On The Music Box: Ostara Show on EarthRites Radio!
A Big Hello to you all.
A short Entry today….
Article: The Mysterious dying God
Poetry: 4 Poems of Hafiz
DJ Kykeon may be making an appearance early today, watch your email box!
Hope the day is a good one for ya!
Pre-Christian resurrected Gods
(Bacchus crucified; this 3rd Century amulet predates images of Crucified Christ)
An inscription in the Vatican states plainly, “He who will not eat of my body, nor drink of my blood, so that he may be one with me and I with him, shall not be saved.” This is not terribly surprising, unless you consider that this is inscribed on the remains of the temple the Vatican was built on- one dedicated to the God Mithras. Mithras was a solar deity whose worshippers called him redeemer; his religion died out not long after the advent of Christianity.
Such eerie parallels between the pronouncements of Jesus and Mithras are not the only similarities between the two religions. Mithras was known to his followers as “The light of the world,” or “The Good Shepherd,” and exhorted his followers to share ritual communion meals of bread and wine. His preists were called “Father.”
Mithras was also born in a cave, with shepherds in attendance, on the twenty-fifth of December. (Alternatively, he is assisted in his birth from a stone by shepherds)
Are these just coincidences? Absolutely not. Fourth century Bishop John Chrysostom writes : “On this day also the Birthday of Christ was lately fixed at Rome in order that while the heathen were busy with their profane ceremonies, the Christians might perform their sacred rites undisturbed. They call this the Birthday of the Invincible One; but who is so invincible as the Lord? They call it the Birthday of the Solar Disk, but Christ is the Sun of Righteousness.”
(Ixion crucified on the Solar Wheel)
Consider this- several other Gods share the December birthday, and like Mithras, they are also solar deities, who are born in the winter solstices, often of virgin mothers, die, and are reborn. One of these, a pre-Christian deity called Attis, was called “The lamb of God,” and his crucifixion and subsequent resurrection were celebrated annually, with ritual communions of bread and wine. His virgin mother, Cybele, was worshipped as “The Queen of heaven.” It gets more interesting the further back we look- Attis and Cybele’s predecessors are the Babylonian Goddess Ishtar, and her consort Tammuz. It is from their legend that we get the name for the annual celebration of the resurrection of Christ- Easter, a name of the Goddess Ishtar.
This is not the only coincidence related to this ancient couple- the earliest use of the cross as a religious symbol is related to Tammuz. In fact, crosses are related to a variety of solar deities. Of course, the cross was not popular with early Christians, except in the form of an X, the Greek initial of “Christos.” (Even this was borrowed symbolism- the initials belonging to the Greek Chronos.)
Hundreds of years before Jesus, there was a passion story told about a God man, born of a virgin mother, in a stable. He travels about with his followers, preaching and performing miracles, including turning water into wine. Eventually, he incurs the wrath of the religious authorities, who are appalled that he refers to himself as the son of god. He allows himself to be arrested and tried for blasphemy- a willing self-sacrifice. He is found guilty and executed, only to rise from the grave three days later, where the women weeping at his tomb do not recognize him until he assumes his divine form. This god, also one of the first depicted crucified, is the vine-God Dionysus.
(Orpheus – The Good Shepherd)
Common to all of these ‘mystery’ religions (so called because one was required to be initiated or baptized into the faith to learn its doctrines)- including early Christianity- are themes of rebirth, redemption, and the transmission of life-changing information- spiritual salvation. So many religions in those times shared similar themes with that usually the deities became melded together. Early depictions of Jesus show him holding the Lyre of Orpheus, or driving Apollo’s chariot. A talisman bearing the crucified likeness of Dionysus is inscribed Orpheus/Bacchus. The follower of Jesus, named Lazarus (‘resurrected,’ a derivitive of the name of Osiris, the resurrected God of Egypt)
Three days later, the tomb is empty!It is impossible to tell just by looking at old artwork which haloed infant gods are cuddled in the arms of which mothers. The Emperor Constantine, who legitimized Christianity in Rome, was a worshipper of Sol Invictus- an amalgamation of solar deities Mithras, Helios, and Apollo-and he recognized Jesus’ place in that company almost immediately. Even today, ancient solar symbols abound in Christian iconography. Not that Constantine was the only one to muddle these gods together- in fact, Christianity’s oldest known mosaic depicts Jesus as a triumphant Helios, complete with chariot.
