"Through the Flames of Fire comes Transformation"

Journey Visions

Book your Blessed Samhain, New Year Reading w/Ariana today!!!

Ariana1This is the time of year when the spirits are out and are walking amongst the living, it is again when the veil is thinnest and the gateways open for our ancestors to cross over into our realm and return home to visit and have their favourite meal.

It is also the time when all forms of divination, spell casting, messages from the spirits come through for loved ones, a time of removal of those things we need to harvest and cut away from our lives.

There are so many questions we all have and Ariana is here to bring you some clarity, enlightenment, understanding and to find the answers you have been seeking. Ariana was born an old soul and is a natural psychic, she communicates through the stars, the spirits, the angels and brings you answers to your questions. Ariana is compassionate and will be there to help you find your way, your empowerment and who you are and what you need to make you life better.

Call her today and book your Samhain, New Year reading at 978-210-2423, she is available for face to face in the Greater Portland, Gresham metro area as well as for phone readings. She brings a bright light to all, call her today for your psychic reading, she is there for you.

This is what in the Old Ways we know as Samhain (so wín), it is our New Year when we communicate on your behalf to bring messages over from the other side. This is when we offer our blessings to our Ancestors in remembering them for what role they have played in our lives and our paths we walk upon today. It is the time when we ask for blessings for the year ahead for those whom we love, but most of all it when we open up ourselves to messages that will bring wisdome and understanding into our lives.

There are so many questions we all have and Ariana is here to bring you some clarity, enlightenment, understanding and to find the answers you have been seeking. Ariana was born an old soul and is a natural psychic, she communicates through the stars, the spirits, the angels and brings you answers to your questions. Ariana is compassionate and will be there to help you find your way, your empowerment and who you are and what you need to make you life better.

Call her today and book your Samhain, New Year reading at 978-210-2423, she is available for face to face in the Greater Portland, Gresham metro area as well as for phone readings. She brings a bright light to all, call her today for your psychic reading, she is there for you.

Have an amazing week and many blessings and may you all be blessed with health, wealth and prosperity for in truly giving back you shall always be blessed. Be the beacon of light that shines so bright it destroys all the negative in this world.

Many Blessings
Ariana Afsanay de Ly

Read what Ariana’s clients are saying about her readings just click here on Reviews and Comments



Planets and our Fate

I have been seeing a lot of this in clients charts at birth, many wonder why they have so many afflictions throughout life. The eighth house is the house where many issues arise and it said that when you have a good planet in this house you will receive damage from good men, but if those same planets are well they will bring good things into your life.

Many do not believe that the planets, the fixed stars, the motion in which they travel or for that matter the heavens have any say in our lives. Yes, the planets are there, their nature, effects , energies and more have existed from billions of years and it is the technique in which was used by the Sumerians, and all those cultures prior to modern inventions. The Sumerians were the first inventors of all knowledge we have today, they were the first to define how the stars related to below the heavens events. When it is a good time for building they used the planets, for the planting of the crops they used the planets, for marriages they used the planets, for reading the signs of war they used the planets, for harvesting they used the planets.

We are all created from the same force in this great big universe, we have different personalities, likes, dislikes, beliefs, interests and more, this is what defines us. Yet, we are all born of a certain path of fate and in all these things it is those planets that rule us when we are born that predicts all of these things within us. Yes, we are taught but in the of our fate, we are our Destiny.

Need answers to why things are happening, Ariana is available for private consultations for Traditional Astrology as well as Tarot or Psychic Readings. Ariana gives her clients one on one attention and works with them to give them the answers they seek from the other side. If you are uncertain as to why certain things are happening in your life and would like to find some answers, enlightenment and understanding, contact Ariana today.

She also includes in her consultations magical workings to aid her clients when they leave and can take home with them to help in cleansing their personal space and more.

Contact Ariana today, she is available for phone and in person consultations just contact her today at 561-336-5617 to book your appointment with her today. She is taking appointments for 30 minute and 1 hour sittings.

Many Blessings in the Dark and Light


The Narrow Doorway

The Narrow Doorway. Another Great Article from Ina

Invocation of the Moon


Hail to you oh, Goddess, the Moon, blessed lady, fortunate, cold

and moist, temperate and beautiful. Of all the planets you are the

head and key, your movement is smooth, you have shining light, lady

of happiness and joy, of good words, of good fame, of the power to


You are the lover of law and ponder the things of the world, and

your thought is subtle. You love joyful singing and enjoy joking and

love, you are the lady of ambassadors and messages and of the

revealing of secrets. You are high and noble, you are nearer to us

than the other planets, you are more powerful than all of them and

bright; you bring good and evil, you connect the planets to one

another, you transfer their light, you control everything through your


And everything in the world is adorned by your ornament and

by your judgment all is judged. You begin all things, you are their

end. You above all planets have nobility and honor. And in this way

I call upon you.

I conjure you by [all Buddhas & Bodhisattvas] and by Celan and

Silija’il, who are the angels God has set over you to complete your


I invoke you by all your names; in Arabic, Camar [Qamar]; in

Latin, Luna; in Persian, Mehe [Mah]; in Greek, Zamahyl [Sam’a’il];

in Indian, Cerim [Suma]; in Roman, Celez [Selene], have mercy on

me and receive my humble petition, fill this talisman with your

power, with your spirit, with your pneuma, look with favor on us,

help us to be successful, and to be happy, healthy and safe. Thanks

be unto you, O Moon!

Book Review: The Path of the Shaman, by Anna Franklin

Path of the Shaman (Eight Paths of Magic)

The Path of the Shaman is a book two by Anna Franklin that focuses on the eight paths of a witch/.Witch. It is journey in which few experience and when they do it is one of great calcination and dissolution of ones entire self, and one as Anna herself describes as not wishing it upon her worst enemy.  When she speaks of this process it is called a shamanic crisis one in which is a very personal experience and each one who undergoes this transformation does so individually, it is not without experiencing pain to the level of losing all control over your own self, physically.  It takes you to the realms in which if you are not strong enough, you will never return.

As quoted directly from Chapter 2; ”Though anyone can offer themselves to the spirits, there is no guarantee that the spirits will accept.  The candidate is always subject to trial and testing before the initiation in the Otherworld can take place, encapsulating a very real dissolution, death and rebirth in the core of his being, a process entirely out of the shaman’s control and often sudden and violent in its onset.”  ”The initiation consists in an ecstatic experience, during which the candidate undergoes certain operations performed by mythical Beings, and undertakes ascents to Heaven and descents to the Underworld or subterranean World.”  In the same chapter as spoken of from above, Anna along with two others go into great detail their surgery’s by the mythical Beings in which brought them to their path as Shaman.  Anna and the others share extremely personal experiences and sufferings in which they endured along their path.  In understanding this, then it is easy to see that one of the first known Shamans from the western world would have been Jesus himself.  He was born to this world by a woman and that of the seed of an Upperworld mythical being and then was hung on the cross to die at the age of 33, then buried and he descended to the Underworld and then returned to the Middle World and finally ascending to the Upperworld.

There is mention of the the Shamans Cosmos world the three levels in which exists and that only a Shaman may see and know personally.  The Middle Earth, where we live, the Underworld and the Upperworld, the Underworld were all must go when we die and are prepared for such hidden knowledge, the Upperworld the world of the Angels and the spirits that aid us and protect us as we travel the path of our lives.  She goes into great detail of the World Tree and the Tree of Life with references to all other cultures and their views, which are all very similar from culture to culture.  Also, in this chapter she mentions that of the Black  Stone, the Meteoric Stone, the meteoric stone which is also called the black stone is not common in knowledge.  It is the stone in which is housed at Mecca and part of a yearly pilgrimage in which the Muslims are required to make, they go there for prayers and the asking of healing from the Great Mother.  This stone is from the Upperworld and it represents on this earth the Mother of all creation.  It is the one that holds all within.  There is more on the cosmos, the pole star and more.

There is mention and in great detail of how one travels the cosmos, by the spirit to do the work of healing and learning of old knowledge which is through the astral planes and the different levels of ones consciousness we experience as we go into trance, or in dream states.  What we must do to prepare ourselves physically, mentally and spiritually prior to being able to entrée this state as well as different gateways that are available and how to return and protect oneself while out of the physical form.  Many points she discusses throughout the entire book draws anyone back to the knowledge of the Emerald Tablet as well as the work’s of Dion Fortune.  Which is not common in today’s modern Wicca studies or among the New Age teachings?

Continuing we get to where she speaks of the various spirit worlds one will encounter and the view of other cultures, as I am a Strega I will make reference to her point on the Italian culture.  ”The Italian carnival society Cavallino assembled under the banner of Erodiade (ero dia de), a name for the Queen of Faeries, possibly synonymous with the witch goddess Herodias.  The society grew with prominence in the Middle Ages, appearing in processions, pantomimes and healing sessions, but many have had a very ancient, Pagan origin.  It was exclusively male, its members dressed in women’s clothing and wore make up.  They always gathered in odd numbers, such as seven, or nine or eleven.  The Catholic Church persecuted them as Pagans who worshipped the Goddess Diana.

Anna goes into great deal of the types of spirits and their powers they bestow onto human-folk they may take a liken to as well as power animals and how they come to us in our times of specific need to guide us to understand and to gain understanding in our journeys we are to encounter.  There is great focus on the types of plant allies a Shaman works with and a shaman’s view that we are kin to all things and that all things have a spirit that resides within them.  Yes, there are those herbs in which are used to obtain a level of trance and they assist us to achieve a level in our meditation and allowing us to journey to the Otherworld, though it is not without a cautionary note.  She cautions us on the plant spirits, ”However, any relationship with a power plant is precarious, and its spirit must be approached with respect.  To use a power plant for recreational purpose is an abuse of its energies and will lead to the subjugation of the magicians will by the plant spirit.  Meaning the magician has no control over the plant spirit or his or herself, the plant spirit has full control.  This means a loss of your Personal Power.  In reading this caution it reminds me of something Dr. Leo Louis Martello wrote in his words of wisdom regarding the Craft.  He states the following:  “In the Craft, there is no hard dogma. Hard drugs are forbidden. Mindless morons can’t be a compliment to our Mother Goddess.  Power is something personal, not to be used over others, which is contrary to Craft ethics. Those who think the Old Religion will make them masters over others are slaves to their own self delusions.

Anna finishes by speaking about what Personal Power is Not and the practices of a Shaman.  She speaks of an experiment a Japanese doctor performed using the water element.  He took two glasses and placed a crystal in each one, on one of the glass he wrote on a piece of paper the word Thank you and on the other You Fool the crystal inside the glass of water with the words thank you started to grow and the crystal in the glass of water with you fool did not, thus showing the powerful nature of water and how important it is to us.  We are 90% water in our body, so imagine if you thank yourself all the time and others, just imagine how we would all grow with a kind word.  When speaking of the various types of divination, magic and castings we do as a Shaman even a witch many in this day and age focus on the weather.  Myself personally I have had many people comment due to the high levels of heat how they were going to do weather magic to bring rain.  My advice always is no, when you are doing magic of this level you need to be aware that unless it is so severe that you need to consider beyond your own selfish needs, to take anything from another region is to ultimately cause harm of some kind.  While you may feel you need it, it may be needed more in another region.  This goes for any magic, you do not cast just to cast, you do not just invoke to invoke there has to be a reason when you call on the powers and forces of the Otherworld.  Magic is not a game but something true and real.

While I was reading The Path of the Shaman I was reminded of many things I have learned and was guided wisely with advise in the past, also being reminded of many journeys in which I have travelled to the Otherworld, the Underworld and the Upperworlds.  I have seen many things in my life and as a Witch but I needed a gentle reminder of a few things, it also guided me more in some specific research I have been doing which I will not speak of so much here.  What I am saying is that sometimes we need something and the Gods bring it to attention in many ways, a book, a kind word from another, a picture, a quote a journey or a sign in the mundane world that only a witch would notice.  Pay attention and you will be amazed.

This is an extraordinary book and one that ever Witch/witch should own and have as part of her/his library.

A Story Waiting to Pierce You: Mongolia, Tibet and the Destiny of the Western World, by Peter Kingsley

Peter Kingsley has written some of the most profound works that focus on the Western Mysteries, bringing back to the world those philosophers of the Ancient Times work who has been forgotten or long-lost.  It is from these philosophers, teachers, magicians that we have our way of life today.  It is from them we have learned of the depths of the Gods and their natures, their oracles as they guide us to find the answers from within and much more.  I own all of his earlier works and they are works that I do go back and read often as they guide me home to where I came from and take me on journeys in which I remember who I truly am prior to today’s societal expectations.

I highly recommend this work and all of his work for anyone who is a true seeker of self, spirit and the truth from within.

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Revealing a forgotten truth in the present day, this account illuminates the crumbling political and economic structures of the West, shedding light on an ongoing and arduous search for a sense of purpose. Recounting a true story, this exploration tells of a wandering Mongol shaman who made a dramatic appearance around the Mediterranean centuries before the time of Christ. Highlighting how this nomad came as an envoy on a mission of purification, this study records how he met with a man who became tremendously influential in Western science, philosophy, culture, and religion: Pythagoras. The essence of Western civilization is said to have originated from this meeting and this examination argues that today’s conflicts and tensions have stemmed from taking this monumental occasion for granted, forgetting that there must be a greater meaning to life than everyday efforts and struggles. Reflecting on a time when Eastern and Western cultures were one, this evocation contends that there is still a common spiritual heritage to all civilizations. A unique collaboration between the author and archaeologists, historians, and shamans from around the world, this document has the potential to change the future for all.

The Old Religion & the Law of Attraction

By Ariana Clausen – Vélez

2013 July

“The Principles of Truth are Seven; he who knows these understandingly, possesses the Magic Key before whose touch all the Doors of the Temple fly open”  The Kybalion.

The Seven Hermetic Principles, upon which the entire Hermetic Philosophy is based, are as follows:  These principles are based on the Emerald Tablet and those things in which Thrice Greatest Hermes teaches.

