and mother, Semiramis, is said to have landed in the Euphrates in an egg that was said to have been ovulated by the moon. Semiramis took the name Ishtar as she implemented the traditions of Babylonian sun god worship.
Babylonian Tammuz worshipers believed that Ishtar who was also called “the Queen of Heaven” had turned a bird into an egg laying rabbit to prove her divinity. The traditions that Semiramis promulgated deified herself as Ishtar along with Nimrod (her 1st husband) as the son god, and Tammuz (her son and second husband) as the reincarnation of the sun god. Ishtar became the Babylonian fertility goddess.
Ishtar Sunday was characterized by drunken orgies. Temple virgins were impregnated during these orgies and the three month old babies of the previous year’s orgy were sacrificed to the sun god on Ishtar
Sunday. Eggs were dipped in the blood of those infants and distributed to Tammuz worshipers in remembrance of Ishtar’s egg that brought her from the moon to the Euphrates. To this day, the Eastern Orthodox Church distributes eggs that are died blood red on Easter (Ishtar) Sunday. Rabbits were also part of the symbolism of Ishtar Sunday, because Tammuz liked them and because Ishtar was said to have turned a bird into an egg laying rabbit to prove her divinity.
A forty day fast of weeping for Tammuz preceded Ishtar Sunday - one day of weeping for each of the forty years Tammuz lived before being killed by a wild boar. Semiramis ordered that ham should be eaten on Ishtar Sunday in remembrance of this fact. According to Semiramis, Tammuz was reunited with his father the sun god and both are present in the flame when a lamp was burned in their honor. Tammuz was born on December 25 which on the calendar used at the time was the winter solstice. His birth was celebrated yearly on that date. According to Semiramis a drop of Tammuz’s blood fell on the stump of an evergreen tree and caused it to regenerate into a full grown tree over night. For this reason, evergreens are sacred to Tammuz worshipers. It was the tradition of Tammuz worshipers to hold evergreen branches to their nose in remembrance of the death of Tammuz. In my next post, I will examine what Yahveh told Ezekiel regarding Tammuz worship.