Let’s claim the fall equinox for falling fertility.
Easter is only named Easter in English-speaking traditions. Pascha is the root name for the spring Christian holiday in most other cultures, originally meaning Passover, from the Jewish tradition.
Why do we call Easter by that word, when the word has nothing to do with the holiday? Various sources suggest Easter takes over a pagan celebration. The German goddess Eostre represented fertility, which gave rise to east (dawn) and yes, estrogen. She also had a hare as a pet companion.
A folklore article from The Library of Congress says we don’t know for sure.
I interviewed the Easter Bunny last year, and this is the story from that interview:
I do like the Eostre Germanic goddess story. I like goddess stories that predate patriarchy.
I do think we need a festival celebrating menopause.
Demeter is the Greek goddess of autumn and the harvest. Many traditional celebrations of the harvest feast fall long after September 21, so we could claim that day, the autumnal equinox.
I loved estrogen and its many benefits, but fertility also has its limits. The glory days of estrogen were replaced by the long slog of middle years, and then the freedom of the Pause.
The Pause doesn’t just happen in a day, however, unless a surgical intervention is necessary. For many of us, the pause wasn’t a full stop for some months or years. Medically, the doctor said menopause was a full year without evidence of estradiol.
First gray hair! First day of Social Security! First day of Medicare! The culture would have us slip these markers away, quietly. Let’s celebrate the end of Fertility and create our own holiday.
This is where other contributions are needed — the imagination of the sisterhood is so much larger than one person.
Demeter might be a good candidate for our sponsor. She was also the mother of Persephone. Persephone fell for that bad boy, the god of the underworld, and ate six pomegranate seeds, giving us six months of growing and then fading light.
Some of us fell for bad boys and some of us warned about bad boys and it was all tied up with estrogen.
Anyhow, that is our herstory about Easter, past, and roots.
Now we can focus on planning our Autumnal Equinox holidays, and establish new celebrations.