Eosturmonath
The Month of the Goddess Eostra



Goddess
 The modern English term Easter is speculated to   have                         developed from the
Old English word Ēastreor Ēostre or Eoaster, which itself developed prior to 899.
It also is said to come from the word east which makes many believe Eostra to be the
goddess of dawn becuase of the fact that the sun rises from the east. She is known as
the spring/summer goddess bringing life back to the earth after long dark winters.
Eoster is said to represent the rebirth of life and that she comes to the earth during the
 month of April when life springs back up out of the groud and out of the womb.
The Anglo-Saxon calendar is broken up into summer and winter. Winter begins in
 October and lasts for six months. On the seventh month summer begins also known
as April or Eosturmonath.

The name refers to a month of the Germanic calendar attested by
Bede as named after
the goddess Eostre of Anglo Saxon paganism.
Bede notes that feasts held in her honor
during
Ēostur-monath had died out by the time of his writing, replaced with the Christian
 custom of Easter. Using comparative
linguistic evidence from continental Germanic sources,
 the 19th century
scholar Jacob Grimm proposed the existence of an equivalent form of Eostre
among
the pre-Christian beliefs of the continental Germanic peoples, whose name he reconstructed
 as Ostara.
Easter- a Pagan Celebration

Venerable Bede's Involvement

According to Bede an 8th century English Christian monk (who died in 735 CE) wrote in the  De Tempore Rationum ("On the Reckoning of Time"), "The English months", the word Easter is derived from Eostre the Anglo-Saxon goddes of spring, and also a  festival held in her honor. Bede connects it the Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring, relating to the month April, and called it Eostur-monath. He derived the name Easter from the Teutonic goddess Eostre which refers to a spring festival in Anglo-Saxon Culture that procededs Christianity.

However there is speculation that Eostre was fabricated by Bede. There are theories that connect Eostre with records of a Germanic fold custom which includes hares and eggs.


In his
De temporum ratione , Bede wrote in Latin:


"Eostur-monath, qui nunc paschalis mensis
interpretatur, quondam a dea illorum quae
Eostre vocabatur et cui in illo festa celebrabant nomen habuit."


Translation:


"Eostur-month, which is now interpreted as the paschal month, was

formerly named after the goddess Eostre, and has given its name to the festival."Bede





Sacred Symbols of Eostre


One of the most prominant symbols of Eostre is the hare, later known as the Easter Bunny. Hares are a sign of fertility because
of thier extremely fertil reproductive practices. It has also been suggested that  The Goddess of the Dawn, was carried by hares.
While others have said that she was depicted as having the head of a Hare. The hare connection to the Goddess is that they are a
direct representation of what she embodies, springtime life.

Another well known symbol are the eggs,  which represents coming out of the womb and procreation. Colored eggs are also said
to remind us of the colors of spring time.




baby


                                                                                                                                                     hare





*Later becomming the Easter Eggs and the Easter bunny





Evolution of Easter


Eventually the Christian church adopted the Easter festival incorporating the story of Jesus Christ's Resurection.
It was easy to intagrate Eostre festival into Christian religion because it could also represent the re-birth of Christ and
his resurection while slightly changing the name from Eostre to Easter.

christ




Sources:

·         Allen, Stuart. "Eostre." Anglo-Saxon Heathenism. 22 July 2003. Web. 7 Apr. 2010. <http://englishheathenism.homestead.com/eostre.html>.

 

·         Baskervill, Charles R. "Dramatic Aspects of Medieval Folk Festivals in England." Studies in Philology, 17.1 (1920): 19-87. JSTOR. Web. 7 Apr. 2010.

 

·         "Easter." Answers.com. Web. 7 Apr. 2010. <http://www.answers.com/topic/easter>.

 

·         "Easter." Wikipedia. 5 Apr. 2010. Web. 7 Apr. 2010. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter#Anglo-Saxon_and_German>.

 

·         "Eostre." EconomicExpert.com. Web. 7 Apr. 2010. <http://www.economicexpert.com/a/Eostre.htm>.

 

·         "Eostre." Search.com. Web. 7 Apr. 2010. <http://www.search.com/reference/Eostre>.

 

·         "Eostre." Wikipedia. 5 Apr. 2010. Web. 7 Apr. 2010. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C4%92ostre>.

 

·         "The Christian Holiday of Easter Is Named after a Pagan Fertility Goddess." De-fact-o.com. 23 Mar. 2008. Web. 7 Apr. 2010. <http://www.de-fact-o.com/fact_read.php?id=111>.