Tag Archive: mithra


Goddess Bamya

“Bamya’s themes are victory, banishing, protection and overcoming. Her symbols are light and fire.  In Zoroastrian tradition, this Goddess guides the sun god Mithra’s vehicle through the sky. More important, as the Goddess of twilight, Her presence signals the beginning of today’s festival, Sada.

As the sun sets in Iran today, a huge bonfire will be ignited near a water source to symbolize the power of light to overcome darkness and the power of good over evil. For us this means accepting our power and potential to overcome and obstacles that life may bring in any season.

Too often our lives seem overwhelmed with obligations, and we find ourselves feeling lost in the seething sea of humanity. Bamya’s counsel today is to learn how to swim in that sea by recognizing the ability of one person to truly make a difference – be it within yourself, in the life of another, in a specific situation, or in the world.

At sunset today, light an orange candle (or another one the color of twilight) and greet Bamya with a prayer like this:

“Lady of the gentle twilight, I welcome you
As the sun sets on this day
let things from the past
that I no longer need
also fade away
Teach me to leave them behind
as easily as you leave behind the daylight
As darkness falls
grant rest to my unsettled spirit
so that I can rise tomorrow
renewed and whole
Bamya be with me.
Amen.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

The few sites that I found that mentioned Bamya pretty much stated the same thing: “In Zoroastrian tradition, this Goddess guides the sun god Mithra’s vehicle through the sky. Also the Goddess of twilight.” [1]

In the The Complete Book of Muslim and Parsi Names, it states “Bāmyā: (Av) 1. shining; radiant; repsplendent. 3. deity of dawn who guides the vehicle of Mithra; epithet of the Fravashis.” [2]  Also in this book, under Hvare, it states: Hvare: (Av) 1. sun. 3. deity of the sun who is considered fairest of Mazda‘s creations and is considered to purify the earth and all things therein.  He is distinguished for powers of observation.  His chariot is drawn by Bamya.” [3]  Neither one of these entries mention whether this deity is male or female.

"Ushas" by Lisa Hunt

“Ushas” by Lisa Hunt

From the book Spiritual Body, Celestial Earth from Mazdean Iran to Shi’ite Iran, I found this entry: Siroza…Here we might mention other figures of ‘feminine Angels,’ in connection with Daena and Ashi Vanuhi;…Bamya (beaming, radiant), who drives the chariot of Mithra and the third night after death appears to the sacred soul when Mithra climbs the mountain; in Manicheism, She becomes the ‘Friend of Light’, Ushah, who bears the very name dawn; Ushahina, the special Angel of the hours between midnight and the moment the stars become visible” (Corbin, p. 280).

Sources:

Corbin, Henry. Spiritual Body, Celestial Earth from Mazdean Iran to Shi’ite Iran.

Gandhi, Maneka & Ozair Husain. The Complete Book of Muslim and Parsi Names, “Bāmyā“.

Gandhi, Maneka & Ozair Husain. The Complete Book of Muslim and Parsi Names, “Hvare“.

Levigilant.com, Gods List B., “Bamya“.

Suggested Links:

Bharucha, Ervad Sheriarji Dadabhai. A Brief Sketch of the Zoroastrian religion & customs, (p.xxxvii).

Hurst, George Leopold. Sacred Literature, (p. 85).

Iranpoliticsclub.net, “Persian Mythology, Gods and Goddesses“.

West, M.L. Indo-European Poetry and Myth, (p. 129).

Goddess Axtis

art by Hojatollah Shakiba ?

“Axtis’ themes are peace, justice and victory. Her symbols are white items, peace signs, charms and tokens. This Iranian Goddess’s name means ‘victorious peace’ – peace with ourselves, each other, and the world. The victory here comes from finding the right opportunity to create symmetry where only discord once dwelled.

Celebrated by Church Women United, World Community Day encourages world peace and justice through proactive community service. Axtis’s spirit permeates this festival and provides heartfelt comfort before winter moves into full swing.

To honor this idea and Axtis, do something in your area to likewise engender harmony. Help two warring neighbors take the first step toward understanding. Get involved in a community campaign to improve local laws so they’re equitable. Make a donation to any organization dedicated to fostering international peace.  Meditate to find Axtis’s peace within yourself; then extend that power outward to transform everything and everyone you touch.

