Step-pyramid, c. 2600 BC
Djoser (Džozer), Imhotep / Y-DNA G2a, I2a
Pharaoh Djoser & Vizier Imhotep
The step pyramid is believed to have been initiated by the third dynasty pharaoh Djoser and designed by his vizier Imhotep. It is considered by Egyptologists to be the Oldest Pyramid in the world.
The Step-pyramid is believed to have evolved from an original 'Mastaba' form which was later built upon and extended several times until it attained its present shape. It was built from local limestone and cased in the better quality Tura limestone.
'Egyptian archaeologists have uncovered the "missing pyramid" of a pharaoh and a ceremonial procession road where high priests carried mummified remains of sacred bulls, Egypt's antiquities chief said earlier this year'.
Zahi Hawass said the pyramid - of which only the base remains - is believed to be that of King Menkauhor, an obscure pharaoh who ruled for only eight years more than 4,000 years ago.
The Serapeum is the term most often used to refer to the burial place of the sacred Apis bulls at Saqqara. It consisted of a huge underground complex to the north-west of the Step Pyramid of Djoser where the bulls were buried in enormous granite sarcophagi between the 18th Dynasty and Ptolemaic times.
Extract from Strabo: "One finds a temple to Serapis in such a sandy place that the wind heaps up the sand dunes beneath which we saw sphinxes, some half buried, some buried up to the head, from which one can suppose that the way to this temple could not be without danger if one were caught in a sudden wind storm. It was impossible to doubt it. This buried Sphinx, the companion of fifteen others I had encountered in Alexandria and Cairo, formed with them, according to the evidence, part of the avenue that led to the Memphis Serapeum...
The sacred bulls were buried in a single block of granite that weighed between sixty and eighty tons. All twenty-four sarcophagi had been plundered. Their lids had been praised loose and the contents taken. Further excavation revealed an older gallery and then another one further on. The way into the first of the galleries was blocked by a huge rock which was blown apart with explosives. Beneath where the rock had been, was found a mummy of a man. This was the mummy of a son of Ramasses II, Prince Khaemwese. He was in charge of the restoration of the Pyramid of Unas. He was also governor of Memphis and a high priest of Ptah. He had requested to be buried with the sacred bulls rather than a tomb of his own.
The mastabas at Saqqara display some interesting features. Three of the tombs had an associated mud-brick boat burial on their north side and some of the mastabas also had raised platforms which ran around them. The heads were modelled out of mud but the horns were real, and it has been estimated that a tomb might have been surrounded by up to three hundred of them. Throughout Egyptian history the bull was closely associated with kinship. The pharaoh was referred to as 'Mighty Bull'.
The superstructure of the tomb shows evidence of 30 niches and 34 projections along its periphery. The structure was built on a wide platform on which, placed at reguar intervals, were clay bovine heads with real horns. At the rate of 7 to each niche and 4 on the facade, there would have been a total of 346. The bull played a considerable role in the Old kingdom, and in the pyramid texts the King is often called 'The Bull of the Sky'. But because of its horns the bull was also related to the moon. Thus it is tempting to note that the number of bull heads here approximates to that of 12 lunations (354 days), and extremely close to the number of days which Sir Fred Hoyle related to the periodic return of eclipses.
Bull worship at at Chatal Huyak, Turkey
The corners of the pyramids of Djoser, Userkaf, and Unas align to Heliopolis
Khemenu / Hermopolis
Khemenu (Ḫmnw), the Ancient Egyptian name of the city, means "eight-town", after the Ogdoad, a group of eight deities who represented the world before creation. The name survived into Coptic as (Shmounein), from which the modern name, El Ashmunein, is derived. In Greek, the city was called Hermopolis, after Hermes, whom the Greeks identified with Thoth, because the city was the main cult centre of Thoth, the god of magic, healing and wisdom, and the patron of scribes. Thoth was associated in the same way with the Semitic Eshmun. Inscriptions at the temple call the god "The Lord of Eshmun".- Hermopolis
Eshmun - Thoth - Anat
Thoth was associated in the same way with the Phoenician deity Eshmun.
Eshmun (Phoenician: lʾšmn) was a Phoenician god of healing and the tutelary god of Sidon.
Anat is also presumably the goddess whom Sanchuniathon calls Athene, a daughter of El, mother unnamed, who with Hermes (that is Thoth) counselled El on the making of a sickle and a spear of iron, presumably to use against his father Uranus.
The nose is large, narrow and convex - Dinaric/Armenoid
Other forms of the name ḏḥwty using older transcriptions include Jehuti, Jehuty, Tahuti, Tehuti, Zehuti, Techu, or Tetu. Multiple titles for Thoth, similar to the pharaonic titulary, are also known, including A, Sheps, Lord of Khemennu, Asten, Khenti, Mehi, Hab, and A'an.
Thoth has been depicted in many ways depending on the era and on the aspect the artist wished to convey. Usually, he is depicted in his human form with the head of an ibis. In this form, he can be represented as the reckoner of times and seasons by a headdress of the lunar disk sitting on top of a crescent moon resting on his head. When depicted as a form of Shu or Ankher, he was depicted to be wearing the respective god's headdress. Sometimes he was also seen in art to be wearing the Atef crown or the United Crowns of Upper and Lower Egypt. When not depicted in this common form, he sometimes takes the form of the ibis directly.
He also appears as a dog-faced baboon or a man with the head of a baboon when he is A'an, the god of equilibrium. In the form of A'ah-Djehuty he took a more human-looking form. These forms are all symbolic and are metaphors for Thoth's attributes. The Egyptians did not believe these gods actually looked like humans with animal heads. For example, Ma'at is often depicted with an ostrich feather, "the feather of truth," on her head, or with a feather for a head.
Thoth's roles in Egyptian mythology were many. He served as a mediating power, especially between good and evil, making sure neither had a decisive victory over the other. He also served as scribe of the gods, credited with the invention of writing and alphabets (i.e. hieroglyphs) themselves. In the underworld, Duat, he appeared as an ape, A'an, the god of equilibrium, who reported when the scales weighing the deceased's heart against the feather, representing the principle of Ma'at, was exactly even.
The ancient Egyptians regarded Thoth as One, self-begotten, and self-produced. He was the master of both physical and moral (i.e. divine) law, making proper use of Ma'at. He is credited with making the calculations for the establishment of the heavens, stars, Earth, and everything in them. Compare this to how his feminine counterpart, Ma'at was the force which maintained the Universe. He is said to direct the motions of the heavenly bodies. Without his words, the Egyptians believed, the gods would not exist. His power was unlimited in the Underworld and rivalled that of Ra and Osiris.
The Egyptians credited him as the author of all works of science, religion, philosophy, and magic. The Greeks further declared him the inventor of astronomy, astrology, the science of numbers, mathematics, geometry, land surveying, medicine, botany, theology, civilized government, the alphabet, reading, writing, and oratory. They further claimed he was the true author of every work of every branch of knowledge, human and divine.
Seshat was the Ancient Egyptian goddess of wisdom, knowledge, and writing. She was seen as a scribe and record keeper, and her name means she who scrivens (i.e. she who is the scribe), and is credited with inventing writing. She also became identified as the goddess of accounting, architecture, astronomy, astrology, building, mathematics, and surveying. These are all professions that relied upon expertise in her skills.
Mistress of the House of Books is another title for Seshat, being the deity whose priests oversaw the library in which scrolls of the most important knowledge were assembled and spells were preserved. One prince of the fourth dynasty, Wep-em-nefret, is noted as the Overseer of the Royal Scribes, Priest of Seshat on a slab stela. Heliopolis was the location of her principal sanctuary. She is described as the goddess of history.
Pharaoh Tuthmosis III (1479-1425 BCE) called her Sefket-Abwy (She of seven points). Spell 10 of the Coffin Texts states "Seshat opens the door of heaven for you."
Garden of Eden
There is no Garden of Eden created in the first chapter of Genesis. No tree of life or knowledge was planted, nor is there any prohibition against eating the fruit of the tree. On the contrary, the primal pair, the male and female, are told that every herb and every tree are given to them for food. The theology of the Elohim differs from that of Iahu-Elohim. This agrees with a non-Semitic version of the creation legend (Records, New Series, vol. vi.), in which there is no garden created, no mention of man being placed in the garden to tend it; no tree of life, nor tree of knowledge; and no temptation by the serpent, or story of the Fall. The primal paradise, that of Shu and the seven support- gods in Am-Khemenu, is thus differentiated from the garden of Ptah in the secondary creation or representation.
The seven steps to Paradise
Postanak - Sedam dana
Shabbat "Lord's Day"
Seven is one of the greatest power numbers in Judaism, representing Creation, good fortune, and blessing.
The Bible is replete with things grouped in sevens. Besides the Creation and the exalted status of the Sabbath, the seventh day, there are seven laws of Noah and seven Patriarchs and Matriarchs. Several Jewish holidays are seven days long, and priestly ordination takes seven days. The Land of Israel was allowed to lie fallow one year in seven. The menorah in the Temple has seven branches. The prophet Zechariah describes a strange celestial stone with seven eyes (Chapter 4).
This emphasis on seven continues post-biblically with seven wedding blessings, seven circuits performed about a groom, and seven days of mourning after the death of a close relative.
Events, prayers,and esoteric observances that involve multiples of seven are also common. Entities both natural (gold) and supernatural (angels) are often grouped by sevens (I Enoch 20; II Enoch 19). Seven is a factor in many occult elements and events.
The first verse of the Torah consists of seven words and seven is the recurrent number in Pharaoh’s divinatory dreams in Genesis. The walls of Jericho fall after the Israelites encircle it seven times. In the Zohar, the seven lower sefirot are those aspects of God that are present in asiyah, our world of action. Seven is also the preferred number in spells, magic squares, amulets, and the like (Genesis 7:2; I Kings 18:43; Deuteronomy 16:9; Pesahim 54a; Sotah 10b).
Shabbat "Lord's Day" - Shiva's day
Shabbat = Shiva
I sedmoga dana Bog dovrši svoje djelo koje učini. I počinu u sedmi dan od svega djela koje učini. (3) I blagoslovi Bog sedmi dan i posveti, jer u taj dan počinu od svega djela svoga koje učini. (4) To je postanak neba i zemlje, tako su stvarani.
Shabbat "Lord's Day" = Shiva's day; Shabba = Sheva (bb = v), Tel Be'er Sheva The name is derived from the Hebrew be'er, meaning a well, and sheva, meaning "seven".
Kundalini Šakti je energija koja se ujedinjuje sa Šiva svijesti na vrhu glave kroz sedam čakri, isto tako je u univerzumu sedmerostruka moć Maha kundali.
Čakre se označavaju laticama lotosa, jer je lotosov korijen u zemlji, stabljika u vodi i cvijet u zraku.
Šiva tj. muški princip je bio plavi bog, ženski princip Šakti je bila crvena. Šiva/Šakti znači spajanje šakti energije iz kosti sacruma u muladhari (koje je crvenkaste boje) sa šiva svjesnošću u šestoj čakri koje se označava plavom bojom, pinealna žlijezda je plava perla.
Na korejskoj zastavi imamo npr. crveno plavi Jin i Jang znak iz Taoizma, taj znak znači da imamo malo muške energije u ženskoj i obratno.
Broj sedam označava sedam čakri koje odgovaraju sedam vidljivih planeta, u Ivanovom otkrivenju se spominje sedam pečata i sedam trublji pa imamo sedam smrtnih grijeha, sedam sakramenata...
Sakrament je riječ koja se sastoji od sacrum (sveta kost gdje kundalini stoji) i ment što znači um, prolazi kroz sedam čakra do uma.
Šiva koji u sedmoj čakri čeka sjedinjenje sa Šakti ima svoj dan Mahashivratri između veljače i ožujka (broj sedam na hebrejskom je šiva tj. shiba), taj dan se posipa svetim pepelom vibhuti i crta s njim tri horizontalne linije na čelu, tamo gdje je Šivino oko.
Katolička pepelnica pada u isto vrijeme, posipa se pepelom i crta križ na mjestu trećeg oka. U Indiji ona točka na čelu je bindi (od bindu, iako je ona na mjestu gdje je perčin, zato ga monasi obrijane glave ostavljaju), trinetra (treće oko je bog tri u jedan).
Broj sedam je svet u mnogim religijama, Mitraisti su prolazli kroz sedam stupnjeva inicijacije, u kršćanstvu sedam najviših anđela su arkanđeli. Bilo je sedam arkona koji su planetarni duhovi nebeskih sfera, Ahura mazda je kreirao šest Amesha Spenti i sedmog Spenta Mainyu, Brahma je imao sedam kumari...
Zmija ima dva značenja: eksterno kozmološko, a interno je predstavljala prosvjetljenje i mudrost. Unutrašnje prosvjetljenje se događa kada se kundalini energija diže iz dna kičmenog stupa kao zmija do hipokampusa i pinealne žlijezde, tada se otvara treće oko. Te dvije zmije su Ida i Pingala oko centralne osi Shushuma; sa svake strane su 72 000 kanala, ukupno 144 000. Zato se broj 144 000 spominje tri puta u Bibliji.
