Friday, December 11, 2015
The Babylonian Origin of Christmas by Henry Shepheard 1871
The Babylonian Origin of Christmas by Henry Shepheard 1871
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The origin of the Christmas Tree is involved in deeper mystery. It seems certainly to have had a different source, which it is perhaps worth while here to point out.
It is to be noted, that the Christmas Tree is always a fir— and this custom is of remote antiquity. “The Christmas Tree, now so common among us, was equally common in Pagan Rome and Pagan Egypt. In Egypt that tree was the palm tree; in Rome it was thefir: the palm tree denoting the Pagan Messiah as Baal-Tamar, the fir referring to him as Baalberith.”
Tamar signifies a palm tree—-and Baal-Tamar “the lord of the palm tree.” And Baal-berith, which was also one of the titles of the Pagan Messiah, signifying “Lord of the covenant,” was almost identical with Baal—bereth, which signifies Lord of the fir tree. It was just another instance of that jugglery of words by which the cunning priests of Chaldaea mystified the common people in order to further their own craft, that the word Baal-berith, “Lord of the covenant," was represented as Baal-bereth, Lord of the fir tree. Hence the fir tree became a symbol of the Babylonian false Messiah.
The palm tree was the well-known symbol of victory: and the title "Lord of the palm tree" was apparently given to the Pagan Messiah in accordance with the tradition of the primeval promise that the Messiah, the Seed of the woman, should “bruise the serpent’s head,” or be victorious over the Serpent, that is, the devil.
“The Christmas tree, as has been stated, was generally at Rome a different tree, even the fir: but the very same idea as was implied in the palm tree was implied in the Christmas fir: for that covertly symbolized the new-born god as Baal-berith, ‘Lord of the covenant,’ and thus shadowed forth the perpetuity and everlasting nature of his power.”
Moreover, the custom of the Christmas misletoe branch has a similar origin. “In the light reflected by the above statement on customs that still linger among us, the origin of which has been lost in the mist of hoar antiquity, let the reader look at the singular custom still kept up on Christmas eve of kissing under the misletoe bough. That mistletoe bough in the Druidic superstition which, as we have seen, was derived from Babylon, was a representation of Messiah, ‘the Man the Branch.’ The misletoe was regarded as a Divine branch—a branch that came from heaven and grew upon a tree that sprung out of the earth. Thus by the engrafting of the celestial branch into the earthly tree, heaven and earth, that sin had severed, were joined together; and thus the misletoe bough became the token of Divine reconciliation to man, the kiss being the well-known token of pardon and reconciliation. So it is in Ps. lxxxv. 10— “Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.”
But what has all this to do with Christmas?
To understand this, we must trace another winding in that labyrinth of error, “the Mystery of iniquity.”
In Babylon and elsewhere, as already shown, the Sun was an object of worship, as one of the symbols of the Seed of the woman—by the perversion of the word Zero-ashta, “the seed of the woman,” to signify to the uninitiated the Seed of light, or fire, or the Sun. “It was an essential principle of the Babylonian system that the Sun, or Baal, was the one only God. When, therefore, Tammuz was worshipped as God incarnate, that implied also that he was an incarnation of the Sun. In the Hindu mythology, which is admitted to be essentially Babylonian, this comes out very distinctly. There, Surya, or the Sun, is represented as being incarnate, and born for the purpose of subduing the enemies of the gods, who, without such a birth, could not have been subdued."
Now the winter solstice, when the days begin again to lengthen, and the Sun appears to enter upon a new course, was regarded as a fitting symbol of this birth, or incarnation, of the Sun. The 25th of December, accordingly, “was held as the ‘natalis invicti Solis’-—the birth-day of the unconquered Sun.” And in pursuance of this idea, the Christmas festival of the Sun-god—identical with Nimrod, Tammuz or Adonis, and also with Bacchus—was celebrated in ancient Babylon for ages before the Christian era. It was identical with the Saturnalia of Rome, and kept with similar scenes of drunkenness and revelry. “The wassailing bowl of Christmas, of the dark ages in Popish countries, had its precise counterpart in the Drunken festival of Babylon.”
