(Easter Essay 2) The Secret of the Sacred Garden: The Garden of Eden and the Orchard of the Virgin by Harita Meenee

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Ishtar/Inanna, winged and wearing a horned cap or tiara of divinity. Detail of an ancient Mesopotamian vase from Larsa, early 2nd millennium BC. © Marie-Lan Nguyen / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY 2.5 Ishtar/Inanna, winged and wearing a horned cap or tiara of divinity. Detail of an ancient Mesopotamian vase from Larsa, early 2nd millennium BC. © Marie-Lan Nguyen / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY 2.5

To trace the connection between the gardens of Aphrodite and Adonis on the one hand and the garden of the Resurrection on the other, we have to examine if the cult of Adonis was ever prevalent in Palestine. Although he is known as a Hellenic deity, it seems that his worship was imported to Greece in the 7th c. BCE from the Middle East. His name is linked to the Semitic Adon, which means “Lord.” In some ways he is similar to Tammuz (or Dumuzi), honored by women from Mesopotamia to Syro-Palestine, across languages and cultures. As Reed points out, the Greek celebrants of the Adonia “had their counterparts in the women of Jerusalem weeping for…

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