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Easter many believe is a Pagan festival, that when Christians were converting Pagans they kept a lot of Pagan traditions and just put a Christian spin on it, what do bunnies and eggs have to do with the resurrection of Christ? Easter itself is a different date every year because it is determined by the spring equinox, it is always on the first Sunday after the Full Moon of the Spring Equinox.

The Goddess Ishtar, also known as Eostre. Below is her legend and Why Easter is celebrated and her resurrection from death in the spring.

Ishtar was the Lady of the Gods, the Goddess of fertility. She had been unlucky in love. Her husband Tammuz, the great love of her youth, had died when he was still very young. She had fallen in love with Gilgamesh, that great king, but he had spurned her advances. Ishtar was the Goddess of fertility and kept all things growing and mating on earth.

In Babylon, the dead were sent to the Underworld, a place of darkness ruled over by the Goddess Irkalla. It was said that in this place they lived on dust and mud. After being rejected by Gilgamesh, Ishtar became depressed and decided she would descend into the Underworld to be with Tammuz. So dressed in her finest garments, brilliant jewelry and her high crown, Ishtar entered the cave that leads into the Underworld. Irkalla’s realm was surrounded by seven walls, each with its own gate that had to be passed to get to the dark Place where the dead resided. 

When she got to the first gate, Ishtar called out to the watchman: “Watchman, please open this gate and let me enter!” The watchman’s faced peered at her from over the gate. He didn’t say anything, but he didn’t open the gate either. So she called out again: “Watchman, if you don’t open this gate for me I will force it open, I will break it down, and I will set free all the dead that reside in this dreadful dark place. I will set them free from their gloom and the rule of your merciless mistress and take them to the land of the living! The dead will be so plentiful on earth that they will take over from the living!”

Nedu, as the watchman was called, looked at this fine lady, her crowned head held high, in her splendid attire, and said: ”Please lady, don’t break down the gate. I will go and take your message to the Lady Irkalla. Please wait until I get back.” When Irkalla heard that Ishtar demanded to be admitted to her realm, she was terribly angry. She thought she would teach this intruder a lesson, and instructed her watchman to admit the proud lady. Nedu returned to the first gate, and opened all the bolts and locks. “Enter into the realm of Irkalla, fine lady”, he said. “Welcome to the place from where nobody ever returns.” As he spoke, he took Ishtar’s crown. She wanted to know why he had taken her crown. “Oh lady,” he said, “if you wish to enter you must submit to the law of Lady Irkalla!” She bent her head and went through the first gate.

Ishtar walked the short distance to the second gate. The watchman opened all the bolts and locks, and said: “Enter into the realm of Irkalla, fine lady. Welcome to the place from where nobody ever returns.” As he spoke, he took the eight pointed star which adorned her neck. She wanted to know why he had taken her jewel. “Oh lady,” he said, “this is the law of Lady Irkalla!” She bent her head, her radiance gone, and went through the second gate. 

Ishtar walked the short distance to the third gate. The watchman opened all the bolts and locks, and said: “Enter into the realm of Irkalla, fine lady. Welcome to the place from where nobody ever returns.” As he spoke, he took the gold and bejeweled bracelets from her wrists. She wanted to know why he had taken her bracelets. “Oh lady,” he said, “this is the law of Lady Irkalla!” She bent her head, her radiance gone, and without her magnificent gold ornaments, and went through the third gate. 

Ishtar walked the short distance to the fourth gate. The watchman opened all the bolts and locks, and said: “Enter into the realm of Irkalla, fine lady. Welcome to the place from where nobody ever returns.” As he spoke, he took the shoes off her feet. She wanted to know why he had taken her shoes. “Oh lady,” he said, “this is the law of Lady Irkalla!” She bent her head, her radiance gone, and without her magnificent gold ornaments, barefooted she went through the fourth gate. 

Ishtar walked the short distance to the fifth gate. The watchman opened all the bolts and locks, and said: “Enter into the realm of Irkalla, fine lady. Welcome to the place from where nobody ever returns.” As he spoke, he took the splendid veil that covered her face. She wanted to know why he had taken her veil. “Oh lady,” he said, “this is the law of Lady Irkalla!” She bent her head, her radiance gone, and without her magnificent gold ornaments, barefaced and barefooted she went through the fifth gate. 

