The worship of Adonis was practised by the Semitic peoples of Babylonia and Syria, and the Greeks borrowed it from them as early as the seventh century before Christ.
The true name of the deity was Tammuz: the appellation of Adonis is merely the Semitic Adon, ‘lord’, a title of honour by which his worshippers addressed him. But the Greeks through a misunderstanding converted the title of honour into a proper name.
In the religious literature of Babylonia Tammuz appears as the youthful spouse or lover of Ishtar, the great mother goddess, the embodiment of the reproductive energies of nature. The references to their connection with each other in myth and ritual are both fragmentary and obscure, but we gather from them that every year Tammuz was believed to die, passing away from the cheerful earth to the gloomy subterranean world, and that every year his divine mistress journeyed in quest of him
“to the land from which there is no returning, the house of darkness, where dust lies on door and bolt.”
During her absence the passion of love ceased to operate: men and beasts alike forgot to reproduce their kinds: all life was threatened with extinction. So intimately bound up with the goddess were the sexual functions of the whole animal kingdom that without her presence they could not be discharged.
A messenger of the great god Eas was accordingly dispatched to rescue the goddess on whom so much depended. The stern queen of the infernal regions, Allatu or Eresh-Kigal by name, reluctantly allowed Isthar to be sprinkled with the Water of Life and to depart, in company probably with her lover Tammuz, that the two might return together to the upper world, and that with their return all nature might revive.
The argument from Moscow is always the same: If God exists, he must know that we, the communists, dethrone him. Why does he not give a visible sign, if not of his power, at least of his existence? Why does he not defend his own interests?! This is in other words the old argument: Come down from the Cross, and we will believe in you.
I cite these well know things because they reveal a certain dogma underlying them. It is the dogma or philosophical principle which states that truth and power are identical; that which is powerful is true and that which is powerless is false. According to this dogma or philosophical principle (which has become that of modern technological science) power is the absolute criterium and supreme ideal of truth. Only that which is powerful is of the Divine.
Now there are open and secret worshippers of the idols of power. (for it is an idol and the source of all idolatry) – also in Christian factions or in religious and spiritual circles in general. I am not speaking about Christian or spiritually-minded princes or politicians who covet power, but rather about the adherents to doctrines advancing the primacy of power. Here there are two categories: those who aspire to the ideal of the ‘superman’, and those who believe in a God that is actually almighty and therefore responsible for all that happens.
They build their individual towers of Babel, and experience, sooner or later, a salutary fall…They do not fall from a real height into a real abyss; it is only from an imaginary height that they fall and they fall only to the ground, ie, they learn the lesson that we human beings of today have all learned or have still to learn.
Unknown Author, Meditations on the Tarot, Letter IV, The Emperor