Wear white today (the color of truce) and carry an amethyst, carnelian, or sodalite stone with you to generate harmony wherever you go. Keep your words serene today (try to keep your cool no matter what). This extends Axtis’s gentle nature to others. You’ll be surprised at how potent quiet discourse can be.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

I could find nothing on this Goddess under this name; so, I wondered if She was a Zoroastrian deity, Amesha Spenta or angel under a different variant or spelling.  I checked a list of Yazatas and found one possible match: “Akhshti [pronounced Ak-hesh-tee]: Yazad personifying peace”. [1]  In a book entitled Zoroastrian Theology: From the Earliest Times to the Present Day, it states that Akhshti was the angel of peace.  “This female divinity is peace personified, but even though perfectly clearly recognizable as such, She is very obscurely outlined as to traits.  She is invoked in company with Vohu Manah, or Good Mind, for nothing can break the inner peace in which the spirit of a man of good thoughts reposes.  Akhshti is usually called victorious [Bam!  There it is – “victorious peace”].

The term ākhshti occurs also as a common noun.  This peace as well as war lies in the power of Mithra to bring upon the country.  The rules invoke Chisti to procure peace for their countries, and the faithful pray that peace and concord may drive out discord and strife from their abodes” (Dhalla, p. 115).

 

 

Sources:

Avesta.org, “Angels in Zoroastrianism – List of Yazatas: Akhshti”.

Dhalla, Maneckji Nusservanji. Zoroastrian Theology: From the Earliest Times to the Present Day, “Akhshti“.

 

Suggested Links:

Apranik. Apranik.blogspot.com, “Women of Persia: Zoroastrianism“.

Bashiri, Iraj. From the Hymns of Zarathustra to the Songs of Borbad (p.11). (PDF file )

Jackson, A. V. Williams. Zoroastrian Studies: The Iranian Religion and Various Monographs, “The Host of Heaven” (p. 63).

Logicalzoroastrianism.blogspot.com, “What’s in a Word?

Nabarz, Payam. Iranian.com, “Persian Angels and Demons“.

Wikipedia, “Yazata“.

Goddess Tauropolos

"TAURUS" by ShellyeSR

“Tauropolos’ themes are work, patience, strength, and courage.  Her symbol is the bull.  No Goddess could better represent this date other than Tauropolos, the Cretan bull Goddess whose name literally means ‘Bull Lady’ (and that’s no bull!). Teaching us the virtues of diligence and the rewards of hard work, Tauropolos also has a strong connection to the fields (the plough) and the hearth, where food from the fields gets prepared.

The Cretans were all known for having bull-leaping festivals that honored this Goddess, probably as a fertility rite and test of one’s bravery. Oddly enough, this is how we come by the saying ‘seize the bull by the horns!’.

So, if there’s an area of your life in which you want to really seize the day, try this symbolic spell. Find and image of a bull (in a magazine, carved out of stone, or in some other form). Put it on the floor, and put a symbol of your aspiration on the side of the image across from you. Say:

‘Tauropolos, prepare the fields for success
Help me now to do my best.’

Leap over the image and claim victory!

If you can’t find bull images, any harvested item may represent Tauropolos instead. If you choose this option, be sure to consume the food later. This way you can internalize this Goddess’s tenacity, persistence and fortitude, then apply them toward successfully achieving your goals.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“Tauropolos, known as Artemis Tauropolos,  is “an epithet for the Goddess Artemis, variously interpreted as worshipped at Tauris, or pulled by a yoke of bulls, or hunting bull Goddess. A statue of Artemis “Tauropolos” in Her temple at Brauron in Attica was supposed to have been brought from the Taurians by Iphigenia. Tauropolia was also a festival of Artemis in Athens.

There was a Tauropolion, a temple in a temenos sacred to Artemis Tauropolos, in the north Aegean island of Doliche (now Ikaria).” [1]

"Taurus" by faerieofskye

This very interesting piece entitled, “Artemis 0f the Bulls” by Carla Osborne describes the importance of bulls in ancient Greek religion, particularly in Crete and how they played a part in the worship of Mithras. “Artemis and Goddesses similar to Her were also closely connected to the bull and cow, sacred from Neolithic times. The head and horns of a bull resemble the uterus and ovaries of a woman, and the cow produced milk for people as well as her young. Both could provide meat, leather for clothing and footwear, horns for musical instruments, and so on. These connections had persisted on Crete more  than elsewhere in Southern Greece, where they were connected to Britomartis instead.

The bull’s head was clearly connected to rebirth and new life. The butterfly, one of the symbolic carriers of human souls in the cycle of rebirth. Hence the association between the bull’s head, butterfly and double ax. The bull and double ax became especially connected to Artemis. The ceremony of blood baptism was used in Her worship, later taken as a sacrament by the worshippers of Mithras.

Atia undergoing the taurobolium from HBO/BBC's series "Rome"

The ceremony used by those worshippers may not have been identical to that of Tauropolos, however. Worshippers of Mithras stood beneath a grating, and were drenched with bull’s blood as its throat was cut above it. According to Greek writers, priestesses of Tauropolos were the only ones able to drink bull’s blood and survive, implying a strong taboo due to its sacred nature. They were also known to sometimes sacrifice gelded horses.

