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origin of the cross Pre Christian

This Dude named Red got me to thinkin about the origin of the Cross, here are the partial results…….
Sign or Symbol

A sign shows a thing, like the boy/girl sign on the restroom door,
according to carl jung, not have any definition
at all. it has levels of meaning, not just one,
and should represent a concept which is often difficult to
grasp intellectually in the full scope of its meaning
– like a piece of art that no simple description describs it.
(if you can define it exactly, it may have
changed to a sign from a symbol).
symbols are usd to express ideas. when we use one we are showing
to the idea behind that symbol.
‘the sign is always less than the concept it represents, while a symbol always stands for something more than its obvious and immediate meaning.’ – dr. carl g. jung, ‘man and his symbols’, 1964
symbols are powerful, because they stir your imagination
and intuition to help you discover new meanings and insights.
they intice you to explore the possibilities, and allow you to go
beyond limited definitions and literal thinking if you want to
understand the concepts they represent.

the hermetic rose cross is a very old mystical symbol.
the rose symbolized the redemptive power of the blood of christ;
the letters inscribed on the 4 central rays combine into INRI,
which combination represents a latin motto meaning
‘nature is completely renewed by fire’.
the symbol as a whole illustrated the triumph of spirit over matter.
in the center of the rose cross there is another rose cross,
smaller but conceptually identical.
this is the microcosm that mirrors the macrocosm.
surrounding the inner cross are 22 petals containing the
22 letters of the hebrew alphabet, each colored according to
kabbalistic attributions.
the end of each arm is inscribed with symbols of the
three principles of alchemy: mercury, sulfur and salt.
thus each arm can be mapped to important trinities.

in astrology, a cross sign is really more of a symbol because
it has many levels of meaning beyond the unambiguous
name which indicates a particular sector of the sky.
after all, astrology is a symbolic language!
since ancient times a cross might mean ‘the cross of matter’,
which is basically what it represents in astrology, where it
appears as ‘the cardinal cross’.
the vertical bar symbolizes spirit which interpenetrates the
horizontal bar representing matter, or the earth plane (horizon line).
the symbol of a cross within a circle is used to represent the
part of fortune in astrology, but it can also represent the earth itself.

the ‘ankh’ is an ancient egyptian hieroglyph representing life
and regeneration. called also ‘crux ansata’ which means
cross with a handle. it was adopted by the gnostics and the
copts as the symbolic representation of both physical and eternal life.
the top loop symbolises the sun on the horizon.
amulets and mirrors were often made in the shape of an ankh.
a modified version of the ankh symbol is used in astrology to
represent the planet venus, in alchemy to represent the
element copper,and in biology to identify the female sex.

the swastika is an ancient symbol that has been used for 4000 years.
artifacts of the the harappan civilization show a pre-veda,
pre-aryan and pre-hindu origin of the swastika.
the word swastika comes from the sanskrit ‘svastika’.
the word can be divided into the components
sva (one’s own) and astika (it is).
it is a symbol of auspiciousness: it has been used as a
symbol of the sun, of the four directions (N,E,S, W),
of the world-wheel (the eternally changing world,
round a fixed, unchanging centre or god)…
the image of the swastika was used by many cultures
around the world, including in near and far east ,
north america, africa and europe.
of all the symbols and marks produced by ancient and
modern man the swastika is the most contradictory.
the consequences of the false relationship between
it and its ‘modern corporate identity’, the swastika became
inextricably wed to the hitlerian cult of german nationalism
and racism.

solar crosses,
scandinavian bronze age rock carvings
at bohüslan, sweden THE SOLAR CROSS
the circular shape of the sun which emphasises the ever
recurring cyclical nature of the seasons is the origin of the
this neolithic symbol. it combines a cross within a circle
and is the simplest conceivable representation of the union
of opposed polarities. probably the oldest symbol in the
world, it appeared in asian, american, european, and indian art
from the dawn of history.

the solar cross,
neolithical rock carvings in france

there are two types of wheel crosses:
the four-armed freestanding cross representing shadows
cast by the rising and setting sun at the two solstices,
and the six-armed cross created by addition of the equinoctial
sunrise and sunset shadows.
the one with four spokes, which wheels in time lost their rim,
became ‘real’ crosses.

