The Circle of Life - First Christian Symbol

Jul 2017
206
Neverland
#1
The Savior was born, grew up, died for our sins and got re-born after the Crucifixion.
The full circle is completed, and thus becomes a symbol for the early Christians to identify with.

In those dark times for the first keepers of the faith, drawing an arch in the dust and getting another arch to enjoin the first one from your companion is a secret sign both participants
are Christians.

In greek, the IXOYE(Ichthus) ie Fish represent the same symbolism.After all, Jesus(Yeshua) fed fish to the multitude.The greek words each stand for something representing the creedo - Jesus Christ God's Son Savior.

Hence, the Christian wheel as a representation for the new faith, before the Cross will
displace it later.This is something along the lines Emperor Constantine saw in the sky - In hoc signo vinces...in this sign you will conquer.

Edict of Milan followed and Christianity was now legit, with a status as a new religion for Rome.

The Ichthus You Never Knew: The Christian Wheel - Seedbed
 
Nov 2016
559
Germany
#2
In greek, the IXOYE(Ichthus) ie Fish represent the same symbolism.
You don´t mention the common view that the Ichthys, the supposedly Christian fish symbol, was originally a vulva symbol assigned to pagan mother goddesses as a sign of their fertility. Such goddesses were also closely associated to the idea of a circle of life. This idea has its roots in Paleolithic times since a great deal of archeological material evidences Late Paleolithic worship of a ´primal mother´, the prototype of the ´Great Goddess´. The concept of divinity means at its core a sacralization of vitality or life energy, what in the view of Paleolithic people is manifested in female fertility and, moreover, in a natural cycle of birth, death and rebirth.

Accordingly, vulva symbolism was widespread in Paleolithic cults. This is, for example, the entrance of a cult cave in Germany:

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A vulva depiction inside a cave:

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The figure of Jesus was unconsciously identified or at least associated with the vulva in medieval times, as many illustrations from that time show, such as this French illustration from the 14th century:

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His wound, which, according to the Gospels, was inflicted on him on the cross, was also often depicted in Christian art like a vulva, or at least in a way that is strongly reminiscent of the vulva, even in a sexual context (see some examples below which have a sexual connotation):

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Jul 2017
206
Neverland
#3
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You are absolutely right, the bad old habits persisted in the new religious symbolism. We never cut ties completely with the ways
of our old nativity. Us, the Cro Magnons, as an evolving species will incorporate old traits into the newsystem of worship.

No longer do we have female deities, but all morphed into a man- o centric religion, when man is the ultimate authority
and women are subservient to the new reality.The old vulva symbols,depicted by the Sumerians as the boat of heavens,yes it looks a
bit like a boat, were turned on its broad side and made into a fish.

The old priestesses of Delphi(Greece) and Vulvir( cognates with Volvo Motors of Sweden) were massacred by the new keepers of the faith, as were the Bacchanal shamans in Rome and Thrace(Dyonisus rites).Looks like the prostitutes of Rome and elsewhere , hated the free sex on these 5 days each year, so their incomes will nosedive, along with the tax revenues to the state coffers.

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In the meantime Constantine the Great saw the Chi Rho in heaven as the sign that he will conquer with...below


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Here is a link on the musings of a blogger on the merits of new religions and nostalgias for things old.

Vagina Power and the History of Christian Symbols

But old ways didn't exactly die with the rivers of blood in establishing a new religions. Occult still thrive in a lot of places...wiccas, rites, secluded places and all.Like the Bohemian Groves rites in San Francisco California, where only the wealthy, heads of states
, super stars of movies, world class athletes can attend...wearing masks of course...like the ones on the video below

 
Nov 2016
559
Germany
#4
You are absolutely right, the bad old habits persisted in the new religious symbolism. We never cut ties completely with the ways
of our old nativity. Us, the Cro Magnons, as an evolving species will incorporate old traits into the newsystem of worship.
I myself have made no suggestion about any "bad habits" with regard to the pre-patriarchal goddess-centered cults. I am rather neutral (with a slight sympathy) towards these cults, while I am sceptical about the patriarchal cults with their increasing centring on male gods, especially since violence in human history is closely linked to such cults (including Christianity). But you seem to see it in a similar way.

In the meantime Constantine the Great saw the Chi Rho in heaven as the sign that he will conquer with
The alleged vision of Constantine seems quite unbelievable, considering its text history. It was a non-Christian, called the Panegyrist, who first wrote a text in 313 claiming that Constantine had a vision in a shrine in 310 in which the god Apollo predicted him victory in his next battle (which occurred in 312). The panegyrist, living in Trier, probably had the motive for his fantasy glorifying the emperor that he wanted to tempt Constantine to generously support the Apollo temple in Trier with financial grants.

