Article from OutsidetheCamp.org
Did you know that the origin of Easter is found in the Bible? (No, it’s not the King James Version’s mistranslation of pascha in Acts 12:4.) The Old Testament mentions a pagan goddess from which the festival of Easter is derived. This goddess was the goddess of fertility and sexual lust, known as Ashtaroth or Ashtoreth. Each spring, the pagans would set up phallic poles called Asherahs under trees on high hills and celebrate their fertility festival with unbridled sexual perversion. This is how the May Pole originated. When the Israelites incorporated this into their worship, God did not commend them for making it easier for the pagans to convert to Judaism; instead, He was provoked to anger: ADONAI will strike Isra’el until it shakes like a reed in the water; he will uproot Isra’el from this good land, which he gave to their ancestors, and scatter them beyond the [Euphrates] River; because they made sacred poles for themselves, thus making ADONAI angry… 22 Y’hudah did what was evil from ADONAI’s perspective; they made him angry because of their sins, which were worse than any their ancestors had committed. 23 For they erected high places, standing-stones and sacred poles on every high hill and under every green tree. (1 Kings 14:15,22-23). In Exodus 34:13 and Deuteronomy 12:3, the Israelites were commanded to destroy the Asherah poles, and in 2 Kings 23:13, King Josiah carried out demolition of the poles.
The Babylonians carried on the tradition with Ishtar (Astarte to the Phoenicians), their goddess of love and reproduction. Incorporated into this was the egg — both as a sign of fertility and a reminder of the myth that Ishtar was hatched out of a huge egg that fell into the Euphrates River. In Egypt, Isis was the goddess of motherhood and fertility, and rabbits were symbols of birth and life. It is plain as to the origin of eggs and rabbits as symbols of Easter.
The Saxon equivalent of Ashteroth/Ishtar/Astarte was the goddess Eostre, from which we get the word “oestrus,” which refers to an animal in heat. According to the myth, Eostre opened the gates of Valhalla to Baldur, the sun god, who had been killed — thus the sun god was resurrected. This has origins in the Persian vernal equinox celebration of the rebirth/resurrection of Mithra, the sun-god.
The “transformation” from Ishtar/Eostre to Easter is easy to see, even from the name of the celebration. When the Roman Catholics, eager to Catholicize the pagans and keep their own converts from celebrating the openly pagan festivals, wanted to choose a day to celebrate the resurrection of the Roman Catholic god-man (whom they call Jesus, which is a different Jesus than the true Jesus), they decided to use an already-existing festival and to make some minor changes. And, unlike Christ-mass, they didn’t even significantly change the name of the celebration! So when you think about celebrating “Easter” this year, think Eostre. And think of the abominable worshipers of Ashteroth and Ishtar.
Judges 2:11 Then the people of Isra’el did what was evil from ADONAI’s perspective and served the ba’alim. 12 They abandoned ADONAI, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, selected from the gods of the peoples around them, and worshipped them; this made ADONAI angry. 13 They abandoned ADONAI and served Ba’al and the ‘ashtarot.
Judges 10:6 Again the people of Isra’el did what was evil from ADONAI’s perspective – they served the ba’alim, the ‘ashtarot, the gods of Aram, the gods of Tzidon, the gods of Mo’av, the gods of the people of ‘Amon and the gods of the P’lishtim. They abandoned ADONAI and did not serve him
1Kings 11:4 For when Shlomo became old, his wives turned his heart away toward other gods; so that he was not wholehearted with ADONAI his God, as David his father had been. 5 For Shlomo followed ‘Ashtoret the goddess of the Tzidoni and Milkom the abomination of the ‘Amoni. 6 Thus Shlomo did what was evil in ADONAI’s view and did not fully follow ADONAI, as David his father had done.
1Kings 11:33 I will do this because they have abandoned me and worshipped ‘Ashtoret the goddess of the Tzidoni, K’mosh the god of Mo’av and Milkom the god of the people of ‘Amon. They haven’t lived according to my ways, so that they could do what was right in my view and obey my regulations and rulings, as did David his father.
2Kings 23:13 The king desecrated the high places facing Yerushalayim south of the Mount of Destruction, which Shlomo the king of Isra’el had built for ‘Ashtoret the abomination of the Tzidonim, K’mosh the abomination of Mo’av and Milkom the abomination of the people of ‘Amon.
1Samuel 7:4 So the people of Isra’el banished the ba’alim and the ‘ashtarot and served only ADONAI.
1Samuel 12:10 But they cried to ADONAI and said, ‘We sinned by abandoning ADONAI and serving the ba’alim and ‘ashtarot. But now, if you rescue us from the power of our enemies, we will serve you.’
1Samuel 31:10 Then they put his armor in the temple for the ‘ashtarot and fastened his body to the wall of Beit-Sh’an.