Millions of Christians will celebrate Easter this year and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This particular celebration has been going on for centuries. But did you know that the celebration of Easter actually has its roots in pagan religions and practices?
And it makes for a fascinating piece of history, not to mention the most particular book you’ll have the pleasure of ever reading.
In the early days of the Catholic Church, their leaders were working to convert most of Europe’s pagan population to Christianity. But this was not always an easy thing to do. Bringing in a religion that was new and only a few thousand years old and then trying to replace pagan religions that were many thousands of years older took cunning and ingenuity on the part of Catholic leaders.
One of the ways that Catholic leaders brought in pagan converts was to “alter” or “change” the meaning of current pagan festivals. And replace at least a few of the main symbols with Christian symbols in order to make it easier for pagans to adopt the new religion. For example, there are many stories of gods and goddesses who “resurrected” from the dead such as the Sumerian goddess Inanna who goes into the Underworld to find her husband Damuzi who has died. He is then judged, murdered, and hung up for display to the denizens of the Underworld. It is only when the other gods come to her assistance that she and Damuzi are both “resurrected.” Damuzi returns to the Underworld and Inanna follows him there, prompting a second rescue by the water god. According to Sumerian legend this explains the switch from Winter darkness to Spring light. Horus, Mithras, and Dionysus were also resurrected, so the theme is a familiar one in pagan religions and may explain why it was so easy for the early Catholic Church to convert some pagans to the new religion.
Another tradition of Easter is the idea of the Easter Bunny bringing colored eggs and hiding them for children to find. This tradition also stems from our pagan ancestors. Eostre is the goddess of Spring in Western Europe. And she also represents fertility. Well if you know anything about eggs, which are in essence embryos, then you can easily see how they would represent fertility. Eostre’s symbol was a hare, and she is often depicted with this animal by her side. This is where the Easter bunny comes from. Eostre brings the light after the long cold darkness of winter, and there were pagan festivals associated with the goddess Eostre. Also, the association of eggs as a symbol of fertility and life renewal is a part of Egyptian, and Babylonian pagan traditions. The ancient Persians actually colored and ate eggs during their Spring pagan festivals. So, this may be where we got our tradition of coloring and eating hardboiled eggs at Easter.
Easter’s pagan roots are very interesting, and it makes you wonder just how much of many of our other traditions are rooted in paganism as well.
And now that I’ve uncovered some interesting facts about ancient mythology regarding Easter and Spring, here is that Divinitas connection I anticipated. And it all hinges on the Persian God Mitra, which I used as one of the characters of my book.
A very particular book, mind you.
Does a part of us live forever?
Is there a God/Creator and can we have a relationship with this entity?
Award winning author Laura Tolomei seeks to answer these questions with the erotically charged story of…
(Insert Divinitas cover)
Two souls are about to discover…
That there is more to life and love than physical death.
First in Egypt Us-Yri must learn to control his passion for Set.
Then in ancient Persia, Mitra has to discover that sometimes it is better to surrender to love rather than fight it.
And finally in Celtic England Shaun teaches Halifax a Christian convert, spiritual balance.
Will these two souls finally learn the true secrets of Divinitas?
Insert Divinitas Cover
“You’re crazy to submit to these tortures,” Vayu scolded bitterly as he passed the healing lotion on the blistered skin. Wherever he looked, the Aryan saw tiny bubbles bursting with water. Underneath, the defenseless red and raw flesh throbbed relentlessly, sending fresh pain waves to the entire body.
For days, Mitra could neither lie down nor wear clothes. His tortured body hardly withstood the air circling on the raw skin and the mere thought of anything brushing against it, even by accident, caused him untellable pains. Now the worst seemed to be over, though it still stung whenever Vayu’s hand spread the soothing lotion.
“You don’t understand,” Mitra said, trying to ignore the pain.
“What’s there to understand, Varuna? You all seem mad to me, including your father. What have you proven with this insane act?”
Mitra sighed deeply. If he had to explain it rationally to someone who did not believe in his faith, it would probably make no sense. “It helps the mind control the body,” he said at last.
“Why do you need your mind to control what lives of material passions? The two travel separate ways and it would be foolish if one controlled the other.”
“You’re wrong, devil,” Mitra argued patiently. “We are a combination of soul, mind and body. They seem separate to a neophyte, yet they are one single entity,” he explained, revealing the mystery of the Three joined as One. “The soul’s journey is what’s really important because it is everlasting, but the mind and body both contribute to its travel.”
“Your Magi is fucking with your head, sweet Prince. They taught me that mind, body and soul are each a part of us and we should explore their potentials, not limit anyone in particular. They define us as human beings,” he pressed harder on the raw skin to mark his point, “made of flesh and blood. If you try to deny that part of yourself, you’d be wasting the essence of life itself.”
“I don’t deny it,” Mitra retorted hotly, wincing from the pain. He remained silent for a while. “I just think there has to be something more than immediate material satisfactions. When I’m dead and my soul has to face the final judges, whoever they may be, what will it tell of my life?”
“That you fucked a lot and with increasingly higher satisfaction,” Vayu teased, his hand playing with Mitra’s ass.
“Fuck you, devil. Would you give such an answer?”
Vayu bent down to brush his lips against Mitra’s, his tongue gently tracing the thin edges. “I’d be proud to give such an answer, knowing who my lover was.”