I.        The Principle of Mentalism

II.        The Principle of Correspondence

III.        The Principle of Vibration

IV.        The Principle of Polarity

V.        The Principle of Rhythm

VI.        The Principle of Cause and Effect

  1. The Principle of Gender

The Emerald Tablet (Compiled from several early Latin and German versions)

  1. In truth, without deceit, certain, and most veritable.  (Principle of Mentalism)
  2. That which is Below corresponds to that which is Above, and that is Above corresponds to that which is Below, to accomplish the miracles of the One Thing. And just as all things have come from this One Thing, through the meditation of the One Mind, so do all created things originate from the One Thing, through Transformation.  (Principle of Correspondence)
  3. Its Father is the Sun; its mother the Moon.  The Wind carries it in its belly; its nurse is the Earth.  It is the origin of All, the consecration of the Universe; its inherent Strength is perfected, if it is turned into Earth.  (The Principle of Vibration)
  4. Separate the Earth from Fire, the Subtle from the Gross, gently and with great Ingenuity.  It rises from the Earth to heaven and descends again to Earth, thereby combining within Itself the powers of both the Above and the Below.  (Principle of Polarity)
  5. Thus will you obtain the Glory of the Whole Universe.  All Obscurity will be clear of you.  This is the greatest Force of all powers, because it overcomes every Subtle thing and penetrates every Solid thing.  (Principle of Rhythm)
  6. In this way was the Universe created.  From this come many wondrous Applications, because this is the Pattern.  (Principle of Cause and Effect)
  7. Therefore am I called Thrice Greatest Hermes, having all three parts of the wisdom of the Whole Universe.  Herein have I completely explained the Operation of the Sun.  (Principle of Gender)

So what does any of this have to do with the Craft, the Old Religion, Christianity, Druidism, Muslim or any religion and the Law of Attraction for that matter?  It has everything to do with it, it is the foundation of All.  It is the foundation of magic and all in which we manifest into our lives for the good or the bad.  It is the source to the All.  To understand how one you have to understand the other.  To begin the Law of Attraction is not a new thing, it is something that dates back to the beginning of humanity and the first incarnation of Hermes Trismegitus who was the author of the sacred texts Hermetic Corpus and was also known to the Egyptians as Thoth.  Both Thoth and Hermes were gods of writing and of magic in their respective cultures. Thus, the Greek god of interpretive communication was combined with the Egyptian god of wisdom as a patron of astrology and alchemy. In addition, both gods were psychopomps; guiding souls to the afterlife.  Hermes, Thoth, Mercury is the only God that can walk in both the underworld to guide those souls that have passed and the living world.  He is life and death, light and dark.

The Craft is known as the Old Religion it has been around as long as the beginning of humanity.  The Old Religion is not an easy path for anyone to follow, it comes with great sacrifice and solitary workings, it is however, the path in which focuses on the healing arts, astrology, alchemy and magic, which are the three main paths of a Hermetic teachings.  All leading to the Mystic Will, the Law of Attraction, Manifestation of those things we desire the most to have in our lives be it for the spiritual or the material for they are both connected you cannot have one without the other.  It is magic; it is of the mind of the All, One Mind created which is reached from the base of the One Thing.

However, to understand this you need to understand the Seven Hermetic Principles and how they work in our daily lives.  We all do magic, be it in our words, thoughts, feelings, deeds, actions and reactions it is all magic as it comes from the soul which is the heart.

When the Craft is taught and practiced correctly you will find all of these principles embodied not only in the magic but in how you find that deeper connection to self from within, it is used to find inner healing, too communicate with those entities in other dimensions and realms, to guide us to a greater understanding and knowledge of the All that is within us all.  The understanding of the stars and the planets in astrology, an understanding of the elements and how to transform them in alchemy and in that All magic exists, this is the Old Religion, the Craft of the Wise.  When we do our work we tap into our mental universe to manifest it into matter.

We will begin by looking at the first Principle or Rubric; “The Principle of Mentalism”.  “The All is Mind; The Universe is Mental.”  This Principle embodies the truth that “All is Mind.”  The mind creates everything and controls everything, it manifests from the subconscious to the conscious world whether you realise it or not, words do not matter in this case because when you think something for example you send out mentally that you are an amazing, beautiful, successful business man or woman you will materialise this into your life, this being the ride handed side which is of the material plane in where all things manifest into matter.  Also, on the other hand if you are full of self-doubt and feel you are the worth nothing, this will manifest into your life, you will always fail at what you set out to do, be it in love, career, life “The Mind is All”.  What you allow into it will manifest into your material world.

A quote from the Kybalion; “An understanding of this great Hermetic Principle of Mentalism enables the individual to readily grasp the laws of the Mental Universe, and to apply the same to his well-being and advancement.”

Within magic as well as the Law of Attraction we all whether we know it or not work with these principles, be it consciously or subconsciously, our mind is the one connection we have to the All, to everyone we are at some point of the same mind with, the same level or mental capabilities with and we draw to that energy and people, in that we are using the Law of Attraction to connect to those people who end up in our lives.  It is that of mind and hearts all truth.

We take a stone which is a natural object of the earth, some would call this an amulet, a found object, now when you sit down and hold it in your hands and close your eyes you are taking the time to mentally connect to this object, how it was created, where it came from, the energies it will have that you connect to, to manifest that which you seek in your life.  Let us say it is quartz, quartz is clear but within the family it has many colours, magical connections, healing connections, god and goddess connections, planetary connections, numerical vibrations and sounds that from the earth it has grown to carry within this small object that is literally of the earth.  It began as a base object nothing but dirt or solid black stone and over time, many millions of years as it connected to the Mental the All it begins to take form and create its’ own unique shape it manifests into something amazing and beautiful and from that we can mentally connect to the beginning of this object.  It starting out as nothing and ending up as something amazing and beautiful.  This is the Law of Attraction, this is magic this is what we do in the Craft, the Old Religion, and all paths that are of healing, light of both the dark and light for from the darkness light manifests and creates something amazing and enlightened, illuminated when we allow what we want from within to create in our spiritual and material world.

From the Gnostic Bible, chapter the Paraphrase of Shem; Darkness sees the Spirit & Darkness Ejaculates Mind into the Womb of Nature; “When the darkness stirred, the light of the spirit appeared to him.  When he saw it he was astonished.  He did not know that another power was above him.  And when he saw that his likeness was dark compared with the spirit, he felt hurt.  And in him pain lifted up, above the height of the members of darkness, his mind, which was the eye of bitterness of evil.  He caused his mind to take shape in a member of the portions of the spirit, thinking that, by staring down at his evil, he would be able to equal the spirit.  But he was not able, for he wanted to do an impossible thing, and it did not take place.  But in order that the mind of darkness, which is the eye of the bitterness of evil, might not be destroyed, since he was made partially similar, he arose and shone with a fiery light upon all of Hades, that the equality of the faultless light might become apparent.  For the spirit benefited from every form of darkness because he appeared in his majesty.

And the exalted, infinite light appeared, for he was very joyful.  He wished to reveal himself to the spirit.  And the likeness of the exalted light appeared to the unconceived spirit.  I appeared.  I am the son of the incorruptible, infinite light.  I appeared in the likeness of the spirit, for I am the ray of the Universal light.  And his appearance to me was in order that the mind of darkness might not remain in Hades.  For the darkness made himself like his mind in a portion of the members.  When I, O Shem, appeared in the likeness, so that the darkness might become dark to himself, according to the will of the majesty, and so that the darkness might become devoid of every aspect of the power that he possessed, the mind drew the chaotic fire, with which it was covered, form the midst of darkness and the water.  And from the darkness the water became a cloud, and from the cloud the womb took shape.  The chaotic fire, which was a deviation, went there.

“And when the darkness saw the womb, he became unchaste.  And when he had aroused the water, he rubbed the womb.  His mind dissolved down to the depths of nature.  It mingled with the power of the bitterness of darkness.  And the womb’s eye ruptured at the wickedness of the order that she might not again bring forth the mind.  For it was a seed of nature from the dark root.  And when nature had taken to herself the mind by means of the dark power, every likeness took shape in her.  And when the darkness had acquired the likeness of the mind, it resembled the spirit.  For nature rose up to expel it; she was powerless against it, since she did not have a form from darkness.  For she brought forth the cloud.  And the cloud shone.  A mind appeared in it like a frightful, harmful fire.  The mind collided against the unconceived spirit, since it possessed a likeness from him, in order that nature might become empty chaotic fire.

And immediately nature was divided into four parts.  They became clouds that varied in appearance.  They were hymen afterbirth, power, and water.  And the hymen and the afterbirth and the power were chaotic fires.  And the mind was drawn from the midst of the darkness and the water – since the mind was in the midst of nature and the dark power – in order that the harmful waters might not cling to it.  Because of this, nature was divided, according to my will, in order that the mind may return to its power, which the dark root, mixed with the mind, had taken from it.  And the dark root appeared in the womb.  At the division of nature the dark root separated from the dark power, which it possessed form the mind.  The mind went into the midst of the power – this was the middle region of nature.

It all comes from the same place, the Law of Attraction is this, magic is this, Old Religion is this, as is everything in which we create from our mental universe.

When it comes down to it we all do magic no matter what path we may follow it all comes from the same place.  Every principle is mentioned in the above paraphrases of Shem.  Shem is the son of Anu the Sumerian God who is the Father of all and from him all things manifest from base to illumination.

The ancient philosophers knew this, Akhenaton, Balinas, Empedocles, Paracelsus, Socrates, Aristotle, Bruno, Galileo, Copernus, Hypatia and many, many more (the first two being the reincarnated Thoth).  They knew that all was in the Mind and in the Universe and because of them we have the Law of Attraction as it is called today and it is used by Craft and everyone who truly understands what real magic is the mind and heart.



Sleeping Talismans

dream_a_zSleeping Talisman
Picatrix Goal of the Wise; Ghayat Al-Hakim

According to the Picatrix there are four talismans in which can be made to aid in sleep to deep sleep.

1. A sleeping talisman, the way the talisman is made is by taking an equal an amount of half dirham of opium, a strip of mandrake and black anesthetic seed, one sixth dirham of pleasant smelling nuts, small wood branches and pure sandalwood. Grind and kneed with green coriander juice. Then you get putrefy is so it mixes and unites together and the spirits harmonize in it for the wanted action. Then you feed one carat of the mixture and that is enough to put anyone into a deep sleep.
2. Another sleeping talisman with that has a more powerful effect; the way this is done is by taking two small amounts of each of hard bent nuts, red anesthetic seeds, mandrake or its bark, black poppy seeds, three small amounts of saffron and one small amount of basswood. Add all and putrefy it for three days. Then use one carat of the mixture in drinks to get the effect of sleeping.
3. Another talisman for sleeping like the first two, this one is made with equal amounts of opium, mandrake bark, lettuce seed, hard bent nut seeds, rose of Jericho juice, black hellebore and seed of black poppy. Grind the ingredients very fine and mix with two times of the amounts with aged wine and put in a container to putrefy for a couple of days. Then use one carat of the mixture in drink.
4. Another talisman for the extreme deep sleeping, the way this is done is by taking an equal amount of anethetic seed juice, vaccine juice, black poppy seed juice and wine or any alcoholic juice. Add to this one tenth the total weight of the first ingredients worth opium. Melt the opium, then add fermented fig juice that was distilled at least four times and putrefy the mixture and use about one carat of this because it is a very powerful mixture and the spirits power in it is very effective.

Note of Caution: As many of these recipes have ingredients are illegal today and can cause severe hallucinations it is best to use these only with another and one who has knowledge of blending the herbs correctly for the uses they are intended for. Many of these recipes from the ancient times were also used when Magicians wanted to travel into the Astral Realms to gain insight, communicate with the spirits, and do astral healing.

What is an Astral Initiation Anyway?

 What is an Astral Initiation Anyway?

Astral Initiation

Astral Initiation

By Ariana Clausen – Vélez

When we look at one’s initiation what does it truly mean to you, the individual?  Is it man validating you and giving you a title, a position, credentials to throw around so loosely that it does not mean anything, or does it mean something far greater?

An initiation is a single journey of all who are of the path of the Old Religionists, the Golden Dawn, the Hermetic, Wicca, Druidism, and all paths associated to works and service to and with the Gods.  We all go on an individual journey in life, its’ experiences, our training and studies as an individual.  In all of the Ways of Old, that is the paths of the Ancients were all taught as oral traditions, held very sacred their Oaths of Silence that they took (as back then, as it should still be those Oaths were taken before the Gods, and have a high regard to uphold them).  Teachers, Mentors, Elders, True Mother’s or Father’s, Adeptus’s and all those of the learned have gotten there through hard work, studies, training, years of practice, and did so through their own dedication and patience to the studies and the tools provided to them.

When we look at the way of the Ancient’s in Sumer, Egypt, the Celtic lands (which are far and wide and covered many lands that today many would not think were Celtic in culture), Roman and Greek and more held sacred the Path of Initiation.  The Priests and Priestesses would go to the mountains, temples, caves, and inner sanctuaries to prepare for Initiations by setting up the altars with the candles, incenses and the place in which the Priest or Priestess was to be initiated would be placed.  From this one would never know what to expect as this rite is very sacred and between The One and the initiate alone.  If you look at history and how those Magi’s were Initiated before us, you see a similar pattern in all of them, they all go into the desert, to the top of a mountain, into the forest, and are gone for long periods of time to commune with The One, God, Goddesses and Gods, when we look at all of them they are all given great information and are initiated in the astral.

In The History of Magic by Eliphas Levi, in the chapter entitled Magic and the Revolution there are many stories of regenerating movement from well known Magi’s dating back to the time of Pharaoh.  I will mention two such here, the rest you will need to purchase a copy and read it in full for yourself to understand.

“The name Althotas, or that of Caglistro’s master, is composed of the word Thot, with the syllables Al and As, which, if read Kabalistically, are Sala, meaning messenger or envoy.  The name as a whole therefore signifies: Thot, the messenger of the Egyptians, and such in effect was he whom Caglistro recognised as the master above all others.

“Another title adopted by Caglistro was that of Grand Copht, and his doctrine had the twofold object of moral and physical regeneration.  The precepts of moral regeneration according to the Grand Copht were as follows:  “You shall go up Mount Sinai with Moses; you shall ascend Calvary; with Phaleg you shall climb Thabor, and shall stand on Carmel with Elias (Essene Teachings) and Mount Carmel is shaped like that of a triangle.  Now, according to S.L. MacGregor Mather’s “The Grimoire of Armadel Phaleg is the good angel of Mars (as well as all other Angelic sources).  Then we also find in the same work just mentioned, that of the Rod of Moses; it states; “Zainael is the Spirit who did teach unto Moses the methods of availing himself of the Rod with the which he did perform so many miracles in Egypt, and among the Chaldeans.  He hath much power to render those rich who avail themselves of his services.”  Another mention of Moses states; “Hethatia maketh you see even as Moses saw the benefits which he had received from God, when he was in the Desert of the Land of Midian.  These are all spirits and can only be seen and heard in the Astral Realm.  There are many more Magi’s who were initiated in the Astral Realm all dating back to the beginning of man and religious sacred rites of regeneration i.e. Astral Initiation.

Also we look at the works of Dennis William Hauck’s, The Emerald Tablet Alchemy for Personal Transformation.  This is an excellent work for all to have to find a deeper understanding to the rubrics of the Emerald Tablet and how to apply into your life.  But be warned the path in which you will embark on may not be the easiest when you open your heart and mind up to the teachings of Thot, for it is a journey in which one will come upon calcinations, dissolution and separation.  In the 7th chapter entitled Separate the Earth from Fire he says the following; this is based on the Fourth Rubric of the Emerald Tablet; The All the powers of the Above.  This is the most difficult transition for many people to pass through as it does deal with the Above which is the realm of the astral.

