Last time we met, it was during Easter celebrations.
Do we understand or see the connection between the story of Christ’s birth, death and resurrection and the folk symbolism of Easter? In the essay-Ancient myths and Modern Man-Joseph Henderson tells how though we may not belive in the doctrine of the virgin birth of Christ or have any kind of conscious religious faith, unknowingly we have fallen in with the symbolism of rebirth. Christ’s crucifixion on Good Friday seems at first sight to belong to the same pattern of fertility symbolism that one finds in the rituals of such ‘saviors’ as Osiris, Tammuz, Orpheus and Balder. They, too, were of divine or semi-divine bright, they flourished , were killed , and were reborn. They belonged, in fact to cyclic religions in which the death and rebirth of the god-king was an eternally recurring myth.
Osiris- (Egyptian Mythology)- a god originally connected with fertility, husband of Isis an father of Horus, He is known chiefly through the story of his death at the hands of his brother Seth and his subsequent restoration to a new life as rule of the afterlife.
Tammuz- A Mesopotamian god, lover of Ishtar and similar in some respects to Greek Adonis. He became of personification of the seasonal death and rebirth of crops
Orpheus- Ancient Greek- was a legendary musician, poet and prophet in ancient Greek religion and myth. The major stories about his are centered on his ability to charm all living things and even tones with his music, his attempt to retrieve his whife Eurydice from the underworld, and his death at the hands of those who could not hear his divine music.
Balder Scandanavian Mythology- a son of Odin and god of the summer sun. He was invulnerable to all thins except missletoe, with which the god Loki, by a trick, induced the blind god Hudur to kill him.
This time on Mother’s day, we discussed James Ellroy’s –My Dark Places-