Author: D. Jason Cooper
Publisher: Weiser Books
Release Date: 1996-06-01
Genre: Body, Mind & Spirit
Known as Mitra to the Indians, Mithra and Zarathustra (Zoroaster in Greek) to the Iranians, and Mithras to the Romans, this is the oldest of all living deities. Mithras was recognized as the greatest rival of Christianity, a greater threat even than the religion of Isis. If Rome had not become Christian, it would have become Mithrasian. Mithraisians had a sacrament that included wine as a symbol of sacrificial blood. Bread in wafers, or small loaves marked with a cross, was used to symbolize flesh. The priestly symbols were a staff, a ring, a hat, and a hooked sword; members were called brothers, and priests were called "Father." Mithras was born on December 25th. He offered salvation based on faith, compassion, knowledge, and valor. He appealed to the poor, the slave and the freeman, as well as to the Roman aristocracy, the militia, and even to some emperors. The Christians sacked his temples, burned his books, and attacked his followers; they desecrated his temples, and built their own churches on the same foundations as the old Mithraic temples. Cooper examines Mithras and his religion in the most complete study ever done. He explores the various forms of this god--worshiped from Lisbon to modrn Bangladesh, from the Scottish border to the Russian Steppes--and investigates the worship. This is an exciting journey into living mythology, the history of a living god, and will fascinate modern Western readers who want to know more about the spiritual path--whether they want to better understand contemporary Christianity, the basis of many contemporary ideaologies, mythology, or the Western Mystery Tradition.
Author: Roger Beck
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
Release Date: 2006-01-12
A study of the religious system of Mithraism, one of the 'mystery cults' popular in the Roman Empire contemporary with early Christianity. Mithraism is described from the point of view of the initiate engaging with its rich repertoire of symbols and practices.
Author: Giorgio De Santillana
Publisher: David R. Godine Publisher
Release Date: 1977-01
Ever since the Greeks coined the language we commonly use for scientific description, mythology and science have developed separately. But what came before the Greeks? What if we could prove that all myths have one common origin in a celestial cosmology? What if the gods, the places they lived, and what they did are but ciphers for celestial activity, a language for the perpetuation of complex astronomical data? Drawing on scientific data, historical and literary sources, the authors argue that our myths are the remains of a preliterate astronomy, an exacting science whose power and accuracy were suppressed and then forgotten by an emergent Greco-Roman world view. This fascinating book throws into doubt the self-congratulatory assumptions of Western science about the unfolding development and transmission of knowledge. This is a truly seminal and original thesis, a book that should be read by anyone interested in science, myth, and the interactions between the two.
Author: Philippa Adrych
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2017-03-23
With a history of use extending back to Vedic texts of the second millennium BC, derivations of the name Mithra appear in the Roman Empire, across Sasanian Persia, and in the Kushan Empire of southern Afghanistan and northern India during the first millennium AD. Even today, this name has a place in Yazidi and Zoroastrian religion. But what connection have Mihr in Persia, Miiro in Kushan Bactria, and Mithras in the Roman Empire to one another? Over the course of the volume, specialists in the material culture of these diverse regions explore appearances of the name Mithra from six distinct locations in antiquity. In a subversion of the usual historical process, the authors begin not from an assessment of texts, but by placing images of Mithra at the heart of their analysis. Careful consideration of each example's own context, situating it in the broader scheme of religious traditions and on-going cultural interactions, is key to this discussion. Such an approach opens up a host of potential comparisons and interpretations that are often side-lined in historical accounts. What Images of Mithra offers is a fresh approach to the ways in which gods were labelled and depicted in the ancient world. Through an emphasis on material culture, a more nuanced understanding of the processes of religious formation is proposed in what is but the first part of the Visual Conversations series.
