The modern English term Easter, cognate with modern Dutch ooster and German Ostern, developed from an Old English word that usually appears in the form Ēastrun, -on, or -an; but also as Ēastru, -o; and Ēastre or Ēostre. The most widely accepted theory of the origin of the term is that it is derived from the name of an Old English goddess mentioned by the 7th to 8th-century English monk Bede, who wrote that Ēosturmōnaþ (Old English ‘Month of Ēostre’, translated in Bede’s time as “Paschal month”) was an English month, corresponding to April, which he says “was once called after a goddess of theirs named Ēostre, in whose honour feasts were celebrated in that month”. [WIKIPEDIA]
Ostara, Goddess of Spring and the Dawn
Easter is named for a Saxon goddess who was known by the names of Oestre or Eastre, and in Germany by the name of Ostara. She is a goddess of the dawn and the spring, and her name derives from words for dawn, the shining light arising from the east. Our words for the “female hormone” estrogen derives from her name.
Ostara was, of course, a fertility goddess. Bringing in the end of winter, with the days brighter and growing longer after the vernal equinox, Ostara had a passion for new life. Her presence was felt in the flowering of plants and the birth of babies, both animal and human. The rabbit (well known for its propensity for rapid reproduction) was her sacred animal.
Easter eggs and the Easter Bunny both featured in the spring festivals of Ostara, which were initially held during the feasts of the goddess Ishtar | Inanna. Eggs are an obvious symbol of fertility, and the newborn chicks an adorable representation of new growth. Brightly colored eggs, chicks, and bunnies were all used at festival time to express appreciation for Ostara’s gift of abundance. [GODDESSGIFT.COM]
THERE was a time in Europe long ago
When no man died for freedom anywhere,
But England’s lion leaping from its lair
Laid hands on the oppressor! it was so
While England could a great Republic show.
Witness the men of Piedmont, chiefest care
Of Cromwell, when with impotent despair
The Pontiff in his painted portico
Trembled before our stern ambassadors.
How comes it then that from such high estate
We have thus fallen, save that Luxury
With barren merchandise piles up the gate
Where nobler thoughts and deeds should enter by:
Else might we still be Milton’s heritors.
*I know, I know… it’s a poem less about Ireland and more about the United Kingdom. Okay, granted — it’s all about England and its fall from dynastic grace but it sure seems applicable to today’s current United Empire, no?
Not because I was balled up in the corner of my dark and damp basement with my eyes closed and ears plugged chanting la la la la la la la to drown out any possibility of hearing it until it was over.
No, I missed it because I mercifully went to see the almost Oscar-winning La La Land instead.
It wasn’t released to my local theater the first time around.
Been wanting to see it.
The almost wasn’t Oscar-winning Moonlighting wasn’t released here its first go-around either.
Still hasn’t been.
I do live in Southern Pennsyltucky, remember…
But if it, Moonlighting, ever does make it to my local theater on the wave of its Oscar win, chances are I still won’t go to see it.
For me, there are movies that are made to be seen in the theater publicly — big bold banging colorful gregarious gun-filled types, a la La La Land — and there are movies that are best watched in the privacy of ones home — ones without all the boom boom blasting effects and/or which might make me cry and/or reflect on myself as a person, a la Moonlighting.
La La Land is good, fun, modern-day family entertainment (there was one gratuitous F-bomb that I recall, no guns, no skin). Beautiful colors.
Ever since that cursed night when #youknowwho was elected, every time I see an image of the beautiful Lady Liberty with her torch held high shining her warm and welcoming light of liberty and freedom all throughout the land, I am now, sadly, always reminded of the song The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia.
I never knew what it was about, but when I was a kid that song used to give me the creeps. I had no idea of the concept of Cognitive Dissonence back then, but I sure felt it because whenever I heard the haunting song I could never get my head around the fact that the hilariously goofy Vickie Lawrence of the hilariously goofy Carol Burnett Show (ah, life seemed so much simpler then…) could sing something so spooky.
But she did. And now her spooky song is my earworm anthem to how I feel about the current state of things within this warped and nightmarish alternate reality I seem to be trapped in.
On a similar satisfactorily ironic note for me and certainly a shockingly cognitive dissonance note for the supporters of #youknowho and his Muslim ban, I’m happy to report that the beautiful Lady Liberty is a beautiful Muslim.