“The ancients knew exactly what the powers from the Above were like because they experienced them directly within themselves.”  Also said, “It has been postulated that 5,000 or so years ago mankind lived in unconscious communion with the gods and followed divine “voices” in times of novel or stressful situations.”  Also saying, “The ancients remembered what it was like before full consciousness dawned in man and believed that the mental world of thought and imagination was every bit as real as the physical world in which they found themselves.  With the breakdown of the divine connection, the One Mind in man slowly split into duality of rational consciousness, although the archaic ability to exist in both realms is said to have survived in few genuine psychics and prophets.”  Furthermore, “Perhaps our thoughts have lost their intrinsic value because there are simply too many of them floating around and because nobody seems to care whether anyone’s thoughts are inherently true or not.”  And lastly, “We tend to think that imagination is the same as fantasy that dreams are just image soup that visions are psychotic, that myths are legends are just tall tales, and that our thoughts have no effect on reality.  Most of us really believe that the best use that can be made of the power of thinking is to plot, gain the upper hand, make more money, garner more esteem, or get an edge over someone else in the rat race.”

“As the Son of Heaven and Earth, “the initiate has inside himself not only the four earthly elements but also the three heavenly ones, which is why the ancients viewed the individual as a microcosm of the whole universe.  The same forces that shaped the cosmos are present in man.  This is the meaning of the Doctrine of Correspondences and the whole impetus for spiritual alchemy.  No matter how far man has fallen from grace, no matter how tightly shackled to the chains of physicality he has allowed himself to become, there is hope for him because he has all the elements necessary to set himself free.  All he has to do is purify the earthly elements in his soul and personality and activate the heavenly elements of his indwelling spirit.  This is the Great Work.”

Read about the German mystic Jacob Boehme as his is one of the most incredible of all he was so well mastered that when brought before a panel  of eminent theologians was assembled to exam him.  They found him to beyond their power to judge.

What does all of this represent?  The Astral Self, the Astral Initiation.

Then we have from the Gospel of Phillip; Water and Fire (67, 2-9)—“Soul and spirit have come into being from water and fire.  The attendant of the bridal chamber has come into being from water, fire and light.  Fire is chrism.  Light is fire.  I do not mean ordinary fire, which has no form, but other fire, which is pure white in appearance, beautifully bright and imparting beauty.”

There are so many more references to astral encounters, initiations, conceptions, marriages and more that go back through the ages of man.  Take the time to learn and find the truth for they are part of our history.

Initiation is a very personal experience and while in many if not all Initiations (that one considers valid) are all performed by man.  But when we really look at an Initiation it comes from a far Greater source than we mere ants of humans on this earth, they come from the Gods and Goddesses or from how you see your divine source of life.  All true initiations are from the Astral.

This past week on the Friday 28th of June, I did my Astral Initiation into the E.O.G.D. Order.  As with any initiation I prepared myself through that of rituals that were needed to prepare my space as well as my spirit, body and mind, did the proper fasting and cleansing, prepared the items needed and took time to mentally prepare myself for the Astral event.  Upon the designated hour, I had set up the candles, set the incense, set the tools on my altar and began my journey.  I sat still focusing on that of the spirit and the energies that were from the Mental Plane and that of the illuminating lights that connected to my Higher Self my Crown and felt them as they went through me.  One never really knows how long they are under in this type of ritual.  All of a sudden I felt this amazing energy over me with the wings spread far and wide, white in colour and the head of the Ibis, I felt Thoth all around me carrying me on my new journey into this Initiation.  I had no words for what followed; it was beyond words, beyond ones’ description or that of anyone else’s comprehension of such a journey beyond in that of the Astral.

As first a practicing Old Religionist I do know how powerful the astral realm is, how dangerous it can be if one travels there without knowing how to protect themselves from the spirits, but it is the one form of Initiation in which is the Higher of them all, it is Validated by that of the Gods and in truth the only one who can validate any initiation is the Gods and no other.  I have had many journeys to the Astral and one of them I received a message about Future Earth and following that I came upon an article that was written by another in Arizona who too was spoken to by Ea on the future of earth which validated my vision, while following about 6 months later NASA saying they had found a system in which could be a future place for humanity.  It was as I had seen it in my vision.  All I will say on this is that it was a place and time in which humans only communicate via the Mental.  The Astral is very real.

An experience and Words of Wisdom from a former experience I went through many years back following an Initiation in which many tried to claim was invalid due to the envy of man.

I learned long ago from a wise woman, my “True Mother”, that initiation is not validated by the hands or man, but by the hands of the Gods it is only they who can truly initiate you.   Many years ago I went through a great trial, I was a solitary and then later joined an online school and as I grew within myself I felt that it was time for initiation, however, there was no one in my community who could perform this ritual, as I was a solitary, so I self-initiated to the Gods at that time I followed a more Celtic path.  Later as I continued with my training I was invited by a local group to audit their coven and see if I wanted to join, at a later time I did so, and within the next four months I had resigned.  In following this I was still with this online school and had met online a woman who claimed to be a High Priestess in the Wiccan community out of Canada, I studied under her and later she did my next initiation via the internet.  I prepared as I would for any initiation, fasted, prepared oils, soaps, and ritual garb and tools for the ceremony, it was a beautiful and powerful journey.  When at a later time I had asked if she had filed my papers with her organisation, she kept putting me off, so I did what any person with a mind would do, I sought out and contacted them myself; boy did I get a rude awakening, not only was she not a part of their organisation but she had stolen their watermark logo for my certificate.  But the HP of the organisation instead of being a person of love was out right rude, and without asking anything of me told me that my Initiation was not valid because they only do them in person at their location and it has to be performed by one of the heads to be so valid in the eyes of the Gods.  I was destroyed, or at the time I thought I was, full betrayal by someone who claimed to be in of the gods, they were not at all out for the Gods but for their own puffed up egos.

Shortly following this I had bumped into the old HP of the local coven I had been a part of where I live and he had the audacity to tell me I should step down as a Priestess as I was not ready and only when man blessed would I be; now I was already over the betrayal from the other at this time, so I sat and thought long and hard about this situation.  Flowing this I had a vision, it was of Dr. Leo L. Martello and he had led me to my “True Mother”, we had many amazing conversations over the next year and half and then I went to Salem, MA for the first time and we met and from there I have learned so very much and gained so much in knowledge and wisdom.  “The one thing she taught me and it stays with me every day.  We were in the hotel lobby where I was staying and she cast circle it was on Samhain night and as she placed her hand on me she said the following, “No man can validate a Priestess of the Gods, only they can if you lift your arms and eyes to the heavens and say I am of the Gods and they give you a sign that is all the validation one ever needs, the rest is just icing”.

Can an Initiation be revoked by those Gods who so validate it, yes.  If we do not stand up to the work and service for the Gods and to humanity in an honourable manner in helping those who seek us out when in need of healing, protection, bringing justice to those who have been falsely harmed or accused and so on.  Are Initiations in most cases done by the hand of man, yes, and no, if an Initiation is done correctly with then the HP and HPs or Hierophant, Arch Druid, etc they are simply the vehicles for the Gods.

An Astral Initiation is one of the most pure forms of initiation at the hands of the Gods.  Do all experience it in the same manner, no, of course not, do all feel the experience, I do not know for sure.  Is it best to have years of training prior to such an Initiation, yes, in that way you are better prepared and you know what to expect when you entree the Astral.

So, Always remember; when someone tells you, you are not valid because you were not taken in by the hand of man to be initiated, please ignore them for they do not know what they are talking about.  The only form of true initiation is that of the Astral.  If you are fortunate to be of a family who understands this and who themselves while doing the true work and service of the Gods performs an initiation pay attention to how much more powerful it is than one from one who seeks only his or her own self recognition.  You will feel the difference from within, as one will be truly guided by the hands of the Gods and the other will have no power at all.

Many Blessings in Light

Watch “The Creation of Elixirs” on YouTube

Mithras or Mica (Michael), a Persian then Roman Sun God

Mithras or Mica (Michael), a Persian then Roman Sun God


Mithras is a Greek form of the name of an Indo-European god, Mithra or Mitra (Old Persian, Mica). Roman writers believed that Mithraism came from Persia and that Mithraic iconography represented Persian mythology. Mithraism was once called the mysteries of the Persians. Christian apologists say Iranian Mithraism was not continuous with Roman Mithraism. There is nothing in this. An invented religion need have no common features with any other but there are many, militating against Roman Mithraism being invented. In Rome, Mithras was a sun god, and, in Persia, he was a god of the morning sun. The Roman Mithras killed the Primæval Bull. A Primæval Bull died in the Persian religion. The Roman Mithras wore a Phrygian cap. Phrygia was in the Persian empire for 200 years. Modern scholars have traced Mithras in Persian, Mittanian and Indian mythology. The Mitanni gave us the first written reference to Mithras in a treaty with the Hittites. These and much more suggest a continuity of belief from India to Rome in a myth of a sun god killing a bull.



Mithras was a Persian saviour, whose cult was the leading rival of Christianity in Rome, and more successful than Christianity in the first four centuries of the Christian era. Mithraism, like Judaism and even more like Christianity is a Zoroastrian heresy. Zoroastrianism is a religious dualism, and so are the Jewish and Christian revisions of it. Both Zoroastrianism and Judaism propose two great contending gods, neither of whom can overcome the other, though an almost successful attempt has been made to paint out the Jewish evil god. The late derivative of Zoroastrianism of Artaxerxes II, Mithraism, and the late derivative of Judaism, Christianity, perfect the analogy, because the good gods of the two original religions now have the support of their sons—Mithras and Jesus.

Zoroaster invented a good god, Ahuramazda, whom he identified as the Creator and unique source of all morality. The antithesis of this good god was the god of pure evil, Angra Mainyu (Ahriman), the source of all sin and wickedness and of all the suffering of all human beings. This implacable enemy of the good god created his legions of devils to seduce and afflict mankind, and these malignant spirits are simply all the gods of all the peoples on earth who did not welcome the missionaries and armies of the worshippers of Ahuramazda. Those who did not were the earthly armies of the Evil Spirit. It is the duty of all who have been saved by Zoroaster’s revelation to convert or destroy any people of the earth who oppose the soldiers of the Good God. To be saved, humanity must provide his footsoldiers.

In the Christian New Testament, Satan is the “prince of this world.” He had the power to carry off the Son to a mountain top, and bribe him with wealth and dominion that Jesus cannot have expected to have himself. The gospels emphasise the power of Satan and that God had no direct sanction against it! Yehouah’s power is limited by the power of an equally strong Evil god. Christian propaganda is simply to deny that Satan is a god, although a god is, by definition, a superhuman, supernatural being, and Satan’s claim is verified on many pages of the Christians’ holy book. The early Christian, Lactantius (Institutiones, 2:9:13), was honest enough to call Satan an “antitheus”, an anti-god.

The material world is therefore a moral battleground. That is the Zoroastrian doctrine, but everyone had to fight their personal battle against the wicked god, called The Lie (Druj). Zoroaster laid the basis for the jihad, the Holy War, one of the greatest insanities that has afflicted mankind. The religions of love and submission, continuing the tradition, now treat the world as a battle ground in fact, and horrific examples of it have been seen since 2001 AD. The ideas Zoroaster produced, which he doubtless meant for nothing but good, were the best possible for fomenting world wide religious strife. Zoroaster was unwittingly the first prophet of Angra Mainyu, not Ahuramazda! He brought upon mankind the plague of religious zealotry that has characterized religion ever since in the “advanced” nations of the world!

Christians often claim that the Good God ultimately will prevail, so the Evil God is the lesser of the two, but that is also the Zoroastrian belief that Christians always assert is dualist. Dualist religions that have descended from Zoroastrianism, like Judaism, Christianity and Islam, all take the division of the world literally. Zoroaster might have made the same mistake, but he unquestionably indicated that he saw the battle on earth for humanity as being a personal moral one, and not one of killing other people considered to be evil.

Zoroaster’s intention has been perverted. His mythology was directed really to the human psyche. The battle was within us because each of us had to chose between Good and Evil in life. If it is known that the Good God will win the war anyway, then all humans can be wicked. Good will prevail. The Zoroastrian scheme puts humanity at the center of the battle, and if enough people do not choose Good, then Evil will prevail. Admittedly, Zoroastrianism implies that Good will prevail, because the Good God has the advantage of Prometheus over Epimetheus—foresight—but the outcome remains our choice, and so far in history we have chosen Evil!


Foundations of Mithraism

The Zoroastrian religion exerted a great attraction on the nations of the vast and multiracial Persian Empire, and many wanted to convert to the the official religion to identify themselves with the dominant culture. The Persians, who formed the ruling aristocracy and enjoyed certain privileges like tax exemptions not extended to others, favored politically a religion that offered a bond of unity between the widely different peoples under their rule, and encouraged loyalty to their empire.

Although the Iranian plateau was highly populated, giving the Persians huge military manpower, few of them were members of the Persian or even the Median ruling elite. So, Persians, like the British in India, admitted natives into administration in the satrapies. Natives who had adopted the religion of their conquerors showing a desire to be assimilated into their culture, and a devotion to the universal god, would have been favoured, perhaps exclusively.

Besides this, though, the Persians had a policy of religious syncretism, almost completely overlooked by historians too ready to accept the kite flown for over a century by Christians and Jews that the Persians were tolerant of all religions. They tolerated the religions of co-operative people, and tried to remodel their religions on lines compatible with Mazdayasnaism. Such converts today are called Juddin. When the Persian empire collapsed to Alexander, these Juddin proved to be Yehudim—Jews.

Persian governors encouraged the practice of a system by which conquered people spontaneously obeyed the law. Zoroaster’s religion had a moral imperative. Ahuramazda commanded conduct of the highest morality, and, in its emphasis on manly courage and speaking the truth, corresponded to the code of honor for which the Persian aristocracy was famous. The ethics of the old Persian nobility, and particularly their insistence on always speaking the truth, greatly impressed the Greeks—so much so that Xenophon made Cyrus the hero of his “faction”[†]Faction. An account purporting to be factual, but largely fiction hung on a factual framework, exemplified by Alex Haley’s book, Roots. The Jewish scriptures and the Christian New Testament are justifiably described as “faction” where they are not entirely mythical!, the Cyropaedia, although he himself had narrowly escaped death at the hand of Tissaphernes, a Persian of noble ancestry but perfidious. Xenophon concluded that no one could trust the Persian aristocracy in his time. Cyropaedia was probably propaganda, so all of it cannot be taken at face value, and the truth and loyalty of Persians will have been directed to others of the same faith, and perhaps the Juddin, but not necessarily to those considered agents of the Evil One.

