What is the origin of the legend of the Christed Son who was born of a virgin on December 25th? I am sure you are familiar with his legend which states that he was born in a manger surrounded by shepherds and then grew up to be One with his Father in Heaven. And most certainly you recall the sequence of events when this Christed Son gathered together his important disciples before enduring his death by torture and his subsequent resurrection. And, finally, there is the scene at the end of his time on Earth when he prophesied his return and then ascended into Heaven.
Now for my question to you: Who amongst you is now mumbling under his or her breath “This can only be the legend of the Christians’ Jesus Christ”? Well…to the rest of you, I would like to inform you that many years before the birth of Jesus a legend identical to his was the accepted life story of the Persian Son of God, Mithras. And before Mithras, a very similar legend was ascribed to various other Sons of God worldwide, including the Greek Dionysus, the Egyptian Osiris, the Sumerian Dammuzi, and the Hindu Murugan. In fact, if we keep going back in time many thousands of years earlier we will discover that this universal legend actually began with the Green Man, the Son of a virgin Goddess who was born, died, and finally resurrected each and every year.
The Ancient Green Man
During the Neolithic Age, which was the era when, as some say, “God was a Woman,” the Goddess and Her Son, the Green Man, were venerated by people worldwide for annually bringing forth the Earth’s material abundance. A universal legend about them arose that began with the annual impregnation of the “virgin” Earth Goddess by the Sun, the “Father in Heaven,” and the subsequent birth of Her Son, the Green Man. This important event occurred annually at the time of the Winter Solstice, when the spirit of the Green Man that had been slumbering underground in the underworld was shaken back to life. But although his dormant spirit had been stirred, it was not yet fully awake. This did not occur until a few days later, on December 25th, when the Sun or Solar Spirit completely reversed its downward path and took measurable steps along a northerly route.
This was an important “As Above, So Below” event. It was believed the renewed and revitalized Solar Spirit above in the Heavens had re-awakened and revitalized the spirit of his Son below and inside the Earth. And now the future Green Man could begin his annual gestation period with the womb of his mother, the virginal Earth, in anticipation of receiving a new, resurrected body in the spring.
Sculpture of Green Man at festival. ( CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 )
The legend of the Goddess and Green Man then skips to the Vernal Equinox, when the Green Man is ready to finally emerge from the womb of his mother. This is the time when the “male” light equals the “female” darkness, and their male-female polarity fully unites to produce a fresh infusion of life force to cover and fertilize the land. The fetal body of the Green Man is now ready to push out of the womb of his mother Earth in the form of the new tender sprouts of spring. Soon, his annual resurrection will be complete. This will occur on or around the same day as our Easter, a modern holiday associated with the much more recent resurrection of another Son of a virgin.
The legend of the Green Man then covers the hot summer months, when the Son rapidly matures as the rapidly maturing vegetative growth of nature. He matures so fast, in fact, that the Green Man not only becomes One with his Father in Heaven, but he even mates with and inseminates his own mother. Their co-habitation produces a second infusion of the fructifying life force on Earth and manifests as a second proliferation of vegetation and accompanying harvest.
Ultimately, this event would serve to hasten the Green Man’s demise, and soon he would die again with the decaying vegetation and the falling of leaves of autumn. The cause of his death? The sacerdotal interpreters of his legend would later assert that it occurred because of the sins of humanity. It was believed through original sin humanity had given up not only its own right, but the right of all life on Earth, to achieve eternal life.
At the close of the Neolithic Age, when civilizations arose in place of a purely agrarian culture, the ancient legend of the Goddess and Green Man expanded and took on religious overtones. It became a standard myth that was annually recited and dramatically staged in the temples and the mystery schools of the new fledgling cities, nations and empires. A feature of its evolving storyline was that the Green Man now took on the additional role of King of the World, which he governed under the authority of his Earth mother. And in some renditions of the legend the Son was said to have met his death in the fall at the hands of his unscrupulous brother or a dark, evil lord.
Roman 6th century Green Man mosaic in the Great Palace Mosaic Museum of Istanbul. (disdero/ CC BY SA 4.0 )
Ishtar and Tammuz
In the cities of Meopotamia the Neolithic legend transformed into the story of the Goddess as Inanna or Ishtar who annually gave birth to a Green Man Son and future king under the name of Dammuzi or Tammuz. It was said that Dammuzi/Tammuz grew up to mate with his own mother while also governing the Earth for her. In order that this ancient legend be reflected in their culture, the inhabitants of the Fertile Crescent enthroned rulers of their city-states who were acknowledged to be the embodiments of Dammuzi/Tammuz and the royal servants of Goddess Inanna/Ishtar.
