Balladeer’s Blog continues examining various accounts of dead and resurrected deities, as is customary at this time of year.
THE GOSPEL OF NICODEMUS – Despite the title of this gospel, Nicodemus doesn’t even show up until section five. This alternate scripture started out as The Acts of Pilate, and covered the story of Christ’s trial and execution from the point of view of Pontius Pilate. This half of the gospel serves the purpose of making Pontius Pilate look even more reluctant to prosecute Jesus than the canonical gospels do. Continue reading
Spring is the time of year that always puts me in mind of the many dead and resurrected deities who were featured in various seasonal myths around the world. This is a look at Baal, but if you want more dead and resurrected gods and goddesses click HERE
The Tale: Baal, the storm god of the Canaanites, had emerged triumphant in his war with the sea god Yam and became very hubristic. He insisted he had authority even over Mot, the god of death and warned Mot that the only places on Earth that he could visit were the deserts.
Infuriated, Mot invited/ dared Baal to visit him in his subterranean realm, the land of the dead. Baal accepted the dare/ invitation lest he lose face and once there Mot fed him the food of the dead – mud – thereby trapping Baal in the Netherworld.
With Baal thus imprisoned no rains fell on the Earth and drought consumed the world, killing vegetation and the animals who fed on that vegetation, then the animals who fed on THOSE animals, etc.
In an interesting variation on these other seasonal myths in the story of Baal the “dead season” is not winter but summer, which, given the intense heat in that part of the world, was potentially more destructive to nature than winter. Continue reading
Spring is the time of year that always puts me in mind of the many dead and resurrected deities who were featured in various seasonal myths around the world. This is a look at Inanna, but if you want more dead and resurrected gods and goddesses click HERE
Pantheon: Sumerian (The Babylonians called her Ishtar)
The Tale: Inanna the fertility goddess and queen of the heavens was looking to extend her reign to the land of the dead. She descended into the Netherworld, which was ruled over by her sister, the goddess Ereshkigal. Fighting on the death goddess’ own turf was foolish and Ereshkigal won the controntation and either nailed Inanna to a wall of her palace or impaled her on a stake, Vlad the Impaler style.
With Inanna thus imprisoned, vegetation died from the withering heat of summer, which could get even worse in that part of the world, where droughts could be so intense that the Tigris and Euphrates rivers were the only bodies of water that would NOT get dried up. The usual drought cycle continued, with vegetation dying, then animals who lived off it dying, etc. In the case of Inanna her dominion over sexual fertility also added the angle that males and females of all species lost all interest in sex and reproduction as well. Continue reading