Friday, April 14, 2006

Happy Oestre Redux

This is a reprint of tidbits from last year's easter post. I enjoyed that one so much, if I do say so myself, that I decided to bring some of it back! Happy Oestre, Pagans!

Easter Origins
Many religious historians believe that the death and resurrection legends were first associated with Attis, many centuries before the birth of Jesus. They were simply grafted onto stories of Jesus' life in order to make Christian theology more acceptable to Pagans. Others suggest that many of the events in Jesus' life that were recorded in the gospels were lifted from the life of Krishna, the second person of the Hindu Trinity.
More about Easter
In Norway, in addition to skiing in the mountains and painting eggs for decorating, it is tradition to solve murders at Easter. All the major television channels show crime and detective stories (such as Poirot), magazines print stories where the readers can try to figure out who did it, and many new books are published. Even the milk cartons change to have murder stories on their sides. Another tradition is Yahtzee games.

In the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia, a tradition of whipping is carried out on Easter Monday. In the morning, males whip females with a special handmade whip... [consisting] of eight, twelve or even twenty-four withies (willow rods) and is usually from half a meter to two meters long and decorated with coloured ribbons at the end. It must be mentioned that while whipping can be painful, the purpose is not to cause suffering. Rather, the purpose is for males to exhibit their attraction to females; unvisited females can even feel offended. The whipped female gives a coloured egg to the male as a sign of her thanks and forgiveness. A legend says that females should be whipped in order to keep their health and fertility during whole next year. In some regions the females can get revenge in the afternoon when they can pour a bucket of cold water on any male.
Easter's Pagan Origins
All things are made new in Spring ..... even old mythos! The absorption into Christianity of the old pagan myths and legends is only natural; we see it again and again, even in the pagan mythos... a new religion takes from the old such things as it can use to it's own profit. We can certainly see this in the Wiccan adoption of the (originally Christian and symbolizing the Five Wounds of Christ) pentagram!
Yeah, it's time to Spring Solstice, Fertility, Jesus, Rabbits, or whatever... even the celebration of the marketing of hideous crap.

A funny coincidence is that last year's easter post occurred during the Terry Schiavo situation, and included a bit about Tom Delay:

Republican point man Tom Delay, under investigation and heading for indictment, takes the opportunistic position that God has stricken this woman and her family with misfortune so that the world could see how difficult life is for him:
Speaking last Friday to a group of conservative Christians, DeLay proclaimed, "One thing that God has brought to us is Terri Schiavo, to help elevate the visibility of what is going on in America. ... This is exactly the issue that is going on in America, of attacks against the conservative movement, against me and against many others."
Poor Tom Delay. Poor "conservative" movement, whatever that is. They control all three branches of government in the world's last remaining superpower, along with puppet governments elsewhere, most of the planet's wealth and resources, but gosh darn it, the criticism really hurts their feelings! Oh, sob!

At the time, I figured Delay was paranoid. Turns out, he was just using the wrong turn of phrase. He wasn't being attacked... he was getting caught!

Thank God that, well, God, is on their side, and will inflict His wrath on anyone who says something bad about His chosen party. But wait - what about what these guys said:
"The United States is in no sense founded upon the Christian doctrine." - George Washington

"As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion ..." - Treaty of Tripoli, 1797

"Neither a state nor the Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups and vice versa." - The U.S. Supreme Court, 1947

"The national government ... will offer strong protection to Christianity as the very basis of our collective morality.” - Adolf Hitler
So, happy easter, everyone... another ancient ritual celebrating the natural order of things. Seasons change. New life appears, and old things pass away. Amazing, isn't it?


Watch 'n Wait said...

Shea..RE the Marine Captain's disillusionment...You are so right. Corporate is all to BushCo.
You did see the West Point graduates piece, didn't you? They say duty and honor forbids them from supporting this administration! Good for them!

SheaNC said...

Ooo, I didn't see that piece. Is it on your blog? I'll wander over there to see!

Simon said...

Oh, interesting stuff, thanks for the post. It is interesting on two levels for me. First, I enjoy studying the history of religious practices and the irony of how many of them fight when they have the same origins.

Regarding folks such as Delay (ugh, I shudder everytime I think of that man) using religion, I am constantly reminded of Nietzsche's Antichrist, and the supermen who will use a people's religion against them, under the guise of being religious themselves.

Here is a nice biblical quote for such men: "And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full." - Matthew 6:5