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daily life.'” Then, by a bolder step, he becomes “The giver of light and life" in general; he who brings light and life to-day is the same who brought light and life on the first of days—“The Creator”; and if a Creator, soon a • Ruler of the world.” And so he becomes gradually a “Defender,” “ Kind Protector," by driving away the dreaded darkness and fertilizing the earth; and omniscient, for his vigilant eye sees everything—the works of the evildoer, etc. The history of the Messiah is simply the history of the messiahs before him, and of the Sun—the real saviour of mankind of which they were the personifications. Each sign of the zodiac had its god; and each of the decans, of which each sign had three, had its god also. The sun was the “ Day star on high,” the “ Lion of Juda,” when in the sign Leo in July, who has thrown the zodiacal Archer Sagittarius into the sea-i.e., the horizon. Miriam sang (Ex. xv. 21): "Sing ye to the Lord (the sun), for he hath triumphed gloriouslythe horse and his rider (Sagittarius] hath he thrown into the sea.” The horse and rider represented evil as opposed to good. Sagittarius was the “Centaur” sign-half horse, half man-armed with bow and arrow, the sign of November -cold and darkness. The three decans were represented by the three children in Daniel who were thrown into a fiery furnace—the summer sign Cancer. The fourth child that Daniel saw was the sun. The name Daniel is derived from Domel or Dan-el = the sun-god; he was cast into the lions' pit or den-i.e., the sign of the Lion below the horizon.
The fixed stars were spoken of as being the “Host of Heaven." These formed the occult basis of all the religions of Paganism. The dramatic allegory of the sun and the planetary system is to be found in the tragedy of Æschylus (written 500 years B.C.), in which the crucifixion of Prometheus is included.
The birthday of Jesus, of Buddha, Mithras, Osiris, Horus, Hercules, Bacchus, Adonis, and other sun-gods, was the birthday of the new-born sun-the great god Sol. On this day was celebrated by all the nations of the earth the accouchement of the “ Queen of Heaven.” At midnight on December 24th and 25th, when the sun had fully entered the winter solstice, the sign of virgo (the virgin) was rising on the eastern horizon, and the Persian magicians drew the horoscope of the new year. The symbol was
As the pagan
represented first by ears of corn, and, second, by a woman with a new-born male child in her arms. “The division of the first decan of virgo represents a beautiful virgin with flowing hair, sitting in a chair with two ears of corn in her hand, and suckling an infant called Iasus."* As the virgin of the zodiac was immaculate, so were the Christian virgin and all the other virgin mothers. As the solar virgin mother conceived without carnal intercourse and still remained a virgin, so did the Christian virgin mother. virgin mothers were represented with the lotus, lily, or ears of corn in one hand and the child in the other, so do we see the Catholic virgin mothers similarly represented ; and festivals of the corn-goddess Ceres and of the wine-god Bacchus are to this day celebrated in some Catholic countries, notably in Switzerland. In the Vedic Hymns Eos, the dawn, called “the mother of the gods,” is said to have given birth to the sun; and this explains how it is that the virgin mother is frequently represented as the dawn and the dark earth or night.
The sun and all the solar deities rise from the east, which fact gave origin to the old custom of praying towards the east; and the practice is still kept up in the English Church; but, though formerly practised in the Catholic Church, it has been discarded since the Reformation.
The star which informs the magicians and shepherds is the bright morning star which rose immediately before the sign virgo was entered. And such expressions as peace, goodwill, joy, “ To him all angels cry aloud, the heavens, and all the powers [planetary gods] therein "; "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill towards men,” are all of pagan origin. In the “Vishnu Purana,” at the birth of Krishna, we find : “The quarters of the horizon are irradiate with joy, as if moonlight was diffused over the whole earth," and "the spirits and nymphs of heaven dance and sing.” At the birth of Buddha “caressing breezes blow, and a marvellous light is produced." In the Fo-SenKing of China : “For the Lord and Saviour is born to give joy and peace to men and Devas, to shed light in dark places, and to give sight to the blind." The offering of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the infant Christian Saviour, and
* C. F. Volney, Ruins.
the visit of the magician sun-worshippers, are simply repetitions of the story of how these astrologer priests used to make an annual visit at early dawn on December 25th to the new-born sun. “They started to salute their sun-god long before the rising, and, having ascended a high mountain, waited anxiously for the birth, facing the east, hailing his first rays with gold, frankincense, and myrrh, accompanied by prayer."* He was greeted by the shepherds with “Hail orient conqueror of gloomy night," and "Will the powers of darkness be conquered by the god of light ?"
As all the sun-gods and saviours were born in caves, so was Jesus. The cave was the stable of Augias (Cancer)the first faint arch of light—the beautiful eastern blue of heaven, which is seen in the east. In this arch or cave the infant is nourished until he reaches his full strength-when the day is fully come. When the child is born a halo of serene light encircles the cradle-i.e., the sun appears at early dawn in all his splendour.