DIVDIVThis fascinating book explores the evolution of religious dualism, the doctrine that man and cosmos are constant battlegrounds between forces of good and evil. It traces this evolution from late Egyptian religion and the revelations of Zoroaster and the Orphics in antiquity through the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Mithraic Mysteries, and the great Gnostic teachers to its revival in medieval Europe with the suppression of the Bogomils and the Cathars, heirs to the age-long teachings of dualism. Integrating political, cultural, and religious history, Yuri Stoyanov illuminates the dualist religious systems, recreating in vivid detail the diverse worlds of their striking ideas and beliefs, their convoluted mythologies and symbolism. Reviews of an earlier edition: “A book of prime importance for anyone interested in the history of religious dualism. The author’s knowledge of relevant original sources is remarkable; and he has distilled them into a convincing and very readable whole.”—Sir Steven Runciman “The most fascinating historical detective story since Steven Runciman’s Sicilian Vespers.”—Colin Wilson “A splendid account of the decline of the dualist tradition in the East . . . both strong and accessible. . . . The most readable account of Balkan heresy ever.”—Jeffrey B. Russell, Journal of Religion “Well-written, fact-filled, and fascinating . . . has in it the making of a classic.” —Harry T. Norris, Bulletin of SOAS/div/div
Author: Walter Friedrich Otto
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Release Date: 1965
ÒThis study of Dionysus . . . is also a new theogony of Early Greece.Ó ÑPublishers Weekly ÒAn original analysis . . . of the spiritual significance of the Greek myth and cult of Dionysus.Ó ÑTheology Digest ÒWho is Dionysus? The god of ecstasy and terror, of wildness and of the most blessed deliveranceÑthe mad god whose appearance sends mankind into madness. . . .Ó In this classic study of the myth and cult of Dionysus, Walter F. Otto recreates the theological world of ancient Greek religion. Otto's provocative starting point is to accept the immanent reality of the gods. To understand the cult of Dionysus, it is necessary to reimagine the original vision of the god. Otto challenges us to understand the power of this vision not as a bloodless abstraction but as a force animating belief, to see the myth and art of Dionysus as a passionate search to regain the power of the lost god.
Author: Walter Burkert
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Release Date: 1987
The foremost historian of Greek religion provides the first comprehensive, comparative study of a little-known aspect of ancient religious beliefs and practices. Secret mystery cults flourished within the larger culture of the public religion of Greece and Rome for roughly a thousand years. This book is neither a history nor a survey but a comparative phenomenology. Concentrating on five major cults. In defining the mysteries and describing their rituals, membership, organization, and dissemination, Walter Burkert displays the remarkable erudition we have come to expect of him; he also shows sensitivity and sympathy in interpreting the experiences and motivations of the devotees.
Author: Nigel Jackson
Publisher: Capall Bann Pub
Release Date: 2000
Genre: Body, Mind & Spirit
At the secret heart of the Western Mystery Tradition lies the angelic wisdom that forms the teachings of true magick. Drawing from a wide range of sources, this book presents a new and unique overview of Western magick and occultism, exploring how this secret tradition has been inherited from Persian, Chaldean, Canaanite, Egyptian, Arabic, Hebrew and Greco-Roman sources. It also records how this tradition was preserved in the symbols and beliefs of Esoteric Christianity, Gnosticism, Hermiticism, alchemy, medieval magick, the Cabbala, the Tarot, the Grail mythos, the Arthurian legends, Freemasonry, Rosicrucianism and some forms of traditional witchcraft. Topics include the origins of angelology; the gnostic myth of the Grigori or fallen angels; the forgotten civilisations of the giant races; the esoteric symbols within Hermeticism and Masonry that reveal the key to understanding the mythic theme of the Luciferian gnosis; the inner mysteries of the Grail; King Solomon's temple as a Goddess shrine; the real identity of the Queen of Sheba; the truth behind the myth of the Garden of Eden and the Fall; the place of the dark moon goddess Lilith in the Luciferian tradition; the symbolism and meaning of the previously forbidden Luciferian occult tradition concerning the Watchers, or fallen angels, and the so-called Prince of Darkness' - revealed to be really the Lord of Light; arcane lore that illuminates several mysterious figures in the Bible whose real significance and identities have been hidden from us for centuries; the real occult secrets of the sacred bloodline of Jesus and Mary Magdalene and the spiritual reality behind the worship of the goat-god Baphomet by the heretical Knights Templar. This is a major work on a subject little known or discussed outside the inner circles of secret societies, occult orders and traditional witch covens. As we enter the 21st century, the information here may prove essential to understanding what is happening in the world today and the future destiny of the human race. It reveals that our modern civilisation is not the product of haphazard cultural phenomena, but its development has been guided and influenced by celestial intelligences who first made contact with humans in prehistory. These teaching angels', as they are called, are still there ready to teach and guide those who recognise their presence. This book contains several appendices that offer ritual practices for those interested in contacting the angelic forces. This is the first book to be written exclusively on the Luciferian gnosis and angelic magick which reveals the real secrets within the Western magical tradition. It provides an important and essential starting point for the reader to delve further into the numinous realm of the angels. The voice of the angels shalt speak unto you and by their signs shall ye know them.
The final book of the Bible, Revelation prophesies the ultimate judgement of mankind in a series of allegorical visions, grisly images and numerological predictions. According to these, empires will fall, the "Beast" will be destroyed and Christ will rule a new Jerusalem. With an introduction by Will Self.