“Unearthed in the main room of the palace of Arad. It depicts two almost identical images of a man with a branch- or sheaf shaped head, one lying down and the other standing. It may represent the fertility god Tammuz or a similar deity, who died in summer and was resurrected in spring, Museum of Israel.” ( CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 )
This was also true in Egypt, where the ruling pharaohs were regarded to be incarnations of Horus, the Son of Goddess Isis, and governed under her authority. But in the land of Khemit, although the spirit of the incumbent pharaoh was Horus, his physical body was formed by Seth, the god who governed the crystallization of energy into physical flesh. Together, Horus and Seth as the “Twins” created and comprised the physical body of the pharaoh, thus making the Egyptian monarchs modern representatives of the first and greatest king, Green Man Osiris.
Egyptian deity, Osiris as Green Man. ( BasPhoto /Adobe Stock)
Like the ancient Green Man, Osiris was similarly said to die and become resurrected annually in concert with the life and death of nature’s vegetation. Osiris’s annual resurrection ceremony took place during the annual flood of the Nile River, when the first tender sprouts of nature initially stuck their fragile heads above the surface of the Earth.
Semele and Dionysus
One version of Osiris’s popular Egyptian myth had him annually murdered by his jealous and evil brother Set each fall. This event was reflected in the legend of Osiris’s counterpart in Greece, Green Man Dionysus, who was annually slain by his relatives, the evil Titans, but later resurrected. Similar to Green Man Osiris, the mother of Dionysus was an Earth Goddess named Semele, meaning “Earth,” and his father was Zeus, the Father in Heaven.
In order to awaken Dionysus from his slumber at the time of the Winter Solstice, female representatives of the Goddess would loudly bang pots and pans as they danced their way in ritual procession to the snowy summit of Mount Parnassus. And then after receiving his new set of clothes at the following spring equinox, the Divine Son would cavort in nature along with his own reflection and alter-ego, Pan, a name meaning “the All,” as in “All of Nature.”
Like Osiris, Dionysus became the King of the World, and like his Egyptian counterpart, Dionysus was reputed to have once completely covered the globe while teaching his diverse subjects the art of making and ritually consuming wine.
Modern interpretation of a plate from ancient Greece featuring Dionysus. (Aleph500Adam/ CC BY-SA 4.0 )
Wine made from grapes was recognized as the blood of nature, and since Dionysus was all of nature, it was his blood. Thus began the ritual of a holy communion through consuming the body and blood of the Divine Son.
The Hindu Divine Son
When the Greek conqueror Alexander the Great arrived in India he was surrounded by an abundance of rituals and venerated effigies of a Divine Son that reminded him of his beloved Dionysus. These reminders were so prevalent that that Alexander and his men were finally compelled to exclaim, “We know your Divine Son, he is also ours. We call him Dionysus.”
Dionysus with Thrysus Spear. (Public Domain)
In fact, so close was the Hindu Divine Son to Dionysus that a story arose that the Greek Son had himself either been born in India or spent much of his early upbringing there before going to Greece. A town named Nyssa, which is the same name as Dionysus’s birth town in the west, was subsequently discovered in India and the Divine Son of the Greeks and Hindus became synonymous. The name Dionysus denotes “the God of Nyssa.”
Similar to his counterpart, the forever young and effeminate Dionysus, the Hindus’ Divine Son was the pre-pubescent Murugan, meaning the “beautiful.”
His other names included Sanat Kumara and Karttikeya, a title denoting “Son of the Pleiades.” Both the Greek Dionysus and the Hindu Karttikeya were intimately associated with the Seven Sisters, who during their infancy manifested physically as their nursemaids. And like Dionysus, Karttikeya/Murugan had been born from the Earth mother, the Hindu Shakti, meaning “Energy,” through mating with the invisible Father in Heaven, Shiva.
Dionysus on cross with seven stars of the Pleiades above him. (Public Domain)
Both Dionysus and Murugan became monarchs of Earth, but they were also recognized as the greatest of warriors who carried and fought with versions of their favored weapon, the spear. Dionysus carried the Thrysus Spear and Murugan met his opponents on the battlefield with his Vel Spear. Both Dionysus and Murugan eventually became the commanders of great armies of righteous soldiers that fought for Zeus or Shiva, the Father in Heaven.