Seeking the destruction of the infant deities is seen in the imaginary attempts to destroy the sun-saviour when born, the powers of darkness having failed to prevent the birth. Herod is the counterpart of Kansa, the dark and wicked night; but he loses his power when the young prince of glory, “the Invincible,” is born. The sun scatters darkness, and so it was said the child was to be the destroyer of the reigning monarch, or his parent, night; and the magicians warned the latter of the doom which would overtake him. The newly-born babe is therefore ordered to be put to death by the sword, or exposed on the hill-side, as the sun seems to rest on the earth (Ida) at its rising. In oriental mythology the destroying principle is generally represented as a serpent or dragon ; and “the position of the sphere on Christmas Day shows the serpent all but touching, and certainly aiming at, the woman”-i.e., the figure of the constellation Virgo. Here we have the origin of the story of the snake sent to kill Hercules, and of Typhon, who sought the life of the infant Horus ; and of Orion, who besets the virgin mother Astrea ; and of Latona, the mother of Apollo, when pursued by the monster; and, lastly, of the Virgin Mary, with her babe beset by Herod. "But, like Hercules,
* M. Dupuis, Origin of all Religious Worship.
Horus, Gilgames, Apollo, Theseus, Romulus, Cyrus, and other solar heroes, Jesus has a long course before him. Like them, he grows up wise and strong, and the old serpent’is discomfited by him, just as the sphinx and the dragon are put to flight by others.”
"The temptation by, and victory over, the evil one, whether Mara or Satan, is the victory of the sun over the clouds of storm and darkness. In his struggle with darkness the sun remains the conqueror, and the army of Mara or Satan is broken or scattered; the Apearas, daughters of the demon, the last light vapours which float in the heaven, try in vain to clasp and retain the vanquisher; he disengages himself from their embraces, repulses them; they writhe, lose their form, and vanish.” Free from every obstacle and adversary, the sun journeys across space, having defeated the attempts of his eternal foe; and, appearing in all his glory and sovereign splendour, the god has attained the summit of his course. It is the moment of triumph.
The “agony in the garden” and sweating great drops of blood has a very clear Bacchantian reference to the wine press, and the compression of the grapes---first the blood of the red grape, then the “lees ” or vinegar, which was given him to drink. The process is then “finished.” And the wine press was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the wine press, even unto the horses' bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs ” (Rev. xiv. 20).
The autumnal crossing, or crucifixion of the sun, is seen in the crucifixion of all “saviours." Before he dies he sees all his disciples—the stars, his retinue of light, and his twelve apostles—the twelve hours of the day, twelve months of the year, and signs of the zodiac, disappear in the sanguinary mêlée of the clouds of evening. At last he has reached his extreme southern limit, his career is ended, for he is overcome by his enemies—the powers of darkness and of winter. The bright summer sun, having been crucified, is now slain. Throughout the narrative the sun-god is but fulfilling his doom- These things must be.” Many women were there beholding from afar.” In the tender mother and the fair maidens we have the dawn (Eos) who bore him, and the fair and beautiful lights which flash the eastern sky as the sun sinks or dies in the west (these lights
can only be understood by those who have seen them; there is nothing like them in this country). Their tears are the tears of dew, such as Eos weeps at the death of her child.
All the sun.gods forsake their homes and virgin mothers, and wander through different countries doing marvellous things. Finally, at the end of their career, the mother from whom they were parted is by their side to cheer them in their last hours. They were to be found at the last scene in the life of Buddha, Edipus (another sun), Hercules, Apollo, Prometheus, etc.
“ There was darkness over the land." This is the sun sinking slowly down, with the ghastly hues of death upon his face, while none are nigh to cheer him, save the everfaithful women. After a long struggle against the dark clouds who are arrayed against him, he is finally overcome and dies.
Blacker and blacker grow the evening shades, and finally “there is darkness on the face of the earth, and the din of its thunder crashes through the air.” “ He descended into hell.” This is the sun's descent into the lower regions. It enters the sign Capricornus, or the Goat, the astronomical winter begins, and the days have reached their shortest span. For three days and nights he remains in Hell, the lower regions.
The “resurrection ” is seen in the return of the sun from the lower or far-off regions, when spring commences, the sun rising in Aries and the equator crossing the ecliptic. The festival used to be kept on March 25th. At the winter solstice the ancients wept and mourned for Tammuz, the fair Adonis, and other sun-gods, done to death by the boar, or crucified—slain by the thorn of winter—and on the third day they rejoiced at the resurrection of their Lord of Light. The Church endeavoured to give a Christian significance to the rites, which they borrowed from heathenism ; and in this case the mourning for Tammuz, the fair Adonis, became the mourning for Jesus; and joy at the rising of the natural sun became joy at the rising of the “Sun of Righteousness” -at the resurrection of Jesus from the grave. Jesus, as judge of the living and the dead, is again the sun, seeing from his throne in the heavens all that is done on earth. The Vedas speaks of Surya—the sun-as seeing and hearing all things, noting the good and evil deeds of men.