Horus Characteristics Found in the Zeitgeist Movie
As we know, the Zeitgeist movie has stirred up quite a debate on the net, filled with the usual fallacies regarding my work vis-a-vis the claims made in the movie. One of these erroneous claims is that I do not cite my sources, an assertion that can only be made by those who have not actually read my work, such that, once again, they cannot be deemed experts thereon. They may raise up one or two articles online, such as "The Origins of Christianity
," which does not contain footnotes on every sentence, because these are generally to found in The Christ Conspiracy
. I need not say that no author should be expected to reproduce his or her entire body of work online to satisfy those who are unwilling to do the research themselves.
As concerns the claims regarding Horus found in Zeitgeist, I need not reproduce all of the citations here either, since the movie's creator, Peter J., has done a fine job - albeit a difficult-to-read one, with the black background and white writing - in his "Interactive Transcript
In that transcript, PJ uses not only footnotes for each relevant claim but also provides some clarifying text, citing the sources.
This is Horus.[M] He is the Sun God of Egypt of around 3000 BC [S8] [D]. He is the sun, anthropomorphized, and his life is a series of allegorical myths involving the sun's movement in the sky. [S9] [S10] [M] From the ancient hieroglyphics in Egypt, we know much about this solar messiah. For instance, Horus, being the sun, or the light, had an enemy known as Set and Set [D] was the personification of the darkness or night .[M] [S11] And, metaphorically speaking, every morning Horus would win the battle against Set - while in the evening, Set would conquer Horus and send him into the underworld. [S12] [S13] It is important to note that "dark vs. light" or "good vs. evil" is one of the most ubiquitous mythological dualities ever known and is still expressed on many levels to this day.
Broadly speaking, the story of Horus is as follows: Horus was born on December 25th [S14] [S15] of the virgin Isis-Meri.[S16] [S17] [S18] [D] [M] His birth was accompanied by a star in the east [S19], which in turn, three kings followed to locate and adorn the new-born savior [M] [S20] [S21] At the age of 12, he was a prodigal child teacher, and at the age of 30 [S22] [S23] he was baptized by a figure known as Anup [M] and thus began his ministry[S24] [M]. Horus had 12 disciples[S25] he traveled about with, performing miracles[S26] [S27]such as healing the sick[S28] and walking on water[S29]. Horus was known by many gestural names such as The Truth, The Light, God's Annointed Son, The Good Shepherd, The Lamb of God, and many others[S30] [S31]. After being betrayed by Typhon[S32], Horus was crucified[S33] [S34], buried for 3 days[S35], and thus, resurrected.[S36] [S37] [M].
As you will see, I did not originate any of the germane characteristics. One of PJ's principle sources is Gerald Massey, to which the critics' attention may be directed.
When reading this type of synopsis of the myth of Horus, one needs to keep in mind that it is the contention of those who claim Jesus to be a mythical construct that bits and pieces of the myths of these various other gods were pulled out of context and woven together to create the gospel story. One does not find, for instance, this tale as above outlined in an ancient Egyptian encyclopedia. Those who have been attempting to explain the creation of the Christ myth have been back-engineering the story. In other words, in explaining the various mythical motifs utilized in the gospel story, some have retold the story utilizing the original god or gods, in a gospel-like manner.
Let us take some examples. When it is said in the paragraph above from ZG that Horus was "crucified," it was not part of his myth that he was held down and nailed to a cross. Rather, Horus is depicted in cruciform
, with his arms outstretched, as we find in images, and as Egyptologist James Bonwick says, "With outstretched arms he is the vault of heaven." (Egyptian Belief and Modern Thought
, p. 157) What comparative mythologists and Jesus mythicists are claiming is that these various mythical motifs already in existence as being revered long prior to the Christian era, such as the god with outstretched arms, were utilized in the weaving of the Christ myth . We are not necessarily stating that the Christians took an already fully formed myth and simply scratched out Horus's name and wrote in Jesus. There is no doubt that these mythical motifs were combined with Jewish scriptures, rendering a unique telling of the tale in the gospel story. However, the preceding mythical motifs remain and are real, and were commonly known enough prior to the creation of the Christ myth that they were quite likely utilized therein.
It is a bit misleading, therefore, to say that Horus was "crucified," as the word "crucified" invokes the image of a man being held down and nailed to a cross. However, one could say of the "God Sun" that "he" was crossified
, at the vernal equinoxes - and that motif, we contend, is at the basis of the gospel "crucifixion."
Although not found in Zeitgeist, the same can be said of the "two thieves" motif not only in the gospel story but, oddly, in images of the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl, as interpreted by Lord Kingsborough in his monumental study Antiquities of the Mexicans, which I quote in significant part in Suns of God
. (Anyone interested in this subject matter is highly encouraged to obtain and read my book.) Concerning this "two thieves" motif in the Horus myth, Gerald Massey says the following.
And in the zodiac of Denderah, just where Horus is on the cross, or at the crossing of the vernal equinox, these two thieves, Sut-Anup and Aan, are depicted one on either side of the luni-solar god. These two mythical originals have, I think, been continued and humanised as the two thieves in the Gospel version of the crucifixion. (Luniolatry: Ancient and Modern
...Two other lunar types were Anup, the jackal, and Aan, the dog-headed ap. These two may be sseen figured back to back at the place of the Vernal equinox in the zodiac of Denderah. Each of the two had represented the dark half of the lunation (the one with Horus, the other with Taht) in two different stages of the mythos; each had been the thief of the light; the Mercury who was the thief personified. In these two thieves at the crossing we may perhaps identify the two thieves at the cross, as Horus, the solar lord of light in the moon - in the form of his hawk - is placed between or just over these two thieves at the crossing, the station of the cross! The birthplace of the god who was reborn or who rose again at the Vernal equinox is show by the constellation of the Thigh or Uterus. Anup on one side of horus, and Aan on the other, are the two thieves on eitehr hand of the Kamite [Egyptian] Christ upon the cross at Easter. The Historical Jesus and the Mythical Christ
, pp. 116-117
Note that in his depiction of "Horus on the cross," Massey did not say that Horus was thrown down to the ground and nailed to a wooden cross. Again, what we find are ancient depictions of the god in cruciform
, with arms outstretched such that his body forms a cross. In some instances, however, the god was attached to a cross of some sort. In any event, what we find in pre-Christian times is a reverence for the image of a god or goddess in the form of a cross - and that
is the germane point.
Likewise, as I point out in Suns of God
, pp. 269, et seq., the "thieves" part of the astrotheological mythology relates to the nightly stars, which were perceived to "rob" the light of the sun. Recognizing this motif in solar mythology, Massey has attempted to explain the presence in Egyptian art of two of these "night-sky" or "lunar" thieves as surrounding the soli-lunar Horus.
Regarding the solar motifs of the "crucifixion" and "two thieves," in Suns of God I write:
In the solar mythology, the sun god is regularly "crucified" as he crosses over the equinoxes and when he wanes towards the end of the year. The "thieves" denote stars, or constellations/signs of the zodiac, in particular Sagittarius and Capricorn, which, as the winter descends, steal the sun's strength.
Rather than simply debunking the motifs because of the way they are reconfigured within Christianity, critics need to recognize that these motifs existed, that they were revered in the ancient world, particularly by the priesthoods that created such myths, and that anyone wishing to enter the profitable religion business would need to incorporate them into their myths, as we contend was done with the gospel story.