Dionysus with Thrysus Spear. (Public Domain)
Murugan with Vel Spear (Public Domain)
The Solar Heritage of Mitra
While Alexander and his men were linking Karttikeya and Dionysus, the counterpart of these two Divine Sons was being venerated in both India and then Persia. This was the Christed Son, Mitra. The name Mitra denotes friendship, contracts, mediation and balance.
The Solar God, Mitras. (Public Domain)
It refers to the balance that is created through the union of the universal male-female polarity. Like Karttikeya and Dionysus, Mitra was a product of the universal polarity. His mother was of the Earth and his Solar Father in Heaven was known by the name of Ahura Mazda. Both Murugan and Mitra explicitly displayed their solar heritage through their distinctive solar flags, as well as by counting the colorful cock as their most sacred animal. Recognized worldwide as the quintessential solar animal, the cock daily crows to ensure the rising of the morning Sun.
Mithra (left) in a 4th-century investiture sculpture at Taq-e Bostan in western Iran. (CC BY 2.5)
Mitra was eventually taken west by the Persians and then became known as Mithras, the beloved monarch-warrior-general of the Roman Legions. Mitra as Mithras became identified as the spirit embodied by the many Roman Emperors who sat upon the throne of the world while proclaiming themselves to be its universal king. By another name, Mithras was Sol Invictus, an epithet synonymous with the Solar Father in Heaven. In order to honor his beloved Mithras, the Emperor Charlemagne chose his day of Sunday, the day of the Sun, to be the holiest day of the week.
Jesus, incarnation of the Green Man
Now it is time to draw in the legend of Jesus, believed to be the Christian Son of God, who remains today one of the last incarnations of the ancient Green Man. His rise to fame began at the height of Mithras’s popularity, when a future Roman Soldier named Saul was born in Tarsus of Cilicia, the great bastion of Mithras worship in the Middle East. From a young age, Saul or Paul, was indoctrinated into the mysteries of Mithras by the Roman Soldiers, whom he daily served as their tent maker.
While growing up in Tarsus, Paul learned from these soldiers that Mithras had been born in a manger to a virgin on December 25th and that he was surrounded by shepherds. He learned that Mithras was One with Ahura Mazda, the Father in Heaven, and had arrived on Earth to do his Father’s work. And he was informed that after a prolonged battle with Ahriman, the Evil One, Mithras gathered together 12 devotees for a Last Supper, during which a communion of wine and bread representing his blood and body were consumed by all those present. Mithras died soon after this event, but then he arose from the dead three days later. Then, while preparing for his Ascension, Mithras prophesied his return at the End of Time for one last battle against Ahriman.
When Paul was old enough he was sent to Jerusalem with other Roman Soldiers to guard some of the Jewish temples in the city. According to the early Christian historian Epiphanius, Paul was not a Jew when he subsequently arrived in Jerusalem, but converted to the faith after falling in love with the daughter of a Jewish priest and seeking her hand in marriage.
When his proposal was subsequently rejected, Paul took out his rage on many Jews, including the Ebionites, the “Poor Ones,” a Jewish sect that championed the life story of a recently deceased Jewish holy man named Jeshua ben Joseph. When Paul learned the entire legend he soon began to associate Jeshua with the Persian Son. His suspicions of their special link grew stronger when he remembered a Persian prophecy – that Mithras would return to Earth at the End of Time for one last battle with Ahriman. According to the temple priests of Jerusalem, the world was at the end of the Age of Aries and the End of Times had indeed arrived, so it made perfect sense that Mithras would have incarnated as Jeshua.
The most convincing event that influenced Paul’s thinking was yet to come, however. This occurred during his journey to Damascus, when the Roman Soldier was blinded by an overwhelming light, and thrown off his horse. As an inveterate lover of Mithras, Paul would have instantly associated the intense light as being a manifestation of his beloved solar deity. And then, when a voice emerged from the light calling itself Jeshua and imploring him not to persecute his followers anymore, Paul knew for certain that Mithras must indeed be synonymous with Jeshua.
Detail, The Conversion of St. Paul. Paul and companions are knocked to the ground during the profound event.
When Paul retired from military service soon afterwards he traveled throughout the Middle East in order to alert the gentiles of his discovery—that the world’s savior had come and gone—and in the process of his travels he created the new religion of “Christianity.” Within this new faith Mithras was fully assimilated into Jesus, who then wielded the life story, titles and characteristics once solely ascribed to the ancient Persian Son. His new titles included “One with the Father” and “the One and the Only Son of God.”
Thanks to Saint Paul and his Christ Myth, the ancient Green Man received a new suit of clothes. As Jesus, the ancient Green Man could now begin his tenure as one of the most adored religious figures the world has ever known.