Friday, 21 December 2007

Mithras-mas


Birth of the Invincible Sun God:


According to Persian traditions, the god Mithras was actually incarnated into the human form of the Saviour expected by Zarathustra. Mithras was born of Anahita, an immaculate virgin mother once worshipped as a fertility goddess before the hierarchical reformation. Anahita was said to have conceived the Saviour from the seed of Zarathustra preserved in the waters of Lake Hamun in the Persian province of Sistan. Mithra's ascension to heaven was said to have occurred in 208 B.C., 64 years after his birth. This birth took place in a cave or grotto, where shepherds attended him and regaled him with gifts, at the winter solstice. This is based on a older myth about birth of Mithra, that his magical birth at the dawn of time was from a rock from which he formed himself using his Will. He holds in his hand a dagger and a torch. A statue from Housesteads shows Mithras being born from the rock while the twelve signs of the zodiac surround him, showing his image as a stellar god who rules the cosmos even at his birth. A serpent sometimes shown to be coiled around of the Mithras or birth stone/egg.

After his birth he challenged other forces when the world was young. His battle with the Sun resulted in the formation of a friendship and Mithras was bestowed with rays/crown of the Sun.


Christians adopted this date as Christ's birthday in the Fourth century of the common era, according to Sir J.G. Frazer in his work The Golden Bough:


"the festival of Christmas, which the church seems to have borrowed directly from its heathen rival. In the Julian Calendar, the 25th of December was reckoned as the winter solstice, and was regarded as the nativity of the Sun, because the day begins to lengthen and the power of the Sun increases from that turning point of the year. ... Mithras was regularly identified by his worshippers with the Sun... The [Christian] Gospels say nothing of the day of Christ's birth, and accordingly the early church did not celebrate it."


The New Catholic Encyclopaedia records: "The birth of Christ was assigned the date of the winter solstice (December 25 in the Julian calendar, January 6 in the Egyptian), because on this day, as the Sun began its return to northern skies, the pagan devotees of Mithras celebrated the Dies Natalis Solis Invicti (Birthday of the Invincible Sun). On December 25, 274, [Roman Emperor] Aurelian had proclaimed the Sun God the principal patron of the Empire and dedicated a temple to Him in the Campus Martius. Christmas originated at a time when the cult of the Sun was particularly strong at Rome." (Vol. III, p.656, 1967 ed.).




What are we doing, church? Wake up and let's stop indulging ourselves. If Jesus were to return around this time of year, (which I don't believe He will) ... I think most people would ask Him to postpone his arrival. Are we really listening to the Holy Spirit?

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