Sveta tri kralja su Ida, Pingala i Šušumna koji donose poklone zlato, tamjan i smirnu/miru. U krunskoj čakri odgovaraju tamjan i smirna/mira (kao i muladhari), a zlato je element krunske čakre, dakle imamo sva tri u krunskoj čakri.
The two serpents intertwine as a symbol of the relationship between two opposites: the sun and the moon, on the cosmic level, and within the sacred physiology of the subtle body, the solar nadi and lunar nadi, as they are described in the texts of Tantric Hinduism. The opposites manifest themselves in the cosmos and within the individual psyche, and they reflect the complementary aspects of the divinity, out of which all things flow.
The two snakes in this image represent complementary forms of divine energy. The same forms are represented by the sun and the moon, the male and the female, heat and cold. Central in this symbolism is the notion of energy. In the Hindu worldview, the term for this energy is prana, which means “breathing forth.” It may refer to the Ultimate as the transcendent source of all life, to life in general, to the life force of an specific being, to respiration, to air, and to the life organs. It is the creative force that underlies and pervades all being. In this sense, prana is related to the Greek pneuma (“spirit”) and the Melanesian mana (“power”). All of these terms refer to an invisible force that moves and empowers cosmic life.
That this energy should be represented in two of its aspects by two snakes is not surprising, since the primary divinity involved in this ritual process is also depicted as a snake, that is, Kundalini. In the West, we tend to symbolize spirit as a bird, especially a dove or an eagle. In this way, we stress the freedom and transcendence of the spirit. However, the snake is also a common symbol for spirit, because it is believed to possess the powers of healing and immortality. Shedding its skin, the snake appears to undergo rebirth. Further, it is believed to have a special connection with the life-giving powers of the earth in which it dwells.
Indijski mit o postanku uključuje zmiju između neba i podzemlja, tamo je aswatha drvo života. Ananta shesha je maha kundali, kundalini u makrokosmosu, ona obavija axis mundi tj. nebo, stvarni svijet i podzemlje, ona je kao ouroboros krug života. Drvo se kao i zmija samoobnavlja, to je krug života. Zmija odbacuje kožu, drvo lišće.
U mitologijama su obično dva drva, pa i u biblijskom postanku su dva, drvo života i drvo spoznaje dobra i zla. Riječ Hell potiče od nordijske boginje Hell, tako se i na nordijskom stablu života zove jedna čakra u korijenu (helheim u makrokosmosu).
Prema kretskome mitu o stvaranju, zmija ophion se sedam puta omotala oko jajeta i nastala je golubica Eurynome (to bi bilo sedma čakra).
U Egiptu se kreator smatralo božanstvo Kneph zmija koja se omotava oko jajeta.
Ilirska zmijska boginja i bog su se zvali dracon i dracena. Kod Ilira zmija je bila zaštitnica kuće i nije ju se smjelo ubiti, zmijski duh zaštitinik je bio genius kod Rimljana, jinn u islamu, agatodemon u Grčkoj, Naga u Indiji; to su bili polubogovi kao veza između ljudi i bogova., zato jer je kundalini veza do boga....
Seshat (zmija Shesha) je znana kao ona koja živi između bikovih rogova, prikazivana je sa sedam krakova iznad glave, nekad sa dvije kobre i rogovima. Hijeroglif Heke su bile ispružene ruke i isprepletene zmije kao na kaduceju.
Zmija se omotava oko drva života i nagovara Evu "na strašan grijeh" da kuša jabuku koja predstavlja Veneru. Misli se na unutarnje prosvjetljenje i da ljudi postanu kao bogovi.
Religije prije su uvijek imale muški i ženski princip, ekvilibrij (hebrejska riječ za ekvilibrij je mashveh, kombinacija majke Ashere i Jahvea). U Bibliji je kundalini energija kroz zmiju koja nagovara Evu (šakti sila) da pojede jabuku znanja sotonizirana. Kundalini je kao zmija/sotona bačen na zemlju da puzi, u početku je zmija bila najljepše biće u vrtu sa krilima.
Kad su Židovi došli u Kanaan, došlo je do uplitanja kanaanske boginje Ashere sa Jahveom, i oni svećenici koji su slavili Asheru su proganjani, željeli su samo Jahvea kao mušku osobu i osvajača. Stajaći, ratarski narodi su imali uvijek "boginju majku" i "sina božjeg", Židovi kao pustinjski nomadi nisu jer je Jahve centralna figura. Asheru je kršćansto pretopilo u demona Astaroth. Sam Jeruzalem je bio kanaanski Urusalem, utemeljen za štovanje venere večernje zvijezde Salem. Mariju su zvali i jutarnja zvijezda po veneri.
Epifiza/pinealna žlijezda izlučuje hormon melatonin, na talijanskome je jabuka mela.
Herkul je iznad serpens caput i serpens cauda, to su dvije zmije koje je on ubio kao beba koje mu je poslala Hera zvana bo opis, zmijsko lice.. Ladon je trebao čuvati Herine zlatne jabuke u rajskom vrtu na drvu života, one su u kabali znak prosvjetljenja.
Atlas je imao sedam kćeri što označava sedam čakri, i želio je ubrati zlatne jabuke dok mu Heraklo pridrži nebeski svod. Znači imamo zmaja/zmiju oko sedam čakri i rajski vrt tj. krunsku čakru. Atlas je zove i 33. kralježak, on ima sedam kćeri/čakri.
Zlatna jabuka bi trebala biti rajčica; na francuskom je zlatna jabuka pomme d or (pomodor), ili raj-čica rajska jabuka ili paradajz tj. paradise što znači raj.
Pentagram of Venus
The pentagram of Venus is the apparent path of the planet Venus as observed from Earth. Successive inferior conjunctions of Venus repeat with an orbital resonance of approximately 13:8-that is, Venus orbits the Sun approximately 13 times for every eight orbits of Earth-shifting 144° at each inferior conjunction. The tips of the five loops at the center of the figure have the same geometric relationship to one another as the five vertices, or points, of a pentagram. Groups of five intersections of curves, equidistant from the figure's center, have the same geometric relationship.
Pentagram & Crescent - Turkey
Egyptian Book of the Dead
The Per-Ankh—the “House of Life”—discussed in the previous post, served as the library of Egyptian temples. There various texts were transcribed and kept by scribes, including the “books of the dead”. According to Jeremy Naydler, the House of Life was also a center of esoteric training where students may have undertaken a course of spiritual development, resulting in initiations into “various degrees of symbolic death and rebirth”.
Instructed by funerary texts such as the Egyptian Book of the Dead, initiates may have engaged in visionary journeys to the duat—the underworld—thereby acquainting themselves with its spiritual realities. Naydler insists that familiarity with the underworld was essential knowledge for the Egyptian priest-magician, and mastery of its psychic energies was necessary on the path of spiritual attainment. Funerary texts served not only as guides for the dead but also for the living—they were “training manuals” preparing them for the afterlife experience. By studying them initiates could cross the threshold of death while still alive, leading to spiritual rebirth. This may have been achieved in a state of deep trance, perhaps similar to an “out of body experience”.
Among the oldest literature of Egypt, the Pyramid Texts were originally inscribed on the interior walls of pyramids and intended exclusively for use by the pharaoh. During the Middle Kingdom, funerary texts such as the Coffin Texts were painted on sarcophagi. They continued in the New Kingdom as the Book of Coming Forth by Day—popularly known as the Egyptian Book of the Dead. These were commissioned by the wealthy and deposited in their tombs. They serve as guidebooks to the afterlife, providing prayers, hymns, magical formulas and maps of the territory of the duat to assist the soul in its postmortem journey.
These books of the dead describe the fantastic topography of the underworld: its marshes, rivers, lakes of fire, pylons and other sights to be found there. During the journey souls were required to pass through a number of gates, caverns and mounds. The journey through that realm was a hazardous and demanding one, requiring knowledge of many magical spells to enlist the help of the gods in overcoming obstacles along the way. These include incantations to subdue the monsters and demons that are encountered there, as well as of the names of gatekeepers who need to be addressed before they allow the traveler to continue on their way.
The following is a spell for repelling the demonic serpent Apep, the personification of evil, by by identifying oneself with Ra, the god of light, who overcomes all darkness:
“Get back! Crawl away!
Depart from me you snake!
Go and be drowned in the Waters of Nun,
at the place where your father
has commanded that you shall be slain.
Depart from the divine birth-place of Ra!
You tremble with fear,
for I am Ra at whom all tremble,
Get back you fiend, before the arrows of his light!
Ra has overthrown your words.”
The Payrus of Ani is a version of the Egyptian Book of the Dead, written for Ani, a royal scribe. It describes the series of pylon gates that must be passed through in transit through the underworld, reminiscent of the gates of Egyptian temples. Each pylon has a guardian who challenges the soul’s right to pass, threatening to burn them in fire, or cut them into pieces. They have terrifying names such as “She Who Repeats Slaughter”, “Lady of the Knife Who Dances in Blood” and “The Purifier of Sinners”. Ani is required to give the name of each guardian-doorkeeper to pacify them.
Eventually Ani arrives at the “Hall of Two Truths” where his final and most important trial occurs—the “balancing of the scales”, where his heart is weighed in the balance against the feather of truth. The heart was believed to contain the record of the deceased’s actions in life, and without it there was no memory, or chance for eternal life.
If the heart weighs heavier than the feather in the scales there is always the danger the soul might be devoured by the monster Ammit–part lion, crocodile, and hippopotamus, who waits nearby. Judged worthy by the forty-two assessor gods, Ani is led by the falcon-headed god Horus into the presence of his father Osiris, ruler of the underworld and god of rebirth and regeneration. Osiris welcomes Ani to his kingdom as one of the “living ones”—the blessed dead. Following this, righteous souls may choose to dwell in the paradisiacal Fields of Reeds, or ascend to accompany the sun-god Ra on his daily journey across the heavens in his Boat of Millions of Years.
Naydler writes that the Egyptian underworld is primarily a psychic experience, similar to a dream, where the soul exteriorizes its contents, finding itself in environments which reflect its state. Progress through this realm consists in purging the part of the soul known as the ba, roughly equivalent to the subconscious mind, of all that is impure and spiritually disharmonious. According to Naydler, the Egyptian Book of the Dead describes the metamorphosis of the ba-soul into the akh-spirit, during which it becomes united with the source of spiritual light—dwelling in the heavens as a “shining one”, a star. The ba is associated with the realm of Osiris, and the akh with the sun-god Ra, so this apotheosis occurs as the center of consciousness transitions from the underworld to the heavenly world, resulting in spiritual illumination.
Psychologist Stanislav Grof agrees that these books were written not only for the dead, but also to guide the living. He insists they are not products of superstition and primitive imagination–but are instead accurate descriptions of the experiential territories traversed in non-ordinary states of consciousness, based on countless personal experiences, and many centuries of careful observation.
The Magician’s Tomb
Attached to larger Egyptian temples was the library known as the Per-Ankh—the “House of Life”. Here texts were kept and studied by magician-priests called kher-heb or “lector priests”. These were learned scribes who determined the texts to be written on temple walls, clarified religious texts, maintained the temple’s collection of magical papyri, and wrote magical spells. On a wall of the House of Life in the Temple of Edfu the following list of magical books are recorded:
The Book of Appeasing Sekhmet, The Book of Magical Protection of the King in his Place, Spells for Warding Off the Evil Eye, The Book of Repelling Crocodiles, The Book of Knowledge of Secrets of the Laboratory, The Book of Knowing the Secret Forms of the God.
Kher-heb priests in their official duties recited incantations and hymns during temple and state rituals. They were also well versed in magic and the interpretation of dreams. Laymen would come to them in the House of Life if they needed a spell or amulet, to have dreams interpreted, to cure illness or seek protection from malign sorcerers, demons or ghosts. When not serving in the temples, the kher-heb “moonlighted” as magicians in the community.
Evidence of their practices comes from the discovery of a shaft burial known as the Ramesseum Tomb or “Magician’s Tomb” dating from the Late Middle Kingdom (1773-1650 BCE). In it was found a magician’s box—a “tool-kit” containing twenty-three papyri and numerous reed pens. The image of a jackal, associated with the jackal headed god Anubis, is sketched on the lid of the box. This identifies its owner as an official who had access to “cultic mysteries”, according to Egyptologist Robert Kriech Ritner.
Along with these objects were found ivory wands and broken knives used for magical protection as well as an assortment of beads, and amulets. Among these was a bronze Cobra or uraeus serpent which may have been used as a magic wand, found entangled in a mass of hair, as well as several female figurines.
The papyri found in the box are mostly magical, consisting of hymns and rituals. Others are magico-medical, and literary in nature. The beads and amulets were used for healing and protection, the knives were intended to magically protect infants from demons, while the statues were of protective deities, according to Ritner. The hair was perhaps used along with the charms for protection rituals. Ritner writes that the owner of the tomb was a magician with competence in general medicine, feminine fertility, protection from serpents and demons, childhood ills, and agricultural magic.
The priests of Sekhmet, the lion-headed goddess, often specialized in medicine and magic. Sekhmet was also the bringer of plague and disease, and had to be propitiated by her clergy. The scorpion goddess Selkhet also had her own magician-healers who specialized in curing the bites of scorpions and snakes.
