I was having lunch with my friend Jackie at the Round House Cafe when she went on a rant about the Easter Bunny and colored eggs and what all that could possibly have to do with the resurrection of Christ.
We both agreed that Easter has its roots in a pagan holiday. Thinking it most likely had something to do with fertility and spring, we still didn’t know the origins.
Then Jan emailed me some information about Ishtar. The Goddess of love, war, fertility and prostitutes. It seems Ishtar can spread some light on the subject.
Basically on the same day many people now celebrate Easter, Ishtar, a Sumerian Goddess emerging from the underworld, was reborn and brought new life with her. Something like Spring.
Then there’s the pagan festival of Eostre, which is all about renewal and a Saxon Goddess who goes by the same name. He story revolves around her egg laying rabbit and fertility.
There are lots of renewal and rebirth stories throughout the world and throughout time. Like fairy tales, they are ever changing to fulfill our needs and help us make sense of our world. Right now Easter seems to dominate, but I’m liking Ishtar’s story myself.
And simple old spring, of course, the oldest story of rebirth.
You can watch short video about Ishtar here and read about her and Eostre too.
What ever you choose to celebrate, may your day be filled with new life.
5 thoughts on “Ishtar The Goddess of New Life”
Hi Maria, it’s quite interesting to see what the “pagan” origins of Easter are. I had no idea! As for the bird feet on Ishtar – do other ancient goddesses have bird feet? Did you get the idea of bird feet for the goddesses in your artwork from seeing them on ancient goddesses, or did that idea come from inside of you? Or perhaps a mix of both?
Janet, the bird feet are a part of the ancient goddesses. Water was a symbol of life so water birds were also seen as life giving. According to my Language of the goddess book, that’s where the bird feet come from. I started drawing the bird feet before I knew that. The first I heard of the bird feet was on Baba Yaga’s house, that would dance around. I honestly started drawing the bird feet on my goddesses because they’re easier for me to draw than human bare feet, then when I did it, I liked the way it looked.
Thank you Maria for the explanation of Easter in historical cultures. Humanity sure made life interesting back in those days, didn’t it, with all their gods and goddesses. And to linking into Bejosh Farm which I’ve now posted to my toolbar. I can only say that the reality of being a farmer is far from my childhood romantic dreams of clean cows, clean chickens pecking happily in my garden and clean sheep. I would put myself to sleep at night dreaming that I was living on a farm, as a child. I laughed later in life to remember that all my farm animals were clean, when I began to keep chickens here in the country myself. When I discovered that hens only had one hole by which to deliver eggs and manure, I went off eating my hen’s eggs for six months. My childhood dreams shattered when I grew up and realized farming isn’t a clean and tidy business nor is it for the feint-hearted.
Sandy Proudfoot, Can.
That’s a great way to realization Sandy, about the chickens laying their eggs from the same place they poop. I know a woman who washes eggs for a living. I think were all a bit spoiled by those romantic paintings of farms and the TV shows where everyone, people and animals are always so clean!
I love the bird feet on Ishtar and on your goddesses. And I love your other commenters talking about “where eggs come from”; It definitely put a smile on my face today.