Christos: History of the Anointed Ones

By Barbara Walker



From The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets

'Anointed One," a title of many Middle-Eastern sacrificial gods -- Attis, Adonis, Tammuz, Osiris -- derived from Oriental cults of the sacred marriage. In the east, the god's lingam or the erect penis of his statue was anointed with holy oil (Greek chrism) for easier penetration of his bride, the Goddess, impersonated by one of the temple virgins.1 Before anointing with oil, the god's phallus was often reddened to the color of life with pigment, wine, or blood -- specifically, the menstrual blood of his bride.2 Because kingship once depended on the sacred marriage, anointing became the official rite of investiture for surrogate kings as well as real kings. It carried a promise of godhood.

The words of the psalmist, "Thou anointest my head with oil," evolved from the ancient custom of anointing the god-king's penis, for which "head" was a common euphemism [cf 'godhead'] At royal weddings the king's head was crowned with a wreath of flowers, as in the Hindu svayamara ceremony -- and flowers, in biblical language, symbolized menstrual blood (Leviticus 15:24). Among the pagans, the temple virgin deflowering herself on the god's carved phallus would place a wreath of flowers on his head at the same time.3 Eventually the anointing of the phallus was displaced to the head because the marriage rite was omitted from public sacrifices of the Savior, Redeemer, Son of God, etc. Like the New Testament Christ, he was "anointed" only for his burying: the marriage with the earth (John 12:7). Jesus became a Christos when he was christ-ened for burial by Mary, the magdalene or temple maiden (Matthew 26:12), who also announced his resurrection (Mark 15:47).

Among the Essenes, a Christos was a priest, specifically designated Sin Bearer or Redeemer: one who atoned for others' sins.4 [cf scapegoat] Among the Slavs, Christos or Krstnik meant a sacrificial hero and also an "accursed one," due to the ancient practice of laying a formal curse on the Sin Bearer before he was sacrificed.


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