Origins of Easter

THE  Saxon goddess Ostara, root of the word Easter, symbolized the dawn, the warm Spring sun, and much more.

Without the cyclic journey of the sun there would be no glorious bursting forth of nature at Easter-time.

“Just as there is a real Christmas—the time of winter solstice, explains the Theosophy School text, The Eternal Verities—”so there is a real Easter, a Sun-cycle, the time of the Vernal Equinox, on March 21st.”

The Sun-cycle ushers spring-time into the world above the equator, and the ancients regarded this as the re-incarnation season of the year.

When the beautiful Goddess saw all this wonderful work of hers, she said: “Hereafter, every year I will have one day called Easter, after me. That day, all shall celebrate the awakening of Life from its winter sleep.

“Then shall all people be joyous and glad and give each other eggs as gifts, for the Egg shall be my symbol. So it is fitting, for all Life is first within the egg.”



Similar Goddesses were known in ancient cultures around the Mediterranean, and were celebrated in the springtime: Aphrodite from Cyprus, Astarte, from Phoenicia, Demeter, from Mycenae, Hathor from Egypt, Ishtar from Assyria, and Kali, from India.

Perhaps some of the most impressive egg designs of Easter are known as Pysanka. These Ukrainian treasures (examples here) are hollowed-out eggs decorated with traditional Ukrainian folk designs.

This post is updated and republished at:

Goddess of Spring


3 responses to “Origins of Easter

  1. Beautiful…nurtures the both the adult and the little kid in me! Thank you for this posting. Happy Renewal To All!


  2. Easter is a moveable feast, which means that it does not occur on the same date every year. The Council of Nicaea (A.D. 325) set the date of Easter as the Sunday following the paschal full moon, which is the full moon that falls on or after the vernal (spring) equinox.


  3. Very, very interesting. Thanks. Isn’t there another Pagan source that puts Easter the first Sunday following the first full-moon that follows the Spring Equinox?


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