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Rabbits, Eggs,
and Hot Cross Buns
The Name
“The name ‘Easter’ originated with the names of an ancient g-ddess and g-d. The Venerable Bede, (672 735 CE.) a Christian scholar, first asserted in his book De Ratione Temporum that Easter was named after Eostre (a.k.a. Eastre). She was the Great Mother g-ddess of the Saxon people in Northern Europe. Similar ‘Teutonic dawn g-ddess of fertility [were] known variously as Ostare, Ostara, Ostern, Eostra, Eostre, Eostur, Eastra, Eastur, Austron and Ausos.’ Her name was derived from the ancient word for spring: “eastre.” Similar g-ddesses were known by other names in ancient cultures around the Mediterranean, and were celebrated in the springtime. Some were:
         Aphrodite from Cyprus
         Astarte, from Phoenicia
         Demeter, from Mycenae
         Hathor from Egypt
         Ishtar from Assyria
         Kali, from India
         Ostara, a Norse g-ddess of fertility.
    (Copyright 1999 to 2003 incl., by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance)
    “Easter is an English word derived from the name of a Germanic g-ddess, and you won’t get any argument from me if you think the word should be deprecated because of its association with pagan fertility rites. On the other hand, the Old Testament book of Esther is named after a Jewish heroine who bore the name of the g-ddess Ishtar! In the ancient Church, the celebration of the Resurrection was called Passover. Today, Orthodox Christians call this holiday the Pasch (as in paschal lamb), which is the Greek word for Passover.”
    (Copyright ©2003 by the Rev. Kenneth W. Collins)
The Date
“From 31 A.D. to 325 A.D. Easter Day was celebrated either:
    (a) on or just after the first day of the Jewish Passover (no matter on which day of the week that Easter Day occurred), or
    (b) on a Sunday close to or on the first Passover Day. Both of these methods existed continuously throughout this period.”
    (Copyright © 1996-2002 Astronomical Society of South Australia, Inc. All rights reserved)
    “Prior to A.D. 325, Easter was variously celebrated on different days of the week, including Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. In that year, the Council of Nicaea was convened by Emperor Constantine. It issued the Easter Rule which states that Easter shall be celebrated on the first Sunday that occurs after the first full moon on or after the vernal equinox. However, a caveat must be introduced here. The “full moon” in the rule is the ecclesiastical full moon, which is defined as the fourteenth day of a tabular lunation, where day 1 corresponds to the ecclesiastical New Moon. It does not always occur on the same date as the astronomical full moon. The ecclesiastical “vernal equinox” is always on March 21. Therefore, Easter must be celebrated on a Sunday between the dates of March 22 and April 25.”
    (Copyright © 2003 by Jerry Wilson. Used with Permission)
    “Easter Sunday, from 326 A.D., is always one of the 35 dates March 22 to April 25. From 326 A.D. to 1582 A.D. Easter Sunday date was based on the Julian calendar in use at that time. It became defined as the Sunday following the Paschal Full Moon date for the year, using a simple “19 PFM dates” table. PFM stands for the Paschal Full Moon.
    “The Julian calendar was replaced by the Gregorian calendar in October 1582 to re-align March 20 (and therefore Easter) with the seasons by removing 10 dates October 5 to 14, 1582. This replacement did not occur until later in many countries e.g. in September 1752 in England. The Gregorian calendar very closely maintains the alignment of seasons and calendar dates by having leap years in only 1 of every 4 century years, namely, those divisible exactly by 400. One additional February 29 date will need to be removed in about 4140 A.D., therefore Easter calculations will need to use the changed Days of Week of PFM dates when the exact year for this removal is decided.
    “From 326 A.D., the Easter Sunday Date for any given year is NOT determined by the March Equinox date for that year. March 20 (not March 21) is the most common Gregorian Equinox date from 1583 to 4099 A.D.
    “Historically, references to March 21 have caused mistakes in calculating Easter Sunday dates. March 20 has become the important date in recent Easter dating methods. Despite frequent references to March 21, this date has no special significance to any recent Easter dating methods.”