A farther confirmation and illustration of these facts is found in the custom of the Christmas Yule-log. The word Yule is the Chaldee term for an infant or little child—and hence it was that Christmas-day was called among the heathens Yule-day, or the “Child’s day,” and the night before Christmas “mother-night," for ages before the birth of Christ. “And this entirely accounts for the putting of the Yule-log into the fire on Christmas eve, and the appearance of the Christmas Tree next morning. As Zero-ashta, the Seed of the Woman, which name also signified Ignegena, or ‘born of the fire,’ he has to enter the fire on Mother-night, that he may be born the next day out of it as the Branch of God, or the Tree that brings all divine gifts to men.”
“But why, it may be asked, does he enter the fire under the symbol of a Log? To understand this, it must be remembered that the divine Child born at the winter solstice was born as a new incarnation of the great god (after that god had been cut in pieces) on purpose to revenge his death upon his murderers. Now the great god, cut off in the midst of his power and glory, was symbolized as a huge tree, stripped of all its branches, and cut almost to the ground.” Thus he is represented in a Tyrian medal, of which an engraving is given in Mr. Hislop’s work, from Maurice’s Indian Antiquities. A large trunk of a tree is shown cut off short, around which is entwining itself a serpent: while at its side appears a young palm tree sprouting from its roots. "The great serpent, the symbol of the life-restoring Aesculapius, twists itself around the dead stock, and lo, at its side up sprouts a young tree—a tree of an entirely different kind, that is destined never to be cut down by hostile power—even the palm tree, the well-known symbol of victory."——“The Yule Log is the dead stock of Nimrod, deified as the Sun-god, but cut down by his enemies; the Christmas tree is Nimrod redivivus—the slain god come to life again.”
Another allusion to this mythological tradition is found in the story told by the Roman poet Ovid, of the mother of Adonis being changed, at the moment of giving him birth, into a tree. As Adonis, the “Child,” was symbolized as “the Branch,” his mother, in keeping with the symbol, must needs have been represented as a tree.
Such then was the true origin of the Christmas Tree — and so deeply hidden, and so widely ramified, were the roots of that “Mystery of iniquity” in which it had its source.
In still farther confirmation of the identity of the Babylonian festival with that introduced into the Christian Church by the craft of Rome, it may be here observed that several other Christmas customs are traceable to Babylon.
The boar's head served at dinner at that season is Babylonian. The boar was sacrificed to Adonis, or Tammuz, the Sun-god, and its head served up at his festival, because Adonis (the same, be it remembered, as Nimrod) was said to have been killed by the tusk of a boar. The goddess Diana, though commonly regarded only as the huntress Diana, was in reality identical with Cybele, and Rhea; and in her attributes under the form of the Ephesian Diana was worshipped as the Mother-goddess. Now this deity was no other than Semiramis deified: though there is a confusion in the Babylonian mythology between Semiramis and Eve—each being, in a sense, regarded as the Mother of the Child. And Diana, accordingly, is frequently represented with the boar’s head as her accompaniment: in token not merely of success in the chase, but of her triumph over the traditional destroyer of her son. The boar was also sacrificed to Venus—another form of the Mother of the Child—for the same reason. In Rome, a boar formed the principal dish at the festival of the Saturnalia, which was the Roman Christmas—Saturn being identical with Nimrod, Tammuz, or Adonis. In like manner the continental Saxons offered a boar on Christmas-day to the Sun—worshipped by them as a goddess—to propitiate her for the loss of her beloved Adonis. Mallet says, “They offered the largest hog they could get to Frigga, i.e. the mother of Balder, the lamented one.” A similar custom prevailed also in Egypt, in honour of Osiris, the Egyptian Bacchus or Adonis.
So also the Christmas goose. In Egypt, the goose was the favourite offering to Osiris: and it “could not be eaten except in the depth of winter". Juvenal, the Roman poet, says that “Osiris, if offended, could be pacified only by a large goose and a thin cake.” At Rome, it was by the cackling of the sacred geese of Juno, kept in the Capitol, that the city was saved from the night attack of the Gauls. But Juno was another form of the Queen of Heaven, and Mother of the Child. In Asia Minor the goose was the symbol of Cupid, the Child of the Mother under the name of Venus—just as it was the symbol of Seb, the father of the gods, and so, identical with Saturn or Nimrod. In India the goose is sacred to Brahma, the Hindu father of the gods.
But why was the goose thus sacred to these deities? A symbolical meaning was attached to this bird. “The goose," says Wilkinson, “signified in hieroglyphics a child or son.” “It was chosen to denote a son, from its love to its young, being always ready to give itself up to the chasseur, in order that they might be preserved: for which reason the Egyptians thought it right to revere this animal." Here, then, the true meaning of the symbol is a son, who voluntarily gives himself up as a sacrifice for those he loves—via, the Pagan Messiah. It is, then, abundantly clear why the goose was sacrificed and eaten at Christmas—the ancient heathen Christmas—in honour of the Babylonian false Messiah, whose birth was celebrated at that season.
