Part 1: the Easter Calendar
The calendar we have now is horrible. Mostly buggered-about with by the Romans to suit their own political schemes, with various grandeous Caesars each wanting to be made immortal by having their name in the calendar. That might be lost in the mists of time, but just consider what it would be like with modern wannabe-Caesars. Like having a Blairtober month. Good luck to them if they can make it stick, but the calendar's lost the beautiful symmetry and meaning it used to have.
The major Feast Days all used to be coupled to astronomical events, and therefore an appreciation of the natural cycles of time and the space we live in. But now the Feast days are all fixed, and astronomically as dead as dust. All except for Easter. Somehow, it survived the adjustments of the various Synods, and it's still a movable feast. And a rare gem. Like finding a Fabergé egg in a sack of potatoes.
Why is it special?
Let's recount how it's counted. It is :
- the first Sunday
- after the first full moon
- after the Vernal Equinox
There you are. It's not difficult to remember, once you have it lodged in your memory. It's especially special because it gives an insight into the minds of the Ancients and how their calendar worked. No diary, no clocks, no computers, and nothing written down. Just a little memory, an oral tradition to pass on the memory from one generation to the next, and patient watching and measuring by The Watchers.
- Watch and wait for the Vernal Equinox
- Then watch and wait for the next full moon
- then watch and count to the end of the current seven-day-week (let's call it Sunday)
As an added bonus, it might be worth celebrating. So let's add on a final flourish:
- watch and wait for the solar noon. Or watch and wait for the sunset.
- then start the party in honour of Ēostre.
Where's me mead? When is Ostara going to arrive with the bunnies and the eggs?
Part 2: the Easter Goddess: Asherah ~ Astarte ~ Ostara ~ Ēostre ~ Austrǭ
In ancient Israel and Canaan, Yahweh and Asherah were worshipped as a divine pair (male and female, before Israel became monotheistic). Asherah is still recognised (even by devout Christians) as the original Ēostre or Ostara (Easter), and the source of all our Easter Eggs.
Later on during the day, the children of the Canaanite parents would often go and hunt for eggs, which were symbolic of sex, fertility and new life. It was believed that these eggs came from rabbits, which in the pagan world were symbolic of lust, sexual prowess and reproduction. ... Decorating eggs came about to honor their pagan gods and were often presented as gifts to other families to bring them fertility and sexual success during the coming year. ... Out of this practice came many other variations of these pagan festivals until the Roman Catholic Church adopted the Asherah worship and named it Easter around 155 A.D. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, Easter was named after a pagan goddess of the Anglo-Saxons named Eostre, the goddess of the dawn. A great controversy arose between the Catholic Church and the Greek Orthodox Church in 325 A.D. on whether to celebrate pagan easter on Sundays or on whatever day the Jewish Passover fell upon. Unfortunately, the Greeks lost a lot of followers and the Catholics contended that keeping pagan easter on Sundays would stimulate the practices of both the Christian world and the pagan worshipers.
Ref : Easter or Asherah?
Footnote: Many gardeners and farmers still look for "auspicious" times to plant. It might be after the last frost. Or it might when the moon looks right.
Next : Saints by the shipload