Zoroastrianism had the same appeal as Christianity later. The promise of equality among human beings by religion has obvious bonding benefits. This aspect of the religion must have appealed strongly to the weak and downtrodden. The Mazdakites[†]Mazdakites Under the early Sassanids, they were a popular sect. Mazdak of Fesa preached vegetarianism, pacifism, and communism, reasoning, like many Christian sects and their secular heresies, that since all men have been created equal, they must be equal in income, social status and perquisites—the caste system meant the upper castes had most of the young women! No one needed any formal sacerdotal religion. No priesthood was needed to represent the people before God. The opposing forces of Nature, good and evil, are mixed together at random, and even God is both good and evil. Mazdakites became radical sectarians in Iran in the late fifth and and early sixth centuries AD. They anticipated modern liberals by advocating taxation as the means of redistributing wealth. King Kavad (Ghobad), desperately short of money, supported them to get allies in the poor ones in his struggles against the Huns and the nobility. He agreed to open government warehouses to the poor, and to close all but three Zoroastrian fire temples. Fearful that Mazdak would abolish private property and marriage, the nobles overthrew Kavad in 496 AD. Kavad regained the kingdom, but now treated the Mazdakites cautiously. The next king Khusrau I (Chosroes, 528 AD) killed Mazdak and viciously suppressed the movement. Remnants survived in remote parts of Iran, and seem to have adopted aspects of Buddhism. “Mazdakite” in Islam became a general expression for heretic, like “Manichee” in Christianity. are an example. Zoroaster’s religion also gave women a measure of equality. Christianity regarded them as inferior and potentially dangerous creatures. Some of the Christian Fathers speak of the “imperfect animal” perhaps implying that women did not have souls.

Ahuramazda is a strictly just, honest, and impartial deity. He has ordained certain rules of righteousness for all mankind. Yehouah is a god who was partial first to a particular tribe then to particularly credulous people. No unprejudiced observer could fail to conclude that Zoroastrianism was not changed for the better when it was remodelled by Jews and then Christians.

Zoroastrianism was a universal religion and sent out missionaries to preach its gospel to all the world, but it became the official religion of the Persian Empire and its fate depended on the fate of Persia. When Alexander the Great overran the Persian Empire and the Greeks colonized Asia from the Mediterranean to the borders of China and from the Caspian Sea to the Indus, the centre of the religion disappeared, and all that remained were the seeds left in various places by the Persian chancellery.

From its status as the official religion of a mighty empire, Zoroastrianism suddenly fell to the abject position of being only the faith of conquered peoples. The crushing defeat of its pious monarchs discredited their religion. Many former adherents abandoned it because they had lost faith in an impotent god, or recognized the cultural superiority of the Greeks, or they saw the advantages of joining the victors, or even because they had been Zoroastrian only out of expediency.

After Alexander’s conquest, the Greeks built Greek cities throughout the lands Alexander had conquered, and Greek became the language of everyone who had any pretensions to culture. Aramaic, the Semitic language which had been the lingua franca of the Persian Empire, became largely the language spoken by the ignorant peasantry of the countryside. Ahuramazda became Horomasdes. The Magi were reduced to the status of swindlers, conjurers, magicians, evangelists, prophets and mediums. They earned a living out of the ignorant and gullible with their tricks. Astrology, which even sensible people accepted as possible, was a staple for which there was always a fair demand.

To the Magi, it must have seemed as though the end of the world had come. Most of the population recognized the superiority of Greek civilization and adopted it, including its language, and its culture. On the fringes of the empire, the caste of priests had to devise new ways of earning a crust. But, many Persians stuck to the core religion in the defeated country long enough to see other sympathetic governments in the Parthians and the Sassanids—Zoroastrianism was eclipsed but was not persecuted. It recovered some prestige.

Elsewhere, Zoroastrianism survived in heresies. Christianity is a Zoroastrian heresy. Many details of Christian doctrine were devised by the Magi in the various Zoroastrian sects—confession of sins, penance and absolution, ceremonial “last suppers” of bread and wine, observance of the twentyfifth of December as a divine birthday, and many others, including even terminology, such as use of the title “Father” to designate a leader of a church, or priest.

Zoroastrianism begins with Ahuramazda, represented only in aniconic form by the sacred fire, as the only god to be worshipped. It evolved to the Mithraic cult in which the “Son” has, for all practical purposes ousted the Father, and the sacred fire has been replaced by murals, sculpture and such rites as a Last Supper.


Persian and Roman Mithraism

Mithras is a Greek form of the name of an Indo-European god, Mithra or Mitra (Old Persian, Mica). Scholars have traced Mithras back into Persian, Mittanian and Indian mythology. The Mitanni gave us the first written reference to Mithras in a treaty with the Hittites. Mithras is celebrated in the Zoroastrian Yashts or hymns of the Sassanian (224-640 AD) Avesta, a book which preserved old oral traditions.

The Mithraism that entered the Roman Empire certainly differed from the Persian religion as practised in Persia during the Achaemenid empire. Christian polemicists deny that the Roman Mithras was the same god as the Persian Mithras. They say:

  • the Roman Mithras cannot be assumed to have originated in Iran, and was only a distant relative of the Persian god, perhaps associated by name only
  • the Roman Mithras was best known for his act of slaying a bull, but not the Iranian Mithras
  • the Roman Mithras was not concerned with contracts
  • Iranians, unlike the Roman Mithraists, did not worship in cave like rooms, have levels of initiation, or pursue secrecy.

Because so many records of the Persian religion have been destroyed by the Greeks and then by the Moslems, it is possible to make some of these assertions. The question is whether the Roman Mithras was a new god invented with the name of the Persian yazata, just to give it some eastern mystery, or was the Roman god essentially the Persian god merely changed somewhat by his long journey from Rhages to Rome. In short, if it was the same Mithras only in that he was dressed up as Iranian just enough to suggest an eastern, Persian, origin, then it was a phony Persian religion. Otherwise, had genuine Mithras worshippers taken the cult with them westwards, changing it as it went, just as paul changed Christianity? Cumont thought so. Christian apologists do not.

Roman Mithraism combined Persian Zoroastrianism, Babylonian astrology, Greek mysteries and perhaps Greek philosophy, but the Persians had themselves been influenced by the Babylonian civilisation in its 200 years of empire, and then a further 300 years almost had passed from the defeat of the Persians and the institution of Alexandrine Hellenization. Thus the opportunity was there for the main differences to be introduced into the original Zoroastrianism of Cyrus to metamorphose it into the Roman variety. An invented religion need have no common features with anything in the east. In fact, many common traits in the characteristics of the god and the religion, West and East militate against the Roman version being invented. The most obvious is that, in Rome, Mithras was a sun god, and, in Persia, he was a god associated with the morning sun.

There is little evidence for a Persian cult of Mithras, suggesting it was never important in itself to the Persian nobility, but by the end of empire it had grown in importance especially at the periphery, notably in Anatolia. The special devotion to Mithras of the later Parthian aristocracy is attested by their use of such theophoric names as Mithridates, but Parthians remained Zoroastrians, and Magi at their courts kept the sacred fires alight.

Roman Mithraism was never called “Mithraism”, but the “mysteries of Mithras” or, significantly, “the mysteries of the Persians”, so, Roman Mithraists considered themselves as “Persians” for the purposes of their religion. They believed that Mithraism came from Persia, that Mithraic iconography represented Persian mythology, and that Zoroaster, the great Persian prophet, had founded the religion. Later, they seemed to identify Mithras with “Sol Dominus Invictus”. Though the Mithras cult is not often discussed in old texts, the writer, Porphyry (234-c 305 AD, On the Cave of the Nymphs) did write about it, albeit sometimes using allusions obscure to the modern mind, saying Zoroaster founded Mithraism in a cave, and so Mithras is shown being born from a rock—Petra Genetrix—as a young man stepping from the rock holding a torch and a sword.

For according to Eubulus, Zoroaster first of all among the mountains bordering Persia, consecrated a natural cave, florid and watered with fountains, in honor of Mithras, the creator and father of all things—a cave in the opinion of Zoroaster bearing a resemblance of the world fabricated by Mithras. But the things contained in the cavern, being disposed by certain intervals, according to symmetry and order, were symbols of the elements and climates of the world.

Porphyry, On the Cave of the Nymphs

Consequently, the places where Mithras was worshipped were caves, or mock caves. Note also here that Mithras is “the creator and father of all things”, “the fabricator of the world”. Porphyry gives Mithras the role that Ahuramazda had in Zoroastrianism.

At the end of the nineteenth century Franz Cumont, a Belgian historian of religion, published in French a two volume work on the Mithraic mysteries taking the origins of the cult as Persian.

Cumont remains the classic work on the subject but in the latter third of the twentieth century has been challenged by Christian skeptics. One apologist tells us that Cumont was wrong about ancient Iranian Mithraism being continuous with Roman Mithraism. Only the name of the god, some terminology, and astrological lore were common. The challenge is based on the lack of hard evidence, much of which Christians themselves destroyed, so as usual with Christian obfuscation, there is good reason to stick with the authoritative foundation of Cumont’s earlier work until Christians produce definitive evidence to the contrary. rather than merely new assertions that suit their beliefs or prejudices better than more rational ideas. There is nothing in most of these challenges.

Zoroaster had tried to suppress Mithras worship, aiming to restrict polytheism and promote monotheism, so had apparently omitted the old Iranian gods, including Mithras, from the Gathas in favour of the supremacy of Ahuramazda. But Mithras would not be suppressed because he was too popular. So, in the original Persian pantheon, Mithras was a retained as a yazata (angel), lower than Ahuramazda (later Ormuzd), the Supreme Being, with whom he was associated, but higher than the Sun. Eventually Strabo would write:

[The Persians] honor the Sun, whom they call Mithras, and the Moon and Aphrodite, and Fire and Earth, and Winds and Water.

Mithras could not originally have been the sun itself because when the sun went at night behind the world mountain, Hara, Mithras did not go with it, but continued his duty as mediator through the hours of darkness. In the original tradition, it will have been Varuna, god of the heavens, who went with the sun at night into the underworld.

Plutarch in On Isis and Osiris digresses to describe dualism in Zoroastrianism, noting that Mithras was “in the middle” (meson) between the good Horomazes and the evil Areimanius (Ahriman, originally Angra Mainyu), “and this is why the Persians call Mithras the Mediator”. It suggests the Magi saw a trinity of Mithras, Ahuramazda and Ahriman. Ahuramazda and Ahriman seemed to be mirror images of some complex power—perhaps Zurvan, Time—and Mithras was the link. Mithras only took the side of Ahuramazda at the earthly level, otherwise he was neutral between the two principles. But at the earthly, human level, Mithras, as mediator, mitigated the otherwise absolute evil of the Demiurge, Ahriman, who aimed to spoil the good creation of Ahuramazda in this level of the cosmos, and whose purpose therefore was to lead men against the good spirit, Ahuramazda.

Mithras became one of the seven aspects of Ahuramazda, apparently his visible face, the god Himself being invisible and too holy to be represented (aniconic), long before His derivatives, Yehouah and Allah. This was so as not to particularize the universal God, lest people got attached to their own depiction of Him, thereby reintroducing idolatry and then polytheism. Though the Jewish scriptures say no human can look upon God and live, God would appear in various forms to living people who did not die as a consequence, often, in Judaism, as the angel of the Lord, or the archangel Michael leading the hosts of heaven, and in Christianity, as Christ. People then wanted their gods capable of being seen, at least sometimes. That too is what seemed to happen in Zoroastrianism. Later, Mithras became more important than Ahuramazda, perhaps because of his role as mediator between men and those on the divine level, and so was the human face of God.

The morning sunlight, Mithras, was the visible face of the invisible God of the hosts of the heavens, Ahuramazda, and thus was Ahuramazda! Mithras became omniscient, the god of light, the Heavenly Light, a spiritual Sun, the enemy of darkness and therefore of evil and hence the god of battles and of military victory. Mithras was the god of contracts and oaths, he embodied the seven divine spirits of goodness (showing that he had become or always was Ahuramazda), he protected the righteous in this world and helped them into the next. He sent rain from Heaven and light from the sun and helped mankind by slaying the Primæval Bull, the first sacrifice, fertilising the earth. He was the Logos (the Word), meaning the order of the universe, the Persian, Arta.

Maybe the worship of Mithras was often not mentioned in the earlier times because the god whom Mithras represented in Rome was other than Mithras in Persia—Ahuramazda maybe![†]Identity of Mithras and Ahuramazda. F M Kotwal and J W Boyd have noted that Parsi practice and Irani practice in consecrating the annual offering to Mithras differ. The Irani service begins with praise of Mithras, and there is no accompanying praise of Ahuramazda, but the Parsi service begins with praise of Ahuramazda followed by the praise of Mithras. The difference is traced back 400 years but might be much older. The authors think it shows that the Parsis have inserted the praise of Ahuramazda to reaffirm his superiority over Mithras, but it was not originally thus, the Iranis retaining the original simpler formula devoted only to Mithras. It could suggest that Mithras was Ahuramazda, and so the addition of praise specifically of the latter is superfluous.. It was not what Zoroaster intended, but perhaps what happened, especially with the collapse of Persia, the fragmentation of the Persian religion, and the dispersal of the Mages. We have to remember that most Zoroastrian writings were destroyed by Alexander, so the plenum of Zoroastrian belief will never be known for sure. We have to try to reconstruct it from what remains.

That the rites were “mysterious” or “secret” meant the cult was interpreted as a secret religion—a mystery religion—but that is an error, in origin at least. The Persians would not admit any strangers into their sacred services because they were unclean, not because they were secret per se. Being an offshoot of Zoroastrianism, Mithraism will have had the same custom, a custom also held by the Jews, another offshoot of Zoroastrianism. In the Jewish temple, the Court of the Gentiles was as far as gentiles were allowed to go. The need for cleanliness will have transmuted into the need for initiation, the initiate having been ritually cleansed in some way, and perhaps all religions, around the time the Roman empire started, will have required some sort of initiation.

It is impossible not to identify the Roman and the Persian gods called Mithras. Christians want us to believe that Pagans worshipped two quite different gods with the same name and an identifiable point of contact. It is too absurd and a sign of desperation that such views are submitted for consideration. The Mithras of the Roman religion had certainly changed in his slow journey from Susa, but it is quite ignorant and stupid to pretend that the Roman Mithras did not begin in Persia and retained many of the qualities of the Persian god. And the lack of remains in the east is easily explained, as Christians ought to realise. It is that Christianity first established itself and grew in these very regions, detracting from the growth of Mithraism, absorbing it and erasing it. Mithraism was founded on and retained albeit with Hellenistic trappings to disguise it, Persian Zoroastrianism.

An attraction for the Romans of Oriental religions was that they had a long history and their gods a reputation for wisdom. This was true of Mithraism. Mithras was a redeemer but also offered a role model as an epitome of morality. Mithraism began to spread because it appealed to to the merchant classes who valued its demand for high moral standards and therefore honesty, to the lowly and humble such as slaves poor freedmen, and particularly to the military. Merchants adopted it because of the high ethics the god demanded over contracts, a concern the Christians claim Roman Mithras did not have! Its failing might have been that women were excluded—adherents were all male and were sworn to secrecy. Modern Freemasonry has strong elements of Mithraism in its organisation.

