Wednesday, September 27, 2006

THE MYSTERIOUS dying GOD



"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".... His preists were called "Father."

"Mithras was also born in a cave, with shepherds in attendance, on the twenty-fifth of December.

SNIP

"[S]everal 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." Go HERE for more.
Well, many of you knew already that there's nothing new in the Bible. It was all stolen from earlier religions. Some things were stolen and then tweaked: 13 was kicked out as the 'good' number, and 12 took its place; the loving Goddess Hel to whose warm womb we all return at death became a vast underground torture chamber hotter than -- well, you know. The list is endless.

My QUESTION today, though, is this: Does our new Goddess religion need a dying god? Does the dying god perform a needful service for us? Does someone need to die for our spirituality to work? Whaddya think?

_____________
Thnx to Susan Sedon Boulet for her image of the Mother Goddess Mary holding the dead Christ (from my own collection of her images)

18 comments:

Anne Johnson said...

Well, he doesn't exactly die. Instead he kicks Death's butt, all part of strutting his stuff. (No offense, Christians, we're talking about all male gods who go striding off to Hades and then return among us.)

Is there any case of a female deity dying and returning again this way, other than Persephone (who never really died, just went to live Down There)?

No one needs to die and resurrect for my spirituality to work. The heart of the Goddess beats even in the deepest cold of winter.

Athana said...

Good question, anne. I don't know of any female diety doing the dying-deity thing. Hm.

Aquila ka Hecate said...

Wasn't it Inanna who was hung on a hook in the Netherworld?

Is it not the Descent of the Goddess which we celebrate and ritualise each year-some of us, anyway?

I think my point here is that the gender of the deity is not important when it comes to the Harrowing of Hel.The act itself is symbolic of our own descent and resurrection in life, and afterlife if you will.
They form a connection with all the multiverse for our 3 dimensional projections on Earth.

That said, I often feel that the Sacrificial God is a good way of helping the males of our species feel more wanted, more useful-poor things.

Terri in Joburg, sniggering into the back of her uberfeminist hand

Morgaine said...

Excellent question! I suppose it depends upon whom or what the god represents. If he represents the grain, then he has to be harvested and reborn. If he's the sun, then he reigns at the Once and Future king who waxes and wanes throughout the yearly cycle. We don't need salvation. We do have to have a place for death in our Panthean, but that needn't be a bad thing. And in the case of Persephone, it's more of a dark night of the soul than a fire and brimstone Hell.

Here's my take on it - do we need males? No. But we have males, so we should decide how to deal with them. Also, they can be nice to have around. I'm awfully fond of Dionysus myself - the eternally young, thoroughly female identified god of tripping and fuc*ing. He's not an essential part of creation, but he certainly makes life more fun.

I have mixed feelings about the vampiric aspect of communion. The Goth kid in me loves the whole idea, but the feminist in me is a little grossed out by it. It seems an odd image to focus on. I think that it is essentially wrong to advocate any form of cannibalsim, spiritual or not.

Vampirism is generally a sexual kink more than a religious thing. Should our spirituality reflect our sexual lives as they are or as we would like them to be? Are limits even possible?

Amananta said...

Echoing what is said above - male pretenders stole even the dying deity myth from women. Innanna did it before Jesus, Mithras, Orpheus, and Osiris.

Anti-Thesisofreason said...

I think males in society are viewed as expendable/sacrificial. Many men live short, violent lives which reflect this. Which I think can be viewed in terms of the sacrificial grain god.
Does this "sacrifice" redeem us? I think it depends on the sacrifice. For instance in WWII many men (and women) sacrificed their lives to save the world from the Nazis and Japanees. They were attempting to redeem(?)/rid the world from the Nazis corruption.
But if death and resurrection are seen as a symbolic journey of change and growth then does the male journey differ in any way from the female journey?
Could the symbolic journey reflect mens sacrifice or expendability to community??

Just a thought and some questions to add.

Anonymous said...

Hey,

You all mad western feminists! Always bitching about alpha males
instead of focusing on your fundamental duty of uniting with alpha
males,producing and bringing up robust sons and daughters. Are you so
dull-headed, self-deluded and naive that you forget the essence of
being a woman? The fact that women’s nature is so different from
men’s and they complement men and the fact that these two types
together sustain the whole humanity for a potential eternity. How
can a woman become complete without a man and vice versa? You are
not and can never be equal to men not even in a million years in
the very distant future when we will develop ultra-extreme AI
technologies to reconfigure galaxies and space-time singularities.
The question of competition between men and women does not arise at
all.

Now after hearing a lot about you from our American brothers, I
strongly believe that all of you feminists everywhere must be ass-
fucked, gang-raped and then we will cut your boobs with our combat
knives and empty whole magazines of 16 bullets into your vaginas.
And we will post the digital videos of serial rape+executions on
men’s websites and video-game portals around the world for our
wholesale XXX entertainment.

No doubt you western women suck and that's truly unfortunate for
our American and Euro brothers. Now you are even trying to pollute
our Eastern women too through your various propaganda channels.
Come to Middle-east, Central/Far East and Indian Sub-continent, and
see how to behave like true women who are not equal to men but they
are truly inseparable and mutually inclusive parts of men. How can
women exist apart from men when the semantic meaning of the word
“women” itself contains “men”?

It’s not too late now. So, change and transform yourselves into
good wives/mothers immediately or else we are gonna slaughter you
in most horrifying manner possible in collaboration with our
western brothers and our own chaste feminine wives and girlfriends.


