Tag Archives: Isis

THE SUN IS RISING, AN EASTER STORY

The sun was rising as I slid into Dan’s waiting car. “Good morning” I bid him and off to the office we sped. Dan’s eyes were focused on the intersection ahead as he posed common courtesy questions. After getting through our health and well being replies, I asked “All set for Easter?” as it was only three days away.
 
Dan, raised Catholic but trained as a scientist, replied, “as much as I need to.” He paused, and then continued, “You know, I find it incredible that the world’s biggest religion wants for us to believe in a fairytale of a Jewish boy who was born not only as our spiritual father but also as another God or two! No, I don’t buy this born-of-a-virgin tale used to white-wash his criminal deeds. Essentially this good guy was a disrupter of the peace who was punished, perhaps too severely, for his crimes with death and then we are to believe that he rose from the dead. Geez Louise.”
 
Quietly I listened. Also schooled as a scientist, I knew I too had mocked this same way years ago. But something about my grandfather had touched me deeply. He was a 33° Mason and, at one point, head of all its lodges in Ohio. I never joined the Masons but my curiosity in esoteric Christianity was ignited by him. It was a hidden flame that grew stronger over my adult years.
 
With my eyes fixed on the road ahead, I thought again about the Mystery of Golgotha and how the crowd had thought that Elijah might come to help him. But no such help came. As he died with a loud cry, the veil of the temple tore in half from top to bottom thereby exposing the Holy of the Holies. No longer could the veil hide the ancient mysteries of the Jewish people. The Roman centurion observing this realized its significance when he said “Surely this man was the Son of God.”
 
The radio droned on about why the local team had made a mistake in trading one of their stars as I recalled how, when my youngest child entered school, I had studied, during this newly offered spare time, those ancient mysteries. My recollection drifted to Isis’s statement “no mortal may lift my veil!” Of course, I had realized back then, no mortal! But, what happens when we become immortal? Does one lift her veil after initiation?
 
My recollection flowed on to recall my excitement when I realized a couple years later that this Temple Veil was indeed the Veil of Isis, of Sophia, woven by Lucifer to hide the spiritual world from all save the temple priests. And as Christ died, the tearing of this veil for all of humanity opened the Mysteries for all of humanity. It was foretold at the baptism when the veil of the heavens opened and in the form of a white dove the spirit of Christ had descended and remained upon the one called Jesus of Nazareth. There on the Jordan, it was John, the reincarnated Elijah, who witnessed from the earth this opening of the veil. On Golgotha, John, in a different form, again was present. Instinctively the crowd knew that Elijah was there. But as Grunewald wrote on his masterpiece, “He must increase and I must decrease.” Yes, that time for the new mysteries had come. For three years the god Christ had been incarnating into this physical vehicle until accomplished for his triumphant entry to the holy city of the human body while riding humbly on a donkey.
 
In that magical moment, I felt that I knew something Dan did not. I could see where he could not. But I shut down the pride that arose. Silently I sat in my seat unaware of the sportscaster’s claims. After a short, silently wailing while, I said “shall we do dinner together tonight after work?”

Ox and Ass = Mysteries of Mithras and Isis?

During the Age of Taurus (roughly from 3000 BCE to 800 BCE), the bull and the calf were venerated. As this Age transitioned to Aries, the Mithraic Mysteries arose where one was now to overcome the bull within:

 

Note the symbol of the snake. Mithraism apparently grew out of Persia and became popular throughout much of the Roman empire just before the spread of Christianity.

Many of the Old Testament books have the expression ox and ass. For example, in Job 1:14 it adelphia sarcophagussays “and there came a messenger unto Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the asses feeding beside them,”

Andrew Graham-Dixon of the Independent writes in his Arts column from December 1992, “The first reference to the ox and ass at the Nativity comes several centuries after the fact, in a book that is not much read these days: the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew, written [down] some time in

Giottothe eighth century [most researchers date this to 600 AD]. The author of this apocryphal text is unlikely to have invented this detail on his own. It seems probable that the early church fathers had also placed the ox and the ass at the Nativity because of what seemed a suggestive reference to the two animals in the Book of Isaiah: ‘The ox knows its owner and the ass its master’s stall; but Israel, my own people, has no knowledge, no discernment.'” The Adelphia Sarcophagus relief (to the left) is from roughly 330 AD; note the ox and ass in its nativity scene.

Giotto also places the ox and ass in his nativity scene. In his Escape to Egypt and the triumphant entry of Christ Jesus to Jerusalem includes an ass for travel (frescoes by Giotto).

In Luke 13:15 we read “The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering?”

A bit later in Luke, 14:5, it says “And answered them, saying, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day?”

OK, lots of other references are possible – you likely are aware there are many such references in the Bible and other related ancient texts. I have had a question about the symbolic or mystical purpose of these two beasts. In reading David Ovason’s book The Two Children, I found a treasure! “The ox was intended as a reference to the bull of Mithras, and perhaps even to the bull of the Egyptian god Apis – both important cults still offering initiation at the flight to egypttime of the birth of Jesus. … Just as the bull would have been familiar to the early Christians as being emblematic of the Mithraic cult, so the ass would have been familiar to them through the writing of the 2nd century AD African writer Lucius Apulcius.” Apulcius’ esoteric book The Golden Ass, is the story of a “human who had been metamorphosed into the body of an ass” but finds libEntry to Jerusalemeration through the “initiation rites of Isis”. David goes on to say that Gnostic deities were depicted with the head of a ass.

The gospel books are full of passages where the event could be happening in the physical or in the spiritual world or both (typically both).  I find it plausible that both the bull (ox) and the ass each represent a stream of the ancient mysteries. Linking the bull to Mithras and Egyptian Apis mysteries makes sense. And I can be persuaded that the ass represents the Osiris-Isis mysteries of Egypt but I’ll need more persuasion. Anyone want to persuade me?  Any other thoughts?

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