ORIGINS OF THE CROSS
ORIGINS OF THE CROSS
In all the history of the world's Divine Saviours, they all share the esoteric meaning of the cross. They are all similar in that they represent the Creative Principle (Divine) crucified upon the cross of matter/form. The Inner Mysteries of Christianity, based on Jesus Christ, are no different. An important esoteric message lay within the surface story.
In reality, the cross is a pagan symbol that was adored in Egypt thousands of years before Jesus The Nazarene was born. The Roman Catholic Church later adopted the cross symbol at least 600 years AFTER the Biblical story of the Jesus crucifixion.
The cross however, was never exclusively Christian in it's origins. The cross is a universal symbol found throughout the ancient world upon their artifacts, temples, and tablets. In centuries BCE (BC), the actual City of Nicea was designed in the form of a cross. Centuries later, the Aztecs used the cross as their symbol.
Historically, the pagan sign of the mystic “Tau” of the Chaldeans and the Egyptians, a cross, was a symbol of the Roman god Mithras and the Greek Attis, and their forerunner Tammuz, the Sumerian solar god, consort of the goddess Ishtar. Conveniently, the original form of the letter “T” was the initial letter of the god of Tammuz. During baptism ceremonies, this cross was marked on the foreheads by the pagan priest/hierophant.
The cross of Christ, as experts agree, was actually a bar placed across the top of an upright, so it was not a cross at all. It was a “Tee” (T), called “Taw” in Hebrew, and “Tau” in Greek. Also, the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic symbol of life - the “Ankh,” was a tau cross surmounted by a loop and known as crux ansata - adopted and extensively used on Coptic Christian monuments. It’s design depicted the intersection of Spirit and matter, and the Divine Feminine “Womb of the Universe.”
If you look at man himself, standing straight up with arms outstretched, we can see a living symbol of the cross and it's mythical model. The mythical cross is cosmic in origin, not human. The esoteric and metaphysical significance of this cross is not because a man or Saviour was crucified upon it. In fact the myths of all Saviours say they were crucified upon a cross. There is other significance to this symbolism. And it is not just a literal historical wooden cross with nails.
As we can see, the cross symbol of Christianity, is deeply rooted in ancient Pagan Mythology. In fact, Christianity did not choose the cross until more than 300 afters after the story of literal crucifixion as it's representative symbol. In fact, it had used the swastika, another ancient symbol for creative motion ... as did many other belief systems of old. The original word is Sanskrit and was suastika - meaning “good, being, well.” Later, a lamb was used as the symbol representing Aries. Ultimately, the “crucifix” (the man nailed to and hung upon a cross) replaced it all among the Roman Church as it does today. A symbol of suffering and death, rather than enlightenment and illumination.
In ancient times, there were also planetary and zodiacal meanings. 12 Stations of the Zodiac, in Greece, there were “12 Labours of Hearacles,” and in Egypt “12 tortures.” The initiates into the Inner Mysteries of the hidden Wisdom had to suffer before they would be given the Sacred Tau, the cross of the hierophant (ancient priest). The number 12 was also highly symbolic.
The seven major miracles are identical with the seven days of creation in the first book of the Bible - Genesis (meaning beginning or birth). This is Cosmology or Astrotheology ... heaven and God in the stars, skies, and planetary actions. As above, so below. As within, so without. As evolving, so involving. The story of creation was written in the stars long before Christianity by the Pagan Mystics. See the 12 Houses of the Zodiac (12 Apostles) surrounded by the Sun of God (Christ/Sun) and you will see much of where all the spiritual myths were derived.
The cross, from the sky-view (heavens/Ouranos) ... the constellation Crux – otherwise called the Southern Cross – can be seen from Earth’s Southern Hemisphere and from tropical and subtropical regions of the Northern Hemisphere.
There is much more than can be covered on this subject but far too much for one segment. We barely touched upon the Egyptian Ankh and it's metaphysical meanings and symbols. It is the Key of Life. We will go into more details in another writing.
Just a thought ...
Justin Taylor, ORDM.