Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Eggs of Easter, Unscrambled


There was a meme going around facebook today, about Easter being derived from and pronounced the same as 'Ishtar', then someone wrote an informative piece correcting and de-bunking the meme. Obviously it is not a direct, etymological link, due to language. But words that have similar roots often come around to sound the same and mean the same. All roads lead to Rome - and that is precisely what happened.

Easter seems to be a mix of a few old/pagan cultural rituals - the Goddess morphed a number of times, during her thousands of years of traveling from Mesopotamia to the catholic church. To get everyone believing under one roof, you have to manipulate similarities between your Gods and those of the people you want to convert. This is harder, the farther you go from home. The cult of Aphrodite (Venus) spread, along with the Romans and indigenous Goddesses like Isis and Astarte took on her Hellenistic appearance.


                                                              A Roman-Syrian Aphrodite, seemingly unsure of which attribute
                                                                                to wear - Fortuna ? Minerva ? Isis ? Cybele ?                                                                    

The rabbit (March hare) comes from the rabbit in the Moon, a fertility animal which is probably more an Eostre (European  Pagan) contribution, not sure how prominent it was in Mesopotamian symbolism, although it's common in the Far East, the Rabbit in the Moon. Spring lambs are a symbol of Aries and of Hermes the Shepherd, easily morphed into the Lamb of God.

Hermes the Good Shepherd, Lord of the sacrifice

And the list of Solar Gods who die and are reborn is also long. Under Ptolemy, in Egypt, for example, the combo of Osiris and Apis (Osirapis) was combined with several Greek Gods to make Serapis, who could easily be mistaken for Jesus, in both looks and savior attributes. So it's never simply a matter of this = that.

A rock crystal and gold pendant from 6th-7th c Egypt,
depicting a Serapis-like Christ on the cross

Friday was Venus' day. Venus is the Roman name of the Goddess, that we still use. She took many forms, back then, not just the lover, for her name simply means 'desire'. She's a conglomeration of Isis, Ishtar, Aphrodite, Astarte, etc, all associated with 'Venus' in the sky. That said, Isis was associated with Sirius, in ancient Egypt...but she was merged with Aphrodite-Venus, during Ptolemaic times.  
Mesopotamian Ishtar-Inanna and her underworld self/sister, Ereshkigal
were also based on the sparkling planet. (Lilith, Eve's shadowy twin in Hebrew, biblical texts, was likely an assimilation or parallel of this older, Mesopotamian Queen of the Night and the demonesses called 'lilim'). To them, she was a dual Goddess, appearing as both Morning and Evening star. They understood she was the same heavenly body with two personalities - evening being passive, morning being aggressive. Her morning star symbol is what we see on war planes, the US flag, etc. More commonly used in the Middle and Far East, her evening star is depicted with 8 points, 8 being the number of Heaven.

Preview of Venus on the half-shell ? Fishy Ishtar Jar,  Louvre

The Romans ate fish on Fridays, to honour Venus (Vendredi, Venus-Aphrodite's day or Norse Freyja's day) as it was supposed to be an aphrod-esiac. This is still a Roman catholic tradition, albeit  sanitized. So the Goddess (Venus) 'ate' her son/consort/'little fish' - a metaphor for sex - but also not really, since she does both take and give life, and there may have been sacrifice involved, once upon a time. The three days of her ovulation/full Moon are from Good Friday to Easter Sunday, this is the time from Christ's crucifixion to resurrection. (To complicate things further, in the zodiac, Virgo is also the Goddess, and across from her is Pisces, the little fishes, her son, which call to mind the Virgin Mary and Jesus, or Isis and Horus).
In any case, the first, full Moon of Spring is conception time for her and 9 months later is Winter Solstice aka Christmas, when the Sun or Son is reborn.

                                                                  Naples Catholic Grafitti
            
Naturally the church had to figure out how to make the switcheroo, so the priests of the Virgin Mary (Isis) all donned fish aka penis hats and exchanged communion wafers and wine for sex and cannibalism (or did they ??). The fish hats actually go back to Babylonia and Persia, also, to when the priests of Enki wore the skins of huge fish.

