Monday, March 30, 2009


In honor of the Anglo-Saxon Goddess Eostre (say ESS-trah), the Spring/vernal equinox was named Ostara. When the Saxons invaded Britain, they introduced Eostre and the traditions that honor her to the Celts, who later adopted her into their own pantheon. Her name means "moving with the waxing sun."

Around the time of the Spring Equinox, animals would start to give birth or going into their "estrus" cycle, so named after the goddess. The ancient Celts, who lived in a close symbiotic relationship with their livestock, celebrated the return of life with a festival in her name. Eostre is seen as Spring personified. To the Celts, she is the goddess of rebirth, new beginnings and fertility. Her symbols include the "sun cross," the egg, the rabbit, flowers and baskets. The legend of the Easter bunny originally started as a story of offerings in her name. A small rabbit came across and egg at the beginning of Spring. He was hungry after the long winter and wanted very badly to eat the egg. But instead, he decorated the egg and gave it to Eostre as an offering.

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