in ancient egypt the tau was used, along with a type of
hammer-headed cross and the swastika, to mark sacred water
jars and, in a country where the erect phallus was everywhere
in evidence as a religious icon.
the tau may have developed from the widespread and
ancient symbol of the sun god (solar cross / wheel cross)
– which may itself have evolved into a hammer, possibly
connected with the growth in importance of the smith in later
iron age times. the act of hammering white-hot ingots
of metal into functional or sacred artefacts was in itself an
act of creation with a phallic implication.
it is also known to be a symbol of the roman god mithras and
the greek attis (in the shape of the greek letter ‘T’).
the tau was known as the ‘cross’ of the christian old testament,
supposed to be the mark made by faithful israelites to
distinguish them from those of their kinsfolk who had lapsed
into paganism.

some alchemical elements bear the cross sign.
for example the alchemical symbol for sulfur,
which was a triangle at the top of a cross.
(there is the biblical story of entateuch / genesis
in which hell is thought of to smell of sulfur…)

Sign or Symbol
A sign shows a thing, like the boy/girl sign on the restroom door,
according to carl jung, not have any definition
at all. it has levels of meaning, not just one,
and should represent a concept which is often difficult to
grasp intellectually in the full scope of its meaning
– like a piece of art that no simple description describs it.
(if you can define it exactly, it may have
changed to a sign from a symbol).
symbols are usd to express ideas. when we use one we are showing
to the idea behind that symbol.
‘the sign is always less than the concept it represents, while a symbol always stands for something more than its obvious and immediate meaning.’ – dr. carl g. jung, ‘man and his symbols’, 1964
symbols are powerful, because they stir your imagination
and intuition to help you discover new meanings and insights.
they intice you to explore the possibilities, and allow you to go
beyond limited definitions and literal thinking if you want to
understand the concepts they represent.

Developed ring crosses have been universally believed to derive from a simplified, condensed version of the encircled Roman ChristogramThe design consists of the first two letters of Christ’s name in Greek, X (Chi ) and P (Rho ), encircled by a triumphal wreath.

“From its simplicity of form, the cross has been used both as a religious symbol and as an ornament, from the dawn of man’s civilization. Various objects, dating from periods long anterior to the Christian era, have been found, marked with crosses of different designs, in almost every part of the old world.” 5 The cross symbol was found in: 6

Scandinavia: The Tau cross symbolized the hammer of the God Thor.
Babylon: the cross with a crescent moon was the symbol of their moon deity.
Assyria: the corners of the cross represented the four directions in which the sun shines.
India: In Hinduism, the vertical shaft represents the higher, celestial states of being; the horizontal bar represents the lower, earthly states.

Egypt: The ankh cross (a Tau cross topped by an inverted tear shape) is associated with Maat, their Goddess of Truth. It also represents the sexual union of Isis and Osiris.

Europe: The use of a human effigy on a cross in the form of a scarecrow has been used from ancient times. In prehistoric times, a human would be sacrificed and hung on a cross. The sacrifice would later be chopped to pieces; his blood and pieces of flesh were widely distributed and buried to encourage the crop fertility.

the cross had symbolic meaning before it assumed
its christians connotations.
it has been employed as a sacred, protective,
or decorative emblem in almost every culture
throughout the world.
it has been found in china and africa,
it appears on bronze age stones in scandinavia ;
in ancient greece; in pre-columbian america,
and in the euphrates-tigris region around 1500 B.C.
the origin of the word ‘cross’ is the latin word ‘crux’,
from the verb cruciare, meaning to torture.
when the successful new ideology of christianity began to
spread, the worship of suffering also spread…
and the promoters of apostles had the honor of having
a torture rack named after them (like the cross of st. peter,
the cross of st. andrew, the cross of st. phillip, etc.).

In the thousand and one works supplied for our information upon matters connected with the history of our race, we are told that Alexander the Great, Titus, and various Greek, Roman, and Oriental rulers of ancient days, “crucified” this or that person; or that they “crucified” so many at once, or during their reign. And the instrument of execution is called a “cross.”

The natural result is that we imagine that all the people said to have been “crucified” were executed by being nailed or otherwise affixed to a cross-shaped instrument set in the ground, like that to be seen in our fanciful illustrations of the execution of Jesus. This was, however, by no means necessarily the case.

For instance, the death spoken of, death by the stauros, included transfixion by a pointed stauros or stake, as well as affixion to an unpointed stauros or stake; and the latter punishment was not always that referred to.

It is also probable that in most of the many cases where we have no clue as to which kind of stauros was used, the cause of the condemned one’s death was transfixion by a pointed stauros.

Moreover, even if we could prove that this very common mode of capital punishment was in no case that referred to by the historians who lived in bygone ages, and that death was in each instance caused by affixion to, instead of transfixion by, a stauros, we should still have to prove that each stauros had a cross-bar before we could correctly describe the death caused by it as death by crucifixion.

