in this country. This name as found by Layard on the Assyrian monuments, is Ishtar. ~ Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons
The concept of Ēostre or Ostara has had a strong influence on European culture since the 19th century — as reconstructed by Jacob Grimm and Adolf Holtzmann — from many fanciful legends and associations growing up around the figure of the goddess in popular speculations of these early folklorists.
A holiday named for the goddess is part of the neopagan Wiccan Wheel of the Year (Ostara, 21 March). In some forms of Germanic neopaganism, Ēostre is venerated as well and has been popularized again in current practice.
Carole M. Cusack comments that among advocates Ēostre is “associated with the coming of spring and the dawn, and her festival is celebrated at the spring equinox. Because she brings renewal, rebirth from the death of winter, some Heathens associate Ēostre with Iðunn, keeper of the apples of youth in Scandinavian mythology”.
In the first season of the TV series American Gods, based on the novel of the same name, Ostara is portrayed by Kristin Chenoweth. In the series, Ostara has survived into the modern age by forming an alliance with the Goddess of Media (Gillian Anderson) and capitalizing on the Christian holiday.
Odin (Ian McShane) forces her to accept that those who celebrate Easter are worshipping Jesus and not her, causing her to join his rebellion against the New Gods.
Whatever one’s preferred belief or practice — we greet all a happy glorious Easter!
Originally published at http://diywellbeing.blogspot.com.