ValerieTarico.com

An interview with Dr. Tony Nugent, ordained minister, scholar of world religions, and symbologist. 

Many ancient religions, including early Hebrew and European pagan traditions, evolved in part out of star worship.  Because so many traditions treated celestial events including the solstices and equinoxes as auspicious, it can be hard to tease out which holiday traditions originated where.  But even Church authorities say that our Easter holiday was named after an Anglo-Saxon fertility goddess alternately known as Estre, Eostre, and Ostara.

Over time, religious traditions tend to merge and blend, which the Catholic church saw as an opportunity rather than a problem. Authorities advised early missionaries simply to retain local holidays and rituals and give them new meaning.  A letter from Pope Gregory I to St. Mellitus, credited with Christianizing England, suggested that it would be easiest to convert the heathen Anglo-Saxons this way.

In pre-Christian Europe, Lent, which originally meant no more than “spring,” culminated in a day or week…

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