Sunday, 20 April 2014

The Resurrection of Osiris

There have been attempts in the past to link the resurrection of Jesus to that of Osiris, but apart from the superficial picture of a god dying and rising again, there are no similarities. The fine details of the Osiris myth are quire different from the Gospel resurrection narratives. George Frazer's Golden Bough was probably quite responsible for this kind of argument; as an example, he conflated different fire rituals together when the only common element was that they were fire rituals.
In this poem, I have taken the myth of Osiris very much as a conflict between elemental forces, the ordering of nature, and the chaotic elements in nature. The chaotic, as we see with climate change, can be very devastating, but spring still comes, and the green shoots still rise from apparently dead soil. There is a cycle of death and rebirth mirrored in the story of Osiris, and in that way, it does echo the Christian idea of resurrection, when Paul talks of a seed having to fall into the ground and die before emerging to new life.
The Resurrection of Osiris
Awake, awake, O king, from death
Open the underworld's dark door
Wake from slumber, take a breath
A spark of life within once more
From your loins, Isis gave birth
With Thoth and his healing rod
Gives joy in heaven and on earth
Reborn in Horus, god from god
Set was raging storm and fire
And tore the body, into pieces
Osiris scattered, end of desire
War of gods, it never ceases
The seed of Osiris flowers still
Hope for mankind to yet fulfil

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