Baptism does not need more than a few drops of a liquid for sprinkling, as can be seen in present day Christian ceremionies. The religion around Mithras was created for professional soldiers, men who faced bloody death each day, an entirely different life pattern from most worshippers of Tauropolos.

On Bronze Age Crete, the Goddess of the Sun (Alectrona perhaps) was the one to whom bulls were sacred. The bull game of Crete was called the taurokathapsia, ‘purifying bull dance.’ This was not a bullfight, but a test  of bravery and skill, in which young women and men ran at the bull, grasped its horns, and somersaulted over its back. While Tauropolos does mean bullslayer, this refers to the sacrifice of bulls, not the process of infuriating and tormenting a large bull prior to killing it through loss of blood and repeated sword thrusts.

Sacrifice often involved beheading the bull and leaving its head in the temple, where the skull was used in sacred decoration. The meat was returned to the family who provided the bull, or if community sacrifice, was shared in a feast. No evidence exists of a human sacrifice in the Neolithic, the time these ceremonies derive from, or any such sacrifices later in this context.

The story of the island of Taurus, with its homicidal priestess of Artemis Iphigeneia is probably a demonization of other religious practises. Bull heads were mounted on the walls of many temples, from Catal Huyuk to Crete. The practice of embalming and displaying the heads of honored ancestors may also be the original action. It was meant to allow the ancestors to be part of the family, still remembered and respected, who in turn contributed wisdom and protection.

So Iphigeneia, whose name is also a title of Artemis, is a mortuary priestess like Kirke and Calypso.  Men in Attica could dedicate themselves to Artemis Tauropolos by undergoing a mock beheading ceremony in which a few drops of blood were drawn from his neck with a labrys. Its descendant is the English Knighting ceremony.” [2]

 

 

Sources:

Osborne, Carla.  The New AmazoNation, “Different Aspects of Artemis“.

Wikipedia, “Artemis Tauropolos

Goddess Anahita

“Ishtar” by Lisa Iris

“Anahita’s themes are spring, relationships, equality, fertility and sexuality.  Her symbols are green branches and water.  This Babylon Goddess of fertility embraces the attributes of fruitful, warm waters that flow from the celestial realms into our lives, especially as the earth is renewed. Her name translates as ‘humid immaculate one’, and art shows Her a a strong maiden who creates life and pours blessings. During the height of Babylonian civilization, She was also the patroness of civic prostitutes.

Sacaea – this day marked the Babylonian new year, during which time heaven and earth were considered married. Therefore, this is an excellent date to plan a wedding, hand fasting, or engagement, or just to spend time with someone you hold dear. Bring them a small green branch from a tree to extend Anahita’s love and equality into your relationship.

Traditional roles are often reversed today to emphasize fairness between people. So, if you’re normally passive in your interactions, become a little more aggressive. As you do, feel how Anahita’s passion and energy flow through you.

To increase passion or sexual confidence, take a warm bath before meeting your partner. Perhaps add some lusty aromatics to the water (cinnamon, vanilla, mint or violet) to put you in the right fame of mind. Let Anahita’s waters stimulate your skin and your interest, then enjoy!”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“Anahita” by Vaezi

One of the earliest of the Great Mothers, Anahita was the ancient Persian Goddess of water, fertility, and patroness of women, as well as a Goddess of war.  She embodied the physical and metaphorical qualities of water, especially the fertilizing flow of water from the fountain in the stars; thus She ruled over all the waters – rivers, streams, lakes, and the sea, as well as the life-giving fluids of mankind, such as semen and mother’s milk. Rivers and lakes were sacred to Her, as they were thought to be the waters of birth. She is depicted as a beautiful young virgin with full breasts. She is dressed in golden robes complete with jewels and a halo crown or diamond tiara, sometimes carrying a water pitcher. Her name means “the immaculate one” and She was viewed as the “Golden Mother” and also as a warrior maiden. The dove and the peacock are Her sacred animals. Anahita is sometimes regarded as the consort of Mithra.

 Anahita She was very popular and is one of the forms of the ‘Great Goddess’ which appears in many ancient eastern religions (such as the Syrian/Phoenician Goddess Anath).  She originated in Babylon and spread throughout Asia Minor, India and to Kemet (ancient Egypt), where She was depicted as an armed and mounted Goddess. The Greeks associated Anahita with Athena, Aphrodite and even Artemis.

In the Middle East, She was associated with Anat. Worship of Anahita spread to Armenia, Persia, and various parts of western Asia. Zoroaster was specifically commanded by his male god to honor Her. When Persia conquered Babylonia (in the 6th century BCE), Anahita began to show some similarities with the Goddess Ishtar. She was identified with the planet Venus, showing how She was possibly descended from Ishtar, the chief Goddess of the region in the pre-lndo-European era. Anahita was also the patroness of women and the Goddess of war who rides in a chariot drawn by four white horses representing wind, rain, clouds, and hail.

