Gather round, heathens, and hear the story of the mother goddess Eastre ("spring") of Northern Europe and the Old World's Asherah.
Familiar to the Saxons and the Teutons as Ostern, Ester, Ostara, and Austron, the goddess of spring (eastre). She was known by many names to the ancients all around the Mediterranean Sea.
Most famously she is Kali in India, Aphrodite, the goddess of love, fertility, renewal, Astarte in Greece, Hawthor in Egypt, Ishtar in Assyria, Ostara in Norway, Demeter in Mycenae, Lady of Cythera, and Lady of Cyprus. The the ancient Palestinians and Bedouin peoples wandering Israel.
The world before Buddhism and Christianity and Islam was diverse and full of devas and devis, sky "gods" and "goddesses," demigods (earthling hybrids) and extraterrestrials from the Indus River Civilization, to the Near East, to Scandinavia, and through the many aboriginal populations around the world. But early empires -- like those of the Greeks, Romans, Arabs, and British -- changed their mind and began to spread a different story with shrunken pantheons.
What to call the people before imperial rule spread hegemony? Heathens, Wiccans, nature worshippers, lost souls? Christianity chose "Pagans" as if that were a religion. Just as the British invented the category "H'indu" to mean all the diversity of the Indus River Valley.
Those peoples had no conception of "religion." What they were doing was life and a familiarity with many visitors from space, unseen beings on Earth, and a connection to themselves on a deeper level. Spirituality was a Pagan practice.
And the greatest empire history has yet known, assuming it is not the surviving extension of the UK, is the United States via our military and multinational corporations. What message do we spread? A best seller (Bible), atheistic science, and worship of the almighty dollar around Christian holidays, like Easter and the sugar bunnies, egg hunts, chocolate galore, and Sunday morning services with pledges to give more.
What once marked the spring equinox, or start of spring, now marks the Holy Roman Empire's corporate services. Eastern Orthodox Churches have become staid in ancient lands, but the Universal ("catholic") Church realized that the best way to sell the story of a Jewish rebel rabbi, who liked celebrating his Passover seder, was to wrap it in the "Pagan" mythology the world already loved and celebrated.
In fact, it was not interested so much in Jewish-Zoroastrian-Buddhist-Hindu Saint Issa's (Jesus') message as it was in the power, wealth, and influence to be derived from codifying and managing the majority of the world's spiritual practices. Empty them of meaning, reinsert a new message of the white man's god, and force feed it back to the world.
So Jesus Christ, a Middle Easterner, became a tall, handsome, blond who, like Mithra and Attis, was born of a virgin and resurrected after three days. Why? Astrotheology has all the answers as to exactly why, many of them summarized in "Zeitgeist the Movie."
The Pagans worshiped according to the stars (astro) and made them into gods (theo) and studied (logy) them, just as visitors from space had instructed. And there is no greater collection of Pagan spiritual artifacts and accoutrements than on the Vatican grounds, its vaults, and museum.
- "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 [the massive Pagan temple complex taken over by the Catholic Church of the Holy Roman Empire, which was once a site central in the worship of Mithra]... Associated with the Cybele cult was that of her lover, Attis (the older Tammuz, Osiris, Dionysus, or Orpheus under a new name). He was a god 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" (Gerald L. Berry, Religions of the World, 1956).
So we get a mystic Judaism, and the practices of the India-influenced Essenes, with the central sacrament to see GOD being magic mushrooms. This is blasphemy, heresy, only it comes from one of Christianity's greatest modern scholars, so it could not be stamped out forty years ago, though the establishment tried, when the scholarship substantiating it was released. Read it and weep:
- John Marco Allegro. The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross: A Study of the Nature and Origins of Christianity Within the Fertility Cults of the Ancient Near East (Hodder & Stoughton Ltd., 1970).
Ancient stories were misappropriated by the Catholic Church to steal the practices and influence of Pagans and profit mightily from it. Every important element of Jesus' life was adapted to steal what the Pagans thought. And if they complained too vociferously about it, they were killed, their artifacts ransacked, and their place in history was all but forgotten. The Church has been ruthless in the name of peace-loving Jesus. And why wouldn't it be?
The Trinity, so important to Christians today, is not a Christian concept. To the extent that it is mentioned at all in the Bible, it is not even the three worshiped today as a holy mystery. Apparently the Word figured more prominently in the past.
The Old World carries on, either believing the new story or trying to recollect fragments of the old legends and gods. Spring (eastre) is here. That may be all that matters. We need spirituality, but it is nice to know where it actually came from. Even before the Pagans there were the astrotheologists.