Of course, later Christians were terribly perturbed by these similarities to Pagan religions- these coincidences so disturbed one early Christian church father, Justin Martyr, that he accused the devil of sending an imitator of Christ in advance. Had he paid a little more attention to the past, he might have noted that the association of Jesus with Dionysus is not so strange-philosophers had been making connections between Jehovah and Dionysus for centuries.
Did early Christians, like their modern descendents, believe that theirs was the one and only true manifestation of religion? Consider the words of Clement, of Alexandria, “There is one river of Truth, which receives tributaries from every side.” If only the later followers of the religion listened more closely, these mysteries may not have been lost.
(The God Attis with his Virgin mother Cybele; Attis’ death and resurrection were celebrated in the spring)
Ostara is the Spring equinox. Equinoxes are a time of balance. This would be the waxing equinox in which the sun would continue to grow in the sky. Celebrate the fertility of the land, first flowers of springs. Green/yellow are important colors, Green being vegetative representing earth and yellow being sun representing balance. The egg is symbolic of balance as well as fertility/rebirth. The yolk is representative of new birth/sun/god with the white shell is the goddess protecting that which grows in her womb. In some native american cultures this would be the time of saying goodbye to Waboose, the Winter (N) represented by the white buffalo and containing the powers of cleansing renewal and purification. In turn they would welcome Wabun, the Spring (E) represented by the eagle and containing the powers of clarity, wisdom and illumination.
4 Poems ~ Hafiz
Let Thought Become Your Beautiful Lover
Let thought become the beautiful Woman.
Cultivate your mind and heart to that depth
That it can give you everything
A warm body can.
Why just keep making love with God’s child– Form
When the Friend Himself is standing
Let prayer become your beautiful Lover
And become free,
Become free of this whole world
From the Large Jug, Drink
From the large jug, drink the wine of Unity,
So that from your heart you can wash away the futility of life’s grief.
But like this large jug, still keep the heart expansive.
Why would you want to keep the heart captive, like an unopened bottle
With your mouth full of wine, you are selfless
And will never boast of your own abilities again.
Be like the humble stone at your feet rather than striving to be like a
Sublime cloud: the more you mix colors of deceit, the more colorless
your ragged wet coat will get.
Connect the heart to the wine, so that it has body,
Then cut off the neck of hypocrisy and piety of this new man.
Be like Hafiz: Get up and make an effort. Don’t lie around like a bum.
He who throws himself at the Beloved’s feet is like a workhorse and will
be rewarded with boundless pastures and eternal rest.
I Know The Way You Can Get
I know the way you can get
When you have not had a drink of Love:
Your face hardens,
Your sweet muscles cramp.
Children become concerned
About a strange look that appears in your eyes
Which even begins to worry your own mirror
Squirrels and birds sense your sadness
And call an important conference in a tall tree.
They decide which secret code to chant
To help your mind and soul.
Even angels fear that brand of madness
That arrays itself against the world
And throws sharp stones and spears into
And into one’s self.
O I know the way you can get
If you have not been drinking Love:
You might rip apart
Every sentence your friends and teachers say,
Looking for hidden clauses.
You might weigh every word on a scale
Like a dead fish.
You might pull out a ruler to measure
From every angle in your darkness
The beautiful dimensions of a heart you once
I know the way you can get
If you have not had a drink from Love’s
That is why all the Great Ones speak of
The vital need
To keep remembering God,
So you will come to know and see Him
As being so Playful
Just Wanting to help.
That is why Hafiz says:
Bring your cup near me.
For all I care about
Is quenching your thirst for freedom!
All a Sane man can ever care about
Is giving Love!
Once a man came to me and spoke for hours about
“His great visions of God” he felt he was having.
He asked me for confirmation, saying,
“Are these wondrous dreams true?”
I replied, “How many goats do you have?”
He looked surprised and said,
“I am speaking of sublime visions
And you ask about goats!”
And I spoke again saying,
“Yes brother-how many do you have?”
“Well, Hafiz, I have sixty-two.”
“How many rose bushes in your garden,
How many children,
Are your parents still alive,
Do you feed the birds in winter?”
And to all he answered.
Then I said,
“You asked me if I thought your visions were true,
I would say that they were if they make you become
More kind to every creature and plant
That you know.”