With Easter quickly approaching, we decided to share the sex positive history of this holiday. From why the Easter bunny and Easter eggs are sexual symbols to how the Christian Church accepted ancient sex magic rituals to represent the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Sounds like Easter has a lot of sexual innuendoes.
The Pagan History of Easter
“Easter” is not once mentioned in the original scriptures, or even associated with the death and resurrection of Jesus. Under the rule of Emperor Constantine, the early Christian church accepted and then took parts of ancient pagan practices to add to the story of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection. (And if we’re being honest, other Christian stories as well.) Simply, Jesus’s rebirth symbolically took the place of nature’s rebirth.
Ishtar (pronounced Easter) was known as the Assyrian and Babylonian goddess of sex and fertility. She is the sex-positive Goddess in which sex magic and “sacred prostitution” was performed by high priestesses in her temples, (but more on that in another blog.) Ishtar goes by many names across various ancient cultures and polytheistic religions, such as: Innana in Mesopotamia, Aphrodite in Rome, Venus in Greece and of course, Isis of Egypt. Though Easter is not derived from Ishtar’s name, the celebrations of the Goddess’s death and resurrection were molded to fit Chrisitanity, contributing to the rich sexual history of Easter.
The Easter Rabbit
The German Goddess of dawn, Spring and fertility, Eostre, is also associated with the modern traditions of Easter. She was celebrated during the Spring Equinox to welcome in the fertile energy of rebirth and life! Legend has it, Eostre changed her pet bird into a hare that lays eggs for the children at her festival. Her animal symbol is even a rabbit due their quick ability to reproduce! The celebration of Eostre also included the sacrifice of a sacred hare, consumption of cannabis beers followed by a public orgy. Eventually, the cannabis orgy was banned by the Church, and the rabbit became associated with the Virgin Mary due to early Europeans believing rabbits were able to reproduce while maintaining virginity (like the Virgin Mary with Jesus).
The Easter Egg
The egg reminds of the first act of creation, serving as a symbol of the mysterious nature of life. In some cultures, the Creator emerges from an egg, similar to Christ’s resurrection from the tomb. Eggs reoccur in many Spring fertility festivals throughout history. These festivals were referred to as ‘“Dionysian,” (named after the Greek God of orgiastic sexuality, intoxication, love and poetry,) due to the wild public displays of sensual, spontaneous, and emotional aspects of human nature. Dionysus is also a deity of resurrection, in which his presence is acknowledged by the seasonal death and rebirth of nature.
What's in Your Easter Basket?
The Easter bunny and Easter egg are commercialized symbols today, but serve as ancient reminders to celebrate the natural change, rebirth and renewal in life, as well as the importance of sex. Sex has more to do with Easter than chocolate, presents and baskets of jelly beans. Like the energy of Spring is one of regeneration, your sexual energy is also regenerative, creative, life-force energy. Your sexual energy has the power to create a new life, has the power to manifest change and your desires. Easter is really just a culmination of the ways in which humankind expressed their ancient longings for Spring – a time of shamelessly expressing your innate desire.