Assyrian Priests

So, no, the word 'Easter' may not translate directly from 'Ishtar', but star means star, however it may appear. Eostre or Ostara, Astarte, Esther, Easter, Ishtar...in all her names, the basic meaning is still there. 
Always good to go back to nature to figure out what inspired the myths and practices in the first place

                           
                           
                                           Happy Easter !

Addendum....
Was just checking with Barbara Walker's encyclopedia, and it is very complicated how many symbols and rituals and assimilations of the Goddess found their way into this holiday called Easter. 
None of the theories are totally wrong, just maybe over-simplified.
 The players change, but the script is the same.

The ritual is centered around the sacrificing of the consort/son to the Goddess, to ensure rebirth, fertility of the land. There are a great many versions of the dying and resurrected God, every culture has one, whether they are related or not. Most of the Goddesses in question can be traced back to the planet 'star' we call Venus, as mentioned.

The first Full Moon of  Spring represents her ovulation and therefor conception time. And while we don't think of Lilith as being directly involved, the Lily is representative of her.

It seems the Goddess is experienced in her three-fold form here, revealed in all her splendor; maiden (whore/Venus), mother (conception/pregnant/Earth) and crone (devourer/Moon). That is just my interpretation, but then you there are three Marys weeping at the tomb of Christ, right ?

William Blake - The Three Maries at the Sepulchre








                   
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Monday, March 14, 2016

Triumph of the Donald

 
Triumph (Trump) of Mars by Antoine Caron 16th c

Why do I get the feeling, when I witness The Donald, that he is a man in great pain, begging to be put out of his misery ? It was the same with Rob Ford. Addiction doesn't have to be drug-related. Demons eat negativity and when they find a host, they encourage more and more of it in them, to feast on. Interestingly both men are Geminis (and before you say 'I'm a Gemini, and I'm not like that', I am not talking about any balanced Gemini who uses a mirror to spar with, but one who is not in control).

One of the more serious conditions a non-conscious or un-grounded Gemini can suffer from is demon or spirit possession, because, being mutable air they are often not quite in their bodies, and being Mercurial, even the less shadowy twins can sometimes attract invisible friends, conjuring unawares. I've had two female Gemini friends with this problem.


[George W. Bush also seemed barely conscious, though I don't think he was so much controlled by demons...perhaps more by his father and wife. But he was also fulfilling a destiny, creating the atmosphere for Obama to rise in. Cancer George was the lunar brother and Leo Obama was the solar - it's in all the fairy tales].

Geminis often make great actors, because of their channeling abilities, as long as they can consciously take the persona off at the end of the day. Gemini Marilyn Monroe was an example of one who could not. Having 'no there, there' can be scary, feel empty.


Like Rob Ford, Donald Trump is getting more bloated and insane and less in control of his words and actions. He is not on crack, though I am not sure about pharmaceuticals. At the same time, because of the path he's taken, he has no choice but to see it through, high stakes, winner take all. Speculative Sagittarius Moon opposite his Gemini Sun. Donald has Uranus (higher octave of Mercury) conjunct Sun and opposite Moon. Uranus here bestows an obstinate self-centeredness, extreme unpredictability and the courage of their convictions, no matter how crazy. Monotony is anathema, therefore the pot must always be stirred. With Moon opp Uranus, the soul is never at rest and the person cannot be happy living in the present. The need for intensity eventually can wear them out. I think he is worn out, but his demons are keeping him hopped up and he likes the mojo.

Ramblin' gamblin Satan, 16th c

America loves Uranus, because it's the planet of Aquarius, society at large, freedom, revolution, the rebel without a cause, wild at heart, as well as science and technology, discovery. But it's unpredictability has a dark side, too - energetic forces that we don't know how to control, nukes, big pharma, genetic engineering, etc. Any planets close to the Sun want their place in the Sun, they're 'hot', so I think his Uranus (insert Uranus joke here) is what people notice first and foremost...certainly that 'shock' of hair. His followers feel oppressed by 'political correctness' and see him as their liberator.