Ishtar walked the short distance to the sixth gate. The watchman opened all the bolts and locks, and said: “Enter into the realm of Irkalla, fine lady. Welcome to the place from where nobody ever returns.” As he spoke, he took her magnificent outer robe. She wanted to know why he had taken her outer robe. “Oh lady,” he said, “this is the law of Lady Irkalla!” She bent her head, her radiance gone, and without her magnificent gold ornaments, without the protection of her outer robe, barefaced and barefooted she went through the sixth gate.

Ishtar walked the short distance to the seventh gate. The watchman opened all the bolts and locks, and said: “Enter into the realm of Irkalla, fine lady. Welcome to the place from where nobody ever returns.” As he spoke, he took her dress. She wanted to know why he had taken her dress, leaving her quite naked. “Oh lady,” he said, “this is the law of Lady Irkalla!” And naked now, she bent her head, her radiance gone, and without her magnificent gold ornaments, without the protection of her outer robe, barefaced and barefooted she went through the seventh gate, where she found Irkalla. 

Irkalla, the Queen of the Underworld had the head of a lioness and the body of a woman; in her arms she carried her pet, a deadly serpent. She summoned Belisari, the lady of the desert who was her scribe, and who came carrying the clay tablets on which all of Irkalla’s decrees would be written down. Behind these two the dead gathered. There was no light in their eyes; they were dressed not in cloth but feathers, and instead of arms and hands they had the wings of birds. They lived in darkness. Ishtar became frightfully anxious seeing them, and she wished she had never ventured in this dark place. She had expected to find Tammuz here, but now she realized that this was a hopeless quest. 

Desperate, she begged Irkalla to allow her to return to the land of the living. Irkalla uttered a cold and contemptuous laugh and when she spoke it was as if an icy wind blew against Ishtar’s naked body. Irkalla said: “Ishtar, you may be the Lady of the Gods, but you are in my realm now, and nobody returns from this place of darkness. This is called the House of Darkness for good reason, and whoever enters here, magistrate or warrior, king or shepherd, milkmaid or goddess, can never return. Whoever enters this house has no more need of light. Dust will be your bread and mud will be your meat. Your dress will be a cloak of feathers. The gates are already bolted behind you, lady!”

Having said this, Irkalla summoned Namtar, the demon of the plague. Namtar appeared from the darkness, a viper’s head on a human body, naked underneath a cloak made of bones, and eagles claws instead of feet. He embraced Ishtar, making sure that the plague spread over her whole body. Feathers grew on her, and the light disappeared from her eyes. She tasted dust and ate mud. All memory of her past existence, of her great love Tammuz, disappeared with the light.

On earth a great change came when Ishtar descended into the world. Love and desire became strangers to man and animal alike. Birds no longer sang. Bulls no longer searched out the cows. Stallions were no longer attracted to mares. Rams no longer cared for ewes. Wives no longer caressed their husbands when they returned from business or war. Husbands no longer longed to lie with their wives. The women in Ishtar’s temple became lonely, nobody wanted to spend time drinking and singing and making merry with them. 

Shamash, the sun god, was deeply perturbed when he saw the changes that had befallen earth. He could foresee the disaster that awaited earth. Without procreation, without regeneration, there would be no life left on earth once the people and animals who were there now died off. The beings that the gods had created would all be extinct. He knew this was because of Ishtar’s descent into the Underworld, but he also knew that his power was not great enough to overcome Irkalla. So Shamash went to see Ea, the great god, and told him that earth’s creatures were not renewing themselves. “How is this possible?” asked Ea. Shamash then related that Ishtar had descended to the Underworld, in search of Tammuz, and had not returned.

Ea then created a being he called Udushunamir, which he made devoid of all emotion or fear. With the power of all the gods, Ea sent him as an emissary to the Underworld court of Irkalla, where he would demand the water of life from the dark queen. Because Udushunamir had been created by Ea, the great god, Irkalla had no power over this creature, and could not stop it entering her realm. So Udushunamir entered the Underworld, and stood before Irkalla, where he demanded in the name of the great gods that Irkalla provide him with the water of life, and that Ishtar be brought from the darkness. Of course Irkalla was furious at this demand. Her body trembled with rage as she roared and cursed both Ishtar and the emissary and all the gods everywhere, but to no avail. Udushunamir, being devoid of all emotion or fear, was unaffected either by the terrible sights in this dark place or by Irkalla’s curses. Irkalla could do nothing but submit, and she ordered the water of life be given to this creature, and so it was. She then summoned Namtar and ordered him to bring Ishtar the Lady of the Gods from the Darkness.