It is also, upon the face of it, somewhat unlikely that the ancients would in every instance in which they despatched a man by affixing him to a post set in the ground, have gone out of their way to provide the artistic but quite unnecessary cross-bar of our imaginations.

As it is, in any case, well known that the Romans very often despatched those condemned to death by affixing them to a stake or post which had no cross-bar, the question arises as to what proof we have that a cross-bar was used in the case of Jesus.

Nor is the question an unimportant one. For, as we shall see in the chapters to come, there was a pre-Christian cross, which was, like ours, a symbol of Life. And it must be obvious to all that if the cross was a symbol of Life before our era, it is possible that it was originally fixed upon as a symbol of the Christ because it was a symbol of Life; the assumption that it became a symbol of Life because it was a symbol of the Christ, being in that case neither more nor less than a very natural instance of putting the cart before the horse.

Now the Greek word which in Latin versions of the New Testament is translated as crux, and in English versions is rendered as cross, i.e., the word stauros, seems to have, at the beginning of our era, no more meant a cross than the English word stick means a crutch.

It is true that a stick may be in the shape of a crutch, and that the stauros to which Jesus was affixed may have been in the shape of a cross. But just as the former is not necessarily a crutch, so the latter was not necessarily a cross.

What the ancients used to signify when they used the word stauros, can easily be seen by referring to either the Iliad or the Odyssey.1

It will there be found to clearly signify an ordinary pole or stake without any cross-bar. And it is as thus signifying a single piece of wood that the word in question is used throughout the old Greek classics.2

The stauros used as an instrument of execution was (1) a small pointed pole or stake used for thrusting through the body, so as to pin the latter to the earth, or otherwise render death inevitable; (2) a similar pole or stake fixed in the ground point upwards, upon which the condemned one was forced down till incapable of escaping; (3) a much longer and stouter pole or stake fixed point upwards, upon which the victim, with his hands tied behind him, was lodged in such a way that the point should enter his breast and the weight of the body cause every movement to hasten the end; and (4) a stout unpointed pole or stake set upright in the earth, from which the victim was suspended by a rope round his wrists, which were first tied behind him so that the position might become an agonising one; or to which the doomed one was bound, or, as in the case of Jesus, nailed.

That this last named kind of stauros, which was admittedly that to which Jesus was affixed, had in every case a cross-bar attached, is untrue; that it had in most cases, is unlikely; that it had in the case of Jesus, is unproven.

Even as late as the Middle Ages, the word stauros seems to have primarily signified a straight piece of wood without a cross-bar. For the famous Greek lexicographer, Suidas, expressly states, “Stauroi; ortha xula perpégota,” and both Eustathius and Hesychius affirm that it meant a straight stake or pole.

The side light thrown upon the question by Lucian is also worth noting. This writer, referring to Jesus, alludes to “That sophist of theirs who was fastened to a skolops;” which word signified a single piece of wood, and not two pieces joined together.

Only a passing notice need be given to the fact that in some of the Epistles of the New Testament, which seem to have been written before the Gospels, though, like the other Epistles, misleadingly placed after the Gospels, Jesus is said to have been hanged upon a tree.3 For in the first place the Greek word translated “hanged” did not necessarily refer to hanging by the neck, and simply meant suspended in some way or other. And in the second place the word translated “tree,” though that always used in referring to what is translated as the “Tree of Life,” signified not only “tree” but also “wood.”

It should be noted, however, that these five references of the Bible to the execution of Jesus as having been carried out by his suspension upon either a tree or a piece of timber set in the ground, in no wise convey the impression that two pieces of wood nailed together in the form of a cross is what is referred to.

Moreover, there is not, even in the Greek text of the Gospels, a single intimation in the Bible to the effect that the instrument actually used in the case of Jesus was cross-shaped.

Had there been any such intimation in the twenty-seven Greek works referring to Jesus, which our Church selected out of a very large number and called the “New Testament,” the Greek letter chi, which was cross-shaped, would in the ordinary course have been referred to; and some such term as Katà chiasmon, “like a chi,” made use of.

It should also be borne in mind that though the Christians of the first three centuries certainly made use of a transient sign of the cross in the non-Mosaic initiatory rite of baptism and at other times, it is, as will be shown in the next two chapters, admitted that they did not use or venerate it as a representation of the instrument of execution upon which Jesus died.