In one such spell for curing snakebite the magician created a small sculpture of the god Horus which he placed on the head of the patient, accompanied by this spell: “Flow out, poison! Scatter yourself on the ground! Horus curses you, he wipes you out! He grinds you underfoot!… You creep away, And you are not seen again. So speaks Horus the Great Magician!”
Demons with foreign names derived from Semitic languages spoken in Syria and Palestine are common in Egyptian magical texts, and were blamed for various kinds of sickness, fevers, and infectious diseases. A technique for dealing with demonic possession was to find a spirit powerful enough to drive the demon out—or negotiate with it. Along with demons are the bau of deities—their divine manifestations—which could also threaten mankind. A person might offend a god and experience their displeasure as an illness or panic attack.
Egyptian magicians invoked strange composite deities to combat the bau of the gods. One of the most notable of these was Tutu, known by titles such as “he who keeps enemies at a distance”, as well as “great of strength”. He had a sphinx-like form consisting of the head of a man and body of a lion with snake’s tail. Tutu was considered the chief of the demons who could also harness their forces. He was prayed to and given offerings to protect against bad dreams.
The practice of magic in Egypt was not exclusive to the priesthood, or to men. Wise women known as rekhet, meaning “female knower” were thought to have the ability to communicate with the gods and the dead. They were consulted as seers, and their clairvoyant abilities were apparently passed down through families.
The rekhet exercised powers similar to modern “mediums” and were able to reveal which bau of the gods had placed a spell on a person, causing them misfortune. An ancient text reads: “I have gone to the wise woman and she told me the manifestation (bau) of Ptah is with you”. They also found out what the grievances of the dead were against the living and how they might be satisfied, since it was believed the “restless dead” or angry ghosts–those who had died in an unhappy condition or hadn’t received a proper burial–could bear grudges against the living and torment them. It was thought such wise women could diagnose which evil spirit or deity was responsible for causing the illness of a sick child.
The goddess Isis may have been associated with the rekhet. A stone tablet from the thirtieth dynasty, the Metternich Stela, records Isis as saying: “I am a daughter, a knowing one (rht) in her town, who dispels a poisonous snake with her oral powers. My father has taught me knowledge.”
On the stela are recorded numerous spells and rituals for healing of snake and scorpion bites. Water was poured over the stone and collected and drunk by persons as a means of magical healing.
In ancient Egypt there was no word for “religion”—the closest thing to it was heka–magical power. Heka literally means “the activating of the ka”, the ka being the spiritual “double”–or life force within the human body which survives it after death—and also the vital force shared by mankind and the gods. It is the universal life energy, the creative power circulating through the spiritual and physical worlds which makes creation possible. Thus magic preceded the creation of the gods and was believed to be even more powerful than them. In the Pyramid Texts the magician’s power is extolled: “The sky quivers, the earth quakes before me, for I am a magician, I possess magic”.
Heka was personified as a god of magic, associated with the power of the written and spoken word as well as medicine and healing. He accompanied the sun-god Ra on his barque during its daily journey through the heavens, along with the gods Sia (divine perception) and Hu (divine speech). He was depicted as a man holding two serpents crossed over his chest. Heka’s female equivalent was the goddess Weret Hekau, meaning “Great of Magic”, or the “Great Enchantress” who was often depicted in the form of a cobra, as were several other Egyptian goddesses. Egyptian magicians in their ceremonies carried cobra shaped bronze staffs, possibly associated with Weret Hekau.
The caduceus wand of the Greek god of magic and healing, Hermes, consists of two serpents symmetrically entwining a staff. Its earlier prototype can be found in the double serpent wand wielded by the Mesopotamian goddess Ishtar.
Egyptian magicians summoned the power of heka through the use of sacred words, images, and rituals. Using the principle of sympathy—“like affecting like”—they attempted to influence the course of the cosmos through magic, circumventing ordinary laws of cause and effect. All things on earth were believed to be linked to their divine archetypes, therefore by using their corresponding words or images in magic the power of the neters or gods could be invoked to manifest the will of the magician. The word was believed to have power to manifest that which existed on the causal-spiritual level, especially when spoken with intention and proper intonation. Words gave life to the things they represented, exemplified by the god Tehuti, or Thoth—inventor of speech who brought the world into existence through the power of his words.
Hieroglyphs, called mdju netjer--words of the gods– were also believed to be inherently magical as they possessed the indwelling presence of the deities. They were regarded as living things imbued with the life of that which they signified. Besides their use in temple inscriptions, hieroglyphic signs and images of gods were also used for practical magic, sometimes drawn in ink on the skin of a person for healing or protection.
Besides the Egyptian Book of the Dead and other funerary texts, much of the archaeological evidence for Egyptian magic is in the form of written spells on tomb walls, coffins, and inscriptions on monuments and statues. Writing was also used for amulets and healing spells, like those written on a piece of papyrus then hung around a patient’s neck, or worn on the afflicted part of the body. In the Greek Magical Papyri dating from Greco-Roman Egypt, spells were written in myrrh-based ink which was washed off and the mixture swallowed, a practice which still exists in Arabic magic to this day.
Magical statuary played an important role in the religious and magical practices of Egypt. Cult-images of the gods were placed in the innermost chambers of temples and cared for by “oracle priests” who presented them with food and incense several times a day, clothing them in the morning, and sealing their chambers in the evening. This was essential as the ba or soul of the patron god was believed to inhabit its statue. Egyptologist Geraldine Pinch writes: “The daily liturgy was designed to persuade deities to manifest themselves in the statues kept in the holy of holies and to bestow blessings on king, people and country.” During important festivals cult-images were removed from their shrines and carried in procession where the public consulted them as oracles, and in some cases put on boats and sailed along the Nile. It is likely these effigies of the gods became powerful “magical talismans” in their own right. I can attest from personal experience that some of the large statues of Sekhmet the lion-headed goddess continue to emanate power to this day.
Statues also served as guardian figures, such as those of the dancing dwarf god Bes which were placed around temples as well as households to protect during childbirth and ward off demons and bad luck. Bes can be traced back to pre-dynastic times and his cult is thought to have originated in Nubia in present day Sudan. The four sons of Horus were represented in Canopic jars placed in tombs which guarded the internal organs of the deceased.
Tombs contained numerous ushabti— magical figurines of otherworldly servants—made from a wide range of materials such as mud, wax, dough, wood or stone. These were animated by magical spells for the purpose of waiting on the needs of the deceased in the afterlife.
Wax figures were frequently used by magicians for spells. The practice of making wax models of “enemies of the state” and then destroying them was common practice in Egyptian temples, used as a means of holding the forces of chaos at bay. The ancient Greek writer Pseudo-Callisthenes chronicles the use of wax figures by pharaoh Nectanebo II (360-342 BCE) the last native ruler of Egypt, which he used to protect his kingdom from invasion by sea:
“…he retired into a certain chamber, and having brought forth a bowl which he kept for the purpose, he filled it with water, and then, having made wax figures of the ships and men of the enemy, and also of his own men and ships, he set them upon the water in the bowl, his men on one side, and those of the enemy on the other… and uttering words of power he invoked the gods who help men to work magic, and the winds, and the subterranean demons, which straightway came to his aid…the figures which represented his own men vanquished those which represented the enemy, and as the figures of the ships and men of the hostile fleet sank through the water to the bottom of the bowl, even so did the real ships and men sink through the waters to the bottom of the sea.”
Egyptian magicians also performed spells of magical transformation into the gods, identifying with them for the purpose of acquiring their power—similar to the shaman’s use of shapeshifting into animal-helping spirits. In the Egyptian Book of the Dead, spells of transformation into hawks, phoenix birds, the Eye of Horus, and various deities are recorded. A spell to assume the form of a horned snake reads: “I am a horned snake, long of years,/lying down, born every day…”
The pharaoh was also the high priest of all state sanctioned temples. His duties included the building and maintenance of temples, as well as the performance of religious rites. One of the most important of these was the Heb-Sed Festival, a jubilee usually celebrated after thirty years of his reign, and every three years thereafter. It is thought to have originated in predynastic times and was first recorded in the Pyramid Texts, dating back to the Old Kingdom around 2,400-2,300 BCE. The central episode of the Heb-Sed was the ritual death and rebirth of the king, as his revitalization, assured continued harmony between him and the universe.
As part of the festivities he performed the sed dance, demonstrating his physical vigor by circumambulating around a large courtyard, running between sets of hoops and cairns symbolically representing the boundaries of his kingdom.
Following this, a coronation was celebrated in which the king was crowned with the white and red crowns of Upper and Lower Egypt. By doing so, he symbolically united the two lands, embodying the energies of Osiris the god of the underworld, and his son Horus, the lord of the living. Jeremy Naydler proposes that by participation in these magical rites, the king united not only the physical but the spiritual realms together, assuring the fertility of the entire land.
After the public ceremonies, the king undertook a solitary initiatory ordeal which Naydler proposes may have taken place in a chamber inside the pyramids. There he apparently laid on a bed or in a sarcophagus, entering a state of deep trance. This resulted in the awakening of his ba or subtle body, according to Naydler, by means of which he entered the otherworld of the duat in visionary consciousness.
The ba was often depicted as a human headed bird, and possibly in this form the king ascended to the sun-god Ra in the heavens and experienced visions of the deities. A passage of the Pyramid Texts describes the king’s celestial ascent: “…I will ascend to the sky to you, Ra, for my face is that of falcons, my wings are those of ducks…O men, I fly away from you.”
Upon the king’s death the Opening of the Mouth ritual was performed on his mummy. According to authors Robert Bauval and Adrian Gilbert in their book The Orion Mystery, the ceremony was based on the Osiris myth. They propose it may have taken place within the chambers of the Great Pyramid, which served as an instrument of rebirth for the departed king. Researchers speculate that the so-called “air shafts” leading from the Queen’s and King’s chambers to the exterior of the pyramid had a symbolic function as channels for the soul of the departed king, and were oriented towards specific stars in the heavens. The star Sirius was associated with the goddess Isis, and the constellation Orion with Osiris.
Bauval and Gilbert propose the ritual began in the lower Queen’s Chamber of the pyramid where the king’s mummy was positioned in front of the shaft pointing towards Sirius. There, the deceased king (identified with the dead Osiris) was symbolically revived by the goddess Isis, associated with Sirius.
The king’s son, playing the role of Horus, used various tools to touch the eyes and mouth of his father’s mummy, magically restoring its sight and speech and enabling it to eat and drink in the afterlife. Through this act the ka or spiritual body of the deceased king was believed to be reawakened. The mummy was next taken to the King’s Chamber and placed in front of a shaft pointing to the constellation Orion (associated with the resurrected Osiris) preparing the king for the magical ascent to his new home in the heavens—in the constellation Orion—where he would dwell as a star throughout eternity. In the Pyramid Texts it is written:
“…O king, the sky conceives you with Orion, the dawn bears you with Orion…you will regularly ascend with Orion from the eastern region of the sky, you will regularly descend with Orion in the western region of the sky”.
From his new dwelling place in the sky the deceased pharaoh, identified with Osiris god of the dead, continued to play an important role in the life of his people. His earthly tomb became the center of a royal funerary cult in which his statue received daily offerings. Dead pharaohs became deities, some displaying characteristics of local gods. For example, king Amenhotep I (1525-1504 BCE), was worshipped as the patron deity of the town of Deir el-Medina where he was consulted as an oracle by local people.
Etana’s Heavenly Ascent
In the beginning an eagle and serpent inhabit a tall poplar tree—the eagle nesting in its branches and the serpent in its roots. The two become friends, swearing an oath before Shamash the sun-god to share their prey with their young. However, one day while the serpent is out hunting, the eagle betrays their trust and eats the snake’s young. The serpent in his grief complains to Shamash, who counsels him to trap the eagle while it is feasting on prey, then cut its feathers and imprison it in a pit.
Meanwhile, Etana, distraught that he has been unable to produce an heir, approaches Shamash, asking his help to find the magical “plant of birth” that his wife may conceive. The god advises him to search for the eagle who will help him with his quest. Etana finds the trapped bird, feeds it and nurses it back to health. As a reward, the eagle offers him his friendship, saying: “ask of me whatever you desire and I shall give it to you”. Etana tells him of his wish to ascend to heaven to find the “plant of birth”. The eagle agrees to help, saying:
“…Come, let me take you up to heaven,
Put your chest against my chest, Put your hands against my wing feathers,
Put your arms against my sides”. He put his chest against his chest,
He put his hands against his wing feathers, He put his arms against his sides,
Great indeed was the burden upon him. When he bore him aloft one league,
The eagle said to him, to Etana: “Look my friend, how the land is now,
Examine the sea, look for its boundaries. The land is hills…
The sea has become a stream”. When he had borne him aloft a second league,
The eagle said to him, said to Etana,“Look my friend, how the land is now!
The land is a hill.”When he had borne him aloft a third league,
The eagle said to him, said to Etana, “Look my friend, how the land is now!