The Evidence of Mithraism

The evidence for Mithraism is mostly archaeological—the remains of mithraic temples, monumental inscriptions, the iconography of the god and sculptures, sculpted reliefs, wall paintings and mosaics. From every known such reference and such documents as existed, Cumont claimed that Mithras was Persian Mithra.

If Mithras had Iranian roots then the Roman cult of Mithraism must have begun in the east of the Roman empire. Roman soldiers met worshippers of the god, Mithras, in the provinces to the east of the empire, adjacent to Persia, and the Greek biographer, Plutarch (46-127 AD), confirms that Mithraism entered the Empire from Persia when Pompey’s Roman soldiers were challenging Cilician pirates[†]Pirates. Just as today “terrorists” are those who fight to defend their own country and beliefs against the dominant or imperial force, in those days “pirates” and “robbers” were descriptions of those resisting Roman occupation and rule. These pirates were supporters of the Mithridatid kings of Anatolia and Seleucid kings of Syria, who resisted Roman rule so successfully that even noblemen were joining them (“men who were powerful by wealth and of distinguished birth, and who claimed superior education, began to embark on board piratical vessels”. Plutarch). Note the name, Mithridates—a Persian theophoric invocation of the law of Mithras! So, the description “pirates” does not at all imply they were louts and ruffians.. Cilicia was later, according to the bible, the home in Asia Minor of Paul the apostle.

[These pirates] also performed strange rites, those of Olympus, and celebrated certain mysterious rites of perfection, among which were those of Mithras, and they are continued to the present time, having been first introduced by them.

Plutarch, Life of Pompey, Ed A Stewart and G Long

Three hundred years’ later, Maurus Servius Honoratus, commenting on Virgil, added that Pompey settled some of the pirates in Calabria in Italy.

Contrary to the simple meaning of written words, C M Daniels (1975), discussing the role in this of the Roman army, wrote that Plutarch “carefully omits making the point that the cult was introduced into Italy at that time, or by the pirates”. Nothing is carefully omitted here at all. The point is made in passing, to connect an unfamiliar item of history with what Plutarch’s readers would recognize as familiar in their own day and age, namely the growing popularity of the worship of Mithras.

Daniels added that there was no evidence, archaeological or literary, then or since, for the arrival of Mithraism in the West at that time. This is analogous to the creationist complaint about the absence of so called transition fossils. There are no transition fossils of the beginnings of Mithraism! Why should a novel religious fad practiced by a few eccentrics and foreigners instantly leave any noticeable trace in the archaeology? We are unlikely to find any traces of it until it became reasonably popular.

Nor does it matter a whit whether pirates actually took the rites to Italy, or anywhere else. The point is that the west did become familiar with the rites of Mithras, and we have written testimony that it was by contact with eastern enemies of Rome described as “pirates”. These pirates did not have to import the religion to the west themselves any more than native American Indians in person had to introduce tobacco smoking to England. But, once these kingdoms in Anatolia, subdued by Pompey and his generals, had been absorbed into the empire as its eastern provinces, the pirates were citizens of Rome, as free as Paul of Tarsus to travel within the empire!

Certainly, from the middle of the first century BC, soldiers, eastern merchants—called “Syrians”, and slaves, spread these mysteries, impressed by the god’s high precepts. Soldiers and merchants were highly mobile, and slaves were often sold on to new masters and were obliged to move with their new owners, so all could rapidly spread the cult.

Christians, desperate to make Mithraism dependent on Christianity, insist that it only started in the second half of the first century AD, despite Plutarch’s plain statement that it began a century earlier. Since he lived at this very time (46-120 AD), he can hardly have thought a new Roman fad was 100 years old. He knew it was that old and, by his own time, established. Indeed, it is in the second half of the first century AD that the archaeological evidence begins to get more common, showing that the religion was getting popular.

Dio Cassius relates that Tiridates, the dependent king of Armenia, visited Nero at Rome in 63 AD to be crowned, and to worship Nero as Mithras. Pliny (Natural History) adds that Tiridates initiated Nero into “magical feasts”. Here Pliny clearly means “magical” to mean “Magian”. We are in the period when the word was degenerating into meaning trickery and conjuring, but the Magi brought by Tiridates for the ritual will not have been goëtae, but honorable priests of the Zoroastrian religion. It sounds as though the sacred banquet of Mithras and the sun is meant. Nero might have enjoyed the limelight, but the occasion must have meant something to the people for them to have a strong enough interest in it to make the spectacle meaningful. It implies they had some familiarity with the king’s Mithraitic beliefs and practices. Possibly this occasion was when Mithraism was granted Imperial approval, in practice, if not formally.

Statius (Thebaid 1) about 80 AD mentions Mithras, writing, “Mithras twists the unruly horns beneath the rocks of a Persian cave”, sounding like a partial description of the tauroctony, the sacred act in which Mithras individually sacrifices a bull. It is the earliest extant datable text seeming to mention the rites of Mithras.

Possibly even earlier, and certainly farther east, are five terracotta plaques from Kerch in the Crimea, described by Roger Beck and dated between c 60 BC and c 10 AD by Russian archaeologists. As they show a man killing a bull, they may be the earliest tauroctonies. The figure doing the killing, is more like Attis than the familiar later depictions of Mithras, who wears the trousers typical of Persian dress (from their being nomadic horsemen originally). Here, though, his genitals are exposed, possibly emphasizing the suspected fertility connexions of the bull sacrifice, or a syncretism with the god Attis in Anatolia, the original home of Attis:

He is grasping one of the bull’s horns with his left hand, and wrenching back its head. The right arm is raised to deliver the death blow. So far, this god must be Mithras. But in sharp contrast with the usual representations, he is dressed in a jacket like garment, fastened at the chest with a brooch, which leaves his genitals exposed—the iconography typical of Attis.

M Clauss

An Imperial freedman named T Flavius Hyginus dedicated a plinth in Rome sometime between 80-100 AD to Sol Invictus Mithras. The name “Flavius” signifies that he had been freed by a Flavian emperor. The inscription even mentions the rank of “Father” as Lollius Rufus, so already there is an indication of the degrees of membership known later, in which the Father was the top rank.

A broken plinth from Moesia Inferior is unquestionably Mithratic, showing Cautes and Cautopates, the two torchbearers who are plainly aspects of Mithras himself[†]Cautes and Cautopates. These names are not Latin, but seem to be Iranian, suggesting their origin. . It is dated 100 AD. Perhaps a little later but before 114 AD, C Sacidius Barbarus, a centurion of XV Apollinaris, recorded that Roman soldiers in the military garrison at Carnuntum on a bank of the Danube in Upper Pannonia (modern Hungary) were worshipping Mithras. It is now the earliest archaeological evidence outside Rome for such worship by Romans. The legion, XV Apollinaris, had been ordered East in 63 AD to fight against the Parthians and then the Jews, who revolted from 66-70 AD. In about 71 or 72 AD, on their return, the legionaries were making Mithraic dedications.

Much more evidence of the worship of Mithras comes from the western empire, particularly Rome itself and its port, Ostia, and the military forts on the Danube and Rhine. Mithraism was also popular among the legionaries in North Africa and those in the forts of Hadrian’s wall. Rome had some 700 mithraea and Ostia had some more, but not many have survived. Besides grottos, 400 other traces of Mithras have been found in Rome and Ostia. Mithraism in Rome and Ostia appealed to the same people as elsewhere and existed in the area of Rome as early as the late first century AD. About twenty five inscriptions to Mithras have been found in Spain, and several statues of him were found at Merida, perhaps a cult centre in the west.

By the mid second century, the Christian writer Justin Martyr was claiming that the Devil was imitating the Christian communion rite in the rites of Mithraism:

For the apostles, in the memoirs composed by them, which are called Gospels, have thus delivered unto us what was enjoined upon them, that Jesus took bread, and when He had given thanks, said, “This do ye in remembrance of Me, this is My body”. And that, after the same manner, having taken the cup and given thanks, He said, “This is My blood”, and gave it to them alone. Which the wicked devils have imitated in the mysteries of Mithras, commanding the same thing to be done. For, that bread and a cup of water are placed with certain incantations in the mystic rites of one who is being initiated, you either know or can learn.

Justin Martyr, First Apology 66

So, in the first century of this era, archaeology suggests that Mithras worship began to take off in popularity. Even so physical remains of it only appear commonly after 150 AD. Marquita Volken says the cult began using private rooms in insulae, tenement buildings, like the Casa di Diana at Ostia, or temporary quarters in large buildings, such as baths or store rooms, so could not leave recoverable remains. Christianity was apparently the same. What we know of the growth Mithraism Mithraism ought to be compared with what we know of the growth of Christianity.

We are led to believe from documents like those of the New Testament that Christianity was already established in Rome when Paul arrived around 60 AD. Yet recognisably Christian artefacts do not begin to appear until around 180 AD, and churches much later still. The subsequent success of Christianity and its ruthless suppression of its rivals, once it was able to do it, meant that we have no certain Mithraitic documents at all, let alone from the early period. If the situation were the reverse, we had no written evidence of Christianity and we had to make any deductions from archaeological evidence alone, then we would have to conclude that Christianity began in the second century AD, and only became popular in the fourth. Indeed most Christian archaeology comes after 250 AD, and only becomes common, as one would expect, after Constantine.

Roger Beck guesses there were over a million Mithraists by the Severan period, say 240 AD, 300 years after it was introduced to the Roman world. That is a modest rate of increase of 5 percent per annum, a doubling of membership about every fifteen years, assuming a steady rate, though it probably began growing quickly, then tailed off as the membership reached a saturation point. Still, there were perhaps thousands of Mithraic temples in the Roman empire, mainly in Rome itself but, as Mithraism appealed to soldiers, also in garrisons on the frontiers of the Empire.

The rites of Mithras was the last of the Eastern Mystery cults besides Christianity to reach the West and one of the most vigorous in its rate of growth, but was not officially recognized in the Empire until the end of the second century AD. It reached the height of its popularity in the third century—though it never became a state religion of Rome, unless Aurelian’s Unconquered Sun was to all intents and purposes Mithras.

Persian and Roman Mithraism: The Missing Link

A problem has been that Mithraic belief was not regulated by any central authority, and, certainly early on, seems not to have been consistent from place to place, so archaeological relics of it might not be instantly recognizable. Only three Mithraea and a few Mithraic objects have been found in Syria and Palestine, but the iconography is very variable. Since Mithraism was an eastern cult, it seems paradoxical that it was stronger in the west than in Anatolia and Syria:

While little can be proved from silence, it seems that the relative lack of archaeological evidence from Roman Syria would argue against the traditional [Cumont’s] theories for the origins of Mithraism.

Uncovering Ancient Stones, Lewis M Hopfe (ed)

It is considered evidence that Cumont was wrong. To pass from Iran to the west, Mithraism ought to have been strong at some intermediate stage in Syria, but was not, so the hypothesis is wrong. The reason is, at least partly, because the other religious legacies of Persia, Judaism then Christianity, were stronger in the Levant, the old Persian satrapy of Abarnahara which included the temple state of Yehud. Judaism was founded by Persians as the “good” religion of submissive people, not directly related with the religion of the Persian aristocracy, and so survived more easily, especially at the fringes. Mithraism came more directly from the religion of the ruling Persians, and survived less easily the demise of the Persian nobility outside of the Persian core lands.

The Persian empire was not lacking in Mithraic monuments. If there are few obvious instances of the Roman cult in Asia Minor whence it supposedly emerged, destruction of Mithraic relics by the fanatics of the newer religions is another factor. In Europe, excavations have revealed a mithraeum under many of the earliest church buildings. In the east, churches or mosques were sometimes similarly built on the site of temples to Mithras, or Persian divinities at any rate, as at Etchmiadzin, under the Juma Mosque in Esfahan, and under other Juma Mosques in Iran.

But other eastern mithraea were first converted to Sassanian fire temples, still called after Mithras (mihr) “dare-e Mehr”, and then into mosques, even so continuing to be called a “House of Communion”. The “fire temple” in Bishapur was a mithraeum. It seemed unlikely that a fire temple would have been built underground, but the discovery of a fragment with a figure of Mithras, reproduced by Professor Ghirshman, confirms its Mithraic origin. Continued usage of old mithraea effected a more thorough destruction of any relics than knocking down and building over, because all extraneous objects and symbols were removed, leaving nothing of the old to be left to be found, even when the building was eventually demolished and rebuilt.

The variation of the style and content of the Syrian relics rather supports the idea that the cult developed in the east. The relics are variable precisely because the people there, once they were devoid of a centralized Persian chancellery, had to improvise. Subsequent transfer into the empire led to a degree of standardization. Anatolia was doubtless similar. More Persians had settled in Anatolia than Syria, and so the legacy of Persia there was stronger, albeit like Syria subject to intense Hellenization and rivalry from Judaism. After his conquest, Alexander minted coins bearing the image of Zeus enthroned modeled on the coins of Mazaeus at Tarsus. Some Graeco-Bactrian coins show a similar enthroned god, but with solar rays around his head or wearing a tiara surmounted with rays. A D H Bivar thought it could only be Mithras.

In Hellenized places, Mithras was sometimes shown as Zeus. Mary Boyce thinks Greeks could not imagine an active and popular supernatural being like Mithras as being merely an angel, a servant of the high god. Perhaps Hellenized Iranians too! One remarkable instance in Anatolia is a spectacular monument, which has partly survived the depredations of two millennia, on the high mountain which the Turks call Nemrud Dag, close to the upper course of the Euphrates and about 365 miles east-southeast of Ankara. There, such a Mithras, identified with the Greek Sun god Helios/Apollo—with a Phrygian cap and a nimbus about his head—appears among the colossal statues erected by King Antiochus I of Commagene, a buffer kingdom, and then Roman province, of Anatolia, which he ruled from 69-38 BC.

Antiochus I, a minor king, ruled his kingdom as a Roman puppet, and seems to have been an Hellenized Iranian. He claimed both Alexander and Darius as his ancestors, and combined Greek Olympian and Persian worship in the imagery of his syncretic royal cult, just as Plutarch suggested. He was of generally Greek culture, but he chose to associate himself with the Zoroastrian religion, perhaps because his subjects still mostly held to it. He erected, on both sides of an artificial hill added to the summit of the mountain, the colossal statues of his gods, which could pass as Greek but wear Oriental robes and Persian head dresses.

One of the two principal gods majestically looking out over a valley is a fusion of Zeus and Oromasdes carrying thunderbolts. The second is a fusion of Apollo, Helios, and Mithras also carrying thunderbolts like Zeus/Oromasdes. The Greeks were willing to believe that Zeus was also Oromasdes in inner Asia, just as he was Amun in Egypt, and it was only reasonable that he would seem different to a different people. But, though exalted at Commagene, Mithras was typically below Zeus/Oromasdes in the pantheon. Commagene is adjacent to Cilicia, and Antiochus ruled just about the time when Pompey was trying to squash the Cilician pirates.