Moreover, if in reply to the foregoing it should be argued that as it is well known that cross-shaped figures of wood, and other lasting representations of the sign or figure of the cross, were not venerated by Christians until after the fateful day when Constantine set out at the head of the soldiers of Gaul in his famous march against Rome; and that the Christian crosses of the remainder of the fourth century were representations of the instrument of execution upon which Jesus died; a dozen other objections present themselves if we are honest enough to face the fact that we have to show that they were so from the first. For the Gauls, and therefore the soldiers of Gaul, venerated as symbols of the Sun-God and Giver of Life and Victory the cross of four equal arms, Plus , or X , and the solar wheel, Solar Wheel 1 or Solar Wheel 2 ; while the so-called cross which Constantine and his troops are said to have seen above the midday sun was admittedly the monogram of Christ, Monogram of Christ 1 or Monogram of Christ 2 , which was admittedly an adaptation of the solar wheel, as will be shown further on; and it was as tokens of the conquest of Rome by his Gaulish troops, that Constantine, as their leader, erected one of these symbols in the centre of the Eternal City, and afterwards placed upon his coins the crosses Solar Wheel 1 , Solar Wheel 2 , Monogram of Christ 1 , Monogram of Christ 2 , asterisk , Monogram of Christ 3 , Monogram of Christ 4 , the cross of four equal arms X , and several variations of that other cross of four equal arms, the right-angled Plus . And it was not till long after these crosses were accepted as Christian, and Constantine was dead and buried, that the cross with one of its arms longer than the other three (or two), which alone could be a representation of an instrument of execution, was made use of by Christians. read more here”

The Celtic cross

This golden Phallic Cross depicts four phalli, a circle of female pudenda around the four testicles in the centre. It was designed to be worn from the neck and is assumed to have been intended for someone of high rank. Found at San Agata di Goti, Naples, Italy, during the early 19th century.

The Verdic name of the so-called Celtic cross, with a wheel in its center, that signifies the union of the male and female principles. When displayed by Vishnu, this emblem meant the phallic god’s “power to penetrate heaven and earth.” The word was most likely related to chakra, the magic circle of men and women alternating in Tantric worship. Kiakra was of the original combinations of cross and circle (wheel or egg) from which sprang forth the so-called Cross of Wotan, ankh of Osiris, and other male-female symbols of divine union.

The symbol that we call the Celtic cross was known to the Hindus as the Kiakra, a sign of sexual union: the cross (phallus) within the circle (yoni).

There are numerous representation of crosses combined with a circle, even before Christianity. Often called “sun cross“, they can be found in Bronze Age Europe (Nordic Bronze Age, Urnfield culture).

In Ireland, it is a popular myth that the celtic cross was introduced to the island by Saint Patrick during his time converting the pagan Irish. It is believed that he combined the symbol of Christianity, a cross, with the symbol of the sun, to give pagan followers an idea of the importance of the cross by linking it with the idea of the life-giving properties of the sun

The seventh century saw the introduction of a monument similar in intent to the old inscribed stones, but wholly different in origin and craftsmanship from them. The cross-shaft in the lonely, picturesque churchyard atBewcastle on the Cumberland Fells is cited as the first known example and, for all we know, is the original of the whole series. The two striking differences between this type of memorial and the earlier sort in the west are (1) that they are the product of Christianity as re-introduced by Augustine among the Angles and Saxons and not of the Celtic Church, and (2) that they are the work of highly trained craftsmen. Who these craftsmen were and in what country they learned their art is quite unknown. The mystery is heightened by the fact that these crosses are confined with one exception to the Northern area, and (of that date) are not known elsewhere. 7.

In Closing
the basic shape of a cross, has since prehistoric times
been employed in almost every culture throughout the
world and all the roughly similar shapes of cross
symbols have wildly different meanings.
the cross variously symbolised health, fertility, life,
immortality, the union of heaven and earth, spirit and
matter, the sun, the stars… it is seen a world centre and
a cosmic axis, the cross represents the human form,
with its four cardinal points it can be mapped to fourfold
systems: the four directions: north, south, east, and west;
the 4 seasons; the four elements; the four winds…………………………………

1. e.g., Iliad, xxiv. 453; Odyssey, xiv. 11
2. e.g., Thuc. iv. 90; Xen. An. v. 2, 21.
3. Gal. iii. 13; I Pet. ii. 24; Acts v. 30; Acts x. 39; Acts xiii. 29.
4. e.g., Hdt. iii. 125.
5. The Encyclopædia Britannica, 11th Edition, Vol. VII, Page. 506
6. J.C. Cooper, op cit, Page 45-47.

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