Posts tagged ‘religion’

May 2, 2016

Origins of the term ‘Easter’ are ANGLO-SAXON!!!

by eirenehogan

AAAGGGHHH!!!!  There are all these memes circulating the internet claiming the Ancient Near Eastern Goddess Ishtar is the origin of the name of Easter.

The theory seems to be based on the fact that the name sounds similar.  WHAT???  You can’t base etymology on that.  That is like saying, ‘the sun comes up every day, so, um, how does it get there?, well, it looks like someone must put it there, so, um, a god must put it there.’

Easter is NOT named after the Babylonian goddess Ishtar. Ishtar, as the great Goddess of Babylon, is an Akkadian name, and as such is SEMITIC.  The term ‘Easter’ is of Germanic origin.  It is an old Anglo-Saxon name.  And – despite some politicians foolishly believing English is derived from Latin (ie, Christopher Pain — oops I mean, Payne), Anglo-Saxon is a proud member of the Germanic language family.

Bede

The name is Easter is the English term for the Christian festival.  The Romans called it Pascha.  The Anglo-Saxons had a goddess named Eostre.  She was the goddess of spring and the month of the spring, most probably at the time of the spring equinox, was named after her, as was explained by Bede in his book ‘On the Reckoning of Time’.

That name, Eostre, has come down through Middle English and into Modern English, as ‘Easter’.

I would doubt very much that any Anglo-Saxons knew anything of Ishtar.

Jeez, do a bit of research!  In face, all you need to do is check Wikipedia. See the entry Names of Easter.


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July 11, 2015

There is no need to ‘prove’ god does NOT exist

by eirenehogan

It has been said by theists that “One cannot prove that god does not exist any more than one can prove he does”.  But atheists don’t need to prove god does not exist.  There is no evidence of any such thing.  Most likely in our ancient past, before any scientific research was ever done, people made up some stories to explain why things happen in the world and why people die and what happens when they do.  They would also have tried to make up some stories to explain why we feel a sense of moral right and wrong and why people shouldn’t kill and shouldn’t hurt others.  Those stories have become what we call ‘religion’.  They have become part of our culture and have been handed down to us over the centuries.

Why should we have to try and prove if those stories are about something or someone who is ‘real’ or not?  They are not based on any evidence at all.  Do we need to go out and try and prove if Cinderella exists or not?  Or Jack and the giant from Jack and the Beanstalk?  We all consider such fairy tales, that have also been handed down over the generations, to be good yarns that also teach our children something about right and wrong.  No one seriously considers we need to prove that the characters in them do NOT exist.  So why should atheists be expected to have to prove if god does or does not exist?  We consider the stories of god just that, stories, no more.  If someone out there seriously believes Cinderella does exist, it is up to them to prove it.  And they cannot prove it by simply quoting the Cinderella story.

June 23, 2015

Christians do not own marriage

by eirenehogan

Whatever attitude some Christians have to marriage equality is irrelevant.  The issue is not what the Bible thinks of it, it is about what our society, our Nation, thinks of it.  It is a secular issue and Australia is a secular country; that is within our constitution.  Some Christians try to claim Christianity owns marriage, that somehow their god ‘invented’ marriage, which is just ridiculous.  Marriage is – and has been – in all societies, long before Christianity came along, and before the Jews too, and within all non-Christian countries around the world.  The Egyptians married, and their civilisation began 2,500 years before Christ.  The Asians marry, the American Natives marry, the Australian Aborigines marry, the Pacific Islanders marry, the African natives marry.  Christianity does not own marriage.  These people are entitled to their views, and they do not have to choose to marry same-sex if they don’t want to, but they have no right to impose their views on non-Christians and onto Christians who don’t agree with them.

Osiris and Isis

Osiris and Isis

April 18, 2014

EASTER AND THE ANCIENT MYSTERY RELIGIONS

by eirenehogan

Great Eleusis ReliefMost ancient societies had a spring festival, to celebrate the ending of the cold winter and the beginning of the warmth again. With this warmth came the budding of new life, of plants, flowers, and often of the young of animals. In societies where food was dependent on an almost subsistence existence, ie, where your food depended on your own farm products, then spring was a very important time. Spring meant the growth of new food, both plant and animal. Without spring, all the food stores of winter would be very soon used up, and no more food would come. Without spring would be death.

In a pre scientific age, the most obvious explanation for the seasons were the whims of the gods. Something magic and other-world like would have to explain the seasons, what else would? The sun’s heat ranges from the heat of summer, then fades into the cold of winter. There would always be the fear that maybe one day the sun might not get hot again after winter, that it might continue to fade away and no warmth would return (“Winter is coming”).

Spring was seen as the rebirth of life, the rebirth of plants, and animals, and of the sun, and the very essence of life itself. In primitive societies, the rebirth was seen to be of the gods, or of a particular god or goddess who brought the rebirth of plants and animals with him/her. In ancient Egypt this god was Osiris and his associated Goddess, Isis. In ancient Greece the god Adonis was connected with it, as also was the Goddess Kore/Persephone, and the god Dionysus. In the ancient Near East there was the god Tammuz, who is mentioned in the Bible. These gods, by their discovery of rebirth, offered the secret of eternal life after death to humans. This could be gained by initiation ceremonies, which were often held in Spring, and involved a symbolic retelling of their myth of death and rebirth. The most famous one involved Persephone in the Eleusinian Mysteries of Athens.