The shrine, despite the Greek appearance given it by Antiochus, is late Zoroastrian and even included a massive altar on which the sacred flame could be kept burning. Commagene was a buffer between the Roman Empire and the aggressive Parthian Empire. The great Parthian king, Mithridates VI Eupator had waged a series of bloody wars with the Romans from 88 to 66, when he was defeated decisively by Pompey. He fled to his overseas colonies in the Crimea, where he committed suicide. Parthian power remained formidable, as Crassus was to learn at Carrhae. Mithradates’s theophoric name denotes him as a votary of Mithras.

To the southeast of Nemrud Dag may still be seen a large cave in the side of a mountain. A wide terrace was built up in front of it, and the entrance made an arch in walls covered with once lavish ornaments, sculptured reliefs and inscriptions, which have long since disappeared. From the floor of the cave, engineers sank a tunnel, at an angle of 45° downward, into the mountain for 520 feet and enlarged it to a large room at the bottom. It is a shrine built and excavated probably by Antiochus for an annual commemoration of the miraculous birth and epiphany of the Son of God, Mithras, born in a cave, saluted by choirs of rejoicing angels, and first adored by shepherds on the twenty-fifth of December, after the Winter Solstice. Mithras, however, was born an adult.

In the room at the bottom, Antiochus will have performed religious rites to renew his own participation in divinity. He will have put on garments to impersonate Mithras emerged at the dramatic moment of sunrise, on the terrace as the “theos epiphanes”, suggesting to the awaiting worshippers that he was an incarnation of Mithras, or at least his divinely-appointed vice-regent on earth.

Antiochus was also portrayed in the characteristic pose of Zoroastrian kings, face to face with his god. He and Mithras both in Persian trousers and tunic, stand facing each other and joining their hands, as if sealing a covenant with a handshake. Antiochus is distinguished by his crown, Mithras by the rays of the sun which appear behind his Phrygian cap. Antiochus showed himself shaking hands with Ahuramazda, who remains seated on his throne, since the supreme god was still entitled to that dignity.

This syncretic religion of Antiochus of Commagene looks suspiciously like the “missing link” that some claim archaeology has never found where it is most expected. To demand a missing link is a delightful tactic for naysayers because every missing link discovered throws up the need to discover two more! Admittedly nothing can be unequivocally labeled as the immediate ancestor of the Roman Mithras in Anatolia but the Commagene cult must be close. Moreover, other curious monuments and artifacts from modern day Turkey, and nearby Crimea, across the Black Sea—like the five terracotta pots noted above—support the notion that here was a Graeco-Iranian melting pot where Persian, Greek and Jewish ideas amalgamated over several centuries to produce new syntheses including Mithraism, Hellenized Judaism, and Gnosis.

Mithraism may have survived here as the religion of Iranian nobility reduced to banditry, a religion of small cells of believers resisting the demise of Persian rule. Yet it is unlikely to have been carried into Rome by Anatolian bandits. Roman soldiers and merchants took up the religion. In the west, it retained the custom of the outlaws of meeting only in small, independent, intimate cells, where the sacred repast was taken by just a few, but they obeyed the Roman law that meetings of colleges should not be clandestine[†]Clandestine. Meetings that were private because they were open only to novitiates and initiates were not secret in the sense of being clandestine. Everyone knew they were being held, when and where, but admission was restricted to members. Secret meetings, held clandestinely, were illegal, they were not advertised and no one knew about them except the members of the cells., and so they were never persecuted for acting illegally.

A Persian link with Roman Mithraism cannot be denied in that the fifth level of the seven levels of fraternity was called Persian. That initiates were aspiring to a rank of “Persian” implies that Mithraism was a non-Persian or post-Persian religion. Though Persia was Rome’s most fearsome enemy in the east, there was no suggestion that Romans considered Mithraists as traitors, even though, Roger Beck (Encyclopaedia Iranica) tells us, Roman worshippers of Mithras aspired to be Persians for cult purposes. For Romans, “Persian” was a cultic not an ethnic designation but showed the religion did not come directly from the Persians, but from a peripheral people, aspiring to the honor of being a Persian. It suggests an origin in the fringes of the Persian empire, where colonised people aspired to be ranked with the rulers, rather as Anglo-Indians did in the days of the British Raj. The Persian nobility were identified exactly with their religion. Those who followed the Persian religion were Persians, just as people who followed the Jewish religion were Jews.

Professor Moghdam thinks much of the eastern evidence has not been recognized because it was specifically buried under churches and mosques or left as ruins feared by Arabs as places of Jinns. He says the word “khirbah”, which has understandably been associated with “ruins” by the Arabs, as in “khirbit” Qumran, the most famous one of them known in the west, is really from the Persian “khorabe”, a “sun-dome”, “abe” being a dome. Dozy translated Arabic “khirba” as a “court”. A sun-dome is a place of worship and a court of Mithras. The “khirbahs” scattered all over Arabia and Syria are, Moghdam believes, mithraeums. Certainly Mithraic figures and statuettes have been found in some of them. In the kitab al-Aghani is narrated:

In Sistan there was a man called Burzen, an ascetic, whose father had been impaled in his Khiraba.

Moghdam comments, he could not have been impaled in his “ruins” but could have been in his “khorabe” or mithraeum. Evidently, there were “khorabes” as far as Sistan. The writings of the sectarians of Khirbit Qumran are markedly dualistic in tone, suggesting a long association with Persian teaching. The common noun in Armenia for temple, Mehean, means mithraeum. The ruins of the Mehean in Garni are impressive, having been built by the kings of Armenia, who were at that time Mithraists not Christians. A temple at Kangavar was dedicated to Anahita, and Mithraic cathedrals are known that were made into fire temples by the Sassanians.


Myth and the Tauroctony

Roman Mithras, as his mightiest and most beneficent deed, sacrifices a bull, but the truth is no one knows of a certain bull slaying by the Iranian Mithras because any direct evidence of it has gone. Assertions do not dispose of arguments, though Christians, used to settling all disputes by reference to the holy book, have got into the habit of believing they do. In Zoroastrian legend, there is no denying that an important bull was slain—the Primæval Bull, effectively the source of living things! The bull is slain, although Mithras is not the killer.

Ahriman killed the Primæval Bull of creation, but the outcome was paradoxically good—rather as the plot of Satan to kill the son of God on the cross, in some versions of the Christian myth, was foiled in it being precisely God’s purpose. The killing of the bull was unintentionally the first sacrifice. The dying bull’s sperm was carried to the moon, purified and generated all domestic animals. That the Evil Spirit should have done good, even involuntarily, must have seemed odd, and the myth therefore might have evolved with Mithraic theology. Christians ought to know about changing theology, but what they treasure in their own fantasies, they will not permit in other people’s. So, a variant of the myth was that the first man was tricked by Angra Mainyu into killing the Primæval Bull.

Persians were reluctant to make pictures of their gods, just like the Moslems today, and there is no Persian iconography of the god slaying the bull like that found in the Roman cult of Mithras. Later, as the Time of Long Dominion approached its end, the prophesied Saoshyant, the Persian saviour, would repeat the deed of sacrificing a bull and make from its fat and the sacred drink haoma, a potent to give immortality. It seems Mithras was, or, at the margins of Zoroastrianism perhaps, was confused with, the Saoshyant, a reincarnation of Zoroaster, whence the Roman adaptation. Later, this form in the east died or was persecuted as heretical. Having lost the proper Zoroastrian corpus to Alexander’s unusual vandalism at Persepolis, we cannot be sure this was not an original part of the mythos.

Iranian and Indian myths had the same roots. Indians were the Aryan brothers of the Persians. So, consider the following. M J Vermaseren relates an Indian myth of Soma (Avestan haoma), a polymorphic god, one of whose forms is that of a bull whose semen is the rain which fertilizes the earth. He is therefore the life giver. Soma was murdered by the gods including Mithras. The Roman evidence tells us that the Saviour Mithras killed the Primæval Bull. The Roman Mithras wore a Phrygian cap. Phrygia had been part of the Persian empire for 200 years and was in the region—Anatolia—from which the Mithraic religion was reported by contemporaries to have emerged—Cilicia adjacent to Commagene. He also wore a short cape of the Greek style and Persian trousers. The Ionian Greeks were also ruled by the Persians for a long time, served in the Persian military and merchant service, and were neighbours of the Phrygians. These related strands of history and mythology are sufficient to suggest a continuity of belief from India to Rome expressed in a myth of the god killing a bull.

Apologists will protest that such an interpolation is contrary to the evidence, but that is merely to suit themselves. These connexions are evidence, and when direct evidence has been destroyed whether deliberately or by accident, we are entitled to make inferences—hypotheses—from what remains. It is impossible to be sure it is absolutely right, but it is pure stupidity not to use the evidence we have, and to try to account for isolated historical facts by postulating reasonable hypotheses to bring them together. More evidence might refute an hypothesis, and it will have to be improved or abandoned for a better one, but that is how science works. We do not restrict ourselves solely to facts on the grounds that a hypotheis might be wrong. Christians do not want to make reasonable inferences because it often challenges Christianity as an exclusive revelation. So they suddenly become purists in regard to evidence. They want no evidence that is not foolproof to be admitted. Yet their own beliefs are based on ancient hearsay evidence with no sound foundation. They are hypocrites.

The story of Mithras begins with the Ahriman oppressing mankind. Mithras is incarnated from a rock in a cave on 25—December, the old date of the midwinter solstice. He enters the world, observed by lowly shepherds, on the darkest day of the year—he is the Light of the World. During his incarnation he helps mankind like Orpheus—a god with probably the same Persian roots [†]Orpheus. Though Orpheus is not mentioned in Homer, in a fragment of Ibycus, a poet of the sixth century BC, the period when Cyrus the Persian conquered the world, and when Zoroastrians think their prophet lived, spoke of “Orpheus famous of name”, the earliest reference to Orpheus we have. Much later Pausanias knew of an Egyptian who thought Orpheus was a “magician”, that is, a Magian, implying that Orpheus sprang from Persian tradition. Indeed, rather like Zurvan being the father of Ahuramazda and Ahriman, the Orphics believed Chronos procreated Aither and Chaos, where these are opposites, one lucent and good, the other opaque and bad. From a divine egg in the Aither sprang the hermaphroditic god, Phanes, who actually then created the material world, gods and humans. Thus Aither equates with Ahuramazda and Chaos with Ahriman. The emergence of Phanes from the cosmic egg is like Mithras emerging from a rock standing for the dome of the heavens. Phanes also means shining or bright, Persian ahura becomes oro or or in Greek, so Orpheus could be a corruption of a Greek version of Ahuramazda. Mithraism might have been a Roman syncretism of two versions of the same story separated by half a millennium—Orphism and Mithraism.—and carries out miracles like Jesus. In an abstract way, he dies for the good of mankind. He kills the sacred bull, the equinoctial sun which revivifies and fertilises the earth, but the bull is an aspect of himself:

Mithra, as well as the Bull, is the Demiurgus and lord of generation…

Porphyry, Nymphs

They are two aspects of the sun, or the heavens represented by the path of the sun through the summer constellations—the summer zodiac. Mithras is the god of the summer sun. So he kills an aspect of himself, just as God, the Father, kills himself by offering himself as a victim in his aspect as God the Son. As an annual sun god he is resurrected. His mission done he holds a last supper with his disciples and returns to Heaven, the level beyond the cosmos, in the solar chariot. He will be victorious over evil at the last battle and will sit in judgement on mankind, when he will lead the Chosen Ones over a river of fire to immortality.

The scholars are agreed, from a message scratched in a second century Mithraeum, that Mithras promised his worshippers immortality:

And us, too, you saved by spilling the eternal blood.

The source of this precedes Christianity because the parent of Mithraism was Zoroastrianism in which the good creation would be restored at the end of time in an eternal existence. So, those who sought to be on the side of good, were promised eternal life after death. Again, the precious sensibilities of Christians who think they are unique have to be preserved. Here they even will admit that religions have points in common, to try to minimize the importance of another religion offering what the Christians want to keep for themselves. By doing so, they automatically admit that Christianity is neither unique nor even compellingly different from other religions in the milieu from which it sprang—the Roman empire.

Christians are quite desperate to prove that Mithras was not a dying and rising god. They say, even granting that the suffering god myth is essential to mystery religions, Mithras can hardly be included because he is the only god who did not suffer. It is true that the god in his human form did not die as the others did, but he died in the form of the bull which represented himself. Christians claim this is all a misapprehension based on Cumont’s original interpretation which is—they say—plagued with problems. So today’s Mithraic scholars are very sceptical of attempts to understand the Roman Mithras in the light of the Iranian one. It would be nice to know how many of these Mithraic sceptics are Christians. We can guess most, and we can thank earlier Christians for the lack of evidence, but sun gods often slay bulls which represent themselves as the sun rising in the constellation of Taurus. The idea has a firm and ancient basis.

Apologists will say that solar myths in which other gods of no relation to Mithras are depicted as bulls, and sacrifices of bulls in various places, are of no relevance to the issue. But that is utterly absurd. The killing of the bull is so closely linked with solar worship that it can be taken as a signal of it. Mithras was a solar god. Why are Christian apologists so determined that solar gods do not kill bulls, even if Christ did not?

The Mithraeaum

Mithras worship took place in churches called grottos, imitations of caves or sometimes actual caves or catacombs, a small oblong space with a domed ceiling about 7-10 metres wide, decorated with carved reliefs, statues and paintings. Since Mithras was born in a cave, the mithraea, the churches of the cult, had to be located underground, and if no natural cave was conveniently available, an area of ground was excavated and roofed over with a dome, accounting for the preservation of so many of them. The Christians could not knock down holes in the ground, so they filled them in and built churches on top ensuring that the mithraea were preserved in their foundations. A normal Mithraeum would accommodate only thirty or thirty-five worshippers at one time, and the size of a congregation must have been deliberately limited to ensure that its members were truly close companions.

To enhance the resemblence to a natural cave the ceiling of the mithraeum was vaulted and sometimes was rendered with crushed pottery to give an illusion of rock. The ceilings sometimes had vents to admit shafts of light. A narrow aisle about 12-20 metres long usually ran down the centre of the room with a stone bench on either side for two or three dozen members to sit or recline on during the service. If an ordinary room was being prepared as a grotto then dining couches were arranged in two rows down the length of the room. At the end of the aisle, opposite the entrance, was a symbolic mural, carved relief or tapestry of Mithras slaying a bull inside a cave like the mithraeum itself, which would be brightly illuminated in the dimness of the grotto. This tauroctony was the main icon of Mithraism. This mural was often one of a diptych, the other showing Mithras sitting at a table with Helios, the sun.

