Posted on: July 4, 2012 at 14:40:20 CT
Pagan water purification rituals were used in the archaic Near East and are written about in the Old Testament. Homer mentions the washing of hands before prayer, and the purification of an entire army with water [Iliad, 1.313].
The Greeks even has priests, kathartai, who specialized in purification with water. After the conspiracy of Cylon in Athens in 632 BC, a fellow named Epimenides of Crete purified the entire city -- with water [Diogines Laertius 1.10.3].
Mithra's followers celebrated the sacrament of taurobolium -- baptism in the blood of a bull, with the result of "Salvation." Pagans at Gerasa celebrated the Maioumas, rites in which women bathed and were purified in a sacred pool outside town.
New members into the Mysteries of Isis / Osiris began their initiation with a sprinkling of purifying waters brought from the Nile. The result of the baptism and initiation? Salvation