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Also known as OSTARA, EASTRE

Spring Goddess of Fertility and bouncy bunny girl

She has her own festival on 21 March, the Spring Equinox, in which bouncing springy behavior is encouraged.

A Germanic goddess, OSTARA was very popular with the Anglo-Saxon pagan brigade who worshipped her under the name — and kicked off the whole Easter business without a JESUS in sight. If you ever wondered what eggs and bunnies have to do with crucifixion and resurrection, the answer is: absolutely nothing.

OSTARA's sacred animal is a cute wittle wabbit — an obvious symbol of fertility — and the egg is her symbol of fertile purity. So Easter Egg hunts are actually packed with symbolic meanings of rebirth and renewal. And Elmer Fudd is obviously just a high priest of the Great Easter Bunny.

In case you think we're being flippant, recent research suggests that OSTARA herself was actually invented during a mischievous moment by the Venerable Bede. This well-known monk mentioned her in connection with the pagan festival Eosturmonath in a book written in 750 A.D. — but extensive research has failed to find a trace of her prior to that. Could he possibly have been fibbing?

Rabbits and hares are ubiquitous in mythology. Every culture seems to have a rabbit god — and they're nearly always trickster spirits. This, we feel, explains a lot. We also have a terrific theory explaining why stage magicians love doing tricks with eggs and rabbits. Was OSTARA pulled out of a hat?

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Article last updated on 09 May 2013
Authors: Peter J Allen and Chas Saunders
References: Coming soon.

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Godchecker's article on Eostre is based on material from ancient texts, original references and our own research. We strive for accuracy and update regularly with new information. If you spot a mistake please contact us and we'll try to fix it.

Suggested further reading...
Location : Scandinavia
Gender : Female
Type : Deity
Celebration or Feast Day : Unknown at present
Pronunciation : Coming soon
Alternative names : OSTARA, EASTRE
Popularity index : 5591

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