The Mithras Mystery

[In case anyone finds this directly via a search engine, don't take it seriously.
This is fictional work for an alternative history game. My references are at the bottom. Use them instead.]

 Mithras is presented to the non-initiate as a Sun god, with some dominion over fire, responsible for the creation of life on the land, born from a rock and imported from the Mystic East. Temples to Mithras are always caves with the bull-slaying scene (``tauroctonos'') at the innermost point. There are bowls of water around the temple representing springs where real springs are unavailable.


 Mithras is known as a bull thief and is said to have stolen the power of the sun from its previous deity (typically Helios). It is a male-dominated cult. There are seven levels of entry to the mysteries, starting with the lowest:

Crow Novice
Griffin Initiate
Soldier Standard level of laity for long term members
Lion Highest level of laity, only take nby the most devout
Persian The lowest grade of priest
Sun Racer `Heliodromus'
Patriarch Supreme priest for an area.

 At each level, the mysteries are revealed. The priestly levels have particular dietary requirements.
Patriarch's are vegetarian.
Sun Racer's may not kill any tame or farm animal.

 Initiation of a soldier: The initiate washes his hands in water from the bowls around the temple. A crown is presented hanging on the end of a bare sword. It is lowered onto the intiate's head. The initiate takes the crown with his own habnds and moves it onto his shoulder, declaring ``Mithras is my crown''. Soldiers of Mithras have the symbol of Mithras tattooed on their foreheads. [ WHAT IS IT? ] I

 Initiation of a lion: This is a mystery, but it is known that honey, rather than water is used to clean the initiate's hands.

 The Universe around the earth has two spheres: one for the planets and one for the fixed stars. Souls pass from the point of the spring equinox, though the world and exit via the point of the autumn equinox. The soul then acends through the planetary levels. There is an ascending road for the souls, marked with gates, each made from a particular metal and associated with a god and a level of the mysteries:
Lead Saturn
Tin Venus
Bronze Jupiter
Iron Mercury
Mixed metal Mars
Silver  Moon[=Cybele ?]
Gold Sun=Mithras

 The bull slaying scene represents constellations near the equator in the summer between tarus and scorpio. The constellation known as Orion is actually Mithras.


"Select passages illustrating Mithaism: Translations of early documents" A.S. Geden, Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, London, 1925.

"Mithras - Orion" Michael P. Speidel, Leiden 1980.

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