Thursday, 29 March 2018

The Goddess Eostre Checks Her List

The goddess Eostre dances through the fields of Husborne Crawley. A deeply conflicted goddess, attested to only by a monk in an attempt to explain a month's name, she sometimes wonders whether she really exists at all.

And the trouble with being a goddess of uncertain existence is she doesn't know what she's goddess of. Maybe the Angles had a use for her, apart from just being Month-Namer, but what use was she? It was all so long ago. She can't recall.

Eostre draws a weary breath, and passes her lime-green hand across her forehead. Kicking Narcissus out the way,  she gazes at her reflection in the brook.

 "Not looking bad for 3,000, kid. I wonder if I was one of those Matronae Austriahenae I've been reading about. Still, the mother of Austrians? I'd have to wear lederhosen like Jamie Lee Curtis. Or was that Swedish? Oh, I don't remember. What point is a divinity that's lost her purpose?"

Washing her face in the dew of dawn - her dawn, for is she not cognate with Aurora* - she remembers her new purpose in life.  The New Religion that threw her from her throne - if she ever had a throne, if she ever existed - is growing weak.  Belief is no longer in an All-Father and a  death-conquering Son,  but  now resides in a hatred of all things that come from across the sea. The spiritual heart of England is now Englishness. But Englishness is tainted with Empire, the blood of the weak and oppression of the poor. Old England is dying. And in its death, in the failing of the old light, Eostre has found a new job.  Part time, to be sure. But when you're  an ageing immortal with no allotted purpose, what are you to do?

Eostre has become the goddess of Easter misinformation and Social Media strife.

She pulls out the checklist. Has it been said enough that she - an uncertain  goddess of the far West - was responsible for a  bunch of middle-eastern monotheists giving a date to a feast in her honour, that they didn't name after her  but instead named after their own Passover?


Have two or more newspapers got over-eggcited about the false idea  that all Easter Eggs used to have the word "Easter" on them but now don't?

Oh yeah.

Has someone done the eggcited pun?

Well if they haven't, I just did. Tick.

Has someone said Judas wasn't bad, just misguided?


Has the fact that a product made with milk and cocoa butter is halal made members and friends of UKIP  all stressy?  Have people pointed out that  olive oil, water, baked beans and communion wafers are also halal? Has this made someone declare that unless a pig has actually died to make it, it's not a real Easter egg?

Mostly.  Maybe not the  last one, but then the goddess Eostre uninstalled Facebook because they held so much data about her. One of her "friends" on there probably did say as much. In some gif shared from a far-right group pretending to be about remembering how good England was in the 50s.

Has a major spiritual figure, like  Joan Bakewell or a bishop, said the Resurrection did not happen?

Mmm. No. Problem. The mainstream of British society doesn't care anymore, and the believers that are left - maybe they believe more. The goddess Eostre reminds herself that there's still Good Friday to go, so plenty of time.

Meanwhile the Easter Bunny is getting restless, and starts to nibble at her socks.

Socks, she thinks to herself. A goddess in socks! Well, she's getting on. The world itself is getting old. And it's a frosty morning. She'll have to have a word with the Frost Giants.  If they're not working over the weekend at B&Q.

  The Goddess Eostre resolves to have a look at Ian Paul's blog to see if he's debunked any folk religion lately. Then, seeing the shining in the east ( "named after me - or was it the other way round?" she mumbles) she sets off to cause trouble. She needs to draw the attention of an Anglo-Catholic pedant to the existence of "luxury" hot cross buns. It's a busy life, trying to find  purpose as a an deity of uncertain existence.

* Probably not, but worth a stab, surely?

Want a good laugh? Want to laugh at the church? Want to be secretly suspicious that the author has been sitting in your church committee meetings taking notes? Then Writes of the Church: Gripes and grumbles of people in the pews is probably the book for you.

From Amazon, Sarum Bookshop, The Bible Readers Fellowship and other good Christian bookshops. An excellent book for your churchgoing friends, relatives or vicar. By the creator of the Beaker Folk.


  1. Goddess in Blue Jeans, because she'd have kept up with the time. Skinny Legged Blue Jeans are a must for an ancient, mythical Goddess.

  2. Brilliant! Thank you so much. I was unaware of the "war on Easter" until yesterday. Not sure it has appeared in the US yet, which is puzzling.

    1. Oh, it's here. Come to Boston (Massachusetts, not its 'parent company').


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