Ishtar, covered in feathers and her feathers covered in dust, was brought before Udushunamir, who then liberally sprinkled the water of life all over her. The dust fell off Ishtar. The mud fell off Ishtar and the feathers and bird’s wings fell off her. She was alive again. So she stood before her enemy, Irkalla, her head still bowed, colourless, weaker than a newborn human, just as naked and shaking like a leaf in the storm, but dead no longer, Irkalla starred in fury at Ishtar but could not stop her leaving. 

Udushunamir guided her through the darkness to the seventh gate, where Nadu the watchman handed her the dress he had taken from her earlier. She covered her nakedness with it. Udushunamir guided her to the sixth gate. The watchman opened it and gave her back her outer garment, which she put on over her dress. Udushunamir guided her to the fifth gate. The watchman opened it and he handed her back her splendid veil. She took the veil and covered her bare face. Udushunamir guided her to the fourth gate, where the watchman handed her back her shoes. She put them on her bare feet, and proceeded through the fourth gate. Udushunamir guided her to the third gate. The watchman opened it and handed her back her bejeweled bracelets. She took the bracelets and put them on her bare wrists. Udushunamir guided her to the second gate. The watchman opened it and gave her back the magnificent eight pointed star. Ishtar accepted the jewel and put it back on her neck. Udushunamir guided her to the first gate. The watchman opened it and gave her back her high crown. She took it in her hands, and put it back on her head. Now Ishtar, her garments and ornaments reinstated, could leave the realm of Irkalla.

When she emerged from the cave, the earth was silent. There was no birdsong. No sounds came from the herds of cows and goats. No sailors’ songs came from the harbor. No music came from her temple. But as she walked from the cave an inner light shone bright inside her and her power returned, her neck straightened and her head bowed no longer, her splendor shone brilliantly and she walked as a goddess once more, a smile on her face she breathed in the air and felt the sun shine on her face. The stallion bayed and the bull bellowed. The rams reared high. Soldiers and merchants alike made excuses to rush home to feel their wives’ fond embraces. The women in Ishtar’s temple picked up their instruments and sang beguiling words to the men passing by below. All of creation rejoiced in the return of Ishtar. And all the gods rejoiced too, knowing that their creations would renew themselves and would survive to honor and serve them once more.

The Goddess Persephone is also taken to the underworld an is resurrected from death in the Spring.

Wicca Teachings: An Introduction and Practical Guide Out Now. This is the only book on Wicca you will ever need. It is good if you are solitary or in coven. If you are new or have been practicing for years. This book lays the foundation to Wicca and Wicca beliefs across the board from Gardnerian to Eclectic. It goes into detail about all the Gods and Goddesses. There are detailed chapters on the Sabbats (Pagan Holidays) and the significance of the Full Moons. It has a large and detailed reference guide on herbs and their magical and healing properties, Candles and colour magic, stone and crystal healing, astrology, how to do magic, setting up and altar, dreams, spells, chants, rituals. It tells you everything you could need to know from birth to marriage to death. The book is selling in the thousands. 

There are lots of different ways you can get your book. Details on this are below. 

The book is available through Amazon to buy as a hardcopy, if you are in Europe go to your countries Amazon and search Wicca Teachings. 

For UK click the link below.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Wicca-Teachings-Introduction-Practical-Guide/dp/0956955525/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1392931658&sr=8-1&keywords=wicca+teachings

For USA and international click the link below.
http://www.amazon.com/Wicca-Teachings-Introduction-Practical-Guide/dp/0956955525/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1393529044&sr=8-1&keywords=wicca+teachings

The E-Book is available on Google Play go to your device and click the Google play app and then search: Wicca Teachings.
https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Tony_Bell_Wicca_Teachings_An_Introduction_and_Prac?id=g3LnAgAAQBAJ&hl=en_GB

