The Vernal Equinox (cont)
discrepancy is usually explained by equating Eostre to other goddesses
who have hares and eggs as symbols. However, there are a lot of folk
customs attached to the Vernal Equinox from all across lands that were
Saxon or Germanic, that involve hares, eggs, dawn and bonfires. From
all of this evidence it is fairly certain that there were pre-Christian
dawn goddesses in Northern Europe. When Christianity was becoming
established it would have taken these rituals and observances and
incorporated them into Easter. I would also be comfortable projecting
further back and assuming that there was a pre-historic Spring festival
around the Vernal that celebrates a dawn Goddess. But, over thousands
of years, God-forms can be fluid, their names can change and they can
be amalgamated together. Linguistically, for instance, there could be a
correspondence between Eostre and the Persian goddess Ishtar or
Vernal Equinox is when the sun is moving fastest, but it is also a time of balance. Day and night are equal, yet there is much change. It is a single point of stillness among the movement, like a tipping point. There are, broadly speaking, three Spring festivals and this is the middle one. The energy that lay dormant under the earth at Winter and awoke at Imbolc now gets ready to burst forth through at the Vernal. So this is a festival with a big upswing of energy, about reconciling opposites, like day and night, sun and moon, and using their opposing energy to move things forward. [More...]
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