Mithra and the right handed handshake of the Gods (part 1)


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Mithra and the right handed handshake of the Gods (part 1)
by Nabarz
19-Dec-2011
 

(This is an excerpt from ‘Seething Cauldron: Essays on Zoroastrianism, Sufism, Freemasonry, Wicca, Druidry, and Thelema’. By Nabarz. ISBN: 978-0-9556858-4-2. Available on Amazon and http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/webofwyrd):

The debate about the origins of the Roman Mithras continues, and, while it is clear that the Roman Cult of Mithras was a syncretic religion using elements of Greek, Roman, and Persian cultures; it is less clear how influential different elements were in the production of the final Roman Cult. One aspect worth considering in the debate is the parallel between the act of the handshake, as seen in both the Persian Mithra and the Roman Mithras traditions. In modern times, shaking hands with the right hand is generally viewed as a sign of trust, as it shows no weapon is being held in the weapon bearing hand.

The oldest forms of handshakes were practiced by Babylonian Kings c. 1800 BCE, who had to ‘take the hands of Marduk’ before assuming the throne. According to Sir J. Frazer in The Golden Bough: ‘At Babylon, within historical times, the tenure of the Kingly office was in practice lifelong, yet in theory it would seem to have been merely annual. For every year at the festival of Zagmuk the king had to renew his power by seizing the hands of the image of Marduk in his great temple of Esagil at Babylon. Even when Babylon passed under the power of Assyria, the monarchs of that country were expected to legalise their claim to the throne every year by coming to Babylon and performing the ancient ceremony at the New Year festival.’[1]

The earliest mention of Mithra is on a 14th century BCE clay tablet, where he is the guarantor of an agreement between the Hittites and Mitanni. Mithra is the god of contracts and agreement, his name in Avestan means Treaty or Contract.

Antiochus I of Commagene, c.69 to c.31 BCE, on the Nemrud Dagh is shown shaking his right hand with Mithra’s right hand. Mithra has his radiant crown and his Phrygian looking cap and cloak on his shoulders. Mithra in his left hand holds the Barsom the sacred twigs, as he is described as doing in the Zoroastrian Avesta. This right handed hand-shake between the King and Mithra back in ca50 BCE might seem trivial at first, after all Antiochus I also shakes hands with other deities at Nemrud Dagh including Ahura Mazda as well as Mithra. However, Mithra means ‘contract’; he is the god of agreements and oaths, a point also mentioned by Professor Clauss: ‘Mithra was god of the oath, protector of oaths. He was god of good faith, of agreements, of loyalty. Plutarch has an anecdote of how the Great King reminded one of his servants that he had bound himself to loyalty by shaking hands and by swearing by Mithra: Tell me (the truth), keeping faith with the light of Mithra and the King’s right hand’ (Vit Alex 30.8). [3]

This relief from Taq-e Bostan near Kermanshah, Iran, showing the investiture scene of Ardashir II (379–383 CE) of the Sasanian Empire. In middle the king is being given the right to rule, the divine kingship by Ahura Mazda, who hands the diadem with his right hand to the king’s right hand. The two stand on a prostrate enemy. On the left is Mithra, wearing a crown of sun-rays, holding holy barsom twigs, and standing on a sacred lotus flower, he is also giving his blessings to his rule. One of duties of Mithra was to protect the Kingly Fortune or Divine Glory (khvarnah or Farr). The hymn to Mithra (Yasht 10) speaks of the divinity as the bestower of khvarnah.

The above examples show how in the ancient Middle Eastern Empires, the shaking of hands with the gods allowed the divine right of Kingship to be bestowed on the Kings by physical contact with a representation of the deity. This is a divine contract being formed when the handshake takes place, be it a peace treaty or the giving of the right to rule. The act transforms the person to stand in line with the Gods.

The divine handshake is taken from the Persian Mithra to the Roman Mithras; however, before examining this there are several other examples of right handed handshakes that need to be examined in part 2.

[1] http://www.sacred-texts.com/pag/frazer/gb02403.htm

[2] http://prophetess.lstc.edu/~rklein/images/shalthe3... reproduced here with kind permission of Prof Ralph W.Klein.

[3] Manfred Clauss, The Roman Cult of Mithras: The God and His Mysteries (Edinburgh, Scotland: Edinburgh University Press, 2000), p4.

