October 7, 2005
The Mysteries of Mithras: The Pagan Belief That Shaped the Christian World
By Payam Nabarz
Publisher: Inner Traditions (June 2005)
Pages: 230 - Price: $14.95
Review by Lee Prosser - firstname.lastname@example.org
An exciting reading experience, The Mysteries of Mithras by Payam Nabarz details the revival of the magickal practices and initiatory system of Mithraism. Mithraism was an ancient Roman mystery religion especially popular among Roman Legions from late second century B.C.E. until 400 C.E.
Considered by scholars to be the last pagan state religion, it was the most important competitor to early Christianity. To compensate, early Christianity allowed it to influence Christian doctrine and to influence Christian symbolism.
The numerous parallels between Christianity and Mithraism are fascinating. An example is that the god Mithras was born of a virgin in a cave on December 25.
The tenets of Mithraism originated in Persia and spread west to Rome. Mithraism's connections to Christianity, Islam, and Freemasonry are well documented in this well-written book.
Payam Nabarz details and explains the modern neo-pagan practice of Mithraism. He includes seven of the initiatory rituals of Mithraism, and also shares meditations that open the doorway to the seven sacred Mithraic grades of passage. For those interested in this religion, and its rites of passage, Payam Nabarz has given a fine set of directions!
Payam Nabarz is a practicing Dervish, holds a Ph.D. from Oxford University, and is a Druid in the Grove of the Order of the Bards, Ovates, and Druids. He is a member of the Golden Dawn Occult Society, and a revivalist of the Temple of Mithras in England where he lives. He is currently doing research on genetics and cancer.
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. It makes one ponder, and wonder, what would have happened had Mithraism succeeded and Christianity failed. Interesting!
A fine book, one you will enjoy and one you will be talking about with friends. Highly recommended.
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