    (Copyright © 1996-2002 Astronomical Society of South Australia, Inc. All rights reserved)
Pagan Origins
Since its conception as a holy celebration in the second century, Easter has had its non-religious side. In fact, Easter was originally a pagan festival.
    “The ancient Saxons celebrated the return of spring with an uproarious festival commemorating their g-ddess of offspring and of springtime, Eastre. When the second-century Christian missionaries encountered the tribes of the north with their pagan celebrations, they attempted to convert them to Christianity. They did so, however, in a clandestine manner.
    “As it happened, the pagan festival of Eastre occurred at the same time of year as the Christian observance of the Resurrection of [Messiah]. It made sense, therefore, to alter the festival itself, to make it a Christian celebration as converts were slowly won over. The early name, Eastre, was eventually changed to its modern spelling, Easter.”
    (Copyright © 2003 by Jerry Wilson. Used with Permission.)
    “Many, perhaps most, Pagan religions in the Mediterranean area had a major seasonal day of religious celebration at or following the Spring Equinox. Cybele, the Phrygian fertility g-ddess, had a fictional consort who was believed to have been born via a virgin birth. He was Attis, who was believed to have died and been resurrected each year during the period MAR-22 to MAR-25. ‘About 200 B.C. mystery cults began to appear in Rome just as they had earlier in Greece. Most notable was the Cybele cult centered on Vatican hill ...Associated with the Cybele cult was that of her lover, Attis (the older Tammuz, Osiris, Dionysus, or Orpheus under a new name). He was an [idol] of ever-reviving vegetation. Born of a virgin, he died and was reborn annually. The festival began as a day of blood on Black Friday and culminated after three days in a day of rejoicing over the resurrection.’
    “Wherever Christian worship of [Yahshua] and Pagan worship of Attis were active in the same geographical area in ancient times, Christians ‘used to celebrate the death and resurrection of [Yahshua] on the same date; and pagans and Christians used to quarrel bitterly about which of their idols was the true prototype and which the imitation.’ Since the worship of Cybele was brought to Rome in 204 BCE, about 250 years before Christianity, it is obvious that if any copying occurred, it was the Christians that copied the traditions of the Pagans.
    “Many religious historians believe that the death and resurrection legends were first associated with Attis, many centuries before the birth of [Yahshua]. They were simply grafted onto stories of [Yahshua’s] life in order to make Christian theology more acceptable to Pagans. Others suggest that many of the events in [Yashshua’s] life that were recorded in the gospels were lifted from the life of Krishna, the second person of the Hindu Trinity. Ancient Christians had an alternate explanation; they claimed that Satan had created counterfeit deities in advance of the coming of the Messiah in order to confuse humanity. Modern-day Christians generally regard the Attis legend as being a Pagan myth of little value. They regard [Yahshua’s] death and resurrection account as being true, and unrelated to the earlier tradition.”
    (Copyright 1999 to 2003 incl., by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.)
Easter and Pagan Celebrations
“The first thing we must understand is that professing Christians were not the only ones who celebrated a festival called ‘Easter.’ ‘Ishtar’, which is pronounced “Easter,” was a day that commemorated the resurrection of one of their g-ds that they called ‘Tammuz’, who was believed to be the only begotten son of the moon-g-ddess and the sun-g-d.
    “In those ancient times, there was a man named Nimrod, who was the grandson of one of Noah’s son named Ham. Ham had a son named Cush who married a woman named Semiramis. Cush and Semiramis then had a son named him ‘Nimrod.’ After the death of his father, Nimrod married his own mother and became a powerful King.
    “The Bible tells of this man, Nimrod, in Genesis 10:8-10 as follows:
    And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before Yahweh: wherefore it is said, even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before Yahweh. And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.
    “Nimrod became a g-d-man to the people and Semiramis, his wife and mother, became the powerful Queen of ancient Babylon. Nimrod was eventually killed by an enemy, and his body was cut in pieces and sent to various parts of his kingdom. Semiramis had all of the parts gathered, except for one part that could not be found. That missing part was his reproductive organ. Semiramis claimed that Nimrod could not come back to life without it and told the people of Babylon that Nimrod had ascended to the sun and was now to be called ‘Baal,’ the sun god.
