|Isis was often represented standing on the crescent moon, with
twelve stars surrounding her head. In almost every Roman Catholic church on the continent
of Europe may be seen pictures and statues of Mary, the "Queen of Heaven,"
standing on the crescent moon, her head surrounded with twelve stars.
"It would seem more than a chance that so many of the virgin mothers and goddesses
of antiquity should have the same name. The mother of Bacchus was Myrrha; the
mother of Mercury or Hermes was Myrrha or Maia; the mother of the Siamese Savior - Sommona
Cadom was called Maya Maria, i.e. 'the Great Mary'; the mother of Adonis was Myrrha; the
mother of Buddha was Maya; now, all these names whether Myrrha, Maia or Maria, are the
same as Mary, the name of the mother of the Christian Savior. The month of May was sacred
to these goddesses, so likewise is it sacred to the Virgin Mary at the present day. She
was also called Myrrha and Maria, as well as Mary... "
- Bible Myths, by T. W. Doane, p. 332.
symbolic language of esotericism, a cave is regarded as the place of initiation. This has
always been so, and a very interesting study of the initiatory process and of the new
birth could be made if the many references in the ancient writings to these events which
have transpired in caves were collected and analyzed. The stable in which Jesus was born
was in all likelihood a cave, for many stables were, in those days, hollowed out of the
ground. This was recognized by the early Church, and we are told that "it is well
known that whereas in the Gospels Jesus is said to have been born in an inn stable, early
Christian writers, as Justin Martyr and Origen, explicitly say He was born in a
- Pagan Christ, by J. M. Robertson, p. 338.
these five initiations of the Gospel story, we find that two of them took place in a cave,
two on a mountain top and one on the level between the deeps and the heights. The first
and last initiations (the Birth into life and the Resurrection into "life more
abundantly" (St. John, X, 10.) took place in  a cave. The Transfiguration and the
Crucifixion were enacted on the summit of a mountain or hill, whilst the second
initiation, after which Christ entered upon His public ministry, took place in a river, in
the plains around Jordan - symbolic perhaps of Christ's mission to live and work down
amongst men. The Masonic phrase to "meet on the level" takes on here an added
significance. After each mountain experience, the Christ came down again on to the level
of daily life and there manifested the effects or results of that high event.
born in a cave, and so were many others. Christ was born in a cave and entered, as did all
the others, upon a life of service and of sacrifice, thus qualifying for the task of world
Savior. They brought light and revelation to mankind and were sacrificed, in the majority
of cases, to the hatred of those who did not understand their message, or who objected to
their methods. All of them "descended into hell and rose again on the third
day." There are twenty or thirty of these stories scattered through the centuries of
human history, and the stories and the missions are ever identical.
"The Jesus-story, it will now be seen, has a greater number of correspondences
with the stories of former Sungods and with the actual career of the Sun through the
heavens - so many indeed that they cannot well be attributed to mere coincidence or even
to the blasphemous wiles of the Devil! Let us enumerate some of these. There are (1) birth
from a Virgin mother; (2) the birth in a stable (cave or underground chamber); and (3) on
the 25th December (just after the winter solstice). There is (4) the Star in the East
(Sirius) and (5) the arrival of the Magi (the 'Three King's); there is (6) the threatened
Massacre of the Innocents, and the consequent flight into a distant country (told also of
Krishna and other Sungods). There are the Church festivals of (7) Candlemas (2nd
February), with processions of candles to symbolize the growing light; of (8) Lent, or the
arrival of Spring; of (9) Easter Day (normally on 25th March) to celebrate the crossing of
the Equator by the Sun; and (10) simultaneously the outburst of lights at the Holy
Sepulchre at Jerusalem. There is (11)  the Crucifixion and death of the Lamb-God, on
Good Friday, three days before Easter; there are (12) the nailing to a tree, (13) the
empty grave, (14) the glad Resurrection (as in the cases of Osiris, Attis and others);
there are (15) the twelve disciples (the Zodiacal signs); and (16) the betrayal by one of
the twelve. Then later there is (17) Mid-summer Day, the 24th June, dedicated to the birth
of the beloved disciple John, and corresponding to Christmas Day; there are the festivals
of (18) the Assumption of the Virgin (15th August) and of (19) the Nativity of the Virgin
(8th September), corresponding to the movement of the god through Virgo; there is the
conflict of Christ and his disciples with the autumnal asterisms, (20) the Serpent and the
Scorpion; and finally there is the curious fact that the Church (21) dedicates the very
day of the winter solstice (when any one may very naturally doubt the rebirth of the Sun)
to St. Thomas, who doubted the truth of the Resurrection!"
- Pagan and Christian Creeds, by Edward Carpenter, p. 50.
of comparative religion can investigate the truth of these statements, and at the end will
stand amazed at the persistence of God's love and the willingness to sacrifice Themselves
which all these Sons of God manifest.
It is therefore wise and timely to remember that:
"These events are reproduced in the lives of the various Solar Gods, and antiquity
teems with illustrations of them. Isis of Egypt, like Mary of Bethlehem, was our
Immaculate Lady, Star of the Sea, Queen of Heaven, Mother of God. We see her, in pictures,
standing on the crescent moon, star-crowned, she nurses her child Horus, and the cross
appears on the back of the seat in which he sits on his mother's knee. The Virgo of the
zodiac is represented in ancient drawings as a woman suckling a child - the type of all
future Madonnas with their divine Babes, showing the origin of the symbol. Devaki is
likewise figured with the divine Krishna in her arms, as is Mylitta, or Istar, of Babylon,
also with the recurrent crown of stars, and with her child Tammuz on her knee. Mercury and
Aesculapius, Bacchus and Hercules, Perseus and the Dioscuri, Mithras and Zarathustra were
all of divine and human birth."
- Esoteric Christianity, by Annie Besant, p. 158.
apposite to recall that the cathedral of Notre Dame  in Paris is built upon the
ancient site of a Temple of Isis, and that the early Church very frequently availed itself
of a so-called heathen opportunity to determine a Christian rite or a day of sacred
remembrance. Even the establishing of Christmas Day on December 25th was so determined.
The same writer quoted above tells us that:
the fixing of the 25th December as the birthday of Jesus, Williamson has the following:
'All Christians know that the 25th December is now the recognized festival of the birth of
Jesus, but few are aware that this has not always been so. There have been, it is said,
one hundred and thirty-six different dates fixed on by different Christian sects.
Lightfoot gives it as September 15th, others as in February or August. Epiphanies mentions
two sects, one celebrating in June, the other in July. The matter was finally settled by
Pope Julius in 337 A.D., and St. Chrysostom, writing in 390, says: 'On this day (i.e. 25th
December) also the birth of Christ was lately fixed at Rome, in order that while the
heathen were busy with their ceremonies (the Brumalia, in honor of Bacchus) the
Christians might perform their rites undisturbed."
- Esoteric Christianity, by Annie Besant, p. 160.
of this particular date is cosmic in its implications, and not unwittingly, we can be
sure, did the wise men of earlier times make these momentous decisions. Annie Besant tells
"He is always born at the winter solstice, after the shortest day in the year, at
the midnight of the 24th December when the sign Virgo is rising above the horizon; born as
this Sign is rising, he is born always of a virgin, and she remains a virgin after she has
given birth to her Sun-child as the celestial Virgo remains unchanged and unsullied when
the Sun comes forth from her in the Heavens. Weak, feeble as an infant is he, born when
the days are shortest and the nights are longest..."
- Ibid. p. 157.