The modern Christmas turkey would seem to be merely a more delicate and luxurious substitute for the Christmas goose.
The “Yule-cakes,” in like manner, or Christmas cakes, still made in Scotland, and at least remembered in England also, are derived from Babylonian customs and worship. “The cakes then made are called (in Scotland) Nur-cakes or Birth-cakes.” And in the north of England old people still remember that in their childhood they used to receive presents, on Christmas-day, of cakes, sweetmeats, and an orange. The cakes were made with the figure of a bird upon each, the tail straight and long, touching the cake with its tip. Now this bird, together with the orange, form a double link of connexion between these cakes and Juno, the Babylonian Queen of Heaven—and by consequence, with her son the Babylonian Messiah.
The orange has already been noticed as the traditional representative of the forbidden fruit of Eden. But Juno is just the Latin form of D’June, or “The Dove”, one of the titles of the Babylonian goddess. Another form of the name, as found in Latin authors, is Dione, which is applied both to the mother of Venus and sometimes to Venus herself. Now of this goddess, D’Juné, or Juno, or Venus, the characteristic and well-known symbol is the Dove. Her earthly representative, Semiramis, was fabled to have been changed at death into a pigeon, or dove; and the goddess is represented in ancient monuments with the dove as her accompaniment.
Another bird, however, was sacred to Juno—namely, the Cuckoo: and it is stated by Pausanias that it is the cuckoo, and not the dove, that was meant to be represented as the symbol of Juno when she was pictured holding the pomegranate.
Either way—whether it were the Dove or the Cuckoo—here we have, in the “Nur-cakes” or “Birth-cakes” of Scotland, and the “Yule-cakes” of England, a note of connexion identifying the Christmas season of modern days with the birth-festival of the Babylonian false Messiah!
There is yet another curious proof of the same thing in the name still given in Scotland to the last day of the year. That name is Hogmanay. The term Hog is a Chaldee word signifying a feast, manai signifies numberer, and is akin to mene, the first word of the Divine message of judgment written on the wall of the terrified Belshazzar’s banqueting hall. Hog-manai, therefore, means the Feast of the Numberer—that is, the feast of the Babylonian Messiah regarded as the Sun-deity. The reason why this time was selected is obvious. It is the winter Solstice, when the Sun seems to begin a new course of motion, and, so to speak, to enter on a new life: the time from which the days of the New Year begin to be numbered. This season was a time of festivity at Babylon as it is at the present day in Scotland. The “Drunken Festival” at Babylon—the Saturnalia at Rome—and the Christmas Popish revels of the Middle Ages were all identical in origin, meaning, and character: though the custom has been kept up after both its origin and its meaning had for ages fallen into oblivion.
Is, then, the observance of Christmas a thing of Babylonian and heathen origin?
Now whatever may be the propriety of commemorating the Saviour‘s Nativity, it is certain that the time of His birth was not the 25th December, nor any time later in the year than October: for the shepherds in Palestine never “keep watch over their flocks by night” after that time, on account of the coldness of the nights. Nor is it likely that the depth of winter would be appointed for the “taxing,” or census, of the people, when women and children would, in many cases, have long journeys to make to and from their respective cities.
Moreover, no such festival as Christmas was ever heard of in the Christian Church till the third century: nor was it much observed in the Church till the fourth.
But among the heathen, a festival had been celebrated from time immemorial, in honour of the birth of the son of the Babylonian Queen of Heaven, on the 25th of December. And it was in order to conciliate the heathen, and to meet them half way, according to the celebrated policy of Pope Gregory.— in order to swell the number of nominal converts to Christianity—that this festival was adopted by the missionaries of Rome both in Britain and elsewhere, and adapted to the Nativity of Christ—the only change that was made being the change of names. It was called Christmas: (that is, the Mass said in honour of Christ) instead of Yule-day, the “Child’s day”-—or, the “Birth-day of the Sun"—or, as among the Arabs, the “Birth-day of the Lord Moon”: for “on the 24th day of the tenth month (our December) the Arabians celebrated the Birth-day of the Lord—that is, the Moon". The “Lord Moon” was but another title of the same deity who was otherwise represented as the Sun-god.
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