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Cannibalism and Cakes

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.mythology
From: (mordred)
Subject: Re: Cannibalism and Cakes
Date: 29 Jan 1995 10:57:25 -0800

[from alt.magick: (M. Freedman)]

 -=> Quoting Paul And Michele to All <=-

 PAM> Malleus Maleficarum Gateway - [FROM:]
Quoting Tim Maroney:
> : scholarship no longer accepts the Cumont hypothesis that Mithraism
> was : a later form of Zoroastrianism; see David Ulansey, _The_Origins_
> : _of_the__Mithraic_Mysteries_ (New York: Oxford University Press,
 : 1989).  There may have been a "Mazdean" ceremony of this type --

 PAM> Tim, if you're going to be condescending it will pay you to read your
 PAM> own  sources.  Ulansey, in the book you cite, argues that Mithraism
 PAM> actually  arose in the late first century *BCE*, and cites among other

I had always understood that there were several Mithraic 'periods'

[a] the worship of Mithras as Lord of the Plains, along with other 
deities of less than supreme rank, as recorded in the Vedas;

[b] The worship by the Medes and Persians of a trinity of separate gods;
Ahura Mazda;
Ahanita, Goddess of the Male and Female Flows; 
Mithras, Lord of the Sun.

[c] The "Zoroastrian" reforms of the Persian, imposed on the Persian empire, 
but apparently not adopted to any extent within the Royal family itself.
Zoroastrianism eliminated Anahita, relegated Mithras to  lesser status; 
and introduced the dualistic ideas embodied in the adversary Ahriman. 
The extent to which Zoroaster himself or his successors developed
the complex Zoroastrian theology is a debatable point.

[d]The status of Mithras as a lesser deity, led to his devotees
beginning to worship Him in a mystery cult rather than openly.
There were two periods of the Mithraic mysteries.;
the lesser known Greek period [from 6th century b.c.e.

[e] Finally, much better documented [but mainly from archeology ] Roman period
from around the 1st century b.c.e.

It is to this latest period that the thread's discussion appears to refer.
I myself do not believe that it was necessary for any of the mystery cults 
to derive their sacramental feasts from any other mystery cult.
Such communal mystical feasts were part of the general mid-Eastern and
Mediterranean culture.
The above outline of the periods of Mithraism is unfortunately 
drawn from memory, but my scholarly sources are generally speaking 
the series of books published by E.J.Brill of Leiden, and associated 
with scholars such as M.J. Vermaseren. The only one of the series on 
my own shelves is "Mithraic Iconography and Ideology", Leroy Campbell, 1968.

[I have heard it said, but not from any source that I would consider
authoritative that Alexander the Great and some of his companions were
initiates of the Mithraic Mysteries. I would appreciate scholarly 
references that either supported or denied this fact, as it plays a 
considerable role in the modern version of the Mithraic Mysteries of 
which I have been an initiate since 1961. It makes no claim
to have any direct links with the ancient mysteries, but its leaders 
have attempted to maintain as close a resemblance to classic Mithraism 
as they can establish from reputable sources.
They also acknowledge that much of the material used in the Rites
might be no more than legendary.

This message is offered by way of comment and information, 
and is not intended to dispute anything said by other in earlier messages.

Michael Freedman, S.G., Mysteria Heliaca.

... Light, Life, Lore and Love.
___ Blue Wave/QWK v2.12

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