From the arrangement of benches or dining couches, and from wall paintings in some mithraea, it seems worshippers were initiated into the celebration of a common meal. In the Mithraeum of the Seven Spheres at Ostia each bench is divided into six sections and each section is associated with an astrological sign. If each sign represented a member, six men were reclining on each bench, giving a total of twelve. Devotees sought communion with Mithras to prepare for the final judgement. Mithras slayed the Cosmic Bull, and from this bull he obtained the “eternal blood” that was shed for the salvation of mankind.

He who will not eat of my body, nor drink of my blood so that he may be one with me and am I commingled with him, shall not be saved.

Mithraic Communion (M J Vermaseren, Mithras, The Secret God)


The literary and archaeological remains of the religion of Mithras suggest that the salvation of man, symbolized by the slaying of the Primæval Bull, is ritualized in a communal holy meal with the brethren. Evidence that this divine supper came from Persian religion is the terminology. Professor Moghdam tells us the Persian for a “good meal” meaning a “sacred meal” is “hu-khoresht” where the meat is Persian “nushkhare”, the edible thing of immortality, and “nushabe” is the water of immortality. The Greek form of the “hu-khoresht” is “eucharist”. Moreover, two ancient Iranian words for the holy repast in the Gathas are “myazda” and “myastra”. Moghdam believes the first form transposed into the Persian “miz” and Latin “mass”, and the second form gives Greek “mysterion”, mystery. That is why Mithraism and Christianity were mystery religions. These religions were private and required ritual purity, but not secret. Anyone could apply to join and attend the rituals. Secrecy is not essential to the “myastra”.

This is evidence that the votaries of Mithras came to think of their holy suppers as theophagous, with the cannibalistic implications of the Christian eucharist. Their Last Suppers commemorated, and hence doubtless imitated, the sacred meal at which Mithras and his assistants, celebrating their victory over the powers of evil, partook of bread and wine, the bread being made from the wheat that sprang from the spine of the slain bull, and the wine from the grapes that sprang from the bull’s blood. The Mithraic concept of redemption by blood appears in the taurobolia celebrated by the religious in the waning Roman Empire—in a lustrum, they were cleansed of their sins by the blood of a bull that was slain in imitation of Mithras’s slaying of the Primæval Bull. However, there is no way of inferring that a bull was actually sacrificed and eaten. Most mithraea seated less than 40 worshippers and the rooms were too small for bull sacrifices.

Were all mithraeums simple grottos, merely churches as opposed to cathedrals? Did the Roman emperors neglect their Mithraic religion in never building any impressive mithraeums, even though the official religion for a long time was Mithraism under the name of the Unconquered Sun? Several emperors were proud to be followers of Mithras. Trajan was pictured with the Mithraic Phrygian cap of liberty. In fact, Professor Moghdam tells us the basilica of Trajan and the magnificent halls attached to the baths of Caracalla were set apart for worship of Mithras.

Since Mithraic worship was exclusively for men, their wives mainly went to the temple of the Magna Mater (Cybele) which was usually located just across the street for their convenience and, being entirely above ground, was usually effaced completely by the fury of the Christians when they took over. The cults of Mithras and the Magna Mater seem to have been closely related, both emerging from neighbouring parts of Anatolia, and the two theologies interpenetrated to some degree, as in the significance of a bull. Women could indulge in a “taurobolium” and have their sins washed away by the magical blood of the bull slain as if in memory of the Primæval Bull. They also used water for ritual purification, and some scholars suppose that the Magna Mater was a form of Anahita of the Persian trinity for whom a bull was undoubtedly sacrificed.

Mithraism had no extensive priestly caste. Each small group of worshippers had a “father”, simply a member of the highest rank of the cult, and the most common grade of membership mentioned on inscriptions, though a “father of fathers” (pater patrum, equivalent to a Christian bishop) is mentioned often enough for it not to have been uncommon, presumably in mithraea with large memberships. Why are Christian priests called father?

The mysteries of Mithras always remained a private and voluntary religion, never receiving huge state patronage, so the shrines and churches of Mithras remained humble and the worshippers pious and egalitarian. Worshippers of Mithras, unlike Christians, were free to continue to participate in the state cults, like that of the emperor, which amounted to little more than singing a national anthem is today—mere trappings of patriotic loyalty rather than a world view. In Mithraic churches, noble, freedman and slave met as equals. Mithraism had its male celibates and expected its initiates to repudiate worldly offerings expecting instead heavenly wealth.

Symbols and Imagery

Mithraic rituals were stylized enactments of episodes in the mythos as depicted around the cave of the tauroctony when it is thus illustrated, and around the walls of the mithraeum:

  1. the birth  from a rock (the Petra Genetrix, “the mother rock”) of Mithras, as a young man holding a torch
  2. his bringing water from a rock with an arrow
  3. Mithras and Sol shaking hands over a burning altar
  4. the pursuit and capture of the bull
  5. the tauroctony—killing the bull, with symbols of the Good and Wicked Creations around
  6. Sol’s submission to Mithras
  7. the holy communion—Mithras and Sol partaking of a heavenly banquet, sitting on the skin of the bull symbolizing life out of the bull’s death
  8. the ascent of Mithras to the heavens in a sun chariot.

Mithraic imagery looks to be largely astrological. The setting of the tauroctony is a cave encircled by the chariot of the sun and the signs of the zodiac. Note that Sol and Mithras are distinct. The Neoplatonic philosopher, Porphyry, says the cave of the tauroctony, which the domed Mithraic grottos were meant to imitate, was “the cosmos.” The zodiac, planets, sun, moon, and stars are commonly portrayed in Mithraic art.

The Greeks had a god of the heavens called Uranus, and the Indians had the same god under the name Varuna, a sun god who was the equal of Mithras, but was also the god of the night sky, and therefore also a god of the heavens, like Uranus. Now, Zoroaster introduced the moral God, Ahuramazda, to replace a plethora of gods hitherto worshipped by the Iranians, and he seems to stand for the heavens, heavenly light, and the hosts of heaven, perhaps because many gods were planets and heavenly bodies, and by worshipping the heavens, all of the hosts of heaven, the planets, stars, constellations, sun, moon, and, often in those days, clouds, meteors, thunder, lightning and so on, were automatically made into one God, of which the others were just aspects at best. When the Persians invented Judaism, the Jewish god was called Yehouah of Hosts (Yehouah Sabaoth), an exactly equivalent god to Ahuramazda—a god of heaven. It seems then that Ahuramazda—and therefore Yehouah—was a promoted Varuna. However, possibly Ahuramazda was always seen as a combination of the bright and dark suns, Mithras and Varuna, the two names being common togther in Aryan theophoric names.

Either way, Zoroaster’s full scheme buckled quite quickly because it is easier said than done to eliminate people’s favorite deities. In this case, Mithras emerged again seemingly as a sun god, but actually a god superior to the sun, and surrounded by heavenly symbols—plainly Ahuramazda personified.

Mithras was usually shown clad in a tunic, a cloak decorated with the heavenly lights when it is shown, Persian trousers, and a pointed floppy cap called a Phrygian cap, as slaying the cosmic bull created in Persian mythology by Ahuramazda. Now Persian mythology does not have Mithras slaying the cosmic bull—it is Ahriman, the Evil Spirit, who does that, thereby spoiling the original perfection of the world, and, rather like the biblical myth of the Tower of Babel, introducing confusion and change into what before was still and perfect.

However, there is a later version of the myth that suggests that Ahuramazda had known everything from the outset because he has foresight, but Ahriman does not. So when Ahriman arranged to kill the bull to spoil the Good Creation, Ahuramazda contrived that in so doing the bull would bring many benefits into the world for people who had to suffer the Time of Long Dominion when Ahriman was a rival to Ahuramazda. He did this by making the sacrifice of the Cosmic Bull the first pious sacrifice of humanity by arranging that Yima, the first man, actually killed the bull. The sacrifice fertilized the earth and brought about all the animals of God’s Good Creation that human beings have found useful. Realizing he had been tricked, Ahriman introduced a lot of horrible animals that would torment people.

It is all this that the Mithrais grotto mural shows. It represents the sacrifice of the Primæval Bull, the first animal, from the soul of which came all other life as a result of this sacrifice. Mithras is pulling back the bull’s head by its nose and upper lip and stabbing its exposed neck with a dagger in his right hand, the bull’s blood re-entering the earth yielding ears of corn. Thus it stood for life, vitality, vigour, peace and plenty—the whole of Ahuramazda’s Good Creation. But the Evil Creation of Ahriman was shown biting and stinging the good world. A serpent drinks the bull’s blood. A dog hangs on to its flank. A scorpion nips at its testicles. A raven perches on the bull’s back, or on Mithras’s cloak, and a tree stands by. It will be an olive tree for its leaves mimic the two Mithratic attendants, Cautes and Cautopates, as Porphyry explains:

In summer, the white leaves of the olive tend upwards, but in winter the whiter leaves are bent downward.

Porphyry, Nymphs

An olive is the symbol of the divine wisdom, the world not being made rashly and casually, but from this divine wisdom. The sun god up and to the left, and the moon goddess up and to the right, sometimes in chariots, observe the sacrifice. Two torch bearers are in attendance, miniature versions of Mithras, one with an up turned torch and one with a down turned torch. A torch bearer in ancient symbolism denoted the sun. In Apuleius’s Golden Ass, we read:

I carried a lighted torch thus I was adorned as the sun.

In the mysteries of Eleusis, the torch bearer was dressed as the sun. In ancient symbolism a cross represents the equinoxes, when the equinoctial plane intersects the celestial equator, making a notional cross in the heavens. The two torch bearers in the tauroctony are often shown with crossed legs because they stand for the sun at the spring and autumn equinoxes. The spring equinox is denoted by a raised torch representing light, summer, life, spirit and the liberated soul rising to immortality. The autumn equinox is shown by a lowered torch representing darkness, winter, death, matter and the soul trapped in the body in Ahriman’s imperfect world.

Yima, the first man, is the Persian Adam, and here is Mithras representing him killing the Primæval bull bringing its benefits. Zoroastrianism had a saviour, the Saoshyant, meant to be Zoroaster reincarnated, but the implication here seems to be that Yima and the Saoshyant are actually God sent saviours, the one who saves the world from the utter chaos and misery of Ahriman’s wicked Creation, and the other who restores the perfection of the Original Creation in a similar way, through sacrificing a bull. Mithras is the redeemer of the world, ending up in heaven having destroyed evil and restored the world at the End of Time.

Mithras was born of a rock, and was worshipped in caves. The cave really stood for the interior of the mortal universe, beyond which lived the immortals, the gods. To the immortals, a mortal rising from the cave of the mortal world into the immortal one would be like seeing a man arise from a rock—the sphere of the heavens being considered to be of crystal, a rock. The cave is the imperfect world spoilt by Ahriman, and to emerge from it is to enter a perfect world. The notion then is that of the much later Cathars who considered our own imperfect world to be hell, and our aim is to rejoin the god of pure spirit in heaven by eschewing all wickedness, thus rejecting the evil world.

In the mythos, another scenes is that in which Mithras sits on a rock with a drawn bow and shoots arrows into another rock to draw water from it. The Mithraic initiate was led by an instructor (a mystagogue) to where the pater waited for him dressed as the God and carrying a bow and arrows. The initiate enters into such a scene unsure whether he is worthy, and concerned that the arrow might be destined for him. Of course he has no such worry, in fact. By getting that far, he has been accepted into the least ranks of the mysteries of the Persians. The instructor explains the scene in terms of the Mitraitic mythos.

Another scene is evidently after the bull has been slain, with Mithras and the Sun god celebrating a banquet on the hide of the bull. Deriving from this, the main pious act was a banquet, and that is why the mithraea are set out in preparation for such a dinner, with members reclining on either side of an aisle on platforms to eat in Greek style.

Roger Beck writes that any solar religion must have an annual cycle of festivals based on the sun’s annual journey. Natalis invicti (The Birth of the Unconquered One) is mentioned without saying which one unconquered was saved, though it would be hard to make it anyone other than Mithras. Assuming it means the Unconquered Sun as a separate entity, it is still hard to think Mithras as a sun god would have a different birthday. From the prominent scenes in the mythos, the birth must be at the winter solstice, the generation of water from a rock just after the birth (Water Carrier), the killing of the bull in the early summer (Taurus), the banquet at the summer solstice.

Approval of an application to join was confirmed by shaking hands with the pater, just as Antiochus shook hands with Mithras in the Commagene reliefs. In the enactment of the Mithraic mythos, Mithras and Sol shake hands. Members had their own greeting, not the usual Roman “Hail!” (Salvus!) but “Nama!”—a Persian word. The grades were, in descending order, pater patrum, pater, heliodromus, persian, leo, miles, nymphus, corax. The top two are shown representing Mithras and Sol respectively in the wall paintings in the Santa Prisca mithraeum on the Aventine in Rome, the heliodromus having a characteristic head dress with solar rays. Mithras rarely has solar characteristics. He is simply a man. The bottom two can be reasonably assumed to have been novitiate levels, so that miles (soldier) is the lowest full grade of membership.

The reason for this is that nymphus is from the Greek for a bride, a curious rank in an all male organization, and so this masculine form of the word is taken to mean “bridegroom”. A bride or bridegroom is newly married, and yet has important secrets still to discover, and duties to perform well, rather too as the nymphal stage of an insect is not the fully developed animal. So the nymphus has passed the introductory stage but is not yet a full member. Moreover, in his scholion (lecture) on the Phaedrus of Plato, Hermias explains that nymphs are Goddesses who preside over regeneration, so here we have worshippers hopeful that they will be regenerated or, one might say, be born again. In the communion meal, they possibly had to serve the higher members before they were able to partake of it, probably served up by the initiates, the lowest grade.

What of corax which means a raven, the initiates? In Zoroastrian thought, a raven being a carrion eater was a prime scavenger of dead bodies in the Towers of Silence, where dead people were left to be stripped of their flesh by birds so that decaying flesh could not pollute the elements. So, crows served a necessary task keeping the elements unpolluted by decay. Decay was caused by the Evil Spirit, so crows were part of the good creation, though as scavengers of human flesh, they seemed unclean. In Persian society, those who had to handle dead bodies were the lowest caste—just as in Judaism, contact with death was unclean, but the Persians could explain why! It is fair to conclude that the corax was the lowest grade of membership in the mithraeum for these reasons. They were entering a pure organization from a polluted world, and began as necessary scavengers—they will not have partaken of the communion meal itself, but would have had to eat the left overs, after having served the holy meal to the senior grades, and removed the remainders and the debris.

No one knows what the structure of the membership of the mithraeum was, that is how many there were at each grade, but, if there was this duty of upward service and downward instruction, and it was to be individual to preserve confidentiality, then it was probably a Fibonacci series, or approximated to it:

1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13

Thus there was one each of the pater and heliodromus ranks, two persons to represent Cautes and Cautopates, the spring and summer equinoxes, three leos, five mileses, eight nymphuses, and thirteen coraxes. Then the thirteen ravens could take individual instruction from the eight brides and the five soldiers, and so on up the ranks. Thus the Fibonacci series, such as it was, arose for practical reasons not from a love of mathematics. It also implies that the ranks were effectively divided according to whether they were instructed by someone from the grade immediately above, or the grade two levels up. Curiously, if the grading is taken to its logical conclusion so that every one of the ideal number of 33 members were ranked according to the grades of their tutors, there would, of course, be 33 degrees, as there allegedly are in Freemasonry!

