Thursday, November 3, 2011

Benu, Phoenix and the Holy Spirit

It has been a year since I posted, so I think the break was long enough. read my other blog, The Journey to my Son, to know the boring details of what happened. Suffice to say, that even though I will start posting again, it won't be regularly.

This post will be about something which I see as very overlooked in the great debate of what Christians borrowed from the pagans. Where did the idea of the Holy Spirit come from? While theologians will definatly give you a very different answer than what I post here, it will end up coming as no shock. I don't understand why I seem to be the only one that saw this.
The Hebrew people lived in Egypt for several generations. They absorbed a lot of the culture and ideas. Many people already know about the Isis-Horus and Jesus-Mary similarities, and some others know that the original angels where imagined in more animalistic forms, similar to the genii of Mesopotamia and gods of Egypt. They became known as the Kerubim, and later Cherubs. People confused the little gods of love, the putti, with the Cherubs in Rennaisance art and that is what people call them today. Here is another idea that they borrowed from the Egyptians. The idea of the Benu.
The Benu is a divine bird, often pictured as a heron or later as a bird of prey, that is the representation of the sun god Ra. It is the Ba of Ra, the ba being the part of the soul allowed to fly free upon death. Look at old mummification scenes from Egypt and you will see a hawk or falcon with the head of the deceased flying away or looking on. That is the soul of the person. Ra allows his soul to fly free at times, or at least a part of his great divine being. As Ra is the creator and father of the gods, that makes him The God. The Hebrews took this idea of the soul of God and applied it to their own stories, allowing God to still be God in heaven and yet still travel around and deliver his will, along with his angels. When Christians began to take over, there were many in Alexandria, Egypt. These Alexandrian Christians were very influential in early Christian history. They spread many ideas, among them was the idea of the "Father, Son and Holy Spirit/Ghost" This fits right in with Egyptian mythology, as Ra, was being replaced by his great-great grandson Horus, whom also appreared like him, with Falcon head and bearing the eye of the sun. And then there was the benu, the ba of Ra, the holy spirit.

The Benu was translated by the ancient Greek pagans into the Phoenix, a well known bird. So the pheonix is the soul of the sun, which rises and sets, is born and dies, everyday. It is the symbol of resurrection and life and fire. When the Chrisitans came, they accepted this bird as a symbol of Jesus. You might find it ironic, given its pagan history, but since the phoenix is the Benu and the Benu is the Holy Spirit, then it makes sense.

The Holy Spirit, also known as the Holy Ghost, is the spirit of God. To Jewish people the Holy Spirit can come upon people and offer them divine inspiration or as a presence. It is God and is not considered different than him. To some Christians, they split God into a Holy Trinity of The Father(God,) The Son(Jesus, God incarnate on Earth) and the Holy Spirit. The Holy spirit is the spiritual essence of God, and can bring prephecy and inspiration to people. It also gives gifts to Baptized followers like wisdom, council, knowledge, etc... When a person gets baptized, they are thought to be filled with the Holy Spirit and reborn as good Christians. It often appears as a dove, the symbol of peace. It also appeared to Jesus as a dove when he was baptized by John. It can also appear as wind, light, clouds, fire or water. In art, the most often used form is of a white dove, often with a corona of light, a halo, over its heard or from its body. It is not surprising that people associate it with this form. God sends out his essence to the world and to man, just as Ra sent his out. Ra's essence appeared as a falcon, God's appears as a dove. It is an ancient idea that found its way into Christianity.
Now you know that the Holy Spirit is the Ba of God. You can celebrate this as well as the Chritians, for it is just another image taken from the past, taken from us, that we can reclaim in glory. Since many Wiccans/pagans also worship God, in their own way, they can incorporate this ancient idea into their beliefs without feeling like they are copying, or becoming, Chrisitans. For other pagans, it is not just the Benu and Ra, but other similar (though not the same) figures would be Zeus and his Eagle, Odin and his Ravens, etc...
Many of the rituals and beliefs of the Christians are not original ideas. They existed long ago in other cultures and religions. They took the ideas they liked and felt comfortable with and made it their own. Many also added pagan concepts to the religion so that they could keep worshipping their pagan faith in secret or face persecution.

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