The sea has become a gardener’s ditch”…
Etana and the eagle continue their climb, soaring further above the earth, entering the heavenly realms of the gods Anu, Enlil, and Ea. They pass through the gates of the gods—the moon god Sin, Shamash the sun god, and Adad the god of storms. They finally come to a heavenly palace where Etana finds the beautiful young goddess Ishtar seated on a throne under which lions crouch. Etana then asks the eagle to take him home. On the way back he falls off the eagle however, plummeting towards the earth, but is rescued by him in mid-flight. Unfortunately, due to a missing portion at the end of the tablet, the tale remains unfinished, leaving us in suspense…
Returning to the Epic of Etana, the tree in which the eagle and serpent dwell bears an uncanny similarity to the Ygdrassil Tree of Nordic mythology, in whose upper branches an eagle dwells, while the serpent Niohoggr gnaws on its roots. Ygdrassil spans the worlds, joining them together and providing nourishment for all creatures.
In fact, the mythic motif of World Tree inhabited by bird and serpent (or dragon) can be found in myths as widespread as the Near-East, Persia, Siberia, China, Indonesia, Mesoamerica and elsewhere. The serpent is usually associated with the powers of the underworld, while the eagle represents the heavenly realm. These two creatures appear together in many other myths as well, symbolizing the opposites of height/depth, light/dark, heaven/earth, etc.
A similar account of a king’s ascent to the heavens can be found in the Pyramid Texts of ancient Egypt (2,400-2,300 BCE) where the pharaoh is instructed to shapeshift into his ba—soul, imagined as a human headed bird, then ascend to the sky to reunite with the sun-god Re and eventually be reborn as a star.
The heavenly ascents of Etana and the pharaoh anticipate by millennia the visionary ascents through the seven-heavens by mystics of late antiquity: the Hermeticists, Gnostics, Theurgists and Jewish Merkabah riders. During their ascensions, some of them imagined passing through palaces of each celestial sphere where they encountered angelic guardians, similar to Etana’s journey. These imaginal ascents were usually performed with the intention of attaining the unio- mystica, or mystical union with divinity, and were believed to “divinize” or transform the mystic into a god or angel.
During a pathworking, the Tree is ascended in imagination by the magician, starting at its base in the sphere of Malkuth—the material world. The various paths are traversed in sequence, each associated with its particular archetypal symbols and transformative experiences. The journey eventually culminates in the first sphere of Kether, the crown of the Tree of Life, symbolizing the god-head. This process is described by the modern Jewish kabbalist Z’ev ben Shimon Halevi as an inner spiritual journey in which the aspirant climbs the Tree of himself, continually balancing and perfecting himself at each stage. He writes; “In this way the ascent is safely made from Earth to Heaven while the man is still in the flesh”.
Initiations which involved visions of descent to the underworld, there the candidate experienced ordeals of death and dismemberment prior to rebirth and attainment of magic powers. This age-old drama of spiritual catharsis and transformation has uncanny parallels in the Sumerian myth of Inanna’s Descent to the Underworld, the oldest recorded myth of a journey to the netherworld, composed sometime between 1900 and 3500 BCE.
The goddess Inanna derives her name from the Sumerian words nin-anna meaning “queen of heaven”, and she was aptly associated with Venus, the brightest planet in the heavens. Embodying the contrasts of nature, Inanna was a goddess of love as well as war, the alluring goddess of fertility and sexual passion who also delighted in stirring up rage on the battlefield. In her appearance as the evening star on the western horizon, Venus/Inanna assumed her role as gentle love goddess. However when she appeared as the morning star heralding sunrise, she became the fierce goddess of war. One of the most popular and beloved goddesses of ancient Mesopotamia, people could identify with Inanna’s all too human passions and swings of behavior—her tenderness, promiscuity, jealousy, anger, and hubris, described in many stories.
In the myth of Inanna’s Decent to the Underworld, the goddess decides to journey to the land of the dead, ruled by her sister Erishkegal, to participate in the funeral rites of Erishkegal’s husband, the Bull of Heaven. This is a bold act, perhaps prompted by Inanna’s ambition to extend her rule to the world below. Inanna knows full well that none who descend to the netherworld ever return. Accordingly she instructs her trusted messenger Ninshubur before her departure that he should go and “weep” before the gods, so they will come to her rescue should she not return after three days.
After a long journey Inanna arrives at the gate of her sister’s palace in the land of the dead. She arrogantly bangs on the door, even threatening to break the bolts if she is not let in. Angered by her brashness, her sister Erishkegal instructs her doorman to open the gates for her. She is told she can enter only on the condition she surrenders one of her “divine powers” at each of the seven gates: her turban, her lapis measuring rod, jewelry and clothes. By the last and seventh gate Inanna is stripped bare. Naked and bowed low she enters Erishkegal’s palace where she attempts to sit on her sister’s throne. Enraged by her arrogant behavior, Erishkegal calls for Inanna’s death. She is judged by seven judges, the Anunnaki gods, then struck and killed by Erishkegal. Inanna’s corpse, like a piece of rotting meat, is hung on a hook on the wall.
As previously instructed, Inanna’s messenger approaches various gods for help, including her father Nanna the moon-god. Nanna ignores his pleas, stating that those arrogant enough to crave the divine powers of the underworld must remain there. Finally, Enki the god of wisdom and magic takes pity on Inanna’s plight and agrees to come to her aid. He creates two figures named Galatur and Kurgarra from the dirt under the fingernails of the gods. They are told to go to the palace of Erishkegal and “enter the door like flies”. When they arrive there they find Erishkegal moaning and crying like a woman ready to give birth, and appease her by expressing concern for her suffering. In gratitude, she asks them what they want in return. Without hesitating they ask for Inanna’s corpse, which they then sprinkle with the magical “water of life” and “life-giving plant”, given to them by Enki. Inanna is revived, and flees from the underworld back to the world of the living. The demons, however, chase after her demanding a replacement.
Inanna returns home to her palace to find her husband Dumuzi sitting on her throne. In fact, during her absence he didn’t even bother to mourn her loss. Enraged at his lack of concern, she gives the ungrateful man to the demons to take. Dumuzi’s sister Geshtinanna steps forward and volunteers to take his place. Brother and sister agree to alternate, each living in the underworld for half a year, and on the surface world the other half.
Dumuzi as the husband and lover of Inanna was called the “shepherd”, who helped the sheep multiply and the grain grow. He personified the yearly cycle of natural growth. It was believed his mating with Inanna in the spring caused the earth to blossom. During the heat of the summer when the crops withered and died it was thought he had descended to live in the underworld. During the period of Dumuzi’s confinement there, he was mourned by funeral rites as the sacrificial Wild Bull. This practice was so widespread that the Hebrew prophet Ezekiel witnessed it at the temple in Jerusalem, scornfully commenting: “…behold, women were sitting there weeping for Tammuz”. Tammuz/Dumuzi was reborn and returned to the world every autumn, along with the life giving rains, bringing fertility to the crops. His joyful reunion with Inanna was widely celebrated in the ancient Middle East.
We can see here the reiteration of the myth of the goddess and the bull, mentioned in previous posts, which was widespread throughout the Neolithic and Bronze Age, in which the bull-god, lover and husband of the goddess, is sacrificed to sustain the world. Savior gods of the ancient Mediterranean world such as Dionysus, Osiris and Attis all have associations with the sacrificial bull. They were “dying gods” who were sacrificed and resurrected, symbolizing the mystery of nature’s eternal cycle of death and regeneration. According to Joseph Campbell, both Inanna and her sister Erishkegal can be understood as two sides of one goddess—representing her powers of life as well as death. As Inanna’s body hangs lifeless on a hook, Erishkegal groans in childbirth—from death springs new life. Paradoxically, as well as being the realm of death, the underworld is also the source of regeneration and life.
There is an astronomical dimension to the myth as well that was clearly understood by Mesopotamian astronomer-priests. The planet Venus, a manifestation of Inanna, always travels in close proximity to the sun as seen from the earth. It leads or follows the sun in the sky—never more than forty-eight degrees apart from it. Venus sets after the sun during certain phases of its orbit as the Evening Star, and rises before the Sun as the Morning Star during other phases. When Venus closely approaches or “transits” the Sun it disappears into its light—vanishing from sight. This can last from a few days to as long as three weeks. This period of Venus’ disappearance was understood as Inanna’s confinement and death in the underworld. Eventually Venus would be seen rising on the opposite horizon to which it was last sighted, which was interpreted as Inanna’s rebirth and return to the land of the living.
Inanna’s descent can be viewed as an allegory of individual spiritual awakening that is as relevant today as in ancient times. Writing about the myth, assyriologist Simo Parpola states: “…the goddess plays the role of a fallen but resurrected soul, thus opening the possibility of spiritual rebirth and salvation to anyone ready to tread her path.” Without descending to the depths—becoming aware of one’s “shadow” or unconscious self—ascent to the light cannot genuinely occur. To quote Carl Jung: “One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious”. Inanna and Erishkegal—the light and dark sides of the goddess—are inseparable aspects of the alchemical process of transformation of the soul.
The Mysteries of Osiris
The myth of Dionysus Zagreus was murdered and dismembered by the Titans. The Orphics believed that as a result of this act mankind was created–and we inherited the spark of immortal spirit from Dionysus. It is likely the Greeks borrowed elements of the myth from the story of the Egyptian god Osiris–who suffered a similar fate of being murdered, dismembered and resurrected. Osiris was one of Egypt’s oldest and most beloved gods, and his cult gained in popularity down through the centuries. His sufferings could be related to by ordinary people, and he offered them the hope of resurrection after death. As well as being a god, Osiris was also thought to have been the first king of Egypt. Here is a well known version of the myth of the Death & Resurrection of Osiris:
Osiris was the son of Ra the sun god, and Nut the sky goddess. He grew up to become a wise and powerful king, bringing civilization to his people, teaching them agriculture, animal husbandry, laws to live by and worship of the gods. Egypt prospered under his rule. Set, the brother of Osiris and god of desert and chaos, was envious of him. He schemed against Osiris, devising a plot in secrecy with seventy-two other conspirators. He invited Osiris to a feast and set out a beautifully decorated box which he had made to fit the exact measurements of Osiris’s body. Set offered it to anyone whom the box fit. One guest after another tried to fit in the box until it was Osiris’s turn. As he innocently laid in the box Set and the conspirators slammed the lid it on it and nailed it closed, throwing it into the Nile river. When Isis, Osiris’s wife, heard of this she was grief stricken. She set out to find the body of her husband, knowing the dead could not rest until they had a proper funeral. Searching far and wide she found nothing, finally learning that the coffin containing his corpse had floated out to sea to the land of Byblos. There it became lodged in a tamarisk tree which had miraculously grown to enclose it within its trunk, which the king of Byblos cut down and made it into a pillar for his palace. Isis travelled to Byblos to recover her husband’s body– asking to have the pillar in which the corpse of Osiris was hidden. Her wish granted, she returned to Egypt with the pillar, cutting it open and exposing the coffin. She wept over her dead husband, joined by her sister Nephthys. She hid the coffin but to no avail–that night while hunting Set found it, and enraged at the sight of Osiris, tore his corpse into fourteen pieces, scattering them throughout the land of Egypt. Learning of this, Isis set out once again to find her husband’s remains. She recovered all the pieces except for his phallus which had been swallowed by a fish. Instructed by the god Thoth, she used magic to reassemble the body of Osiris, resurrecting him briefly to life. She magically reconstituted his phallus, and hovering over his body in the form of a falcon was impregnated by him, giving birth to their son Horus.
Horus grew to manhood, and was it was decided by a tribunal of gods that he was the rightful heir to his father’s kingdom. Set was unwilling accept this verdict and surrender the throne. Osiris appeared to Horus and urged him to avenge the evils committed by his brother. Horus challenged Set to a dual and a great battle ensued between the forces of good and evil. During the battle Horus lost his eye and Set lost his testicles. In this story good triumphs over evil, and some day Horus will be victorious and Osiris will return to rule the world of the living.
The mysteries of Osiris were popular yearly ceremonies in ancient Egypt, celebrated with passion plays at Abydos, the cult center of Osiris—the earliest recorded examples of theatre. They recalled the life, death, and resurrection of the god and lasted for many days. Leading roles were assigned to priests wearing the masks of various gods they represented, while extras in the drama were played by community members. After these performances, a mock battle was staged between the followers of Horus and Set. A procession also took place in which statues of Osiris, made from precious metals, were carried from the temple and set up in public places where people could gaze on the image of Osiris “The Beautiful One”.
Osiris was originally an "agricultural deity" associated with the seasonal cycle of nature—the growth of the crops as well as the yearly Nile flood upon which all life depended. The annual Khoiak Festival was celebrated from mid-September to mid-October as the Nile flood waters receded exposing silt covered fields ready for sowing. During this time seeds were planted in “Osiris Beds”—molds in the form of the mummy of Osiris–and watered until they germinated, symbolizing the resurrection of the god, as well as magically enhancing the growth of the crops. The festival culminated with the ritual raising of the djed pillar, emblematic of Osiris’s backbone, bringing about his restoration.