[4] The Mysteries of Mithra, by Franz Cumont. New York: Dover, 1956. [Originally published in 1903 by Open Court Publishing, London.] Also available online: http://www.sacred-texts.com/cla/mom/

[5] The Mysteries of Mithra, by Franz Cumont. New York: Dover, 1956. [Originally published in 1903 by Open Court Publishing, London.]
[6] http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Taq-e_Bost... Photo by ‘Philippe Chavin’ reproduced here with his kind permission.


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alimostofi

Nabarz As I mentioned you

by alimostofi on

Nabarz

As I mentioned you referred to a translation of Avesta which in itself is a recording of an oral tradition. Ask any Mobed and not one of them, will give you the proper Astrological meanings. For example Voho Manah is Aquarius, or qualities associated with the planet Uranus and the 11th house. Now strip out the Astrology and you just get no real meaning. You Just get very plain statements. And that is why Avesta is not as rich as it could be. You have venerations for all the Astrological planets and signs and houses, but the essential constituents are missing.

So your links are irrelevant. What you need to do, is to understand Astrology and then see all this.

And finally, one day we will have a proper Avesta, with the correct text, that has not been tampered with.

Ali Mostofi

http://twitter.com/alimostofi

 


Nabarz

In the stars

by Nabarz on

 

 

Dear Ali,

Everything I have said I have tried to back up with primary or secondary
sources with weblinks or book details (copy and paste as you call it).
In debates its useful to provide sources so others can follow it up. So
far you have not provided any sources.

You say my comment about signs being linked to elements is "nonsense",
yet every correspondence table I have seen links the 12 signs to one of
the 4 elements.

e.g. look a the table and content on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astrological_sign

You know this, so another trap perhaps? otherwise you should  correct the wikipedia page.

If wikipedia is not a good source then, for a more academic reference on 12 signs and elements, please see

 

Prof. Roger Beck, A
Brief History of Ancient Astrology (Brief Histories of the Ancient World),
Blackwell
Publishing, 2006, pp60.

btw putting traps isn't nice, there is a saying in Persian 'nakan chah baray casey, aval khodat, dovom kasi'.

If you have website with your work on it, please share the link and I will read it.

As for "showing my true colours" well that should be obvious from my
style of  work! see: http://astore.amazon.co.uk/pan05-21  its pretty
clear what I am about ;-)  I am certainly not hiding my colours.

Anyway have a good Yalda. I will be lighting a bonfire tonight under the
night sky, eating watermellon, pomegranate etc, reading poems, and at
dawn will salute the sun.    

regards,

Nabarz


Nabarz

In the stars

by Nabarz on

Dear Ali,

Everything I have said I have tried to back up with primary or secondary sources with weblinks or book details (copy and paste as you call it). In debates its useful to provide sources so others can follow it up. So far you have not provided any sources.

You say my comment about signs being linked to elements is "nonsense", yet every correspondence table I have seen links the 12 signs to one of the 4 elements.

e.g. look a the table and content on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astrological_sign

You know this, so another trap perhaps? otherwise you should  correct the wikipedia page.

If wikipedia is not a good source then, for a more academic reference on 12 signs and elements, please see

 

Prof. Roger Beck, A
Brief History of Ancient Astrology (Brief Histories of the Ancient World),
Blackwell
Publishing, 2006, pp60.

btw putting traps isn't nice, there is a saying in Persian 'nakan chah baray casey, aval khodat, dovom kasi'.

If you have website with your work on it, please share the link and I will read it.

As for "showing my true colours" well that should be obvious from my style of  work! see: http://astore.amazon.co.uk/pan05-21  its pretty clear what I am about ;-)  I am certainly not hiding my colours.

Anyway have a good Yalda. I will be lighting a bonfire tonight under the night sky, eating watermellon, pomegranate etc, reading poems, and at dawn will salute the sun.    

regards,

Nabarz


alimostofi

Well let me tell you how

by alimostofi on

Well let me tell you how rediculous the situation is in a format you might understand. I assume you know basic maths. If I asked you what is the factorial of 5, and you started giving me facts about 5, and pretended you had a PHD in Maths, then I would get suspicious. That is the quandry we are in. I may be blunt now but it took a while to get there.

And really neither of you are in a position to make any comments, about this subject or my responses. Sorry if it seems coarse, but you will find that people who love Zoroastrianism, are very much a matter of fact types. We are very blunt. No wishy washy airs and graces here.

