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Deep History: Resurrection into New Life

There are many ancient stories from ancient cultures that echo down the ages, right into our currently practiced rituals and religion. The legacy around the spring equinox and Eastertide is the tradition told of a son, born from a solar deity (all-encompassing, all-knowing, all-loving), who sacrifices himself for the good of humanity. Jesus was one of these solar gods, that is to say, sons of deity.

Maybe the oldest tradition that history records for us dates back to Egyptian times, with Osiris; and in Assyrian times, with Tammuz, who like Orpheus was resurrected from darkness into light. All these solar deities—and there were many—set the tradition for contemporary concepts of Easter or resurrection.

In Norse tradition, the Christ-like figure was Odin’s son Balder, who was killed by a Judas-like figure called Loki, then sent out on a funerary boat, fulfilling the promise of future resurrection. This theme of resurrection played all through the Greek mysteries, too. Many of them were from the time of the Druids and all the way through to the Mesopotamian mysteries. Even the dates of these figures were the same as those so familiar to Christians in the story of Jesus of Nazareth: the solar god was born near the winter solstice and resurrected at the time of the spring equinox.

These ancient avatars actually existed, including Jesus. They came to earth in order to teach humanity, in whatever land they were born, the Way that leads into the Light, which is through identification with the soul, or the highest and best aspects of being a loving and compassionate human being.

Many specific instances of Christian doctrine are found in ancient mystery schools, in particular the Gnostic mysteries, whose central figure was “the Christos.” This fact doesn’t make Christianity any less true—it’s just the next iteration of the Great Story, the Great Mythology: The Good News.

On behalf of the whole world, think mythically in approaching this ancient theme, for it is the principle of death and renewal that manifest in the natural world with its natural cycles—for all people everywhere of every nationality and religious belief—but also in our own inner reality, having to do with our presence in the form world through birth, rebirth, resurrection, and on into the soul realm, the very realm of these solar deities of the Christ, Balder, Osiris, and Tammuz. They personify the soul and model for us the highest path a human can take while on earth.

Praise the Lord, Christ is risen—He is risen indeed!


  • Martha Shepp

    Questa Creative Council Board member and artist: Martha Shepp preaches the gospel of the power of creativity. One of her loves is to collaborate with open-minded genre-free artists like Mark Dudrow, playing life-affirming works that can’t help but spark the innate creativity of listeners like you. Her expressions also take form with words, choreography, and visual art... with ever expanding mashups of all the above.

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