The time has come. I’ve seen threads made on Mithra and Mithraism from just about everyone, and everyone always seems to get many of the aspects wrong. What this thread will do is shed truth on the meaning of #MITHRAISM and how it originated and evolved. (VERY LONG THREAD)
This is not a thread about the practice of Mithraism, that’s another thread.
The original Mithra predates any artifact or religious texts and records that are in our possession, and that is on purpose.
A certain group of intellectuals equipped with sacred CELESTIAL knowledge, composing of different races shared the knowledge of #Mithra.
And I should mention that Mithra is strictly an Aryan God, originally referred to as the God of Contracts & Initiation.
This cult composed of peopled called The Magi.
They are responsible for the incorporation of Mithra in many religions throughout the world, including today, but we are only going to talk mainly about one of them, one that was specifically named after Him, The Mithraic Mysteries.
There are practically no literally references to their work and most of the credible data we have are speculations and auditory knowledge which cannot be classified as “empirical”. If you are here for empiricism, I discourage you to read any further.
I should mention that Zoroastrianism bestows abundant power to Mithra, and His first reference to the Sun. Zoroastrianism also provides the Mehr Yasht for any competent person to read and digest, so I leave that to you. 
Before Mithra was injected into the pre-existing religion of the academic-themed city of Tarsus by The Magi, there existed The Cult of Perseus, which is Persian in origin. Why would a Greek city have so much Persian influence? History.
Occupied by Persians and Greeks for centuries and at the 1st Century CE there is an unbreakable synchronicity between the two cultures. One specific reason for the injection of each other’s culture are Mediterranean pirates that hold our first ever mention of Mithraism.
You are all familiar with Perseus, but just in case you are not: Perseus’s name is not like Persia by accident. While Perseus himself does not mean Persia/Persians his son’s name, Persis, literally means Persia.
Perseus is THE FATHER of Persia. The earliest written reference consists of a line from Statius’ THEBAID in which he refers to “Persei sub rpibus antri indignata sequi torquentem cornua Mithram” (Mithra twisting the unruly horns beneath the rocks of the Perseus cave.)
Byzantine historian Gregorius Cedrenus writes “Perseus is said to have founded a new cult among the Persian Magi, based on CELESTIAL secrets, that Perseus, brought to Persia INITIATION and MAGIC, which by His oral secretes made the FIRE of the SKY descend; with the aid of His…
…art, He brought the celestial Fire to Earth and He had it be preserved in caves under the name of Fire Imperishable. He chose virtuous men as minsters of a new cult and established the Magi as the depositors and guardians of this Fire which they charged to protect.”
Gregorius here is referring to the Dar-e-Mehr (Mithra’s Portal) which are cave like temples in which the Magi constructed to worship Mithra, during the Parthian era of Iran. Parthians were adamant Mithraists and many elements of the Mithraic Mysteries share Parthian Mithraism.
Parthian’s worship of Mithra is lesser known than the Roman version for reasons I cannot get into for this thread’s sake but we are going to assume that the Parthians and their descendants worshipped THE original Mithra, separate from the Vedic Mitra and the Zoroastrian Mithra.
Some of you may be calling bullshit on the fact that Perseus is Mithra the Aryan, and so I will spend a while providing “evidence” on their oneness.
First is evidence has already been mentioned and that is the origins of the name Perseus and his connection to the Magi.
Second is the harpe dagger and the Phrygian cap of Perseus. In the central image of Mithraism, the tauroctony, Mithras is holding a harpe dagger while wearing the Phrygian cap. Earliest depictions of Perseus also shows the same dagger and him wearing the Phrygian cap.
In fact, the harpe appears as a symbol of the fifth grade of Mithraic Mysteries called The Persian (Perses) and it also appears alongside the Phrygian cap symbol in the 7th grade of initiation called THE FATHER (Perseus, Mithra).
The Phrygian cap is especially labeled as an Iranian décor. Thirdly is the exact position of the Perseus constellation over Taurus (elaboration impending).
Fourth is the similar birth of Mithras to Perseus in Caves.
Their rituals are all conducted in underground caverns (Mithraeum) or made to look like caves (Dar-e-Mehr). Perseus’ birth in caves and the birth from a rock of Mithras are often depicted in Mithraic iconography.
Mithra is shown naked save for the Phrygian cap, holding dagger and torch. He is the new begetter of Light (genitor luminis), from a rock which gives birth (petra genetrix).
Lastly, in the tauroctony, Mithras looks away from the slain just as Perseus always does with Medusa.
Now we will decipher certain elements from the Mithraic iconography and how it all began in the first place. The most famous scene is the tauroctony.
The knowledge of the Magi is embedded in this “religion” and originated in the city of Tarsus who were already. This city during the flourishing of Mithraism was not of Persia or Greece but had the synthesis of both. During first century CE, this city was basically an academia.
The entire point of this city was to serve as a sanctuary for philosophers and scientists, and yes, the Magi to go to school and partake in the genesis of ideas.
Marcus Aurelias was one of these philosophers who visited this city frequently and one can say that the esoteric nature of the city of Tarsus is of stoic. The stoics believed this new god have immense power to move the entire sphere of fixed starts (cosmic axis).
This God would be more powerful than the planets and the Sun. The Lord of The Cosmos, or Kosmokrator will be depicted in several images of different gods in submission or making contracts with Mithra.
First is Helios.
Helios is often depicted alongside Mithra and his Iranian counterpart being the Sun fuels this connection. But it is important to note that Sun is just one of His domains as the Lord of Kosmos. (show pics of kosmokrator).