When Christianity became the dominant religion in the Roman Empire the festival of the rebirth of Jesus Christ (Easter) took on many of the aspects of these mystery religions.

January 16, 2014

Eastern Orthodox New Year

by eirenehogan

14th January, 2014, is new year according to the Eastern Orthodox church, or some of them, which has kept the Julian calendar – or a version of it –  instead of taking on the Gregorian calendar, which was introduced in 1582.

 

The Julian calendar had been introduced by Julius Caesar and added the leap year to make up 0.25 of a day each year was out.  But the year was actually out by 0.2425 of a day, ie, slightly LESS than a quarter of a day.  By the 1500s this meant the calendar was out by 10 days, and more importantly, meant Easter, which was meant to be celebrated at the time of the Spring equinox, was out, and so the reforms were brought in.

 

But while Catholic countries took it up quickly (as Gregory was the Pope) Protestant and Orthodox countries were suspicious of it.  It wasn’t taken up in England until 1752.

 

The Orthodox churches didn’t take it up within their church, although the countries did slowly adopt it as their civil calendar.  Russia took it up finally in 1918 (ie, after the revolution) and Greece did not take it up until 1923.  That’d be right, the Greeks never did like the Romans.

 

While most countries in the world have taken it up, some still have not, including – according to Wikipedia – Saudi ArabiaEthiopiaNepalIran and Afghanistan

January 4, 2014

THE EGYPTIAN CALENDAR

by eirenehogan

I have noticed I have a couple of followers on this blog.  Wow, thanks for that.  I think therefore I should post some more.

I’ve been reading a lot on calendars over the Yule period, and it is very complicated.  I will attempt to post more on it as time goes on.  But anyway, for now is some more info on the Egyptian calendar.

 

Bede wrote a fascinating book on how the year and the months were calculated according the movement of the sun, the moon and the planets.  It is a collection of the knowledge of the ancients that he could get a hold of.  It is called The Reckoning of Time (or the Latin thereof).  In it he examines ancient calendars, the Roman calendar and the Anglo-Saxon calendar.  You can access it from Google Books, and I have linked the above title to that.

 

Below I have transcribed the Egyptian calendar as he recorded it.  The dates of the beginning are according to the Roman calendar, and therefore ours – well, taking into account how often that calendar was out.  The months did not begin exactly on those days but give or take a day or so according to how accurately both the Egyptian and the Roman calendar reflected the actual cycle of the sun at the time.

 

Interesting to note that they had leap years.  I don’t know what era this calendar belongs too.  To say something is ‘Ancient Egyptian’ allows for about 3000 years of time.  As Bede has access to the info I’d assume it comes from Greek/Roman writers who had access to such places as the Alexandrian Library. Now as the Roman calendar dates are given, I am assuming this calendar was in force during Roman times.  Yeah, more research needed here.

 

 

Months

 

Name of month

Date of Roman Calendar when month begins

Thoth 29 August
Phaophi 28 Sept
Hathyr 29 Oct
Choiac 27 Nov
Tybi 27 Dec
Mecheir 26 Jan
Phamenoth 25 Feb
Pharmouhti 27 Mar
Pachons 26 April
Payni 26 May
Epieph 25 June
Mesore 25 July
5 intercalated days / 6 every four years 24 Aug

 

From:

The Reckoning of Time, By Saint Bede (the Venerable).

Trans. Faith Wallis, 1999,

Liverpool University Press,

viewed from GOOGLE Books (viewed 3.1.14)

p. 45.

 

December 20, 2013

Why is Christmas on the 25th December?

by eirenehogan

1 – this is date of mid-winter by the Julian calendar, which was the calendar of the Roman Empire. 

 

2 – The date was in practise as the time of Christ’s birth by the 4th century AD.  There is a theory that an old Jewish tradition of the time believed that people died on the same date they were conceived.  [Huh! If such a belief did not belong to any of the Judeo-Christian-Islam tradition, it would be considered ‘superstition’].  Given that this Jesus character was supposedly killed in a crucifixion during the Jewish Passover, in 33 AD, which was in Spring, then the early Church Elders worked out that, if he had been conceived at that time, he would have been born in December.

 

It is convenient that Jesus died in Spring, a common time for the death of dying gods in ancient Mediterranean religions.  And it is equally convenient that his supposed birth occurred in mid-winter, another time of religious celebrations in ancient Mediterranean religions.

 

Jesus is just another in the long line of dying gods in the Mediterranean, popular with the Greeks.  They tended to be accompanied with ‘Mysteries’ which were secret ceremonies people were inducted into, which generally gave them a promise of eternal life.  Sound familiar?  Christianity was just another Mystery Cult.

 

December 2, 2013

Finding the Anglo-Saxon Pantheon

by eirenehogan

Fascinating addition to family history, it is quite exciting to be reading about the original gods of the English, because they are like ‘our’ gods, ‘my’ gods, the original gods of my ancestry.

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