Easter Sunday Pagan Roots

In ancient times, Sunday was the primary day of worship for the pagan sun god Mithra. Saturday being the last day of the week, was traditionally the Christian day of worship because, as you may recall, Sunday is the day of rest (Genesis). The word “Sunday” in itself has two documented origins: A derivation of the Scandinavian sun goddess Sunna, and also from Sol, the Roman god of the sun.

During the 4th century, Roman Emperor Constantine (whom considered himself pagan) made some landmark changes to the day of worship by declaring Sunday would be the new official day of worship instead of the previous Saturday. This decree changed the previous Rule of Moses that stated worship to take place on Saturday. For centuries now, Christians have been told to worship on Sundays to honor the rising of Christ on that day, though historically speaking, this in inaccurate.

The Easter Sunday holiday we know today was originally used to honor the Northeastern European Saxon goddess Eastre and the Mediterranean god Attis. Rabbits, eggs, and fertility symbols were used to celebrate Eastre traditionally, and the term “estrus” given to the female reproductive cycle finds its origins here as well. Other goddess correlations to Eastre include Aphrodite (Cypress), Demeter (Mycanae), Hathor (Egypt), and Kali (India). In the Mediterranean regions, to honor Attis, his death and rebirth (virgin born) was also celebrated on this day. Attis was considered the god of vegetation and the partner of the fertility goddess. Both celebrations were regionally too popular to be stamped out, which explains why we still see these traditions today.

In addition, Easter signifies the equinox occurring on March 20th, March 21st or March 22nd and is celebrated on the eve of, by today’s pagans. Western Christians celebrate on the first Sunday on or after the full moon following the equinox (think Catholic) and Eastern Christian Orthodox schedule their own celebration weeks following.

Other familiar pagan traditions adapted by Christianity present in our culture today include wedding rings, prayers and blessings, candles on birthday cakes, churches and temples to worship, crosses, the Jesus fish symbol, icon worship and chants. The word “Amen” used at the end of prayers has roots not only in Paganism and Christianity, but also Jewish and Muslim cultures as well.

Happy Easter everyone!

6 thoughts on “Easter Sunday Pagan Roots

  1. Fernando

    i know what your saying makes a lot of sense but also from other sites i have been to they have told me there are some pepole with .gifts who can be characterized as a pagan, witch, ect. So i think they were just wondering if they can be a witch by birth rather then just deciding to try it. And i’m guilty of asking the very question you have accused of pepole messaging. So i guess my real question is if certain abilities you have, can they also characterize you as a witch even when you had not made the choice follow the religion or whatever you could call witchcraft?[] Reply:April 5th, 2011 at 8:14 amSydne,You should not feel like you are not Pagan simply because you don’t have a gift (i.e. psychic abilities, etc). I myself have no gifts as such but still identify as Pagan. On the other hand, some pepole who do have these gifts are not Pagan (for example, I don’t believe Lisa Williams identifies as Pagan yet she has some incredible abilities).People can become Witches, or they can be born Witches whether you’re one or the other makes no iota of difference to the person’s credibility or ability to follow this path. Following this Path, or any Path, for that matter, comes down to a personal choice.[]

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  2. Pingback: Happy Summer Solstice! | California Psychics Blog

  3. Psychic Jade ext. 5282Jade

    This is some really great information. For those, however, that might find this alarming due to conflicts about what they’ve been taught from the pulpit, try not to panic. I say this because in my own Journey from fundamental Christianity to Metaphysical beliefs there was a crisis in consciousness. Remember, Jesus encouraged his followers to seek the truth. He actually encouraged his followers to question the status quo of that time. Easter is a time of great transition and transmutation. Whether you believe in the actual resurrection of Jesus or not, the meaning of the resurrection to me is the birth of the “personal relationship” with Spirit. Up to that point there were a lot of blood rituals, Priests and the like that one had to subscribe to in order to get their prayers heard by God (according to their traditions). The resurrection of Jesus ended that for those who subscribed to his teachings as he was the ultimate sacrifice. In addition, it was a new world where a person, whether Jewish or not could have a “Personal” relationship with Christ. The Christ consciousness has been here all along but getting to it has had many roads, Pagen, Christian and more. The spirit of the Holidays have many meanings. Their roots are often Pagen and Christianity did have to adopt them in order to even have a chance to convert those Pagen societies which unfortunately was often done by force. Christianity and Jesus’s teachings to me are now two different things. I encourage those Christians who read these articles to continue their search for truth and balance of Spirit. I encourage you to develop your “personal relationship” with Spirit. It is your right. It is possible to have a love of Jesus and his teachings and be open to other Spiritual Paths. Jesus’s main message was to Love others. God/Goddess knows our intentions and needs for growth. When the time is right, the teacher comes. If these articles and comments have shown themselves as your Teacher today then pursue your path with passion and know that Spirit will light your way.

    May the Light always shine on your path,
    Jade

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  4. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Hail and Well Met Jesse,

    Hope you enjoyed your Eostre !!!!! Glad to see you pop in here…… Yes,many of the christian holidays have been super-imposed over Pagan holidays and closely mirror them.

    One of the oldest pagan rituals is the (Christian termed )” Christamas tree” too !

    And many people don’t realize where ” May- Day” comes from either but it is heavily celebrated widely across Europe even today.

    But,as you stated, it’s the spirit of the season that matters, no matter what the religion or chosen spiritual path.

    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500

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  5. Jesse 9027

    Great job, Gina Rose! I was poised to mention Eostre but you beat me to it! LOL!

    Of all the holidays that have been “borrowed” from the Old Ways, Easter has to be one of the MOST Pagan of all. Many Christians have no idea why the date continually changes for their Easter services: the first Sunday following the first full moon after the Vernal Equinox. Can you get any more Pagan than that?

    I hope we all have a wonderful Springtime, regardless of how we connect with it!
    Many Blessings to all!
    Jesse 9027

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  6. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Excellent article !!!!

    I am hereditary Wiccan…so here is more on the Wiccan holiday we call: Eostre

    The Anglo-Saxon lunar month, which became April, was called Eastermonath. The equinox is a time both of fertility and new life, and of balance and harmony. Light and dark are here in balance, but the light is growing stronger.

    It is a time of birth, and of manifestation. Daffodils, tulips and crocuses are all in full bloom, blossom appears on trees . Rites are best performed at dawn or dusk, (but better at Dawn) that time between light and dark.

    The days grow lighter and the earth grows warmer. As at Imbolc,the prior Pagan holiday, seeds may be blessed and planted. Seeds of wisdom, understanding, and magickal skills may also be planted. Eggs may be used for the creation of talismans, or ritually eaten.

    The egg is a symbol of rebirth, and its yolk represents the sun, its white, the Goddess. Egg production in hens is stimulated when the bird’s retina is stimulated by more than 12 hours of light, thus more eggs are produced after the equinox.

    This is a time both of growth and of balance, and many who walk The Old Path work on balancing ourselves and the subtle energies within us, such as our chakras, the inner masculine and feminine qualities, the light and dark aspects, etc.

    This is the time of spring’s return, the joyful time, the seed time, when life bursts forth from the earth and the chains of winter are broken.

    It is a time of balance when all the elements within must be brought into new harmony. Wild flowers appear, sorrow turns to joy, and scarcity turns to abundance.

    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500

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