3/28/13

Goddess of the Week: Eostre

Tania wants a goddess for a glorious Spring. We must give her Eostre, the English (albeit originally German) goddess of spring and rebirth.

Eostre/Easter. Easter/Eostre.

Notice any similaries?

That's because the word Easter comes from Eostre, and we have Eostre to thank for all the fun stuff about Easter.

Easter bunnies? Eostre used to be carried around by a giant hare.

Easter eggs? They were one of Eostre's symbols.

New life? That's what spring is about, baby: winter ends, which means death ends, and new life begins,  as marked by the sudden proliferation of cute little animals, especially birds and bunnies.

Chocolate? Not Eostre at all. The poor English had never even imagined a little Cadbury Egg when Eostre was doing her thing since Cacao is native to South America. But, as Eostre would be the first to say, out with the old and in with the new. So eat all the chocolate you want this Easter! But just don't read this.  It will spoil the whole thing.

17 comments:

Pasadena Adjacent said...

probably where the term estrogen comes from

Star said...

Happy Eostre!

Alison said...

I'm thinking my UK friends would love a visit from Eostre right now! Happy Easter , Margaret!
Alison xx

Daisy said...

Happy Spring! Happy Easter! Happy Chocolate!

Cafe Pasadena said...

And where does the word Chocolate come from? I look 4ward to that article from you.

Olga said...

I have often seen signs/bumper stickers urging us to "keep Christ in Christmas." This is the first year I have seen a lawn sign urging us to "keep Christ in Easter." Obviously not everyone is a student of etymology.

altadenahiker said...

Happy Easter to you and your husband and the battling queens.

Petrea Burchard said...

Hee hee, Olga!

Happy Eostre, everyone.

Adele said...

Interesting, Margaret... and talk about spoiling things! I heard Michael Moss on NPR last week, and bought the book. Guess I'd better read it now. I will wait until after I celebrate with Eostre.

TheChieftess said...

I believe it was Mary See who brought the chocolate to Easter...at least my Easter!!! Love those See's chocolate Easter eggs!!!

Addey said...

I could use some of Eostre's blessings right now. Not just to banish the cold and damp weather we've been beaten down by recently, but because I have to make my own new beginning again... Yup, got laid off Tuesday and while Eostre may help with the beginning part, I could use a goddess to help with the "finding of meaningful, or at least decently paying, work....". Happy Easter and may the new season bring you many blessings.

Shell Sherree said...

Thank you for reminding me as to how bunnies and eggs fit with Easter ~ I'll probably forget by next Easter, so please feel free to repost this then. Happy Easter, Margaret!

Ms M said...

Interesting to learn about Eostre and how she became enveloped in Easter.
A very happy Easter to you and yours, Margaret!

Susan Campisi said...

You could write a book filled with goddesses called the "Real History of the World." Thank you for teaching me about Eostre. As a lapsed Catholic, I find her fascinating. Happy Eostre!

Ann Erdman said...

I love that it took a woman to generate the rites of spring!

Margaret said...

Oh,Addey! I will get you a goddess. This week for sure!

Anonymous said...

The only things we know about Eostre was a short paragraph written by Bede in De Temporum Ratione:

"Eosturmonath has a name which is now translated "Paschal month", and which was once called after a goddess of theirs named Eostre, in whose honour feasts were celebrated in that month. Now they designate that Paschal season by her name, calling the joys of the new rite by the time-honoured name of the old observance."

That is the only contemporary writing about Eostre and everything else including riding about on hares etc is speculation or invention.
Evidence for a germanicised goddess of the spring called Ostara dates back no further than Jacob Grimm, the fairy story bloke.