So it seems only logical that the vision narrative was taken over by Christian authors (Lactantius in 315 and Eusebius in 336) who were close to Constantine, and that there were of course decisive changes, especially that not the god Apollo, but a Christian Chi-Rho sign appeared, as well as a saying that Constantine would win under this sign.

Here is a link on the musings of a blogger on the merits of new religions and nostalgias for things old.
The feminist blogger's comments are largely accurate and correspond to the feminist criticism of patriarchal religion, which I too have been advocating for years. However, she omits the necessary historical derivation of matristic cults from Palaeolithic and Neolithic prehistory. I already made a few hints about this in my previous post.

If you are more interested in these contexts, please refer to the following study on my page at academia.edu, which I translated from German years ago. The original text is a chapter in a book by the recently deceased German mastermind of Patriarchy criticism, Dr Gerhard Bott.

The Sacred Marriage in Anatolia, Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt - by Gerhard Bott
 
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Jul 2017
206
Neverland
#5
Special thanks for the link, a very insightful read indeed. And since the material touches on a few deities of this region, I can take the liberty and add a few examples to supplement the whole nuance of Mother God and Bull God, both of whom were major elements of the pagan worship at the time.

Aside from Anatolia, the Bull God is permanent feature in the earliest of semitic(arab) civilizations - the Dilmun Kingdom as early as 4000 BCE in what is now Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and parts of Saudi Arabia.

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These early arabs were merchants and seafarers, transporting goods(wood, tin, copper, lapis lazuli etc) from Sumer, to Indus Valley
and Bahlikas(protogenitors of the proto-Bulgarians and also known later as Bactria, Kushan Empire)
Bahlikas - Wikipedia

In ancient Israel, which was a polytheist(El, Baal etc) till the Babylonian captivity the Goddess Ashera, a consort of Yahweh, is also depicted near a bull.

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In Phoenicia and Carthage, infants were sacrificed to the God- Moloch - a bull like deity.In Carthage the incinerated remains of 20000 babies were discovered. Those children were killed with their parents permission in an open air oven styled after the bull God.

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The number of sacrificial human beings is somewhar similar to the number of victims at Celtic ovens called Wicker Man in pre-Roman Britain.The Britonic oven was in a shape of a man from wood.

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Point is that we evolve as we go, and therefore elements from former worships get integrated into the new religion.
For example, the Assyrian Goddess Ishtar(Ashera in Hebrew) fell into the Euphrates river as an egg and came out as a human with bird's features. Therefore in Baptism we use water in Christian rites.

The Cross, aside representing suffering of Christ is also a widely used element in Egyptian temples

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1558143472314.png its called Ankh cross

Many of our Christmas symbols and rituals come from deep antiquity and pagan times

Harking Back: The Ancient Pagan Festivities in our Christmas Rituals

Pagan Roots? 5 Surprising Facts About Christmas

The surprisingly unchristian origins of Christmas

Mothers Day...from Egypt till now

History of Mother's Day: From Ancient Egypt to Modern Times | The American University in Cairo

So, we stole a few things from the ancients...Big deal.. jews and muslims did too
 
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Aug 2016
3,643
Dispargum
#6
I'm not familiar with "Circle of life" ideas elsewhere in Western religion. Eastern religions certainly and even Native American religions, but in the West time is more linear. In Christianity (Jesus excepted), we are born, live, die, and go to an afterlife. We can only move in one direction. No one gets to go back and start over. Do you have other examples of cyclical time in Christianity?
 
Nov 2016
559
Germany
#7
I'll come back to Bleda's contribution later.

In Christianity (Jesus excepted), we are born, live, die, and go to an afterlife. We can only move in one direction. No one gets to go back and start over. Do you have other examples of cyclical time in Christianity?
There is an important difference between the life cycle in the sense of the Christian symbol and the life cycle in the non-Christian resp. non-monotheistic concepts. While these regard the cycle of death and life as infinite (the Pythagoreans propagated, inspired by Indian philosophy, a chain of rebirths of the soul), the idea of dying and being born again in Christianity is tied to a unique event, in the case of Christ to his resurrection as the Son of God ascending to heaven, in the case of ordinary people to their spiritual resurrection (Paul) in the course of the final judgment and the subsequent eternity.

Typical for monotheistic religions is the underlying linear and teleological view of history (God is the creator of the world and will at the end of time, after the final battle against ´Evil´, transform it into a new eternal kingdom). In contrast, the Hellenistic view of history was cyclically oriented: Ages emerge and pass in a cycle, without a final purpose. The reason for this is simple: nature has been experienced as cyclic since time immemorial, so that there was no reason to attribute a teleological development to the world.