The submission of Helios to Mithras is where the name SOL INVICTUS originates. The main scene here is called the “Investiture”.
Here we see Helios bending the knee as a show of submission and at the same time making a contract with Mithra.
While Mithras is referred to as the Unconquered Sun, Helios is naturally the conquered Sun. All the scenes depicting the sun god kneeling before Mithras is clear who SOL INVICTUS is.
There are other depictions of other gods submitting or transferring power to Mithra:
Atlas: (interesting connection with Perseus and Atlas, it was Perseus who turns him to stone and gains control of the cosmos)
Submission of Gold to Mithra by Saturn, Submission of Lightning to Mithra by Jupiter,
Contract of Phaethon to Mithra (both borrow the Sun)
The Twins AKA Torchbearers: These two are named Cautes and Cautopates, portrayed as smaller versions of Mithras, with the same clothing, especially the cap. They usually have their legs crossed, displaying a sense of relaxation.
They show Mithras brining on the different seasons as depicted here: 2 trees in the back, the tree on right is leaf-bearing (spring), and has a raid torch and bull's head. Left tree is fruit-bearing (autumn) with the lowered torch.
Aion, people are adamant that this is Zurvan, but I encourage you do discard this. I also suggest you don’t see this lion-headed Gorgon as Ahriman either. Aion is simple timespace.
The master of time, space, and timespace is depicted as Perseus’s most important victory. This gives him to reason to always look away from his kills. The globe he stands on represents the cosmos and himself as infinite time.
Back to the city of Tarsus, the emblem of the city is depicted here as to serve evidence for the existed cult of Perseus that the scholars and the Magi worshipped, in fact the name on the coin actually says Mithrapolis:
If you pay close attention you can see another type of tauroctony depicted in the emblem and this is the best way to transition into the actual symbolism of the Mithraic mysteries. A skymap where the constellation of Perseus is kneeling on the bull, the constellation Taurus.
During the GREAT YEAR, which is the spring equinox, the constellation Perseus would be seen in the sky, pushing Taurus down into the CELESTIAL EQUITOR.
During the time of Babylon and Persia, during spring equinox, the LEO zodiac would have been seen pushing Taurus down (slaying) in order to bring forth spring. This is the celebration of Nowruz and the famous lion-bull tauroctony imagery seen everywhere. Why did it change?
To the ancients, it was also weird that it changed. Why wasn’t Leo slaying Taurus anymore and now its Perseus? Some great being must be the MOVER of celestial bodies.
Today we know that stars do in fact, move, and when you consider the thousands of years between Babylon and first century CE Tarsus, you can easily understand the displacement of the constellations displayed at different times.
The God that could move the cosmos itself was the reason of the movement of the stars and constellations. With firm believers in FATE the worshippers of Mithra believed that one who can alter the heavens can also alter FATE.
The CELESTIAL imageries in the tauroctony include the following: Taurus the Bull. Canis Minor the Dog. Hydra the Snake. Crater the Cup. Corvus the Raven, and Scorpius the Scorpion, all depicted accordingly in the sky as it is in the tauroctony icon.
The bull, dog, snake, cup, raven, and scorpion represent the constellations which lay on the celestial equator, on or below the ecliptic when the Spring Equinox (Nowruz) was in Taurus.
The WHEAT ears growing out of the bull represents the connection between the bull and Nowruz. It is also important to note that Graeco-Roman world also named the Pleiades cluster Perseus as well, and that is also shown on Mithra’s cape.
To finish everything off, we will examine how exactly this new all-powerful God came to be known as Mithras. We know that the very first mention of Mithraism is found from the Cilician pirates. These “pirates” are not the pirates you are familiar with.
They were more like special ops unites of mercenaries and sometimes even under their own leadership. They’ve known to capture ports and actually rule over them like cities.
They were the very first ones to fly the Skull & Bones flag as well and this is why it is Mithraic.
During this time, Rome’s most deadly enemy, Mithridates Eupator was king of Pontus.
He was a devout follower of Mithra like his forefathers, but what makes Mithridates VI unique is that he was a Magi. Even if he wasn’t one, he had access to their secretes and the type of Mithraism he practiced were all embedded in sacred knowledge.
Anyone capable of speaking 21 languages and of his caliber can easily be seen being the head of a secret society. Even though Tarsus was not under his rule he had access to everywhere, even Rome itself.
His connection with the Cilician pirates is recorded and he was seen boarding their skull and bone shaped ships to escape multiple time. These pirates were known to worship him, and he was an enormous influence on Rome and the world at the time.
His access to stoic knowledge of Tarsus and academic prowess was the main ingredient of the injection of Mithraism in the world at the time.
In the book Piracy in the Ancient World by Ormerod it mentions: “the war against the pirates became in fact, identical with the war against Mithridates.
The pirates were so closely identified with king’s fleet that Mithridates himself on one occasion, when in danger of shipwreck, had no hesitation in transferring himself to a pirate vessel, and safely landed at Sinope”
The Pirates of Cilicia were deeply involved with ithridates, a great leader named after Mithra. Mithridates had himself portrayed on coins in form Perseus, and because he and his father before believed that Perseus was the ancestor of Mithridatic dynasty.
The coins of the mithridatic rules include a number of types in which Perseus is depicted, as well as other motifs associates with Perseus such as the Gorgon and Pegasus.
Coins of Pontus in A catalogue of the Greek Coins in the British Museum mentions: “to the Persian descent of Mithridates from the mythical ancestor Perseus, Perseus himself is represented on the tetradrachms of Mithridates III.”
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