It's funny, because mythological Uranus was no liberator. And we now know Uranus, like Saturn, has rings, so even though it marches to a different drummer, it is not entirely unconstrained by limitations. In any case, Trump's North Node lies right smack between his Sun and Uranus, so there's a destiny to fulfill, for better or worse, and it's tied in with his aggressive, lonely, Leo Mars ego in the 12th house of karmic debt and self-undoing. The 12th house is where one seeks to dissolve 'me' and devote to higher ideals, to transcend ego and free oneself from residue of past deeds. Pluto is also in Leo, there (if his birth time is correct), at 10 degrees. The Pluto-Leo generation have issues and past guilt around things like privilege and wealth, lording it over others. It's the rock star/super star Baby Boomer bunch. Many of them worked through their karma on stage, through performance. Well, America has had  an actor for president before...

Giansar is the fixed star conjunct Rump's Pluto, in the tail of Draco. It indicates having many friends and an analytical mind, but also the name means 'the punished enemy' as well as 'the poison place', because it is similar in nature to the south node (Dragon's tail). He may very well be re-living a past life of being a punished dictator. Regulus, the Royal star, Heart of the Lion, is right smack on his ascendant, conjunct Mars by a few degrees, meaning he sees himself - and others see him - as a ruthless king, perhaps. Well, he certainly does live like royalty.

Order of the Dragon/Dracul (Dracula) saddle, Ottoman Empire.
Well, he does like eastern European women...

The fixed stars around his Sun have to do with high position, quick mind, quick temper, luck, brief fame, scandal, quarrels, weapons of war, point of attack and the Death card in Tarot.
(I think of stars as being indicative of the past, because their light has come from there, reaching us in the present and lighting particular points of the chart). What do you think ?

Mussolini was Leo Sun w Gemini Pluto, in mutual reception to
Trump's Gemini Sun and Leo Pluto. 



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Friday, March 11, 2016

Neptune in Pisces - Make Art, Not War


Neptune Pisces musings...

Just listening to David Bowie's 'Scary Monsters', and marveling at how, in all his albums/songs, there is always a scene set, a stage with an elaborate backdrop, visible characters, a compelling script, intro and ending, even lighting and colours...all the makings of a theatrical production. It wasn't necessary to replicate, visually, on the concert stage. The layering of sound and lyrics created the atmosphere. You created the rest in your mind, which goes to show what a master artist, story-teller and Mercurial magician Bowie was.  A great artist knows how to draw material from peoples' unconscious, so that consciously, they recognize it and find their own truth. No wonder his songs reached so many people, so deeply. So cathartic.


We need art and theater, among other reasons, because it's a 'safe' area in which to observe and live out our shadowy or repressed parts, fears, yearnings, taboos, etc. Fantasies that might seriously endanger, if allowed to run amok, or repressed. We look at ancient art and assume that people did what is in the pictures, but maybe they didn't actually. (And yet, eventually all life imitates art). Jung said, "Whatever is rejected from the self, appears in the world as an event."

The idea, and it's an old one, is that we exorcise - thereby call out, even accept - our inner monsters, personal and collective, by writing, composing, painting, dancing, dressing up as (Hallowe'en), making a film about them. It's therapeutic for many when someone nails the personification of society's monsters that we can all relate to, like Mary Shelley's man/scientist playing God or Bram Stoker's anti-Christ, eternally reincarnating, but without a soul, or reflection. Guillermo del Toro says Dracula represents our species' repressed cannibalism.



Sir Christopher Lee when asked about making horror movies with blasphemous scenes, said that by acting it out on film, you are essentially saying 'look, this can't happen, or that it should not happen'. I like to think he was doing knight service by embodying and thereby ensnaring villains and blood-suckers.

Historically, for every time there is a left-brain dominated age of 'enlightenment' or 'reason', it inevitably gives rise to some goth, drug or surrealist counter-culture, that produces fantastical works of art. Things are confusing right now, because I think the powers that be have figured out that if the myth (the part that lives through art) can be manipulated to seem as real as possible, while changing the word itself to mean 'lie', then chaos, fear and mind control can easily be had. Look at how fast conspiracy theories pop up for every news item. 'Reality' shows work to blur the lines, images can be photoshopped... has all this played a hand in the unraveling of things ? 


Johann Heinrich F├╝ssli - The Nightmare

Well, perhaps it needs to be unraveled (un-reveled ?). Neptune will be in Pisces another 9 years. All the more reason to make sure the passageways back to the soul don't get cemented over. It's okay to have inhibitions, but it's never okay to inhibit the subject matter of our art. What we sow now will be the trail of pebbles we need to find our way out of future murky situations.

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