Osiris, Dionysus, Attis, Adonis, Bacchus, Mithras, Jesus. What do these all have in common?
Adonis, in Greek mythology, is the god of beauty and desire, and is a central figure in various mystery religions. His religion belonged to women: the dying of Adonis was fully developed in the circle of young girls around the poet Sappho from the island of Lesbos, about 600 BC, as revealed in a fragment of Sappho’s surviving poetry.
Adonis is one of the most complex figures in classical times. He has had multiple roles, and there has been much scholarship over the centuries concerning his meaning and purpose in Greek religious beliefs. He is an annually-renewed, ever-youthful vegetation god, a life-death-rebirth deity whose nature is tied to the calendar. His name is often applied in modern times to handsome youths, of whom he is the archetype. Adonis is often referred to as the mortal god of Beauty.
The Greek Adōnis was a borrowing from the Semitic word adon, “lord”, which is related to Adonai, one of the names used to refer to the God in the Hebrew Bible and still used in Judaism to the present day. Syrian Adonis is Gauas or Aos, to Egyptian Osiris, to the Semitic Tammuz and Baal Hadad, to the Etruscan Atunis and the Phrygian Attis, all of whom are deities of rebirth and vegetation.
Women in Athens would plant “gardens of Adonis” quick-growing herbs that sprang up from seed and died. The Festival of Adonis was celebrated by women at midsummer by sowing fennel and lettuce, and grains of wheat and barley. The plants sprang up soon, and withered quickly, and women mourned for the death of the vegetation god.
These mourning ceremonies were observed even at the very door of the Temple in Jerusalem in a vision the Israelite prophet Ezekiel was given, which serves as a Biblical prophecy which expresses Yahweh’s message at His people’s apostate worship of idols. Ezekiel’s testimony is the only direct mention of Tammuz in the Hebrew Bible.
Tammuz / Dumuzid (DUMU.ZI(D), “faithful or true son” was the name of a Sumerian god of food and vegetation. Recent discoveries reconfirm him as an annual life-death-rebirth deity. In Babylonia, the month Tammuz was established in honor of the eponymous god Tammuz, who originated as a Sumerian shepherd-god, Dumuzid or Dumuzi, the consort of Inanna and, in his Akkadian form, the parallel consort of Ishtar.
Attis was the consort of Cybele in Phrygian and Greek mythology. His priests were eunuchs, the Galli, as explained by origin myths pertaining to Attis and castration. Attis was also a Phrygian god of vegetation, and in his self-mutilation, death, and resurrection he represents the fruits of the earth, which die in winter only to rise again in the spring.[
It has been suggested that the Attis myth is one of several precursors to the story of Jesus Christ, due to several similarities (his virgin birth at the winter solstice, his status as savior, his body as bread, his crucifixion and his resurrection at the vernal equinox).
Ara the Beautiful (also Ara the Handsome or Ara the Fair) is a legendary Armenian hero. He is notable in Armenian literature for the popular legend in which he was so handsome that the Assyrian queen Semiramis waged war against Armenia just to get him. He is the god of spring, flora, agriculture, sowing and water. He is associated with Osiris, Vishnu and Dionysus, as the symbol of new life.
Original cult worship is a kind of unfathomable higher power or intelligence called Ara, called the physical embodiment of the sun (Arev) worshiped by the ancient Armenians, who called themselves “the children of the sun”. Since ancient times, the cult of sun worship occupied a special place in Armenian mythology. Also among the most ancient types of worship of Indo-European roots are the cults of eagles and lions, and the worship of heaven.
Ares (aris) was the Greek god of war. He is one of the Twelve Olympians, and the son of Zeus and Hera. In Greek literature, he often represents the physical or violent aspect of war, in contrast to the armored Athena, whose functions as a goddess of intelligence include military strategy and generalship.
Aries (meaning “ram”) is the first astrological sign in the Zodiac, spanning the first 30 degrees of celestial longitude (0°≤ λ <30º), which area the Sun transits, on average, between March 21 to April 21 each year.
According to the Tropical system of astrology, the Sun enters the sign of Aries when it reaches the northern vernal equinox, which occurs around March 21. Due to the fact that the Earth takes approximately 365.25 days to go around the Sun, the precise time of the equinox is not the same each year, and generally will occur about 6 hours later each year, with a jump of a day (backwards) on leap years. Since 1900 the vernal equinox date ranged from March 20 at 08h (2000) to March 21 at 19h (1903) (all times UTC).
In Sidereal astrology, the sun currently transits the constellation of Aries from 15 April to 15 May (approximately). Individuals born during these dates, depending on which system of astrology they subscribe to, may be called Ariolas or Ariens.
In astrology, a planet’s domicile is the zodiac sign over which it has rulership. The planet said to be ruler of Aries, or those associated with Ariens, is Mars.
Hadad is a Northwest Semitic storm and rain god, cognate in name and origin with the Akkadian (Assyrian-Babylonian) god Adad. Hadad was often called simply Baʿal (Lord), but this title was also used for other gods. The bull was the symbolic animal of Hadad. He appeared bearded, often holding a club and thunderbolt while wearing a bull-horned headdress. Hadad was equated with the Anatolian storm-god Teshub; the Egyptian god Set; the Greek god Zeus; and the Roman god Jupiter, as Jupiter Dolichenus.
In religious texts, Ba‘al/Hadad is the lord of the sky who governs the rain and thus the germination of plants with the power of his desire that they be fertile. He is the protector of life and growth to the agricultural people of the region. The absence of Ba‘al causes dry spells, starvation, death, and chaos.
Osiris is the mythological father of the god Horus, whose conception is described in the Osiris myth, a central myth in ancient Egyptian belief. The myth described Osiris as having been killed by his brother Set, who wanted Osiris’ throne. Isis joined the fragmented pieces of Osiris, but the only body part missing was the phallus. Isis fashioned a golden phallus, and briefly brought Osiris back to life by use of a spell that she learned from her father. This spell gave her time to become pregnant by Osiris before he again died. Isis later gave birth to Horus. As such, since Horus was born after Osiris’ resurrection, Horus became thought of as a representation of new beginnings and the vanquisher of the evil Set.
Ptah-Seker (who resulted from the identification of Ptah with Seker), god of re-incarnation, thus gradually became identified with Osiris, the two becoming Ptah-Seker-Osiris. As the sun was thought to spend the night in the underworld, and was subsequently re-incarnated every morning, Ptah-Seker-Osiris was identified as both king of the underworld, and god of reincarnation.