Judaism had taken the apocalyptic idea from Iranian Zoroastrianism, which imagined the end of the world as a decisive battle between the armies of the god of light Ahura Mazda and the god of darkness Ahriman, of course with the victory of the ´good´ god. Iranian apocalypticism started influencing Judaism in the 2nd century BCE, namely in the book of Daniel and in the book of Enoch. Basic idea: The world is bad because it is ruled by dark powers (still to be read by Paul), but will be brought to salvation by a future intervention of the ´good´ god.

As soon as the linear time has elapsed (after the Last Judgment), from a Christian point of view eternity begins, i.e. an infinite state of non-change, both in heaven for the blessed and in hell for the damned. The latter, of course, is the cruellest fantasy ever conceived.

Why Judaism was forced to adopt the linear concept of time is clear: the present state of Israel was so unsatisfactory and in such stark contrast to the fantasies of a perfect kingdom ruled by God (Yahweh) that the tension between the actual state and the desired state could only be resolved by a linear concept of time.
 
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#8
The alleged vision of Constantine seems quite unbelievable, considering its text history. It was a non-Christian, called the Panegyrist, who first wrote a text in 313 claiming that Constantine had a vision in a shrine in 310 in which the god Apollo predicted him victory in his next battle (which occurred in 312). The panegyrist, living in Trier, probably had the motive for his fantasy glorifying the emperor that he wanted to tempt Constantine to generously support the Apollo temple in Trier with financial grants.

So it seems only logical that the vision narrative was taken over by Christian authors (Lactantius in 315 and Eusebius in 336) who were close to Constantine, and that there were of course decisive changes, especially that not the god Apollo, but a Christian Chi-Rho sign appeared, as well as a saying that Constantine would win under this sign.
The vision of Apollo is in the panegyric of 310 rather than that of 313 (Paneg. 6)7).21), and so it predates the Battle of Milvian Bridge. Apollo, accompanied by Victory, offers Constantine laurel wreaths, 'each of which carries a portent of thirty years. For this is the number of human ages which are owed to you without fail - beyond the old age of a Nestor. And - now why do I say "I believe"? - you saw, and recognised yourself in the likeness of him to whom the divine songs of the bards had prophesied that rule over the whole world was due.' The identity of the character in whom Constantine recognizes himself has been interpreted variously as Apollo or Augustus. It may well be the case (as you say) that the orator sought to encourage imperial support for a local Apollo cult, and he is also playing on Constantine's increased ambition to act independently from the broader Tetrarchic college, as well as his then-favouring of Sol (with whom Apollo was associated). Perhaps it did inspire the later Milvian vision. In any case, the accounts of the Milvian 'conversion' are at odds with one another. Lactantius only reports a dream in De Mortibus Persecutorum (314/5), Eusebius both a dream and a vision in the sky in Vita Constantini (sometime between 337 and 340). Interestingly, Eusebius in his Historia Ecclesiastica (313) doesn't mention a dream or a vision.
 
Likes: Tammuz
Jul 2017
206
Neverland
#9
I'm not familiar with "Circle of life" ideas elsewhere in Western religion. Eastern religions certainly and even Native American religions, but in the West time is more linear. In Christianity (Jesus excepted), we are born, live, die, and go to an afterlife. We can only move in one direction. No one gets to go back and start over. Do you have other examples of cyclical time in Christianity?
I see, the gentlemen above replying from a theological and philosophical angle. There is a school of thought in philosophy, where life events are spiral with a central tenet of..History repeats itself credo. In the religions before Christ, we are replete with such examples(resurrections) - Horus and Seth,Isis Baal, Dumuzi, Heracleus, Achiles, Adonis etc

In Christianity, the multitude of Gods are gone - they have all had their employment terminated for the sake of a very few. Consolidation
of celestial power at its purest. Hence the cyclical life time of the recipients of anastasia(resurrection) and their number limited to miracles of Christ.All else falls into the..Near Death Experience category.Early church writers like Justin Martyr advises, that some acts with cylical overtones(disappearances..an act of resurrection) might be the work of the Devil himself.

Miracles of Jesus - Wikipedia

Jesus teaches that those events are to be performed for FREE. And of course at end of times, after a nuclear conflagration,
The Saviour is to make another reappearance to judge all nations.
 
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Nov 2016
559
Germany
#10
The vision of Apollo is in the panegyric of 310 rather than that of 313 (Paneg. 6)7).21), and so it predates the Battle of Milvian Bridge.
That's right. This makes it even more likely that the later alleged vision of the sign of Christ is a propagandistic fake. There are a number of reasons for this anyway. For example, Eusebius´ version contains two clichés, as they are often described in antique reports about conversions etc.: a vision AND a dream. This case of a combination is unique. Since Eusebius doesn't always take the truth very seriously in his reports anyway (to put it mildly), one should assume here that the thing is invented.
 
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