Ali Mostofi

http://twitter.com/alimostofi

 


anglophile

Mostofi you have lost the debate - in more ways than one

by anglophile on

Is this a sample of the so called zoroasterian code of behaviour you claim to be a follower of. Throughout the exchanges, Dr Nabarz has offered a civilised and scholarly evidence-backed argument and not for once has he slipped into name calling and going stropy as you so shamefully have demonstrated here. I am so disappointed in you Ali.  Why can't you come up with a polite and dignified argument and instead of calling your opponent a lier or copy-paster, observe the etiquette of a scholarly debate. Come down from your little heremtic haunt and join the real world. The mumbo jumbo that you write sounds like science to you but there are those, like Dr Nabarz, who are strong enough to admit that their word may not be the gospel truth. Only the insecure boast about themselves not the confident - they convince. Dr Nabarz  I enjoyed and leraned for your comments and blogs. As for Ali Mostofi, well, he thinks of himself as the reincarnation of his role model: Jamasp!! Need I say more?

alimostofi

Chakhan Bazi Had Dareh.

by alimostofi on

And finally you have really shown your colours.

You are talking about Fixed Stars, which is used by what is known as Sidereal Astrology, that is practiced by Indian or Vedic Astrologers now.

Occultist have nothing to do with Sidereal Astrology. Wow what a load of ....

Hermetic art and some Tarot card interpreters, might use some of the qualities of these famous fixed stars.

Agha aslan kamelan gati kardi. No more copy paste please. I promise I will not set traps anymore. Basteh.

Ali Mostofi

http://twitter.com/alimostofi

 


Nabarz

Watchers

by Nabarz on

Dear Ali,
The four Stellar Chieftains or Persian Royal Stars, are also known as the Watchers in esoteric circles.
While they might not be in use by astrologists, they certainly are by occultists (e.g. see Celestial Magic: Principles and Practises of the Talismanic Art by Nigel Jackson, 2003).
The stars are thought to be:
East: Aldebaran, eye of the constellation Taurus. It was associated with vernal equinox. Due procession of Equinoxes now in May.
South: Regulus, in constellation Leo. It was associated with summer solstice. Due procession of Equinoxes now in August.
West: Antares, in constellation Scorpio, and heel of the Serpent Bearer (Ophiuchus). It was associated with autumnal equinox. Due procession of Equinoxes now in November.
North: Fomalhaut, in the stream of the Water Bearer (Aquarius) constellations, and in the head of the Southern Fish (Pisces Australis). It was associated with winter solstice. Due procession of Equinoxes now in February.


alimostofi

Elemental sign is nonesense.

by alimostofi on

Elemental sign is nonesense. We do not use such terms.

Ali Mostofi

http://twitter.com/alimostofi

 


alimostofi

Elemental sign is nonesense.

by alimostofi on

Elemental sign is nonesense. We do not use such terms.

Ali Mostofi

http://twitter.com/alimostofi

 


Nabarz

signs and elements

by Nabarz on

Dear Ali,

I don't think I said anywhere in the thread that fixed signs are rulers of the elements? I said which elemental sign was linked to each fixed signs.

 


alimostofi

You see I don't know the

by alimostofi on

You see I don't know the Iranian Royal Stars. I can only say that, either they are misinterpreted by translators, who knew nothing about Astrology, or they actually exist. Red eye of the Bull is nonesense in Astrology. Heart of Lion. Hmm.. Leo does rule the heart, but that is a physical thing, which has nothing to do with mundane. Leo is Ruler. So that is why I asked. It seems I need to do the original analysis as and when. There are no real Astrologers that are not Fal Bin in Iran.

Ali Mostofi

http://twitter.com/alimostofi

 


Nabarz

Cardinal signs v fixed signs

by Nabarz on

Dear Ali,

I am not a professional astrologer, and don't have your 30 years exprience.  I do howver have an interest and have read around the subject, happy to be corrected if anything I said or quoted is incorrect.

Cardinal signs are principle signs and also mark turning point of seasons as equinoxes and solstices. We enter sign of capricon on thursday (winter solstice).

I am talking about the fixed signs, you are talking about the cardinal signs. 

yes as you say

-Aries (Farvardin) is cardinal sign of Fire ruled by Mars,

-Cancer cardinal sign of water,ruled by moon

-Libra cardinal sign of air, ruled by venus

-Capricon cardinal sign of earth ruled by Saturn.

These are principle rulers of the elements, but as you know all signs are linked to an element.

The four cheiftan/royal stars are specific stars with the 4 fixed constellations, red eye of the bull, the heart of the lion etc..