Over the centuries Osiris came to be viewed as the ruler of the land of the dead, who presided over the weighing of souls in the Hall of Judgement. If the deceased had lived a life based on the precepts of Maat, goddess of truth and righteousness, they were welcomed by Osiris into his kingdom. In fact, in the Egyptian Book of the Dead “Osiris” became the synonymous title for the soul in the duat–the otherworld. While the living pharaoh was thought to embody Horus, his deceased father became the new Osiris dwelling in the underworld. Their relationship exemplified the close connections felt by Egyptians between the living and their departed ancestors, with the understanding that from the invisible realm of death emerges life and renewal. Through the myth of Osiris, the worshipper was also able to identify with the immortal god within their own being—the part of their spirit which was resurrected in eternity.
The myth also has an astronomical/calendrical dimension. According to the ancient Greek historian Plutarch, the Egyptians associated Osiris with the constellation Orion, while Isis was symbolized by the brilliant star Sirius, in close proximity to Orion in the sky–the two forming a natural pair. Orion disappears from view every year from the spring equinox until mid-summer–blotted out by the sun’s rays as it transits through the area of the sky occupied by the constellation. Vanishing from sight at this time, it was thought Osiris/Orion had died and gone to the underworld. His absence coincided with the summer season of hot-dry southern winds which brought drought and sandstorms, associated with Set, the murderer of Osiris, and the Nile was also at its low ebb during this time of year. Set was believed to rule the land until late summer, when Isis-Sirius ascended again on the eastern horizon just before sunrise. Sirius’s “heliacal rising” heralded the Nile floods that restored life and fertility to the land, and the Egyptian New Year was celebrated at this time. The flooding of the Nile was believed to be caused by the tears of Isis weeping for her dead husband Osiris. Accompanying Sirius, however, Orion was again visible in the eastern sky before dawn—believed to represent Osiris resurrected and returned from the underworld.
The mysteries of Osiris, Isis, and Horus may have been a model for initiation rites among cultures of the Mediterranean world, according to Masonic historian Albert Pike. He notes that ancient writers believed the mystery religions of Attis and Cybele celebrated in Phrygia, and Demeter and Persephone at Eleusis in Greece were copies of the mysteries of Osiris and Isis. Pike writes that the deities were also equivalent: “the Ceres of the Greeks was the same as the Isis of the Egyptians and Dionysos or Bacchus was the same as Osiris.”
In this post we turn to the ancient Greek poet, musician and magician Orpheus. According to historian Ake Hultkranz the well known legend of Orpheus and Eurydice originated from a shamanistic myth which can be found in different versions across the world from Greece, Eurasia to Japan, Polynesia and North America. Although the details vary from culture to culture, the basic scenario of the myth is the same: a journey is taken to the land of the dead to retrieve the soul of a deceased spouse or relative in an attempt to bring them back to life–which usually fails due to the breaking of a taboo. Here’s the Greek version of the myth as told by the Latin poet Virgil:
On their wedding day Eurydice, the lovely young wife of the poet Orpheus, was bitten by a snake and died. Overcome by grief, Orpheus resolved to descend to Hades to retrieve her. Arriving there he charmed the guardians of the underworld with his mournful music, moving Persephone the queen of the dead to release Eurydice to him—on the condition he did not turn back to look at her on their return trip. Almost reaching the surface world, Orpheus forgot and glanced back at his wife. To his dismay, she vanished from sight, returning as a pale shade to Hades forever. Orpheus in his mourning retired to the mountains to devote himself to the worship of Apollo. One day he was approached by a band of wandering Maenads–female worshippers of the god Dionysus. Rejecting their advances, they became enraged and killed him–dismembering him, tearing him limb from limb. They tossed his head into a river and it washed ashore on the island of Lesbos….where it continues to deliver prophecies.
Orpheus was the subject of many legends. He was said to be the son of the Thracian king Oeagrus and the muse Calliope. Other tales said he was the son of the god Apollo who gave him his lyre, while the muses taught him verses and magical incantations. Through the power of his music, Orpheus, like shamans from time immemorial, could enchant wild beasts and even made the rocks and trees move to follow his songs. He was an adventurer who travelled the world, accompanying Jason and the argonauts on their voyage to find the Golden Fleece–protecting his crew mates from the Sirens’ bewitching songs with his own incantations. Orpheus was also a culture-hero, bringing the cult of Dionysus from Thrace to Greece. Legend has it he also travelled to Egypt and studied the religious customs and sacred rites of that land, introducing them to the Greeks.
While scholars still debate whether Orpheus was a living man or legendary figure, the mystery religion based on his teachings –Orphism—had a profound influence on Greek philosophy and spirituality. According to the Neoplatonist philosopher Proclus: “All the Greek’s theology is the offspring of the Orphic mystical doctrine”. Several pre-Socratic philosophers such as Pythagoras, Parmenides, and Empedocles were probably initiates of Orphism and influenced by its ideas. Many of Plato’s philosophical doctrines originated with Orphism. It was the Orphics who introduced the notions of the soul’s immortality as well as transmigration of the soul—or reincarnation–to the western world.
Orphism was a reform religion that grew out of the cult of Dionysus, and like it, attracted many female worshippers as well as priestesses. It focused on individual spirituality, as opposed to the wine drinking and collective ecstasies of the followers of Dionysus–the intoxication sought by the Orphics was the “enthusiasm” of union with the divine. Peter Kingsley writes: “Apollo’s ecstasy was different from the ecstasy of Dionysus. There was nothing wild or disturbing about it. It was intensely private, for the individual and the individual alone”
Orphic initiation rituals were thought to involve the reenactment of the myth of the god Dionysus Zagreus, the infant child of Zeus and Persephone. The rebellious elder gods, the Titans, jealous of Dionysus, lured him out of his cave then murdered and dismembered him, devouring his flesh. Upon discovering their crime Zeus became enraged, hurling a lightning bolt at the Titans and incinerating them. Mankind, however, was made from the ashes of the Titans, who had in turn consumed Dionysus–thus we inherit our bodies from the Titans while our souls contain the immortal spirit of Dionysus. During initiation rituals, candidates consumed the raw flesh of a bull, symbolizing Dionysus, thus partaking of his spirit. Following this, they adhered to a vegetarian diet for the rest of their lives.
The Orphics believed the body with its appetites and passions–inherited from the Titans–is the source of evil, distracting the soul and plunging it into the world of matter. They saw the soul as a spiritual being fallen from a higher realm into the cycle of life, death, and reincarnation on earth. It was thought to transmigrate through plant and animal existences as well as human lifetimes—incarnating on earth to learn certain lessons and undergo purification for past transgressions. In order for the soul to return to its original state they practiced virtuous actions, asceticism, purifications, religious rites and initiations to eliminate traces of the Titans “original sin”. By living three virtuous lives in a row and being initiated into the mysteries they believed they could earn a blessed afterlife—and be released from the cycles of rebirth.
Historian M. Owen Lee proposes Orpheus and Eurydice might have originally been a “charter myth” for the cult of Orphism, in which Orpheus brought back secrets of life and death from the underworld which he revealed to his followers. Lee notes that the name “Eurydice” can be translated as “she who gives justice far and wide”–far more descriptive of Persephone, the queen of the dead, than a living woman. The Orphics believed their souls were judged in the afterlife–during which time they would meet Persephone in person. The Orphic Gold Tablets, their version of a “book of the dead”, prompts the initiate to tell the goddess: “I am a son of earth and starry heaven, but my race is of heaven”, proving they have renounced the earthly for the spiritual. If their souls were found pure they could go on to dwell in the Elysian Fields—the blissful abode of heroes and philosophers.
Orpheus as archetypal poet, musician and magician, is a seminal figure of western esotericism. The influence of Orphism on another mystery religion—Christianity—cannot be denied. Artwork depicting Orpheus as the “good shepherd” was found in early Christian catacombs, and he was one of the few pagan philosophers honored by Christians. Author Linda Johnsen notes that Christian liturgy was modeled on the rites of Orphism, such as the Last Supper in which the savior is symbolically consumed–resembling the Dionysian feast of the Orphics. Even Dionysus’ power of transforming water into wine was attributed to Jesus.
Carl Kerenyi aptly said: “Mythology, like the severed head of Orpheus, goes on singing even in death and from afar.” The myth of Orpheus & Eurydice continues to live through the ages, inspiring over sixty operas, countless poems, songs, and paintings over the past few centuries–as well as movies and rock operas to this day.
It is an ironic testimony to the loyalty of the initiates that there is little, if any agreement, on exactly what the inner meaning of the Eleusian mysteries was.
The Elysian fields were written by the Greeks as existing in the ‘underworld’ and were said to be the final resting place for the souls of the worthy, but the truth is that the actual meaning of the mysteries themselves has been lost to us.
Virgil wrote mysteriously that '...the region has a sun and stars of its own...' and connects them with the sibyls to the underworld through Aeneas quest to find his dead father, and we are reminded by Bulfinch (5), that Homer believed that the Elysian plain existed physically 'on the western margins of the earth, by the stream of ocean', and that the Elysium of Hesiod was on the 'Fortunate islands' or the 'Isles of the blessed' in the western ocean, which became the longitude used by both Marinus of Tyre and Plato as the Meridian for their world maps.
According to Diodorus Siculus, the Cretans professed that they received the 'mysteries' from the Egyptians, and that they passed them on to the Greeks. Eleusia (Eleusis) was the home of the earth-mother Demeter, but she has older origins that can be seen in the Egyptian mythologies. Diodorus siculus also wrote that the mysteries of Isis were the same as those of Demeter and that the mysteries of Osiris were the same as Dionysus.
Herodotus also mentioned that Osiris was named Dionysus by the Greeks (4), and in fact, there are several convincing enough parallels between the Roman (Demeter and Dionysus), Greek (Ceres, Bacchus), Egyptian (Isis and Osiris), and Babylonian (Tammuz and Ishtar) mythologies to consider them as having all originated from a common ancestral myth.
In all these myths, the male character is variously referred to as having more than one family connection to the female character, (i.e. Osiris was the son of Isis, at the same time as being her husband and Father), but more importantly, we also see that all these deities have inherently similar qualities, namely that they are associated with agriculture, the advent of civilisation, serpents and perhaps most importantly, the underworld...(qualities we have seen as being common to the oracle centres of ancient Greece).
In Greece, Demeter's great festival was called the Eleusina and was celebrated at Eleusis, which was chosen as a site following Demeter’s search for her lost daughter Persephone who was taken by Pluto to Hades (the underworld). The distraught earth goddess eventually retired to Eleusia, where she became the nurse to the kings sons and, in strikingly similarity to the myth of Isis (who thrust the son of the king of Byblos into a fire, during her search for Osiris), Demeter places one of the kings sons Demophon, into a fire in order to make him immortal. However, the screams of his mother break the spell and he perishes. In this myth, Demeter compensates the parents by giving their other son Triptolemus seeds, the art of agriculture, and a chariot with winged dragons. Pausanias wrote that she instructed Triptolemus and his father in the performance of her ‘rites and mysteries’ (4). Eventually, Persephone is released for one third of each year, while having to spend the rest in the underworld (analogous to a seed of corn).
As well as the traditional association between Oracle centres the Eleusian mysteries, it is perhaps curious that the centre of the Eleusian mysteries themselves - Eleusis, appears to have been geodetically located, in accordance with the same system of 360° as seen in Egypt, the Middle east and Europe. In the Greek myth we see that Demeter makes an apparently random stop at Eleusis, and are given no further clues to explain her decision. However, it is particularly noteworthy in relation to this that Santillana (6), records Eleusis as having had a well-spring in it covered by a navel-stone, as suggested by Cornford, who says that “one of these phreata (=wells) in Eleusis was closed at its mouth by the agelastos petra,” i.e. the laughter-less rock; and that Demeter was agelastos because of the loss of Persophone. He adds that the place-name was understood by the Greeks as “Advent”, a word used in the New Testament in reference to the ‘advent of Christ’ (26). The same theme as seen to be repeated in the mythology of Mecca and other earth-navels.
'Some scholars believe that the power of the Eleusinian Mysteries came from the kykeon's functioning as a psychedelic agent. (20) Barley may be parasitized by the fungus ergot, which contains the psychoactive alkaloids lysergic acid amide (LSA), a precursor to LSD and ergonovine. It is possible that a psychoactive potion was created using known methods of the day. The initiates, sensitized by their fast and prepared by preceding ceremonies, may have been propelled by the effects of a powerful psychoactive potion into revelatory mind states with profound spiritual and intellectual ramifications'. (20)
'While modern scholars have presented evidence supporting their view that a potion was drunk as part of the ceremony, the exact composition of that agent remains controversial. Modern preparations of kykeon using ergot-parasitized barley have yielded inconclusive results, although Shulgin and Shulgin describe both ergonovine and LSA to be known to produce LSD-like effects. (22) Terence McKenna argued that the mysteries were focused around a variety of Psilocybin mushrooms, and various other entheogenic plants, such as Amanita muscaria mushrooms, have also been suggested but at present no consensus has been reached. (24) The size of the event may rule out Amanita or Psilocybe mushrooms as active ingredient, since it is unlikely that there would have been enough wild mushrooms for all participants. However a recent hypothesis suggests that Psilocybe cultivation technology was not unknown in ancient Egypt, (25) from which it could easily have spread to Greece'.
