The Mysteries of Mithraspresents a revival of the magical practices and initiatory system of Mithraism, the ancient Roman mystery religion that was immensely popular in the Roman Legions from the late second century B.C. until A.D. 400 and was taken to every corner of the Roman Empire. As the last pagan state religion in Europe, it was the most important competitor to early Christianity and heavily influenced Christian doctrine and symbolism. The parallels between Christianity and ancient Mithraism are striking--for example, the god Mithra was born of a virgin in a cave on December 25. Payam Nabarz reveals the history, origins, and spiritual and philosophical tenets of Mithraism and its connections to Christianity, Islam, and Freemasonry. He also describes the modern neo-pagan practice of Mithraism in evidence today and for readers who wish to adopt the Mithraic path, he includes seven of its initiatory rituals and meditations, as well as orations and teaching tales, that open the door to the seven Mithraic grades of passage.
Payam Nabarz, a Persian-born Sufi and practicing Dervish, holds a Ph.D. from Oxford University and is carrying out postdoctoral research there on genetics and cancer. He is a Druid in the Grove of the Order of the Bards, Ovates, and Druids; a member of the Golden Dawn Occult Society; and a revivalist of the Temple of Mithras. He lives in England.
Acknowledgments Foreword by Caitlin Matthews Chapter 1: An Introduction to the Mithraic Mysteries The Persian Mithra The Roman Mithras The Revival of Mithras in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries Chapter 2: Mithraic Iconography Birth of the Roman Mithras Mithras the Hunter The Tauroctony Sol and Sol Invictus The Miracle of the Rock The Sacred Meal The Ascension Leontocephaline (Lion-Headed One) Chapter 3: The Seven Initiatory Rites of Mithras The Rites Sufi Interpretation of the Seven Rites The Women's Grade Chapter 4: Echoes of Mithraism around the World The Echo of Mithraism in Christianity Mithras as Liberator Echoes of Mithraism in the Yezidis and the Peacock Angel Mithras in Britain Chapter 5: Simorgh--A Mithraic Fairy Tale Simorgh--An Old Persian Fairy Tale Symbolism of the Simorgh Tale Chapter 6: The Mithraic Liturgy Preparation for Performing the Mithraic Liturgy The Ritual Chapter 7: The Goddess Anahita Chapter 8: Meditations and Initiations I. Corax Meditation and Initiation II. Nymphus Meditation and Initiation III. Miles Meditation and Initiation IV. Leo Meditation and Initiation V. Perses Meditation and Initiation VI. Heliodromus Meditation and Initiation VII. Pater Meditation and Initiation Chapter 9: The Four Stations of Mithra Yule--Birth of the Sun Spring Equinox--Nou Roz Summer Solstice--Tir Autumn Equinox--Festival of Mithra Epilogue Appendix A: Zoroastrian Hymn to Mithra (Mehr Yasht 10) Appendix B: Zoroastrian Hymn to Anahita (Aban Yasht 5) Notes Bibliography Further Reading Mithraic Groups and Internet Resources Index