Amazon Kindle. Go to the store on your Amazon device and search: Wicca Teachings.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Wicca-Teachings-Introduction-Practical-Guide-ebook/dp/B00ILSVGZ6/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1393529590&sr=1-1&keywords=wicca+teachings

On Barnes & Noble Nook go to the Barnes and Noble store and search Wicca Teachings.
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wicca-teachings-an-introduction-and-practical-guide-tony-bell/1118731933?ean=2940148329664

iTunes                                                      
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/wicca-teachings-introduction/id827293948?mt=11


If you want the book as a PDF format which you can read from your PC or Laptop, click the link below and choose the PDF option then download.
https://www.ebookit.com/books/0000003600/Wicca-Teachings—-An-Introduction-and-Practical-Guide.html

If you prefer you can download the Nook, Kindle and PDF (for PC) from the link below. and then transfer it to your device.
https://www.ebookit.com/books/0000003600/Wicca-Teachings—-An-Introduction-and-Practical-Guide.html

A breathtaking timelapse video of the Blood Moon.

April’s Full Moon would usually be known as The Pink Moon, The Sprouting Grass Moon, The Egg Moon, the Fish Moon and the Seed Moon. But because this Full Moon falls on a total lunar eclipse, which many will have seen early this morning. it is what we call a Blood Moon. As the Moon gets caught in Earths shadow during the eclipse it turns red. If you missed the eclipse this morning here are some images of it. http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/04/15/under-a-blood-red-sky/?tid=hp_mm

A lunar eclipse is a time when the Moon, the Sun, and the Earth are all in perfect alignment. Our planet sits between these two great bodies, and we feel the pull of the Moon on one side, with the warmth of the Sun on the other. It is a time when things just fall into place, our minds become clear and we can see what it is we need to see. We will get a moment of pure clarity.

This Full Moon symbolizes ‘powerful endings, closure, clearing out, completion .’ It heralds a time of major transitions. It represents letting go, purging and releasing especially on an emotional and psychological level. Be brave and face death. A new birth is upon us, a collective yearning for something better to arise in our world. 

During the Full Moon phase in astrology, emotions tend to be like high tide in the Ocean. Surge of emotional intensity is now possible. There may be a lot more flowing out through tears, sorrow, pain and even joy. Consider the Full Moon/Lunar Eclipse in Libra a time to restore the harmony and balance on many levels but especially the emotional. Relationship to your emotional self and emotional intimacy with others may be helpful now.

When we experience an eclipse, it is an opportunity for reset. A portal of alignment is created where new influence can take precedence over the old. This is the time to put your gratitude forth for all the many blessings in your life and to clearly speak aloud your intentions and desires to be heard by the universe as we step across this edge to the other side.

We are in a powerful time where we are asked to look at what is no longer working in our lives- where is the old skin stuck and inhibiting our further growth. Where are we surrounded by things, people, situations, attitudes that are actually toxic and need to be burned in the fire, so we can rebirth ourselves like the phoenix does. 

This eclipse kicks off a series of Blood Moons called a tetrad, there will be 4 blood moons between now and next year which are spaced out at exactly 6 month periods, which many religious groups have heralded this as an end of days as there 666 months between each one and a verse from The King James Bible predicts: “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD comes,” [Joel 2:31] This is not a Wiccan belief however and the world is not going to end.

Have a blessed Full Moon, may the Goddess watch over you.

The Blood Moon is almost upon us. It is when there will be a total lunar eclipse, where the earths shadow will turn the Moon a blood red colour. The Blood Moon will be visible worldwide.

One of the great things about lunar eclipses is that they are completely safe to view with the naked eye. No special filters are required to protect your eyes like those used for solar eclipses. You don’t even need a telescope to watch the eclipse, although a good pair of binoculars will help.

In Paganism a Blood Moon opens a gateway into the heavens as the Earth, Sun and Moon align. For a brief moment in time we can commune with the spirit world and other realms.

In many religions this is a great Omen, many Christians believe it will be the return of their savior Jesus. The King James Bible predicts: “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD comes,” [Joel 2:31] The Blood Moon is also on the same day as the Jewish feast of Passover. And is just before Easter.

More info here:
http://www.universetoday.com/110780/get-ready-for-the-april-15-2014-total-lunar-eclipse-our-complete-guide/

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