A little Solstice something for all the cultists here at Conspiracy Central. I should have posted this two days ago, but honestly all I have been doing for the past week is gorging myself on ham and green bean casserole. Hmm … canned goodness topped with deep fried vegetables. It positively screams 1950’s heart attack Americana!
Meanwhile, you can while away the winter by listening to Martian Migraine editor Scott R Jones recite my story “We Three Kings,” from Cthulhusattva: Tales of the Black Gnosis, available wherever eldritch literature is sold. Like that little shop round the corner from you, that wasn’t there yesterday. Say hi to Danielle for me.
Spring is coming, which means Easter will be here soon, the most important – and misunderstood – of the Christian holidays. A story of ultimate loss, and the hidden revelation of redemption; a message of hope that began as a tragedy.
What is the true story of Easter? Was it that Jesus died on the cross, to be reborn three days later? Or something more … complicated?
It’s important to remember that much of the New Testament was written hundreds of years after the Anointed One’s death … it is difficult, if not impossible, to determine what is based on historical truth, and what might have been added later, as Christianity developed. Of the four gospels, for instance, only Luke and Matthew record the Nativity of Jesus.
The books that became the New Testament weren’t fully finalized until the Council of Nicea, some three centuries after Jesus’s death. The same council which, not coincidentally, declared Gnostic Christianity a heresy. In the three hundred years between the Crucifixion and the Council, Christianity had gone from a Jewish heresy promulgated by a minor cult into the official religion of the Roman Empire. Why? What drew Constantine to the story of a Jewish carpenter who died on a cross? Could it be that there was something more, some promise that had to be kept secret?
“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.” — Matthew 10:34
The truth is that Jesus died on the cross. His very name proclaims it – Jesus the Christ, the Anointed One. Only two kinds of people are anointed: the holy and the dead. The Anointed One was dead to the Tribes of Israel, an abomination so unthinkable they excommunicated him from their midst. Remember that it was the Jews who condemned Jesus; Pontius Pilate offered Barrbas to the crowd, but they said no. He warned them history would not judge them kindly, but the crowd replied “his blood is on our hands.” Not blood libel, as the histories would have us believe – pride.
“Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you…” — Matthew 5:11
What could have been so horrible that the crowd would prefer the freedom of a condemned criminal? Israel bordered the land of the Phillistines – David’s battle with Goliath was against a Phillistine warrior.
Archaeology has been strangely silent about the Phillistines; the best consensus so far is that they may possibly be related to the “Sea Peoples” who invaded Egypt about this time. If so, it explains why there is so little evidence for them, as this invasion, or mass migration, or what have you, disrupted the entire Near Eastern world.
If they were somehow related to the Sea Peoples, it gives us our first clue to the real meaning of Easter – a link to the ocean.
We can also be fairly certain they spoke some form of Semitic language, since most of their names, and the names of their gods, were Semitic.
Now we have a link between the Phillistines and the Cthulhu cult, in the form of an Old One who is somehow connected with Great Cthulhu – as priest, follower, perhaps son or father, if those terms can even be said to apply to such entities.
The Old Testament portrays the Jewish conquest of Canaan, and the wars with the Phillistines, as a holy obligation, a commandment from YHWY. Modern readers have interpreted this as just authorial bias on the part of the rabbis who compiled the book.
What if the academics are wrong? What if Israel was fighting a holy war?
We know the Jews came up out of Egypt, the most ancient and unhallowed land in the Near East. Were they running from something – only to find it waiting for them on the plains of Negev?
“And it was then that Nyarlathotep came out of Egypt.”
— HP Lovecraft
The Council of Nicea decided what books should be in the Bible – did they also edit those books? They must have – in an era when everything was hand copied by half-blind, most likely half-mad scribes working in cramped, dark monastery cells, it would have been inevitable that small differences would arise from book to book. The Luke of Alexandria may not have been the Luke of Constantinople. Someone had to go through and make certain that everyone was reading the same thing.
