Budgie’s Journal #148 – Jesus Was A Man, Ostara, and Remembering the Old Ways

Let me start by saying I’m not a super religious person. I was brought up catholic, but I strayed from the path of organized religion like so many others who see the strings of the puppet masters. Understand that this piece is based on my own personal thoughts, beliefs, and theories. I have not been formally educated in this matter, nor do I claim to be any kind of expert. I did not write this to offend anyone or claim anyone’s system of belief is wrong.

But if the cross fits, bear it.

That being said: Jesus was a man. His life, sacrifice, and teachings should not be forgotten. He was a man who preached the word of God, the word of a peaceful God, a God who wasn’t all about smiting and raining fire and killing the first born, etcetera. This offended a great many people, and he was probably nicknamed the “Son of God” by either his followers or mockingly by those who opposed him and his ways.

Let’s face it. Jesus may have felt a closeness to God, calling himself His son. And in his teachings, we are all sons and daughters of God, so it’s it wouldn’t surprise me if he was called this on a regular basis. It also wouldn’t surprise me if some people had taken this literally, thinking he was actually God’s son as tales of Jesus Christ were told from mouth to ear.

At this point, I want to look into what religion was at the time, what it still is in a lot of instances. It was a means to control people, to get them in line, to get them to follow the rule of law. The Romans and others used Judaism to keep primitive people in line, and it worked well. The old God was a God of vengeance, smiting his enemies and punishing entire civilizations that opposed him. This is that Old Testament God I’m talking about, the one people feared to disobey, not the God of love Jesus was teaching people about.

What Jesus was doing, more than anything else, was offering people freedom from religion. He was the anti-establishment preacher, telling people where to find God, and it wasn’t in an elaborate church or temple. It was in nature, in each other, in the love and compassion good men and women felt for one another.

Which brings us to why we celebrate him. I’m of the mind that what gets carried out in Jesus’ name would offend and embarrass him. He seemed like he’d be way too modest for these gaudy displays of affection shown toward him. I’m thinking that upon his death, his enemies gathered and said: “He wants to be the son of God? Let’s make him the son of God,” and in the end, they won in every sense of the word. History is written by the victors, right? So is religion.

So they took the winter celebration of Yule from the Pagans, and claimed he was born on that day, renaming it Christmas. They took the day of the Spring Equinox, the Pagan celebration of Ostara, calling it Easter, and let his followers celebrate his death and supposed resurrection on this day. They turned him into a religion, used him to control their people, those who would follow his word and the word of God.

Since today is Easter Sunday, I’m going to focus this piece on Ostara and the story of Jesus that surrounds it, but you’ve probably already guessed that. Maybe I’ll write another of these in December for the celebration of Yule.

There was no news or media back then. All stories were told person to person. The stories of the virgin birth or the resurrection or how he had died for the sake of our sins could have easily turned from stories to “fact” as time passed. A few centuries was enough time for Catholicism to take off. A “New Testament” was created, telling the story of Jesus Christ the writers of religion wanted told. They changed the narrative, using his story for their own use, ushering in a new era of control by religion.

As a kid, I was taken to church every Sunday. Most days, I zoned out, daydreaming the hour away. There was one Easter Sunday sermon I remember well. “I asked a child about Easter,” the priest said. “I asked him what Easter was all about. The child told me that it was about the Easter bunny and coloring eggs and chocolates. The child was wrong, and I told him so. Easter isn’t about those things. It’s about celebrating our Lord and the sacrifice he made for us.” No, Father Sunshine. You’re wrong.

Easter was a holiday already celebrated by Pagans called Ostara, a celebration of the Spring Equinox. The rabbits and eggs symbolize fertility, and they were a part of the holiday before it was hijacked to celebrate the unfair execution of a man and the story told about his reanimation. The chocolate was added by corporations who wanted to make Easter into a “Hallmark Holiday,” something the most hardcore of Catholics will bitch about to no end, missing the irony about how it wasn’t their holiday to begin with.

Look to our own government if you don’t believe how religion shapes societies. A candidate can’t win office unless they’re aligned with the church. The Republicans spout off about Christian values all day every day, claiming the Democrats aren’t religious enough to hold office. The more religious people I know all vote Republican, and this is the main reasoning for it.

There are pockets of people who remember the old ways and still celebrate Ostara, for what the holiday was always meant to be. Those who do have my respect and admiration. The catholic church is suffering as more and more people wake up to the idea that organized religion is no more than a cult, hiding in plain sight.

I no longer give the church the lip service I was brought up to give them. My family honors the old ways, Ostara, the Equinox. We still believe, but we believe in something different. We don’t believe in control through belief systems, we believe in freedom from religion, and we remember the old ways.

Take what you want away from this piece. I’m sure I’m not a hundred percent right, and there’s tons of stuff I left out. I’ll get more than one message that I’m spouting blasphemy on Easter Sunday, but I’m not. I’m just expressing my opinion and beliefs.

Just like Jesus did.

-Budgie Bigelow

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