    “Queen Semiramis also proclaimed that Baal would be present on earth in the form of a flame, whether candle or lamp, when used in worship. Semiramis was creating a mystery religion, and with the help of Satan, she set herself up as a g-ddess. Semiramis claimed that she was immaculately conceived. She taught that the moon was a g-ddess that went through a 28 day cycle and ovulated when full. She further claimed that she came down from the moon in a giant moon egg that fell into the Euphrates River.
    “This was to have happened at the time of the first full moon after the spring equinox. Semiramis became known as ‘Ishtar’ which is pronounced “Easter”, and her moon egg became known as ‘Ishtar’s egg.’ Ishtar soon became pregnant and claimed that it was the rays of the sun-god Baal that caused her to conceive. The son that she brought forth was named Tammuz.
    “Tammuz was noted to be especially fond of rabbits, and they became sacred in the ancient religion, because Tammuz was believed to be the son of the sun-g-d, Baal. Tammuz, like his supposed father, became a hunter.
    “Ishtar, who was now worshipped as the ‘Mother of God and Queen of Heaven,’ continued to build her mystery religion. They ate sacred cakes with the marking of a “T” or cross on the top.
    “Every year, on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox, a celebration was made. It was Ishtar’s Sunday and was celebrated with rabbits and eggs.
    “The truth is that Easter has nothing whatsoever to do with the resurrection of [Yahshua Messiah]. The truth is that the forty days of Lent, eggs, rabbits, hot cross buns and the Easter ham have everything to do with the ancient pagan religion of Mystery Babylon. These are all antiMessiah activities!
    “These customs of Easter honor Baal, who is also Satan, and is still worshipped as the ‘Rising Sun’ and his house is the ‘House of the Rising Sun.’ How many churches have ‘sunrise services’ on Ishtar’s day and face the rising sun in the East? How many will use colored eggs and rabbit stories, as they did in ancient Babylon.”
    (Written in Last Trumpet Ministries International)
Easter and Pagan Traditions
“The Easter Bunny is not a modern invention. The symbol originated with the pagan festival of Eastre. The gddess, Eastre, was worshipped by the Anglo-Saxons through her earthly symbol, the rabbit. The Germans brought the symbol of the Easter rabbit to America. It was widely ignored by other Christians until shortly after the Civil War. In fact, Easter itself was not widely celebrated in America until after that time.
    “As with the Easter Bunny and the holiday itself, the Easter Egg predates the Christian holiday of Easter. The exchange of eggs in the springtime is a custom that was centuries old when Easter was first celebrated by Christians. From the earliest times, the egg was a symbol of rebirth in most cultures. Eggs were often wrapped in gold leaf or, if you were a peasant, colored brightly by boiling them with the leaves or petals of certain flowers. Today, children hunt colored eggs and place them in Easter baskets along with the modern version of real Easter eggs — those made of plastic or chocolate candy.”
    (Copyright © 2003 by Jerry Wilson. Used with Permission)
    “Easter Rabbit and Eggs: The symbols of the Norse g-ddess Ostara were the hare and the egg. Both represented fertility. From these, we have inherited the customs and symbols of the Easter egg and Easter rabbit. Dyed eggs also formed part of the rituals of the Babylonian mystery religions. Eggs ‘were sacred to many ancient civilizations and formed an integral part of religious ceremonies in Egypt and the Orient. Dyed eggs were hung in Egyptian temples, and the egg was regarded as the emblem of regenerative life proceeding from the mouth of the great Egyptian g-d.’
    “Easter Lilies: ‘The so-called “Easter lily” has long been revered by pagans of various lands as a holy symbol associated with the reproductive organs. It was considered a phallic symbol!’
