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The Mysteries of Mithras: The Pagan Belief That Shaped the Christian World Paperback – 9 Jun 2005
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"For those interested in paganism, Witchcraft, the supernatural, and Wicca, among other topics, this book offers some keen insights into a very old religion that Christianity was able to eventually subdue, absorb, and eliminate as competition. . . . A fine book, one you will enjoy and one you will be talking about with friends." (Lee Prosser, Ghostvillage.com, Oct 7, 2005)
"In his breakdown on the Mithraic liturgies Doctor Nabarz has successfully researched the intricate levels of the ritual and also heroically deciphered the language of the aforementioned iconography of Mithras to give us a first class series of ceremonies. . . . Whether the reader is a historian or even a practitioner of esoteric studies, this well presented work is a joy to read. I am delighted it now lives on my shelves." (Professor Roland Rotherham, Touchstone Magazine, Nov 2005)
". . . brilliant and compelling . . . . A highly entertaining and informative read by a lucid writer. Highly recommended." (Prediction, Oct 2005)
"A refreshing study of an often-neglected subject. From the conventional to the controversial, the broad scope of this book and its valuable contribution to Sufi, Mithraic, and Zoroastrian studies attempts to get to the very heart of the matter." (Karen Ralls, author of The Templars and the Grail)
“. . . a book that is part history-primer, part practical guide ‘designed to help the spiritual seeker develop a deeper understanding of the Mithraic mysteries,’ and perform initiation rites and Mithraic liturgy.” (Publishers Weekly, July 2005)
From the Back Cover
RELIGION / PAGANISM "A refreshing study of an often-neglected subject. From the conventional to the controversial, the broad scope of this book and its valuable contribution to Sufi, Mithraic, and Zoro-astrian studies gets to the very heart of the matter." --Karen Ralls, Ph.D., author of The Templars and the Grail The Mysteries of Mithras presents 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 Mithras was born of a virgin in a cave on December 25. Payam Nabarz reveals the history, origins, and spiritual and philosophical tenets of Mithraism--the religion originated in Persia and spread west to Rome--and its connections to Christianity, Islam, and Freemasonry. He also describes the modern neo-pagan practice of Mithraism in evidence today. 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.See all Product description
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I think it worthwhile to point out what this book does not attempt: first the author emphatically states he is not confronting the contentious issue of how the Roman cult of Mithras originated: secondly there are only seven pages dealing with the effect of Mithras on shaping Christianity.
The author takes an even handed approach to everything, and includes the mythology of both the Indo/Iranian Mitra/Mithra and the Roman Mithras, the book includes poems and anthems from Zoroastrian sources, a Liturgy from 350CE, Simorgh a Mithraic fairy tale, meditations and initiations, and rituals to celebrate Yule, Ostara, Litha and Modron (to use their more familiar names).
This book will be invaluable to neo pagans wishing to explore Mithras, strengthened by the Persian authors Sufi (a Mithra based religion) beliefs, also he is a Druid in the Grove of the Bards, Ovates and Druids, A member of the Golden Dawn Occult Society and the revivalist Temple of Mithras.
There is very little known about the Roman Cult of Mithras but as the author recommends the best academic book on Mithras as "Roman Cult of Mithras" by Manfred Clauss it would indicate his outlook on Mithras represents current mainstream thinking.
The author is not a religious academic, but being a follower of a religion with a Mithraic basis, and speaking Farsi he is able to access a very wide range of information, and this is evident in the scope of the book.
Highly recommended, and if you can find an affordable copy of the Clauss book it would be an invaluable cross check to this book.
"The parallels between Christianity and ancient Mithraism are striking - for example, the god Mithras was born of a virgin in a cave on December 25"
Spot the deliberate mistake:
If we're talking about the Roman version. this mystery religion was a 2nd century creation so CANNOT have provided a basis for any part of Christianity. It must, if anything, have BORROWED details from Christian teaching (later Mithraism was indeed in strong direct contention with Christianity for some time until Constantine made Christianity the Roman state religion. An attempted revival by the Emperor Julian the Apostate (A.D. 360-363) was an unqualified failure.)
If we're talking about the original, Persian-based version of Mithraism then it should be noted that it was NOT an independent religion but was tied in to Zoroastrianism, and that we have very little authoritative information about it.
One of the things we do know is that the original Mithras was supposedly the twin brother of the god Ahura Mazda. I have yet to find anything in Christianity that suggests that Jesus te Christ had a twin brother - sounds like something dreamt up by Mel Brooks!
(Incidentally, there is no mention of the date of Christ's birthday in the Bible - and I must confess I didn;t know that December 25th was on any ancient Persian calendaar.
But in any case, it is widely acknowledged that the "Christian" church has borrowed such incidental details from a number of pagan sources. This hardly makes for a genuine, significant similarity between authentic Christianity and those other religions, however, starting with the fact that authentic (i.e. Bible-based)Christianity is not, and never has been, a "mystery religion".)
Mithraic Studies: Proceedings of the First International Congress of Mithraic Studies by John R. Hinnells (editor)
The Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries: Cosmology and Salvation in the Ancient World by David Ulansey
Planetary Gods and Planetary Orders in the Mysteries of Mithras by Roger Beck
The Personalities of Mithra in Archaeology and Literature by A.D. Bivar
The Roman Cult of Mithras: The God and His Mysteries by Manfred Klaus (translated by Richard Gordon)
This and his other titles together have proved invaluable in my studies of faith, new and old and this work has the interesting effect of showing the more unusual faiths in a credible light and the more mainstream as the 'heinz' variety that they truly are.
A must for Christian scholars and those who follow a more 'magical' path.
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