Sunday, December 25, 2005

Birthday Celebrations

Isaac Newton, Humphrey Bogart, Cab Calloway, Carlos Castenada, Jimmy Buffett, Sissy Spacek, Noel Redding (Jimi Hendrix), Ken (the snake) Stabler, and Annie Lennox.

...and the honorary birth of these folks, most of them born to virgins: Mithra (Mithras), Jesus, Attis, Osiris, and more. Excerpt from this page. Go there for references and more.
Roman Pagan Religion: Attis was a son of the virgin Nana. His birth was celebrated on DEC-25. He was sacrificed as an adult in order to bring salvation to mankind. He died about MAR-25, after being crucified on a tree, and descended for three days into the underworld. On Sunday, he arose, as the solar deity for the new season. His followers tied an image of Attis to a tree on "Black Friday," and carried him in a procession to the temple. His body was symbolically eaten by his followers in the form of bread. Worship of Attis began in Rome circa 200 BCE.

Greek Pagan Religion: Dionysus is another savior-god whose birth was observed on DEC-25. He was worshipped throughout much of the Middle East as well. He had a center of worship in Jerusalem in the 1st century BCE. Some ancient coins have been found in Gaza with Dionysus on one side and JHWH (Jehovah) on the other. In later years, his flesh and blood were symbolically eaten in the form of bread and wine. He was viewed as the son of Zeus, the Father God.

Egyptian Pagan Religion: Osiris is a savior-god who had been worshipped as far back as Neolithic times. "He was called Lord of Lords, King of Kings, God of Gods...the Resurrection and the Life, the Good shepherd...the god who 'made men and women be born again' Three wise men announced his birth. His followers ate cakes of wheat which symbolized his body. Many sayings associated with Osiris were taken over into the Bible. This included:
--23rd Psalm: an appeal to Osiris as the good Shepherd to lead believers through the valley of the shadow of death and to green pastures and still waters
--Lord's Prayer: "O amen, who art in heaven..."
--Many parables attributed to Jesus.
Worship of Osiris, and celebration of his DEC-25 birth, were established throughout the Roman Empire by the end of the 1st century BCE.

Persian Pagan Religion: Mithra was a Persian savior. Worship of Mithra became common throughout the Roman Empire, particularly among the Roman civil service and military. Mithraism was a competitor of Christianity until the 4th century. Their god was believed to have been born on DEC-25, circa 500 BCE. His birth was witnessed by shepherds and by gift-carrying Magi. This was celebrated as the "Dies Natalis Solic Invite," The "Birthday of the Unconquered Sun." Some followers believed that he was born of a virgin. During his life, he performed many miracles, cured many illnesses, and cast out devils. He celebrated a Last Supper with his 12 disciples. He ascended to heaven at the time of the spring equinox, about March 21.

The Babylonians celebrated their "Victory of the Sun-God" Festival on DEC-25. Saturnalia (the Festival of Saturn) was celebrated from DEC-17 to 23 in the Roman Empire. The Roman Emperor Aurelian blended Saturnalia with a number of birth celebrations of savior Gods from other religions, into a single holy day: DEC-25. After much argument, the developing Christian church adopted this date as the birthday of their savior, Jesus. The people of the Roman Empire were accustomed to celebrating the birth of a God on that day. So, it was easy for the church to divert people's attention to Jesus' birth.

4 comments:

Jeen Lilly said...

Love that Barbara G. Walker.
The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets is an essential reference for the inquiring mind.
What always surprises me is how vehemently (usually openminded) people disagree with her scholarly *inaccuracies* -- trying to dismiss her and belittle 20 years of research and a lifetime commitment to offering an alternative to the Patriarchal Sprachgefuhl.
well, like the bumpersticker says:
“I speak fluent Patriarchy, but it's not my Mother Tongue.”

Ptelea said...

I want one of those bumperstickers!

Neil Shakespeare said...

Ken 'The Snake' Stabler was born of a Virgin?!! Humphrey Bogart I can believe, but Kenny the Snake?!!

Blueberry said...

...and if you believe that one, I've got some nice beachfront property...

Hey, why not? I've heard that virgin births are awarded after you die anyway, so... it could happen!