 


alimostofi

I know my specialist work. I

by alimostofi on

I know my specialist work. I have been asked to write books, but I have written more articles on Astrology blogs, than books could do justice to. My work deals with a lot of dynamic data that the print media cannot handle. I can see when people are wrong. Copying generalised text is easy. Many novices assume Fixed signs are rulers of elements. They are not. Nabarz failed the test. Sorry Nabarz. Please learn from this.

Ali Mostofi

http://twitter.com/alimostofi

 


anglophile

Ali! Watch out!

by anglophile on

Dr Nabarz is no wafle maker - Just see how many books he has authored. As a professional astrologer of 30 years, as you claim, just how many books have you authored old chum?

alimostofi

Nabarz I am a professional

by alimostofi on

Nabarz

I am a professional Astrologer for thirty years. Do you know what Cardinal means?

Ali Mostofi

http://twitter.com/alimostofi

 


Nabarz

signs and elements

by Nabarz on

Hi,

All 12 sign have their element link:

  • Fire signs (Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius)
  • Earth signs (Taurus, Capricorn, Virgo)
  • Air signs (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius)
  • Water signs (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces)

 

e.g. see

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astrological_sign

 

 


alimostofi

The fixed signs are not the

by alimostofi on

The fixed signs are not the rulers of the elements. The Cardinals are.

Ali Mostofi

http://twitter.com/alimostofi

 


Nabarz

Fixed Signs

by Nabarz on

It depends on the system one is using, the four are the four fixed signs and are one of each of the air, water, fire, earth signs. As you say they have planetry rulers too, again depends on system:
Taurus (Venus), Leo (Sun),Scorpio (Pluto), Aquarius (Uranus).

Here is the video I made on some of these stellar materials:

http://youtu.be/ZyPHztm302s


alimostofi

In Astrology we have the

by alimostofi on

In Astrology we have the four Cardinal Signs. Farvardin Tir Mehr Day. They are ruled by Mars Moon Venus and Saturn. This is exactly where religious interpreters of the oral traditions go wrong. It is just this sort of thing that Astrologers have problems with. Basically the people who translated it are clueless.

Ali Mostofi

http://twitter.com/alimostofi

 


Nabarz

Persian Royal stars or the Stellar Chieftains.

by Nabarz on

Four Persian Royal stars or the Stellar Chieftains. The four Royal stars were recognised around 3000BC and were used as a marker of the seasons, the equinoxes and the solstices.

I think the four Stars themselves are said to be 'Royal' because they are Chieftains or kings among other stars.

One of the references to the Royal Stars is in the Zoroastrian Persian Pahlavi Texts we read:
paragraph 5 "As a specimen of a warlike army, which is destined for battle, they have ordained every single constellation of those 6480 thousand small stars as assistance; and among those constellations four chieftains, appointed on the four sides, are leaders."

The longer extract:

‘0. On the formation of the luminaries.