'Another theory is that the kykeon was an Ayahuasca analog involving Syrian Rue (Peganum harmala), a shrub which grows throughout the Mediterranean and also functions as a monoamine oxidase inhibitor. The most likely candidate for the DMT containing plant, of which there are many in nature, would be a species of Acacia. (26) Other scholars however, noting the lack of any solid evidence and stressing the collective rather than individual character of initiation into the Mysteries, regard entheogenic theories with pointed skepticism'. (27)
The Acacia Tree - Saosis
Dumuzid the Shepherd - Tammuz
Dumuzid, called "the Shepherd", (Sumerian: Dumuzid sipad) from Bad-tibira in Sumer, was the fifth predynastic king in the legendary period before the Deluge, according to the Sumerian King List.
In Babylonia, the month Tammuz was established in honor of the eponymous god Tammuz, who originated as a Sumerian shepherd-god, Dumuzid or Dumuzi, the consort of Inanna and, in his Akkadian form, the parallel consort of Ishtar. The Levantine Adonis, who was drawn into the Greek pantheon, was considered by Joseph Campbell among others to be another counterpart of Tammuz, son and consort. The Aramaic name "Tammuz" seems to have been derived from the Akkadian form Tammuzi, based on early Sumerian Damu-zid. The later standard Sumerian form, Dumu-zid, in turn became Dumuzi in Akkadian. Tamuzi also is Dumuzid or Dumuzi.
Dumuzi, "Son of the Abyss" also called "the shepherd" and "lord of the sheepfolds." Dumuzi known from his horned lunar crown, is the son-husband of the goddess Gula-Bau seen sitting in front of the serpent in a relief "Goddess of the Tree of Life" ca. 2500 B.C. Dumuzi’s mother was Ningizzida, an ancestor of Gilgamesh, consort of Ianna (Ishtar). The Great Goddess (symbolized by Demeter) also correlates to Dionysus-Bacchus-Zagreus (or in the older, Sumero-Babylonian myths, Dumuzi-absu, Tammuz, the "child of the abyss," who was originally a tree god and son of Ningishzida, he died because of Ishtar’s love. Tammuz also Thammuz is the tenth month of the year in the Jewish calendar [Hebrew Tammuz, from Babylonian Du’uzu, the name of a god]. In Egypt, Tammuz is equivalent to Osiris (Hay-Tau) in Egypt and Adonis. Osiris is Dionysus in the Greek tongue, and the Roman Bacchus. A cylinder seal from Erech, end of the fourth century B.C., depicts the god Tammuz feeding the cattle of the temple. Tammuz was killed by a wild boar while shepherding his flocks. His wife rescued him from the underworld. His death was taken to represent the onset of winter. The Adonis Cult (in Nega, Byblus -Syrian coast) parallels Dumuzi, Tammuz, and Attis.
The bull, serpent, tiger, ivy, and wine are characteristic of Dionysian iconography. Dionysus is also strongly associated with satyrs, centaurs, and sileni. He is often shown riding a leopard, wearing a leopard skin, or in a chariot drawn by panthers, and may also be recognized by the thyrsus he carries. Besides the grapevine and its wild barren alter-ego, the toxic ivy plant, both sacred to him, the fig was also his symbol. The pinecone that tipped his thyrsus linked him to Cybele. The Dionysia and Lenaia festivals in Athens were dedicated to Dionysus. On numerous vases (referred to as Lenaia vases), the god is shown participating in the ritual sacrifice as a masked and clothed pillar (sometimes a pole, or tree is used), while his worshipers eat bread and drink wine. Initiates worshipped him in the Dionysian Mysteries, which were comparable to and linked with the Orphic Mysteries, and may have influenced Gnosticism. Orpheus was said to have invented the Mysteries of Dionysus.
Dionysus was a god of resurrection and he was strongly linked to the bull. In a cult hymn from Olympia, at a festival for Hera, Dionysus is invited to come as a bull; "with bull-foot raging". Walter Burkert relates, "Quite frequently [Dionysus] is portrayed with bull horns, and in Kyzikos he has a tauromorphic image", and refers also to an archaic myth in which Dionysus is slaughtered as a bull calf and impiously eaten by the Titans. In the Classical period of Greece, the bull and other animals identified with deities were separated from them as their agalma, a kind of heraldic show-piece that concretely signified their numinous presence.
The snake and phallus were both symbols of Dionysus in ancient Greece, a symbolism that continued in Roman culture with Bacchus. He typically wears a panther or leopard skin and carries a Thyrsus – a long stick or wand topped with a pine cone. His iconography sometimes include maenads, who wear wreaths of ivy and serpents around their hair or neck.
In the Orphic tradition of ancient Greece, he was referred to as Dionysus Zagreus, served as its patron god connected to death and immortality, and symbolized the one who guides reincarnation.
Dionysus is born from the thigh of Zeus. Hera reaches out to snatch the child as other gods pay witness to the scene including Aphrodite and Eros (upper left), Pan (upper center), Apollo (upper right), Artemis (not shown), the three Nysiad nymphs (lower left), Hermes (lower right) and Silenus (not shown).
Dionysus is depicted as an infant crowned with a wreath of ivy emerging from the thigh of Zeus. He stretches his arms to either ward off or embrace the goddess Hera. Zeus reclines on a hill, decked with a wreath of laurel and bearing a royal sceptre. The god Apollo stands behind him, the shepherd Pan above, and Hermes below. The divine herald stands ready to deliver the infant to the care of Silenus and the Nysiad nymphs. The grasping Hera wears a stephane crown and bracelets and bears a striped royal sceptre with a lotus-shaped head.
Zeus seated on a rock births the god Dionysos from his thigh. Hermes stands beside him holding his father's royal sceptre in one hand and his own herald's wand in the other. He wears a petasos (traveller's cap), chlamys cloak and winged boots.
Dionysus stands on the lap of Zeus after being birthed from his father's thigh. Zeus is seated on a stool with a deer-skin drape and holds a thyrsos (pine-cone tipped staff)--the usual attribute of his son. The infant holds a wine cup (krater) in one hand and a vine in the other. Aphrodite stands to the left with two blooming flowers. On the right Eileithyia, goddess of childbirth, raises her hand as midwife of the birth.
Side A: The god Dionysus is attended by a flute-playing Satyr and tambourine-beating Maenad. The bearded god is crowned with a wreath of ivy and holds a drinking cup (krater) in one hand and a staff of fruiting ivy in the other. The Satyr is seatd on a rock and plays a double-flute. The Maenad wears a wreath of serpents and beats a tympanum drum.
Dionysus and a Maenad ride in a wagon drawn by Silenus. The god wears a headband bound with ivy and holds a thyrsus (pine-cone tipped staff) and a plate of fruit. The Maenad, perched on the side of the wagon, plays a set of double pipes. A bird, perhaps a dove, sits on her lap. Silenus is depicted as a comical, old man with an upturned nose and bestial ears, covered in a coat of fluffy, white fur. He wears a headband, deer- or leopard-skin cloak and a pair of shoes. The spirit Hybris (Hubris or Violence) flies above them in the guise of a Maenad bearing a thyrsus staff. The god's wagon is decorated with cross-hatch patterns, hung with a pair of wreaths, and cushioned.
Dionysus reaches to place eggs (or fruit) in a basket balanced on the head of a comic actor playing Silenus. The god of wine wears a draped robe, beaded shoes and a headband bound with ivy. The actor has a large nose, wide eyes, broad mouth, white hair and a pointed beard, and is clothed in a full body-suit with a pot belly and dangling phallus.
The god Dionysus rides sidesaddle on the back of a panther. He wears a robe and headband and holds a wreath of ivy and a tragedy-mask on a stick. Old Silenus dances behind him beating a tympanum (a type of drum or tambourine) and carrying a second tragedy-mask. A flute-playing Maenad and a Satyriscus (boy Satyr) lead the procession.
Detail of Hebe, Dionysus, Leto, Chariclo, Hestia, Demeter, Iris and Peleus from a painting depicting the procession of gods attending the wedding of Peleus and Thetis.
King Peleus stands before his palace welcoming a procession of gods to his wedding feast. He holds a drinking cup in one hand and raises the other in greeting. The divine herald Iris leads the procession holding a herald's wand in one hand and pointing to the gods behind her with the other. She is dressed in a thigh-length robe embroidered with a flower at the breast and a pair winged boots. Four senior matrons follow close behind--Hestia and Demeter, Leto and Chariclo (wife of Chiron, granddaughter of Leto)--with Dionysus and Hebe. These six would preside over the wedding feast--Demeter and Hestia providing bread (as goddesses of grain and hearth), Leto and Chariclo meat (as mother and wife of the hunters Artemis and Chiron), and Dionysus and Hebe wine (as god of wine and divine cupbearer).
Tondo: Dionysus is crowned with a wreath of ivy and holds a fruiting grapevine in one hand and thyrsos (pine-cone tipped staff) in the other. He is accompanied by a Satyr playing a double-flute.
Dionysus is attended by a Satyriscus (child Satyr). The god is crowned with a wreath of ivy and holds a vine in one hand and a drinking cup in the other. The Satyriscus pours wine from an oinochoe jug. He has the ears and tail of an ass, and the beard and erect member of an adult. In later art and literature Dionysus' cupbearer is named Comus.
Dionysus embraces Ariadne in the company of Eros (Love). Dionysus wears a robe draped loosely across his shoulder and a flanged stephane crown decked with ribbons. He holds a tortoise-shell lyre in one hand and casts his head backwards in ecstasy. Ariadne is dressed in an elaborately embroidered gown, wears a stephane crown and earrings, and balances a tympanum (a type of drum or tambourine) on her hand hand. Eros flutters at their side tapping a drum.
Detail of Dionysus and Ariadne seated in a vineyard from a vase depicting the god and his retinue.
Dionysus drives a chariot drawn by three beasts--a panther, bull and griffin. The god is crowned with a wreath of ivy and holds a thyrsos (pine-cone tipped staff) in one hand.
Dionysus battles the Gigante Eurytus. The god is crowned with a wreath of ivy leaves and carries a miniature panther on his arm. He spears the fallen giant in the side. The giant lies prone and is trapped in the coils of serpent--presumably summoned by the god. A second giant (not shown) thrusts his spear at Dionysus.
Hephaestus is led by Dionysus back to Olympus. The divine smith has a workman's cap and mallet. Dionysus holds a thyrsos (pine-cone tipped staff) in one hand and a drinking cup in the other. They are accompanied by a dancing Maenad and a flute-playing Satyr cloaked in a panther skin.
Sides: Detail of Ariadne, Dionysus and Comus from a painting depicting the feast of the gods on Olympus. Dionysus, reclining on a couch, is crowned with a wreath of ivy and holds a cup in one hand and a thyrsos in the other. He is attended by his cup-bearer, the balding satyr-boy Comus (Festivity). Other figures in the scene (not shown) are Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Amphitrite, Ares and Aphrodite.
King Pentheus of Thebes is torn limb from limb by the crazed Maenads of the god Dionysus. The two central figures, draped in panther skins and holding the king's body, are the sisters Agave (mother of Pentheus) and Autonoe. A third Maenad holds the king's severed foot. One of Dionysus' Satyrs oversees the sparagmos (ritual dismemberment).
Dionysus reclines in a boat sprouting a fruiting grape vine. The vessel is surrounded by dolphins--the metamorphosed forms of the Tyrrhenian pirates who had tried to enslave him.
The Tyrrhenian pirates leap into the sea, transformed into dolphins by the god Dionysus. The men are depicted in mid-transformation with the combined parts of men and dolphins.
Hephaestus returns to Olympus riding a donkey and carrying hammer and tongs. He is led by Dionysus, who bears a thyrsos (pine-cone tipped staff) and drinking cup, and a Satyriscus (child Satyr) playing a flute. Hera sits trapped on a throne--a cursed gift from Hephaestus who wished to punish her for casting him from heaven at birth. She wears a crown and veil and is attended by a goddess, perhaps Hebe, holding a (peacock?) feather fan.
"Hephaistos refused to listen to any other of the gods save Dionysos - in him he reposed the fullest trust - and after making him drunk Dionysos brought him to heaven." - Pausanias, Guide to Greece 1.20.3
Dionysus leads Hephaestus back to Olympus. The god is depicted with shrunken and deformed feet riding a donkey. Dionysus stands before him, cloaked in a panther-skin and holding a cup of wine. A dancing Maenad follows behind with a coiled serpent in her hands.
Hephaestus riding a donkey and holding tongs is led back to Olympus by Dionysos and his retinue of Satyrs.
The Orphic Hymn to Dionysos
The soundtrack of this video is "The Hymn to Bacchus" by Daemonia Nymphe.
Adonis ili Adon (grč. Ἄδωνις, Adônis) u grčkoj mitologiji bog je žita, smrti i ponovnog rođenja. Adonisovo ime dolazi od hebrejske riječi adonai koja je značila "bog". Grci su taj lik preuzeli u svojoj mitologiji, u etruščanskoj mitologiji zvao se Atunis, a u semitskoj Tammuz.
