Saturday, December 25, 2010

Samedi: Great Spirits

In honor of the occasion, I would like to wish a happy birthday, in order of youngest to oldest, to the Great Spirits who inspired today’s holiday.

First, Jesus Christ, God of the Christians, shown with his mother Mary at the header.
Next, a god from Persia and Phrygia who introduced the Roman Legion to the concept of baptism and religious rebirth: Mithras. The god is shown performing the seminal act of his birth/death/rebirth cycle, the slaughtering of a bull in whose blood his worshipers were baptized in his name.
Finally, the original December 25th birthday boy, Horus the hawk-headed Egyptian god of sunrise and solar winds whose claim to the throne of Egypt finally put an end to the reign of his evil uncle, Set. Horus appears in this sculpture as an infant being nursed by his mother, Isis who was, by the date assigned to the birth of Christ, one of the most widely worshipped Goddesses in the world.

At one time in history Jesus, Mithras and Isis all had a shot at becoming the supreme deity of the Western world. At this time of year in particular, I like to imagine how different things might be if the conqueror had not been Christ. Joyeux Noel ~

Pictured: The Virgin and Child by Jan van Eyck c 1413
Mithras Slaying the Bull, Roman sculpture c 40 CE
Isis Nursing Horus, reproduction of an Egyptian sculpture c 1300 BCE


Timmy! said...

It's beginning to look a lot like Mithras.

Wouldn't Zoroaster be in there somwhere too? I'm not sure about that one though, Pauline...

Pauline said...

Dammit! And that's who I love: Mithras. Deal with it!