That someone, then, could just have easily ordered a certain … troublesome passage to be rewritten.
“And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
— Matthew 4:19
In the Northern Hemisphere, the Winter Solstice marks the time when the sun appears to “die” in the sky. On the longest night of the year, the sun would hover above the frozen hills of the north, by Kadath in the Cold Waste, before beginning its upward trek toward the promise of summer.
Now, of course, we celebrate the Solstice by getting tanked on eggnog and fighting with relatives, but once, the judgment of the Red Lord wasn’t who got presents and who got coal, it was whether the ice would melt and we would live to see another season.
In the modern world, we know that the seasons are caused by the Earth’s axial tilt:
In the summer, our off-balance planet presents more of its northern surface to the sun; in the winter, less. As we move from winter to summer, an observer on Earth (i.e., everybody) will see the sun rise higher and higher in the sky, until on the summer solstice (Jun 21), it will appear at its highest point.
(When I say it “climbs higher” I mean day-by-day. It still rises and sets every day, but on Jun. 22, the highest point the sun reaches in the sky is a little bit lower than on Jun 21. The sun doesn’t just “stop” in the sky on the winter solstice …
… or does it?
On the Winster Solstice, the sun stands still in the sky before weakly setting beneath the ice, heralding the longest night of the year.
When else would “the stars be right?”
Is it not written in the Kitab Al-Azif, that “after summer comes winter, then summer no more …”1?
When the Old Ones return, it will be on the Winter Solstice. The sun will sink lower and lower, until at last in hovers unmoving in the sky … and never moves again.
Could this have already happened?
Could Christmas be an ancestral memory of the time the Old Ones rose, and the miracle that saved us? What is the true meaning of Christmas?
The tauroctony symbolism was as important to the Mithraic Mysteries as the crucifix is to Christianity. In addition to Mithra slaying the bull, various other animals are often depicted, including snakes, dogs, and ravens.
No one knows why – Mithraism revealed its secrets only to initiates, and they died out when Constantine chose Christianity instead of Mithraism as the state religion of Rome.
The reason why he did that will be revealed in a later post; what is important is that many scholars believe the animals have a connection to the constellations: the snake is Hydra2, the raven Corvus, and the dog Canis. It is also possible that the bull represented Taurus and Mithra Perseus, who are together in the night sky.
To an observer on Earth (i.e., everybody) where the band of the zodiac crosses the celestial equator will change; most recently, it moved out of Aries and into Pisces; during the possible founding of Mithraism, it had moved into Aries from Taurus.
Was this astonishing enough to spark a religion? To encode the decline of Taurus as “the slaying of the bull?” To know that we couldn’t trust the sky. Dr. Ulansey believes so.
However, the precession of the equinox takes thousands of years; even though early astronomers knew about it, it can’t birth the kind of terror and awe and humility that a religion does.
But what if it happened in one night?
What if that is the true secret of Mithraism – that on the darkest night of the year, as the sun died and bled in the winter sky and the screams of madness echoed across the ice as the Old Ones woke and ravened across the world, our ancestors looked up and saw Mithra eclipsing the sky as He shifted the axis of the world. As they watched, the stars began to move once more, and the Old Ones were banished back into the nightmare corpse city of R’lYeh.
It’s no coincidence that Mithra was said to have been born on Dec. 25.
Nor is it coincidence that his cult flourished in the East, the same direction from which the Magi came. Two millennia after Mithra, the Stars were right once more – in the skies above Bethlehem, where the Herald of the Old Ones was born. The Anointed One was born to stop the sun from rising again, and the Magi were sent to stop Him. They weren’t Wise Men; they were assassins.
But the Romans, who still preserved a remnant of that memory in their Mithraic Mystery cults, crucified the Anointed One before He could fulfill His ultimate plan – but like Mithra, He will Rise Again, and on that day all the world will revel in an orgy of destruction, unless we can stop Him.
Ftaghn, cultists. And Happy Solstice.
The Dee translation (used by Lovecraft) contained a transcription error.