Postoji nekoliko izvora o njegovu rođenju. Najčešća je ona da je Afrodita nagovorila Miru da prevari i počini incest sa svojim ocem Tijom, kraljem Smirne ili Sirije. Kad je to otac otkrio, uzeo je nož u ruke i krenuo na svoju kćer. Ona je pobjegla, a Afrodita ju je pretvorila u drvo mirhe, mirisne smole. Kad je njezin otac odaslao strijelu u to drvo ili, prema drugom izvoru, kad je vepar zabio kljove u nj, Adonis je rođen iz drveta. Ovaj mit dokazuje i porijeklo legende o Adonisu, budući da takvo drvo nije raslo u tadašnjoj Grčkoj.
Smirnu se trgovalo po deva karavane kopnom od područja proizvodnje u južnoj Arabiji strane Nabatejci njihovom glavnom gradu Petra, od kojih je distribuirana diljem Mediterana.
Adonis is the son of Myrrha and her father Cinyras. Myrrha turned into a myrrh tree and Lucina helped the tree to give birth to Adonis.
The patriarchal Hellenes sought a father for the god, and found him in Byblos and Cyprus, which scholars take to indicate the direction from which Adonis had come to the Greeks. Pseudo-Apollodorus, (Bibliotheke, 3.182) considered Adonis to be the son of Cinyras, of Paphos on Cyprus, and Metharme. According to pseudo-Apollodorus' Bibliotheke, Hesiod, in an unknown work that does not survive, made of him the son of Phoenix and the otherwise unidentified Alphesiboea.
In Cyprus, the cult of Adonis gradually superseded that of Cinyras. Hesiod made him the son of Phoenix, eponym of the Phoenicians, thus a figure of Phoenician origin; his association with Cyprus is not attested before the classical era.
The city Berytos (Beirut) in Lebanon was named after the daughter of Adonis and Aphrodite, Beroe. Both Dionysus and Poseidon fell in love with her. She would eventually marry Poseidon.
Adonia (Greek: Ἀδώνια) or Feast of Adonis was an ancient festival mourning the death of Adonis.
One of the features of the holiday was the creation of "Gardens of Adonis". This involved sowing seeds of quickly-germinating plants- wheat, barley, lettuce, fennel- in shallow baskets, bowls or even in shards of clay. Tended by the women, who watered them daily, the plants grew rapidly but had shallow root systems. Images on Greek vases show the women carrying these little gardens up ladders to the rooftops, the unique site for the Adonia. At the end of eight days the pots of greenery were thrown into the ocean or a stream.
The Gardens of Adonis (1888) by John Reinhard Weguelin: the women bear the container-grown plants and festal rose garlands to dispose of in the sea, while a girl plays the special aulos (a gingras) associated with the festival.
Adonis is the Hellenized form of the Phoenician word "adoni", meaning "my lord". It is believed that the cult of Adonis was known to the Greeks from around the sixth century B.C., but it is unquestionable that they came to know it through contact with Cyprus. Around this time, the cult of Adonis is noted in the Book of Ezekiel in Jerusalem, though under the Babylonian name Tammuz.
Da, stidjet ćete se zbog hrastova što ih sad obožavate i crvenjet ćete zbog gajeva u kojima sad uživate. Jer, bit ćete poput hrasta osušena lišća i poput gaja u kojem vode nema. Junak će biti kučina, a iskra djelo njegovo, zajedno će izgorjeti, a nikoga da ugasi. - Izaija
U onaj će dan gradovi tvoji biti napušteni, kao što bjehu napušteni hivijski i amorejski kad ih ostaviše pred Izraelcima, i opustjet će, jer si zaboravio Boga svog spasenja i nisi se spomenuo Stijene svoje snage. Stog' i sadiš ljupke biljke i strane presađuješ mladice; u dan kad ih posadiš, one izrastu, a ujutro procvatu tvoje sadnice, al' propada žetva u dan nevolje, u dan boli neizlječive. - Izaija
Koncept uskrsnuća u Danijela
Danijel, »Tada će se probuditi mnogi koji snivaju u prahu zemljinu; jedni za vječni život, drugi za sramotu, za vječnu gadost. Umnici će blistati kao sjajni nebeski svod, i koji su mnoge učili pravednosti, kao zvijezde navijeke, u svu vječnost.«
Danijel, također, govori o neizbježnom dolasku »Kraljevstva nebeskoga«, »Kraju vremena«, »dolasku pomazanoga vladara«, i »Sina čovječjeg« kojemu će biti povjerena vlast:
»Gledah u noćnim viđenjima i gle, na oblacima nebeskim dolazi kao Sin čovječji. On se približi Pradavnome i dovedu ga k njemu. Njemu bi predana vlast, čast i kraljevstvo, da mu služe svi narodi, plemena i jezici. Vlast njegova vlast je vječna i nikada neće proći, kraljevstvo njegovo neće propasti.«
You will find on the right in Hades' halls a spring, and by it stands a ghostly cypress-tree, where the dead souls descending wash away their lives. Do not even draw nigh this spring. Further on you will find chill water flowing from the pool of Memory: over this stand guardians. They will ask you with keen mind what is your quest in the gloom of deadly Hades. They will ask you for what reason you have come. Tell them the whole truth straight out. Say: 'I am the son of Earth and starry Heaven, but of Heaven is my birth: this you know yourselves. I am parched with thirst and perishing: give me quickly chill water flowing from the pool of Memory.' Assuredly the kings of the underworld take pity on you, and will themselves give you water from the spring divine; then you, when you have drunk, traverse the holy path which other initiates and bacchants tread in glory. After that you will rule amongst the other heroes.
Pokazalo se i da je svijet u kojem se kršćanstvo pojavilo bio prepun bogova i božica, a ne monoteistički vakuum. Mnogi su ti bogovi i božice sa svojim čudesnim djelima i nevjerojatnim moćima zapravo identični liku Isusa Krista, što potvrđuju i sami kršćanski apologeti. Daljnjim proučavanjem ove teme dolazimo do saznanja daje "Isus Krist" u stvari kompilacija tih različitih bogova koje se štovalo i o čijim su pothvatima govorili drevni narodi davno prije kršćanskog doba.
Premda mnogi ljudi imaju dojam da se drevni svijet sastojao od nepovezanih naroda i plemena, prava je istina da je u doba u koje je Isus navodno živio postojala trgovačka i bratska mreža koja se protezala od Europe do Kine. Ta je informacijska mreža uključivala i knjižnicu u Aleksandriji i imala pristup mnogobrojnim usmenim predajama i rukopisima koji su prenosili istu onu priču koja se izlaže u Novom zavjetu, s različitim imenima lokaliteta i etničkim podrijetlom likova. Legenda o Isusu ustvari gotovo identično prati priču o Krišni, čak i do nekih detalja, indijski mit koji seže davno u prošlost, ne prije 1400. pr.n.e.. Još stariji je dobro satkani egipatski mit o Horu koji je također praktički identičan kršćanskoj verziji, ali stariji od nje tisućama godina.
U priču o Isusu utkani su elementi iz priča o drugim božanstvima koje su bile zabilježene na širokom teritoriju drevnog svijeta, uključujući i neke priče o spasiteljima svijeta, od kojih većina ili čak svi vremenski prethode kršćanskom mitu. Time se ne želi reći da su svi ti likovi upotrijebljeni u stvaranju kršćanskog mita, s obzirom na to da neke od njih nalazimo u dijelovima svijeta koji u to vrijeme navodno nisu bili poznati, ali je sigurno da je jedan značajan broj tih božanstava iskorišten. Nalazimo tako iste priče diljem svijeta o raznim sinovima Božjim, od kojih su mnogi rođeni od djevica ili su bili božanskog podrijetla, rođeni 25. prosinca ili oko tog datuma, u spilji ili pod zemljom, bili kršteni, izvodili čuda, bili iznimnog morala, milosrdni, prolazili muke za čovječanstvo, liječili bolesne, bili temelj za spasenje duše i/ili nazivani "Spasiteljima, Iskupiteljima, Izbaviteljima", pobjeđivali tamu, bili vješani na stabla ili razapinjani, nakon smrti uskrsavali i vračali se na nebesa, otkuda su i došli.
Na popisu tih spasitelja i Božjih sinova nalaze se:
Ovaj popis nije potpun i nema dovoljno prostora da se o svim ovim mitološkim likovima ide u detalje. Treba napomenuti da se, baš kao i Isusa, mnoge od ovih likova u prošlosti smatralo povijesnim osobama, ali danas se gotovo ni na jednog od njih tako više ne gleda.
Priča o Atisu, razapetom i uskrslom frigijskom sinu Božjem, stoljećima je starija od one o kršćanskom spasitelju, i odvija se na istom području kao i priča u Evanđeljima.
Atis s Isusom dijeli sljedeće karakteristike:
Doane iznosi detalje o Atisovoj muci, u kojoj se ponavlja pomirenje po krvi:
U Christianity Before Christ Jackson govori:
Atisova muka odvila se na mjestu koje će kasnije postati Galacija; upravo je Atisovim sljedbenicima Pavao uputio svoju Poslanicu Galaćanima i rekao (3:1): "O nerazumni Galaćani! Tko vas je opčarao da se ne pokoravate istini, vas, kojima je bio pred očima naslikan Isus, kao da bi bio među vama raspet?" Budući da Galaćani vjerojatno nisu bili u Jeruzalemu kad je Isus navodno razapet, opravdano možemo postaviti pitanje tko je to onda "javno naslikan kao da je razapet" pred njihovim očima? Ovo "slikanje" svakako sugerira ponavljanje muke u kultu Atisa.
U obraćanju Galaćanima Pavao opet spominje ono što je, kako se čini, događaj koji se stalno ponavlja: "Krist nas je otkupio od prokletstva zakona, jer je za nas postao prokletstvo; jer napisano je: 'Proklet svaki, koji visi na drvetu.'" Kao sljedbenici Atisovi, oni kojima su ove riječi upućene razumjeli bi dio o "svakome tko visi na drvetu" jer su oni, baš kao i drugi biblijski narodi, svake godine ili periodično repliku ili sliku boga vješali na drvo. Kao što je slučaj i u Starom zavjetu s obrednim vješanjima, ovo "proklinjanje" ustvari je blagoslov ili posvećivanje.
Atis nije bio popularan samo u Frigiji/Galaciji nego i u Rimu, gdje su on i Kibela, Velika Majka Bogova, šest stoljeća imali svoj hram na Vatikanskom brdu.10 Mit o Atisu bio je toliko sličan kršćanskoj priči da su kršćani bili prisiljeni pribjeći lažnom argumentu da je vrag najprije stvorio kult Atisa kako bi zavarao Kristove sljedbenike.
Lik Bude ima mnogo toga zajedničkog s figurom Krista:
Buda je rođen 25. prosinca12 od Djevice Maje, a rođenju su mu nazočili "Zvijezda Navještenja", mudraci1 i anđeli koji su pjevali nebeske pjesme. Kad se rodio, imenovan je vladarom svijeta i darovani su mu "skupocjeni dragulji i dragocjenosti".
Osim ovih karakteristika boga spasitelja, budistički utjecaj u kršćanstvu uključuje i: odricanje od svijeta i njegovih bogatstava, uključujući seks i obitelj, potom bratstvo među ljudima, milosrđe i okretanje drugog obraza te obraćenje. Neosporno je da je budizam prethodio kršćanstvu, a isto se tako ne može osporiti ni njegov utjecaj u svijetu davno prije početka kršćanske ere.
Kao što navodi Walker:
0 budističkom utjecaju na području gdje se navodno odvila Kristova muka Larson kaže:
I doista, čini se da je niz Isusovih parabola izravno preuzet iz budizma, na primjer ona o sinu razmetnome.
Postojanje budizma na Bliskom istoku za vrijeme kršćanskog doba priznaju i sami kršćanski apologeti, kao na primjer Ćiril i Klement Aleksandrijski, koji su rekli da su šamani ili budisti bili perzijski svećenici.
Dioniz ili Bakho se smatra grčkim, ali on je zapravo prerada egipatskog boga Ozirisa, čiji se kult tisućama godina rasprostirao velikim dijelom starog svijeta. Dionizova je religija bila dobro razvijena u Trakiji, sjeveroistočno od Grčke, i Frigiji koja je postala Galacija, gdje je kasnije vladao Atis. Premda se Dioniz najviše pamti po raskalašenim svetkovinama u njegovo ime, koje u latiniziranoj verziji glasi Bakho, on je imao brojne druge funkcije, a liku Isusa svoj je doprinos dao u nekoliko pogleda:
Kao što kaže Walker, Dioniz je bio "prototip Krista sa središtem kulta u Jeruzalemu" gdje su ga, kao što je već i spomenuto, tijekom 1. stoljeća pr.n.e. štovali Židovi. Dionizov/Bakhov simbol bio je ,,IHS" ili ,,IES", što je postalo "Iesus" ili "Isus". "IHS" se do dana današnjeg koristi u katoličkoj liturgiji i ikonografiji.