1. Aûharmazd produced illumination between the sky and the earth, the constellation stars and those also not of the constellations, then the moon, and afterwards the sun, as I shall relate.
2. First he produced, the celestial sphere, and the constellation stars are assigned to it by him; especially these twelve whose names are Varak (the Lamb), Tôrâ (the Bull), Dô-patkar (the Two-figures or Gemini), Kalakang (the Crab), Sêr (the Lion), Khûsak (Virgo), Tarâzûk (the Balance), Gazdûm (the Scorpion), Nîmâsp (the Centaur or Sagittarius), Vahîk (Capricornus), Dûl (the Waterpot), and Mâhîk (the Fish);
3. which, from their original creation, were divided into the twenty-eight subdivisions of the astronomers, of which the names are Padêvar, Pêsh-Parvîz, Parviz, Paha, Avêsar, Besn, Rakhvad, Taraha, Avra, Nahn, Miyân, Avdem, Mâshâha, Spûr, Husru, Srob, Nur, Gêl, Garafsa, Varant, Gau, Goî, Muru, Bunda, Kahtsar, Vaht, Miyân, Kaht
4. And all his original creations, residing in the world, are committed to them; so that when the destroyer arrives they overcome the adversary and their own persecution, and the creatures are saved from those adversities.
5. As a specimen of a warlike army, which is destined for battle, they have ordained every single constellation of those 6480 thousand small stars as assistance; and among those constellations four chieftains, appointed on the four sides, are leaders.
6. On the recommendation of those chieftains the many unnumbered stars are specially assigned to the various quarters and various places, as the united strength and appointed power of those constellations.
7. As it is said that Tîstar is the chieftain of the east, Satavês the chieftain of the west, Vanand the chieftain of the south, and Haptôk-rîng the chieftain of the north.
8. The great one which they call a Gâh (period of the day), which they say is the great one of the middle of the sky, till just before the destroyer came was the midday (or south) one of the five, that is, the Rapîtvîn.
9. Aûharmazd performed the spiritual Yazisn ceremony with the archangels (ameshêspendân) in the Rapîtvîn Gâh, and in the Yazisn he supplied every means necessary for overcoming the adversary.
10. He deliberated with the consciousness (bôd) and guardian spirits (fravâhar) of men, and the omniscient wisdom, brought forward among men, spoke thus: Which seems to you the more advantageous, when I shall present you to the world? that you shall contend in a bodily form with the fiend (drûg), and the fiend shall perish, and in the end I shall have you prepared again perfect and immortal, and in the end give you back to the world, and you will be wholly immortal, un-decaying, and undisturbed; or that it be always necessary to provide you protection from the destroyer?
11. Thereupon, the guardian spirits of men became of the same opinion with the omniscient wisdom about going to the world, on account of the evil that comes upon them, in the world, from the fiend (drûg) Aharman, and their becoming, at last, again un-persecuted by the adversary, perfect, and immortal, in the future existence, for ever and everlasting.’
-From Pahlavi Texts, Part I Sacred Books of the East, Vol. 5 translated by E.W. West 1880.


alimostofi

Why call it Royal? Ali

by alimostofi on

Why call it Royal?

Ali Mostofi

http://twitter.com/alimostofi

 


Nabarz

Three Wise Men

by Nabarz on

Dear Ali,

In the bible Three Wise Men or the three Persian Magi
followed a star, and that says a lot. 

 

My short video might interest you.

 

I havn't looked at Jamasp in detail yet.

 

The Persian Royal stars I mentioned are East: Aldebaran
(Taurus), South: Regulus (Leo), West: Antares (Scorpio), and North: Fomalhaut
(Aquarius).

 

while some view the four Persian Royal stars being as
Tîstar: Sirius in the East, Vanand: Antares (Scorpio) West, Satavês: Fomalhaut
(Aquarius) in the South, and Haptôk-rîng: Great Bear/Plough in the North.

 

The four faces of the Cherubim (the Bible book of Ezekiel.
1:10, 10:14) are the four Royal Stars. Their symbols are the lion,
eagle/serpent, man and wild ox (unicorn).

 

The four royal stars and their constellations also feature
in Christianity as the four Evangelists as well as the Cherubim. The symbol for
the four Evangelist are: Matthew as Human/Angel (Aquarius), Mark as Lion (Leo),
Luke as Ox (Taurus), John as Eagle (Aquila/Scorpio).


alimostofi

Three Wise Men

by alimostofi on

It is amazing, so much of this has been plagiarized by "Western Astrologers" with no credit to Iranians.

Three Wise Men were Iranian Astrologers from Saveh. How much do you know of Jamasp?

Ali Mostofi

http://twitter.com/alimostofi

 


Nabarz

In the stars

by Nabarz on

Dear Ali,

Yes there is a lot to be said of Iranians link with ancient astrology and more modern mystical astrology in works of Sufis.  

My own take on the mater can be seen in my modest book:

Stellar Magic: A Practical Guide to Performing Rites and Ceremonies to the Moon, Planets, Stars and Constellations.

On Amazon etc.  http://astore.amazon.co.uk/pan05-21/detail/1905297...

 

The Persian Royal stars can be seen in Churches now and became part of Christianity. 

regards,

Nabarz


alimostofi

Mithra is Mehr is Libra

by alimostofi on

Mithra is Mehr is Libra ....

One of the biggest problems we have in Iran, is that our history has been written by ideologies which were anti-Iran. They hated Astrologers.

Ancient Iranians believed in Cosmology like Indians. Space-Time was quantified. Change was measured. Standards were established. Mehr or Mithra or present day Meter is a testament to that fact.

Balance and moderation are ruled by the Libra. Saturn the giver of law and order is exhalted in Libra. As I write the Moon is in Libra joining up with Saturn.

Dualism ruled. Above is a picture of that.

Ali Mostofi

http://twitter.com/alimostofi

 


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