This point really hit home with me as I’ve struggled to find truth this week about the Ostara and Easter season. There seems to be so much mis- and disinformation out there concerning the Neo-Pagan holiday of Ostara with no scholarly or historical “evidence” or lore to back them up. Also, I see a lot of crazy fundamentalist Xtain claims centered around the worship of Ishtar and the present day Easter traditions of Lent, eating ham at Easter, hot-crossed buns, association with hares and even coloring eggs with the blood of sacrificed babies…crazy, right? Here’s what I take from Jean Raffa’s entry on the Easter season (and applies to those of us who observe and celebrate Ostara): “To the ego it sometimes feels crucial that we get the facts right, possess the ‘correct’ interpretation — especially the religious one — and reject the ‘wrong’ one. But to the soul, these details are beside the point. To your soul and mine, this story is a celebration of the sacred miracle of life, and all three interpretations are equally true.” Beautifully put!
One of the oldest recorded myths comes from Sumeria and tells the story of Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth. After a period of growing, assuming her authority, working to bless the world with the gifts of civilization, courting, marrying, birthing and mothering, Inanna descends to the underworld to visit her sister Ereshkigal, its Queen. On the way down she is stripped one by one of all her earthly possessions: symbols of her beauty, success, femininity and the power she has worked so hard to attain. At the bottom she is met by Ereshkigal who has her hung naked on a meat hook. And there she hangs. But on the third day, with the help of her loyal priestess, Ninshubur, and Enki, the God of Culture, she’s rescued and returns to life in the world above.
This is an allegory of a universal truth. Like all great myths, which are…
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