Roberts o tome kaže:
Poput Isusa Nazarećanina, Dioniz je "prava loza", a slike grožđa bitne su za oba kulta. Walker objašnjava:
Na Kreti se Dioniz zvao Iasius,46 što je bila i titula bogočovjeka orfičkih misterija na Samotrakiju, kojeg se poistovjećivalo s Dionizom i kojeg je promicao "apostol" Orfej u svom misionarskom radu, u kojem se kretao istom onom rutom kojom je navodno putovao Pavao. Iasius, Iesius ili Jazon su ustvari Isusovi ekvivalenti.
Heraklo, ili Herkul, poznat je po svojih 12 teških zadataka koji odgovaraju 12 znakova zodijaka i ukazuju na njegovu ulogu "Spasitelja". Rođen od djevice, poznat je i kao "Jedinorođeni" i "Univerzalna Riječ". Heraklova/Herkulova djevica majka zvala se Alkmena, čije je ime na hebrejskom bilo "almah" ("žena-Mjesec") i koja je, kako kaže Walker, "rodila svete kraljeve u jeruzalemskom kultu i čija je titula predana
Walker također izlaže priču o Herkulu i njezinu vezu s kršćanskom pričom:
Kult Ozirisa, Iziđe i Hora bio je raširen u drevnom svijetu, uključujući Rim. U egipatskom mitu Hor i njegov nekadašnji i budući Otac, Oziris, često se zamjenjuju, kao na primjer kad se govori: "Ja i moj Otac smo jedno."
O Ozirisu Walker kaže:
Ozirisov dolazak navijestila su tri mudraca, tri zvijezde: Mintaka, Anilam i Alnitak u Orionovu pojasu koje pokazuju izravno na Ozirisovu zvijezdu na istoku, Sirijus (Sotis), koja ukazuje na njegovo rođenje...
Oziris je svakako bio prototipski Mesija, kao i hostija. Njegovo se tijelo jelo u obliku pričesnih kolačića od pšenice, "biljke Istine"... Ozirisov kult dao je niz ideja i fraza Bibliji. U Psalmu 23 prepisuje se egipatski tekst u kojem se zaziva Dobri Pastir Oziris da mrtvaca odvede na "zelene poljane" i "vrutke tihane" zemlje nefer-nefer i okrijepi mu dušu i da zaštitu u dolini smrtne sjenke (Tuat).
Nagovještaj Očenaša nalazimo u egipatskoj himni Ozirisu-Amenu, koja je započinjala: "O Amene, o Amene, koji jesi na nebesima". Amen se također invocirao i na kraju svake molitve. Kao što James Churchward naivno uzvikuje: "Ozirisovo i Isusovo učenje očaravajuće je isto. Mnogi su odlomci identični, od riječi do riječi."
Massey navodi druge pojedinosti o sličnosti između ozirijanizma i kršćanstva:
Oziris je bio i bog vinove loze i veliki putujući učitelj koji je civilizirao svijet. Bio je vladar i sudac mrtvima. U njegovoj pasiji protiv njega su kovali urotu i ubili ga Set i "72". Kao i Isusovo, i Ozirisovo je uskrsnuće služilo da podari nadu svima da i oni mogu učiniti isto i postati vječni.
Ozirisov "sin" ili novo utjelovljenje - Hor - s Isusom dijeli sljedeće:
Poput Isusa, i Horus je "vladao tisuću godina".
Prije otprilike 3500 godina na zidovima hrama u Luksoru oslikane su slike navještenja, bezgrešnog začeća, rođenja i obožavanja Hora, na kojima Tot navješćuje Djevici Izidi da će začeti Hora, Knef ili "Duh Sveti" je oplođuje, a novorođenče dolaze vidjeti i darove mu donijeti tri kralja ih maga. Uz to, u katakombama u Rimu nalaze se slike Hora kao djeteta kojeg drži djevica majka Izida - izvorna "Majka s djetetom".
Osim toga, A. Churchward govori o još jednom aspektu egipatske religije koji je prisutan u kršćanstvu:
Na stotine je sličnosti između Krista i indijskog mesije Krišne, posebice kada se uračunaju ranokršćanski tekstovi koji se sada smatraju apokrifnima. U engleskom je jeziku uobičajeni rani način pisanja imena Krišna bio "Christna", otkrivajući tako njegovu vezu s Kristom. U bengalskom je jeziku Krišna "Christos", što je isto kao i grčka riječ za Krista, i koje su vojnici Aleksandra Velikog izgovarali Krišna.
Ovo bi bio nepotpuni popis podudarnosti između Isusa i Krišne:
Priča o Krišni kako je zabilježena u drevnim indijskim legendama i tekstovima na Zapad je prodrla u mnogo navrata. Po jednoj teoriji štovanje Krišne doprlo je do Europe već 800. pr.n.e., a donijeli su ga možda Feničani. Higgins tvrdi da je štovanje Krišne u Irskoj još i starije te ukazuje na mnogobrojne lingvističke i arheološke dokaze za tu ranu migraciju. Krišna je u zapadnu kulturu ušao u nekoliko drugih
Graham o tome kaže:
Tu, dakle, vidimo navodno podrijetlo Marcionova Gospodinova evanđelja, za koje je on tvrdio daje Pavlovo evanđelje. Uz evanđeosku priču, moralističko učenje koje je navodno uveo Isus utemeljio je davno prije njega Krišna. Te sličnosti su razlog zašto unatoč stalnim stoljetnim pokušajima kršćanstvo nije uspjelo uznapredovati u Indiji, budući da su brahmani prepoznali kršćanstvo kao relativno novu imitaciju njihovih znatno starijih predaja, koje su osim toga smatrali i superiornima.
Mitra/Mithra je vrlo stari bog kojeg nalazimo i u Perziji i u Indiji i koji stotinama ili tisućama godina prethodi kršćanskom spasitelju. Kult Mitre je ustvari nedugo prije kršćanskog doba bio "najpopularnija i najraširenija 'poganska' religija tog vremena", kako kaže Wheless i onda nastavlja:
Mitraizam je ustvari bio najveći izazov za kršćanstvo koje je za dlaku pobijedilo svoj suparnički kult. Mitra s likom Isusa Krista ima sljedeće zajedničke karakteristike:
Nadalje, sam Vatikan se zasniva na papinstvu Mitre i kršćanska je hijerarhija gotovo identična mitraističkoj verziji koju je zamijenila.
Kao što kaže Walker:
Walker dalje tumači:
Shmuel Golding kaže u svojoj The Book Your Church Doesn't Want You to Read:
Tars, legendarni Pavlov dom, ustvari je bilo mjesto u kojem se štovao Mitra. Kao što govori Wheless, Katolička enciklopedija o mitraizmu kaže:
Grčki bog Prometej navodno je iselio iz Egipta, ali njegova se muka odvila na planinama Kavkaza. Prometej dijeli nekoliko napadnih sličnosti s likom Isusa Krista:
Suvremena znanstvena ortodoksija ne slaže se niti s datumom koji daje Graves, po kojem meksički Quetzalcoatl vuče podrijetlo iz 6. stoljeća pr.n.e., niti s pretkolumbovskim kontaktom "Starog" i "Novog" svijeta. Dokazi, međutim, ukazuju na to da je taj mit doista postojao u Meksiku davno prije kršćanske ere, što sugerira upravo takav susret svjetova. Po predaji su ustvari drevni Feničani, vrsni moreplovci, znali za
Kako god onamo dospjela, ne može se sumnjati u ogromnu sličnost između meksičke religije i katoličanstva. Doane primjećuje:
Quetzalcoatl je također prikazivan kao jutarnja zvijezda, doveden je u iskušenje i postio 40 dana te ga se jelo u euharistiji nazvanoj po njemu. Kao što kaže Walker:
Meksikanci su štovah križ i krstili su svoju djecu u obredu obnove i novog rođenja davno prije kontakta s kršćanstvom.95 U jednom od rijetkih sačuvanih kodeksa nalazi se slika meksičkog spasitelja koji se savija pod teretom teškog križa na potpuno isti način na koji se prikazuje Krist. Meksički je križ nosio čovjeka s rupama od čavala na nogama i rukama: meksičkog Krista i iskupitelja koji je umro za grijehe ljudi. Na jednom prikazu takvog raspela Spasitelj je bio prekriven suncima.
Uz to, Meksikanci su imali samostane i ženske manastire, a svoje velike svećenike zvali su Papes. Meksički spasitelj i rituali bili su toliko uznemirujuće slični kršćanstvu konkvistadorskih Španjolaca da je Cortes bio primoran pribjeći standardnoj lažnoj pritužbi da je "Vrag naučio Meksikance da čine iste stvari koje je Bog naučio kršćane". Španjolci su morali uništiti što više dokaza, spaljujući knjige te nagrđujući i uništavajući hramove, spomenike i razne druge rukotvorine.
Još jedan bog čija je priča izrazito slična Kristovoj, a za koju su dokazi također uništeni, bio je egipatski bog Serapis ili Sarapis, kojeg su zvali "Dobrim Pastirom" i smatrali iscjeliteljem.
O Sarapisu Walker kaže:
Kao što smo vidjeli, sliku Serapisa, koji je nekoć stajao u Serapionu/Serapeumu u Aleksandriji, preuzeli su kasniji kršćani kao sliku Isusa, a kult Serapisa smatrao se kultom izvornih kršćana.
Albert Churchward pojašnjava:
Kao što govori car Hadrijan u svom pismu Servijanu:
Kao i u slučaju osnivača drugih religija i sekti, mnogi ljudi vjeruju da je Zoroaster bio stvarna ličnost koja je raširila perzijsku religiju oko 660. pr.n.e. Međutim, tvrdi se da je zoroastrijanizam postojao prije 10.000 godina te da je bilo barem "sedam Zoroastera ... koje su zabilježili različiti povjesničari".101 Jasno je stoga da Zoroaster nije jedna osoba, nego drukčije začinjena verzija sveprisutnog mita s drukčijim etničkim podrijetlom. Ime Zoroaster znači "sin zvijezde", što je uobičajeni mitski pridjevak, za koji Jacolliot tvrdi daje perzijska verzija starijega indijskog "Zuryastare (koji je obnovio štovanje sunca) i od kojeg potječe ovo ime Zoroaster, koje je samo po sebi tek titula koja se dodjeljuje političkom i religijskom zakonodavcu".
Sličnosti Zoroastera s Kristom su sljedeće:
(Spasitelju), koji treba doći 2341. godine i započeti svoju službu u dobi od 30 godina te tako započeti zlatno doba. Dobro je poznata činjenica da je zoroastrijanizam preplavio Bliski istok prije kršćanske ere. Kao i mazdaizam i mitraizam, bila je to religija koja je postojala stoljećima prije navodnog vremena "historijskog" Zoroastera. Njezin utjecaj na judaizam i kršćanstvo je nedvojben:
Kad je Ivan Krstitelj govorio da može krstiti vodom, ali da će iza njega doći onaj koji će krstiti vatrom i Duhom Svetim, izgovarao je riječi koje su došle izravno iz same srži zoroastrijanizma.
"Zoroaster" je nomade smatrao zlima, a zemljoradnike dobrima. Perziju tj. Iran smatrao je svetom zemljom. Poput kršćanskih misionara i on je vjerovao da vrag (Angra Mainyu ili Ahriman) "sije lažne vjere", a njegovi sljedbenici su kasnije tvrdili da su to judaizam, kršćanstvo, manihejstvo i islam. Kao i njegov potomak jahvizam, i zoroastrijanizam je bio monoteistička religija koja je zabranjivala slike ili idole
Larson govori o utjecaju zoroastrijanizma na kršćanstvo:
Mnogi drugi sinovi Božji i nekoliko "kćeri Božjih", kao i božice poput Diane Soteire, dijele brojne karakteristike s kršćanskim spasiteljem, kao što su sljedeći istaknuti primjeri.
Arapski Issa navodno je živio oko 400. pr.n.e. u zapadnoj arapskoj regiji Hijazu, gdje su također postojala mjesta koja su se zvala Galileja, Betlehem i Nazaret, grad koji u Palestini nije osnovan sve do nakon navodnog vremena "Isusa iz Nazareta".
Sličnosti između arapskog Isse i palestinskog Isusa brojne su i izražene. Asklepije je veliki grčki bog iscjelitelj koji je imao dugu kovrčavu kosu, nosio halje i činio čuda, uključujući i podizanje iz mrtvih.
O Asklepiju Dujardin kaže:
Također je utvrđeno da je orfička religija slična kršćanstvu. U djelu Jesus Christ: Sun of God David Fideler govori o grčkom junaku/bogu Orfeju:
Werner Keller kaže:
Orpheus - Bacchus
Orpheus-Bacchus crucified, from a cylinder seal of A.D. 300. There's the crucifixion as metaphysical symbol - Orpheus in the same sense as the Christ, and he goes to the cross like a bridegroom to the bride. Atop the cross is the moon - the death and resurrection motif - and above that, seven stars representing the Pleiades, known to antiquity as the Lyre of Orpheus.
Ponovno razapinjanje Sina Božjega
Zaista, onima koji su jednom prosvijetljeni, i okusili dar nebeski, i postali dionici Duha Svetoga, i okusili Lijepu riječ Božju i snage budućega svijeta, pa otpali, nemoguće je opet se obnoviti na obraćenje kad oni sami ponovno razapinju Sina Božjega i ruglu ga izvrgavaju. - Hebrejima