Erich Neumann writes that Kore herself is transformed as well as her childbearing for "the son is a very special son, namely the luminous son, the "divine child." Neumann compares this son to "Agni, the Indian fire god,... 'he who swells the mother (the fire board),' and everywhere the meaning of light and fire is attributed to the divine son, down to Christ who says: 'He that is near me is near the fire,' and 'Cleave the wood and I am there.'"4
Many specific caves and sites in Crete are identified as the birthplace of Zeus or it is told sometimes that he was born on the open mountainside. Apollo and Artemis were born in an open field because Hera, in of her jealousy, sent Leto, their mother wandering. No one dared give her rest or haven until Poseidon chained an island for her and there the delivery of the twins took place. In one version of the myth, Artemis was born first and assisted her mother with the delivery of the second twin, hence the association of Artemis with childbirth and the natural world of animals.
In the Mithraic tradition, Mithras, the savior was born from the earth as shown in a number of Roman reliefs (Figures 13 and 14). His birth from rock and stone was celebrated in Rome on December 25 as genitor luminis, petra genetrix, i.e., the spark which comes from the stone when struck, a precursor of the stone as the prima materium, the philosopher's stone which is the beginning of the alchemical process and the culmination of the "work."
|[aras-image:3Sb.021,,10,,,Figure 13 Mithras emerging from "Generative Rock".]
|[aras-image:3Sb.008,,10,,,Figure 14 Birth of Mithra from a rock.]