"The Phrygian sun and fertility god Attis was annually hung on a tree, dying and rising on March 24th and 25th, an 'Easter celebration' that occurred at Rome as well."
"Thus," says Sir Frazer, "the tradition which placed the death of Christ on the twenty-fifth of March was ancient and deeply rooted. It is all the more remarkable because astronomical considerations prove that it can have had no historical foundation…."
"When we reflect how often the Church has skillfully contrived to plant the seeds of the new faith on the old stock of paganism, we may surmise that the Easter celebration of the dead and risen Christ was grafted upon a similar celebration of the dead and risen Adonis, which, as we have seen reason to believe, was celebrated in Syria at the same season."
"Lord, being born again I perish in that I am being exalted, and having been exalted I die; from a life-giving birth being born into death I was thus freed and go the way which Thou has founded, as Thou hast ordained and hast made the mystery."
"On this day [March 22] the sun is found not only to have reached the first sign of the Zodiac, but to be already passing through the fourth day within it. This sign is generally known as the first of the twelve, the equinoctial sign, the beginning of months, head of the cycle, and start of the planetary course.... Aristobolus adds that it is necessary at the Passover Festival that not only the sun but the moon as well should be passing through an equinoctial sign. There are two of these signs, one in spring, one in autumn, diametrically opposed to each other...."
"Christ is the Sun of Righteousness, with 'divine beams.'"
"This is consistent with the prior determinations of reputable men in the calculation of the heavenly bodies."To wit, Christ's death and resurrection are based on astrotheology.
The youthful Attis after his murder was miraculously brought to life again three days after his demise. The celebration of this cycle of death and renewal was one of the major festivals of the metroac cult. Attis therefore represented a promise of reborn life and as such it is not surprising that we find representations of the so-called mourning Attis as a common tomb motif in the ancient world.The parallel, albeit at a superficial level, between this myth and the account of the resurrection of Christ is clear. Moreover Attis as a shepherd occupies a favourite Christian image of Christ as the good shepherd. Further parallels also seem to have existed: the pine tree of Attis, for example, was seen as a parallel to the cross of Christ.Beyond Attis himself, Cybele too offered a challenge to Christian divine nomenclature. Cybele was regarded as a virgin goddess and as such could be seen as a rival to the Virgin Mary... Cybele as the mother of the Gods, mater Deum, here again presented a starkly pagan parallel to the Christian Mother of God.There was rivalry too in ritual. The climax of the celebration of Attis' resurrection, the Hilaria, fell on the 25th of March, the date that the early church had settled on as the day of Christ's death.... (Lane, 39-40)
"Attis is the son of Cybele in her form as the virgin, Nana."
Attis is the son of Cybele in her form as the virgin, Nana, who is impregnated by the divine force in the form of a pomegranate.
...Another instance of spontaneous conception occurred when Nana, whose very name was one by which the Great Goddess was known, became pregnant simply by eating the tree's fruit...
Attis's passion was celebrated on the 25th of March, exactly nine months before the solstitial festival of his birth, the 25th of December. The time of his death was also the time of his conception, or re-conception.
"Each year, Attis was born at the winter solstice."
|Attis wearing Phrygian cap|
"The god has been called the 'castrated and crucified Attis.'"
Especially significant for us is the fact that the Phrygian Attis was crucified upon the tree...
"The youthful Attis after his murder was miraculously brought to life again three days after his demise."
Roman reports of the rituals of Cybele record that the son...was first tied to a tree and then buried. Three days later a light was said to appear in the burial tomb, whereupon Attis rose from the dead, bringing salvation with him in his rebirth.
...Unusually, the throne is carved with scenes depicting the mystery cult of Attis, which spread to Rome from Turkey via Greece during the reign of Claudius (AD 41-54).Essentially, historical texts indicate that this cult was concerned with the life, death, and resurrection of the goddess, and involved several key stages enacted in March: the procession of the reed-bearers and flute-blowers; the entrance of the sacred pine tree; the burial of the effigy of Attis strapped to a stake; mourning, sacrifice, and bloodletting; and the resurrection of Attis. The best-preserved scene on the throne shows the deity collecting a pine cone next to a sacred pine tree.
"Since the time of Damascius (6th cent. ad/ce), Attis seems to have been believed to die and return." (Mettinger, 159) By that point, we possess clear discussion in writing of Attis having been resurrected, but when exactly were these rites first celebrated and where? Attis worship is centuries older than Jesus worship and was popular in some parts of the Roman Empire before and well into the "Christian era."