Regards and good luck,
NthGreatGrandsonofGenghisKhan_TheEmperorofallMen

http://www.aceros-de-hispania.com/genghis-khan-sword.htm
http://www.douglasadams.com/dna/980707-07-s.html

Athana said...

Lotta rich ideas here. Wow. To me it all goes back to starvation culture (see Aug. 25 post of this year). Before about 4000 BC, the world lived without institutionalized warfare, human violence, or poverty. Men then did NOT live short, violent lives the way many do today, as antithesis points out. Life was about life, not death. All revolved around loving female divinity.

Increasingly, however, the mentally-ill starvation peoples have gained the upper hand. I think that all the Goddesses we know anything about are Goddesses who’ve been tampered with and twisted by these starvation flies guys. So Inanna becomes a Goddess of “love and war” (go to Wikipedia; this is an exact quote). First, how ridiculous can you get, pairing love with war in a diety?!? Second, Inanna would never have been a Goddess of war before the world became a world of war ca 4000 BC! She’d have been a Goddess of love alone.

Wiki says that Inanna went to the underworld for only three days, and then the other deities wanted Her back, so Her husband Dumuzi and his sister shared the job of staying in the underworld, each for half a year. If Wiki is right, then, the ancient Middle East gave Christ’s job to both a male and a female.

I agree with you Morgaine – vampirism is the last thing I’d want in any religion I follow.

Terri, I have come around to agreeing that male gods do not have to be a bad thing, and that men needs gods just as women need goddesses. And perhaps we both need both. However, I’m wondering if male gods before starvation culture might not have been something like “Janid, the God of Laughter,” versus “Christ the god who’s tortured and vampirized.”

I suspect another important God in the pre-starvation-guys days was the companion of the Great Mother Goddess. Among the Minoans, for example, this God would have been represented by the bull.

Anti-Thesisofreason said...

I was attempting to make a connection for men today, not in the past. I am more interested in how the god/dess can guide me and be a part of my life today.
I am attempting to find common ground and not simply have a one or the other view point toward god/dess. I believe there is a balance to be struck to make my life a healthy and fully spiritual one. the god does not have to be violent and suppressive. He can be fun, full of life and laughter. He can also be a caregiver instead of a life taker.

Athana said...

antithesis, my sentence structure was poor. I meant this: you point out that life is often violent and short for men today. And that this may be a reflection of the fact that men may be seen as expendable, or "sacrificial."

I was taking off from your premise, into the past.

Your point about men being seen as expendable/sacrificial is an interesting one, though. You might be right. If so, I'd guess that this idea comes from the patriarchy, the starvation culture. Before starvation culture I don't think there was any need for anyone to be expendable. Life was rich, people were rich, life was safe and good. The emphasis then was on life and pleasure, not pain and death.

The need for sacrifice comes out of a false sense of terror -- that one is about to starve, that the Mother is about to abandon us, that there won't ever be 'enough'.

Aquila ka Hecate said...

This is a fascinating discussion.

Athana (or anybody else), bearing in mind that I have a 'hard' sciences background, can you suggest something for me to read in order to start filling in the blanks in my worldview?

Love,
Terri in Joburg

Anti-Thesisofreason said...

Athana,

Sorry I may have misinterpreted your post. But I didn't take offense either.
You have some good points. Men being sacrificial today is a part of the patriarchal hierarchy (say that ten times fast). Look at what they go through with war gang violence etc. Just to prove their men. Many men in the business world work themselves to death to support family and home or to chase the almighty dollar.

The same thing is beginning to happen with women, more women are in the corporate world and are taking on "traditional" mens roles as CEO's and such. Because of this we see, I think, and increase in women working themselves to death. Women having stress issues similar to men's. Women are allowed to go into combat now too. Single mothers need to feed and protect their children without the help of a spouse these days. I see women being drawn into the "masculine" sacrificial model more and more each day.

Not that I'm saying that women shouldn't be independent or single mothers or that they aren't equal to men.

I am just seeing a modern!? trend that started with the expendability of men and is starting to spread to women in a way.

With all that said,
Maybe the "modern" sacrificial model lessens the value of life??
It sort of cheapens it instead of honors it doesn't it?

Athana said...

Terri,

You might start with The Chalice and the Blade, by Riane Eisler. The best source for the starvation culture is James DeMeo's Saharasia: The 4000 BCE Origins of Child Abuse, Sex-Repression, Warfare and Social Violence in the Deserts of the Old World. It's a large book, and academic, but excellent. (He doesn't actually use the term "starvation culture"; I plead guilty to coming up with that concept -- but I based it on DeMeo's work).

Athana said...

antithesis, now I'm not certain anymore. I'm not sure I'm totally willing to discard the notion that -- in certain circumstances -- it's noble to "sacrifice" one's life for the lives of others. I know, however, that I don't like the idea of a deity being sacrificed to "save" me from some "original sin" that none of us ever committed in the first place.

If deities are role models -- and I believe they are -- then maybe there's nothing wrong with a deity who dies so some others may live.

Mothers typically don't think twice about sacrificing themselves for the sake of their children.

Hm.

Morgaine said...

Terri-

The First Sex by Elizabeth Gould Davis

Aquila ka Hecate said...

Thanks Athana and Morgaine.

I now have a 'christmas' book list.


Love,

Terri

Paxton said...

I'd be interested to know what you mean when you say that "your spirituality works".

Paxton said...

Your statement about the Bible containing nothing new reminds me of the old saying:

"Once somebody tells a story about something, nothing similar to that story will actually happen in real life ever again."