Statue of Anahita riding a chariot in Fouman-Gilan, Iran. Chariots figure prominently in Indo-Iranian mythology. Chariots are also important in Hindu and Persion mythologies, in which deities are portrayed as charioteers.

Her cult included the practice of temple prostitution. During the reign of King Artaxerxes (436-358 BCE) many temples were erected in Her honor; in Soesa, Ecbatana, and in Babylon.  Ritual prostitution occurred in Her temples in order to “purify the seed of males and the womb and milk of females,” according to Strabo. Armenians called out to Anahita “Great Lady Anahita, glory and life-giver of our nation, mother of sobriety, and benefactor of humanity.”

“Anahita” by Trashcn

Along with Mithra and Verethragna,  She lost much of Her power during Zoroastrian period but She did not completely disappear.  She became known as an important Yazata (‘adorable ones’, a created spiritual being, worthy of being honored or praised; ever trying to help people, and protect us from evil), Aredvi Sura Anahitaliterally meaning ‘strong, immaculate Anahita’, female Yazad personifying water; also known as Aban Yazad. She resides in the starry regions. Her hymn is preserved in Yasht 5.

 

 

 

Sources:

Avesta — Zoroastrian Archives, “Angels in Zoroastrianism“.

Langdon, S. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, January 1924, Vol. 56, Issue 01, “The Babylonian and Persian Sacaea1

Lindemans, Micha F. Encyclopedia Mythica, “Anahita“.

Milo. TeenWitch.com, “Anaitis Anahita“.

Wikipedia, “Anahita“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Enkidu, Leah. Shrine, “Return of the Holy Prostitute“.

Iranpoliticsclub.net, “Persian Mythology, Gods and Goddesses“.


crdmwritingroad

Coralie Raia's Writing Road Blog

Moody Moons

A Celebration of the Seasons & the Spirit

Nicole Evelina - USA Today Bestselling Author

Stories of Strong Women from History and Today

Eternal Haunted Summer

pagan songs & tales

Whispers of Yggdrasil

A personal journal to share my artistic works, to write about Norse shamanism and traditional paganism, European History, Archaeology, Runes, Working with the Gods and my personal experiences in Norse shamanic practices.

Sleeping Bee Studio

Art, Design, Batik & Murals

Pagan at Heart

At peace with myself and the world... or at least headed that way

McGlaun Massage Therapy, LLC

Real Healing for the Real You

TheVikingQueen

A modern Viking Blog written by an ancient soul

The World According to Hazey

I'm not good, I'm not nice, I'm just right. I'm the Witch. You're the world.

Migdalit Or

Veils and Shadows

Of Axe and Plough

Anglo-Saxon Heathenry and Roman Polytheism

Walking the Druid Path

Just another WordPress.com site

body divine yoga

unlock your kundalini power, ignite your third eye, awaken your inner oracle

Joyous Woman! with Sukhvinder Sircar

Leadership of the Divine Feminine

The Raven's Knoll Quork

Spirituality - Nature - Community - Sacred Spaces - Celebration

Journeying to the Goddess

Journey with me as I research, rediscover and explore the Goddess in Her many aspects, forms and guises...

witchery

trapped in the broom closet

Rune Wisdom

Ancient Sacred Knowledge-Daily Wisdom Practices: A place to explore Runic relevance in today's world.

Sarenth Odinsson's Blog

Exploring Myself and the Northern Shaman Path

Stone of Destiny

Musings of a Polytheistic Nature

1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

Adventures in Vanaheim

Musings on Vanic Paganism (and life in general) from a lesbian feminist geek

Flame in Bloom

Dancing for Freyja

Golden Trail

A wayfarer's path

The Druid's Well

Falling in Love with the Whole World

Georgia Heathen Society's Blog

Heathen's in Georgia

Mystic Fire Blog

A Spiritual Blog by Dipali Desai. Awaken to your true nature.

art and healing Blog

Art heals yourself, others, community and the earth

My Moonlit Path.....

The Story of My Everyday Life.....

Raising Natural Kids

Because knowledge is the key to making informed decisions for your family.

Her Breath

Fused with the Fire of Inspiration

Philip Carr-Gomm

Philip Carr Gomm

Works of Literata

The art of living with a broken heart.

The Northern Grove

Celebrating Pagan History and Culture of Northern Europe

The Belle Jar

"Let me live, love and say it well in good sentences." - Sylvia Plath

The Witch of Forest Grove

Animism, Folk Magic, and Spirit Work in the Pacific Northwest

WoodsPriestess

Exploring the intersection between Nature, the Goddess, art, and poetry as well as the practical work of priestessing.