    “Easter Sunrise Service: This custom can be traced back to the ancient Pagan custom of welcoming the sun g-d at the vernal equinox - when daytime is about to exceed the length of the nighttime. It was a time to ‘celebrate the return of life and reproduction to animal and plant life as well.’ Worship of the Sun g-d at sunrise may be the religious ritual condemned by [Yahweh] as recorded in Ezekiel 8:16-18:
    ...behold, at the door of the temple of Yahweh, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of Yahweh, and their faces toward the east; and they were worshipping the sun toward the east. Then he said unto me, Hast thou seen (this), O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? for they have filled the land with violence, and have turned again to provoke me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch to their nose. Therefore will I also deal in wrath; mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity; and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them. (ASV)
    “Easter Candles: These are sometimes lit in churches on the eve of Easter Sunday. Some commentators believe that these can be directly linked to the Pagan customs of lighting bonfires at this time of year to welcome the rebirth/ resurrection of the sun God.”
    (Copyright 1999 to 2003 incl., by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance)
    “Easter’s connection with spring and nature. Diana (the Ephesian gddess of sex, fertility, virginity and motherhood) was said to be the source of nature. Eostre (an Anglo-Saxon/ Teutonic goddess) was the g- ddess of the sunrise and spring. Ostara (a Norse/Saxon goddess) was the maiden g-ddess of spring.
    “Origins of Hares (Bunnies) and Eggs. According to Teutonic myth, the hare was once a bird whom Eostre changed into a four-footed creature. Thus, it can also lay eggs. The hare is also the sacred companion and sacrificial victim of Eostre. Astarte (a Phoenician/Syrian goddess), on the other hand, was believed to have been hatched from a huge egg which fell into the Euphrates.
    “Origins of Good Friday. Did you ever wonder why Good Friday is recognized as the day [Yahshua] died and Sunday as the day he arose but yet had trouble explaining how he could thus be buried for three days and three nights? (Matthew 12:40; Matthew 27:63; Mark 8:31; Mark 9:31; Mark 10:34) The answer is simple: He didn’t actually die on ‘Good Friday.’ The Chaldeans offered cakes to Ishtar on the equivalent of the day we know as Good Friday. When the established church wanted to appease the paganistic people in order to ‘convert’ them to Christianity, they moved the dates accordingly.
    “Origins of Hot Cross Buns and Fires. Cakes bearing a cross-like symbol representing the pair of cowhorns on the moon g-ddess, Isis, were offered by ancient Egyptians. The cakes which Greeks offered to Astarte and other divinities were called bous or boun, from which the word ‘bun’ is derived. The Babylonians/Chaldeans offered similar cakes to the ‘Queen of Heaven.’ Fires were lit on top of mountains and had to be kindled from new fire, drawn from wood by friction. The fire was then used to bake cakes in sacrifice to Semiramis, the ‘Queen of Heaven.’ This practice, along with burning incense, was used in conjunction with baking the cakes and is mentioned specifically in the Bible (1 Kings 11:8; 2 Kings 17:7-16; 2 Kings 18:4; 2 Kings 23:4-15; Isaiah 17:8; Isaiah 27:9; Ezekiel 8:7-12; Jeremiah 7:16-19; Jeremiah 44:19, 25). In addition to the cross imprinted on these cakes representing the horns of the g-ddess, it also sometimes represented the four seasons or four phases of the moon. Cakes were also offered to or eaten in honor of Apollo, Diana, Hecate, and the moon (also Diana’s symbol).
    “Origins of Lent. The word ‘lent’ is of Anglo-Saxon origin meaning ‘spring.’ Lent developed from the pagan celebration of weeping, fasting, and mourning for 40 days over the death of Tammuz (one day for each year of his life). Tammuz (the son/husband of the Babylonian idol Ishtar) was killed by a wild boar and then allegedly resurrected. This mourning of Tammuz is specifically prophesied by Ezekiel in the Bible and is characterized by [Yahweh] Himself as being detestable (Ezekiel 8:13-15).
    “Origins of the use of the lily. Asherah (a Sidonian g-ddess) was frequently represented as a nude woman bestride a lion with a lily (symbolizing grace and sex appeal) in one hand and a serpent (symbolizing fecundity) in the other.
    “Origins of wearing new clothing for Easter. The tradition of wearing new clothing for Easter comes from the superstition that a new garment worn at Easter means good luck throughout the year.”
    (Copyright © 1998-2001 Timothy A. & Kimberly B. Southall)
-Elder Roger G. Meyer

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