Less familiar Symbols

As far off as China, on the Mithraic monument of Hsian-fu, various Mithraic symbols are explained—the cross, the pearl, the lotus and the dolphin:

  • The cross was a Mithraic symbol of the brotherhood of man, the aim of Mithraism being the the the Kingdom of God on earth, the unity of the people of the four corners of the world—a truly universal religion.
  • The pearl is a beautiful, pure thing that grows from a seed in its shell in water, one of the sacred elements of Mithraism. It signifies the miraculous seed of Zoroaster from which the Saoshyant will develop when the pure virgin bathes in the sacred water. The pearl, in Mithraic monuments, appears in      the hands of angels in Taq-e-Bostan, in the beak of birds notably in eastern Iran, and in literature, even appearing as as the Pearl of Great Price in the gospels and in the Syriac Hymn of the Pearl. The pearl or its shell sometimes appears at the birth of Mithra looking like an egg  where it has been misinterpreted as Orphic.
  • The  dolphin has similar aqueous connotations as a sympathetic creature to mankind, which raises its young in water.  This symbol is found on some Mithraic monuments in Europe and appears abundantly in the khirbahs or mithraeums in Syria and Arabia.
  • The lotus is a water-flower. Mithra is often shown standing in a lotus as he is at Taq-e-Bostan, nominally a Parthian monument. It has, though, been re-dedicated, as its cave-like construction, its Mithraic appurtenances of flowing spring and small lake, the figure of Mithras standing on a lotus flower, and its religious scenes inside, betray. Moreover, it is in Baghestan, a name which honorrs Mithras as the “Baga”.

Zurvan—Father Time


Cumont originally thought the lion headed figure in the coils of a snake in the tauroctony was Zurvan, the god of eternal time (probably another sun god from surya). I F Legge thought it was the Arimanius attested in Mithraic epigraphy—Ahriman, the “Prince of Darkness” and therefore evil.

Theodicy has always been a problem in Patriarchal religions beginning with the first. What is the source of evil? Persian religion has the solution—a wicked God. Even so, why were there two gods in Zoroastrianism, one of Good and one of Evil? If the Good God is ultimately supreme, then why was there a Wicked God at all? How could a Good God be so stupid as to create, whether voluntarily or inadvertently, an implacable adversary as powerful as himself?

There is no answer to a non-question—myths do not have to be and often are not coherent—but they are the questions that theologions think they can answer. They do it by inventing new myths. The myths were, of course, invented originally to seem to answer difficult questions like that of theodicy. Monotheism is faced with the problem of why a good god would create evil. Dualism answers it, but evil cannot be justified if society is not to be undermined, so the power of the evil spirit has to be temporary.

Zurvan or Zervan is the Greek and Latin, Aeon or Cronos (Saturn), evidently the same as Chronos despite the changed spelling. The distinction came about because the last day of the week in Mesopotamia was named after Saturn, but it also acted as the signal of the passage of time, a week. The Greeks inherited the system, but distinguished “Saturn”, the planet, and “Time” by changing the initial letter from “K” to “X”.

Imagined as an hermaphrodite able to engender children by himself, Zurvan was depicted in the west as a nude male figure having upturned and downturned wings and the head of a lion, with a serpent coiled many times about his body. Time is hermaphroditic because it has dual aspects, able to be viewed in two directions, like the images of Janus. Ouroboros, the serpent consuming its own tail, stood for time as the perennial motion of the sun through the heavens. But the Persians had in their theology the concept of the End of Time, because the battle of Good and Evil is fought only for the period of limited time, called the “Time of Long Dominion.” The serpent spiralling around Zurvan/Ahriman stands for this.

Zoroaster had called the rival gods twins, so they had to be brothers. Both Ahuramazda and Ahriman are sons of Zurvan in the evolved myth of Zoroastrianism that tried to account for the equality of the two spirits while saving Ahuramazda from being responsible for creating evil, as Yehouah did. The twin sons were therefore themselves both aspects of time—just as Prometheus looked forwards and had foresight, but Epimetheus looked backwards and only knew what had already happened. Ahriman is the god of a particular time in the history of the cosmos, the Time of Long Dominion. Zurvan did not need a parent because it is eternal.

Thus eternal time is split into future time—Ahuramazda can read the future—and past time—Ahriman knows only what has gone. Human beings can look forward to the re-establishment of a state of goodness and perfection that Ahuramazda originally foresaw, but which was spoilt at its inception by Ahriman, the cause of change and corruption. Logically then Ahuramazda stood for future time, birth and the hope of static perfection when good triumphs over evil. Mithras mediated, but was the ally of the good God, the face of God to humanity, in the created world.

Zoroastrian teaching was that Ahuramazda would put an end to time! The universe is restored to its state of timeless perfection in which nothing will happen ever again. Eternity is static! Christians said, “time shall be no more”. In Zoroastrian eschatology, time caused change in Ahuramazda’s perfect creation. Time is thus equal to the Evil Spirit and, after the Last Judgement, Ahuramazda abolishes it restoring perfection. The Zurvanists did not think they were spoiling Zoroaster’s idea—they were distinguishing between eternity and historical time.

After the gradual revival of Zoroastrianism under the Parthians, the Zurvanists flourished in the old Persian territories as one of the Zoroastrian sects until c 531 AD, when the orthodox Magi persuaded Khusrau (Chosroes) I, the greatest of the Sassanian kings of Persia, to declare the Zurvanists as heretics. To save his subjects from future mistakes, Khusrau authorized his orthodox Magi to compile an authoritative text of the Avesta and gave it his approval, which carried great weight. This is the version that was the basis of the text that we now have.

Zurvanism seems to have been an ancient idea itself, which Zoroaster tried to abolish, but which, like Mithras, bounced back. Time obsesses people, especially in that eventually we all die, and many people cannot face the idea of death. Zoroaster’s perfect world was static—when something is perfect, any change in it must make it less than perfect, so change is incompatible with perfection. Yet a static world is timeless for motion, change, is necessary for the measurement of time, and only a timeless world is a world without end. To reconstitute the original perfection of the newly created world, motion must cease, and so time must cease. That means the wicked Ahriman who is time, but only Time of Long Dominion, not Eternal Time, must be destroyed, or confined eternally.

The relevance of this to Mithraism, which spread west just when Zurvanism became prominent in Persia/Parthia, is that it seems to embody many of these notions. Ahriman tainted Ahuramazda’s perfect static creation by introducing time to it, and therefore motion and decay, killing the Primæval bull, or causing it to be killed by Yima, the first man. But Ahriman only has a limited dominion, he is Time of Long (but not eternal) Dominion. Eternal Dominion is restored by the abolition of time, for then motion dies too, and pollution, decay and so on—entropy as we now call it. Mithras brings the prospect of this about each year.

He is the mediator between Ahuramazda, the God of Future Time, hope and fortune, and Ahriman, the God of Past Time, corruption and despair. The past has gone, already decayed, and the future is yet to come, but will be polluted by Ahriman until the perfection of the Creation is restored, when time ceases, and the perfect world stands still forever. Mithras is also an aspect of time. He is the present, which mediates, stands between, the past and the future. Each year, the duty of his followers is to encourage and celebrate his incarnation on earth—perhaps as Yima reincarnated, or Zoroaster, but either way as the saoshyant, the saviour—to sacrifice a bull to restore the original Creation. Eventually, when enough good people sincerely desire it, it will succeed.

Mithras, then, is the present, today, this year. He is the daily sun, and the annual sun, but not merely the sun hanging in the heavens, but the sun as time, standing between tomorrow and yesterday, and between next year and last year. Each day and year the sun measures time as it traverses the heavens, and each year is a microcosm of the whole of the Time of Long Dominion—history. So, history is recorded in the motion of the sun through the constellations, and every year end the original Creation is enacted. So it is that Mithras has twelve attendants. Moreover, the sun shines bright during the day and throughout the summer six months, but is extinguished at night and burns dimly in the winter half of the year. So Mithras has two aspects, Cautes and Cautopates, when he shines brightly in hope and then shines dimly in despair.

The other symbols in the tauroctony, always thought to be astronomical, are not. The bull, dog and raven represent the good creation, and the scorpion and snake the wicked one. Mithras’s hunting dog helped him to bring down the bull ready for sacrifice, but the snake and scorpion are aspects of the evil creation of Ahriman, the snake standing for Ahriman himself, and the scorpion trying to negate the bull’s fertility, for the Primæval bull’s semen gave rise to all that is good in the world. The raven is a carrion eater, which picks dead flesh from the bones thus purifying them in the towers of silence. It is also a solar messenger, so the raven is a symbol of renewal.

The whole scene represents regeneration, recreation, the creation anew of Ahuramazda’s good creation, with its hope of everlasting peace and tranquillity in a perfect unchanging world.


Black Walnut Anthology Vol III has been sent to the Publishers!!!!

Announcement: Black Walnut Anthology Authors and Fans; We have gone to the publishers, it is waiting for layout finalization and then we will go live in about one week or so, once the final layout has been approved we will be able to publish to Kindle for our Kindle readers and fans.

We have an amazing issue, one of the best issues we have published to date. I have attached the Cover of the issue for our readers and contributors to view. Our cover art is by Nelson E. Maldonado Ramos — Hera Queen of all the Gods.


Here is what you look forward to in the coming week or two when we are live



Abracadabra, by Clausen-Velez, Ariana – page 6

The Feast of Remembrance, by Cooking with Deity – page 8

The Spanish Witch, by Masmitjà, David Garrido – page 11

Signs, Coincidences and Manifestations, by Masmitjà, David Garrido – page 13

The Archetypical Magician, by Cüsters-van-Bergen, Ina –page 18

Primitive Consciousness and Modern Magical Training, by Cüsters-van-Bergen, Ina – page 23

Be your own Herbal Expert, pt 1, by Weed, Susun – page 32

Healing Wise: The Shamanic Herbalist: Power Plants, by Weed, Susun – page 37

Headaches/Migraines, by Weed, Susun – page 41

Gnostic Psycho-Synthesis, by Sigan, Tau – page 46

On the Nature of Gnostic Paganism, by Sigan, Tau – page 54

Walking with Odin: Death in a Shamanic Context, by Anderson, Katie – page 66

North American Voodoo and the Underground Railroad, by Witchdoctor Utu – page 70

Sicilian Witchcraft, by Martello, Dr. Leo L. – page 76

Transformation of Self is like that of forging a Sword, by Clausen-Vélez, Ariana – page 99

The Battle for Separation of Religion and State, by Ramos, Nelson E. Maldonado – page 107


Black Walnut Anthology

Black Walnut Anthology.

New Page on the Site; Book Reviews

http://afsanaydely.com/book-reviews/, a new page with a new book review, The Path of the Shaman, by Anna Franklin

Guest Post: Interview with John Matthews on The Wildwood Tarot | The Wild Hunt


Feline Magic

Feline Magic & Book of Shadows

© Rev. Ariana Clausen – Vélez

2003 Revised 2006 Feb 17


Introduction to Feline Magic

What is it about the cat that we are so drawn to? This answer may vary depending upon who you ask. Myself, it is many things about her that I am drawn to, her power, her gentleness, her aggressive, her eyes, the way she carries herself and all that she gives in her love.

I have owned many in my life and in this life time only a few. My first one came to me from a neighbour. She was black bright green eyes. She was always there for me, even if I wasn’t for her. She was a wonderful, powerful cat named Black Widow [Widow for short]. She was a Pisces, amazingly intuitive as to when I was home from my trips. She was a free-spirited cat and one of my strongest familiars. I had her for many years until she fell ill and I had to put her down. That was the hardest time in my life. I felt like I had lost the one person who was always next to me. She slept with me, woke me up, took care of me when I was sick, made me laugh when I was sad, and did all the things a best friend would do. I began to see visions of her. Images would appear before me, and when I would instantly slip into a trance. Then, one day she spoke. She told me that she was fine and would always be there……. and yes, would return to me one day. I have always too this day, cherished her in my life; and I always will.

Eight years later, I was in a salon where one of the hairdressers had a carrier with her. Inside was little, 15-day old black kitten. Instantly the kitten leapt towards me wanting me too pet her. Well, I went home and asked my husband [boyfriend at the time] if I could bring her home. He agreed. I went to pick her up the following week. Her name is Onyx, born on Aug 8, 2000. She is a Leo with a Gemini Rising and a Pisces Moon. She is very much a gem and a familiar.

In talking about my familiars, in the past few years more have come and gone than I would have ever imagined. After Onyx came, then less than a year later another came to me on the Full Moon of Samhain. I had seen her around the house before; but on this particular night, she made her significance known to me.

The moon was at its’ fullest power and bright orange too. My stones were in the front yard, cleansing and charging in the circle. She appeared outside my office. Appeared and we chatted for some time through the door. Her name was Agatha, and she eventually became a permanent part of the house.

OnJanuary 29, 2001she was hit by a car. As a result, I created a ‘Spirit Call Spell’ for Felines, included in the Feline Book of Shadows Lesson. There are other lessons that cover other areas of the Feline and her Magic as well.

The cat is an interesting being as I have come to learn. They are not owned by humans. They are very watchful. When they choose you as a friend, they will watch you, from afar, for a time. This is to see how you are, how you act, how you treat others [humans and animals], and, many in my experience, how you respect their surroundings. Only then will they choose whom to live with for the time that is needed. They are truly wonderful friends. In choosing you, they are telling you that you are being blessed with their presence.

Cats are great hunters, and love to share trophies with their human counterparts, I can only say so much there. I have had more than my share, though some not so good in appearance. They expect to be treated properly, pampered, spoiled and allowed too come and go as they wish.


History of the Feline

It is all too common knowledge these days where the history begins, Egypt since around 2600 B.C.E.

In Egypt the cat is the most worshipped of all the animals. It is a punishment of death if anyone were to kill a cat. They worshipped the following deities; Bastet, Pasht, Ubastet, Sekhmet, Set, and Ra. All were with cat heads and human formed bodies. Set and Ra were with the male human body. Ra was the Sun god, Pasht was the aggressive side to Bastet, Sekhmet was the lion figured one and loved blood. Set, we know was known to have murdered his brother Osiris.

So what about the treatment of the feline and how they were revered? Well, they were sometimes considered more important than the human counterpart themselves. If a house was seen burning down, it was the fireman’s job to get the cat out first and then go back for the human. If a person was seen purposely harming a cat, they would be put to death. This was considered an act worse than murder. Now, too in some cases mobs would be seen ripping a person limb from limb if they witnessed this person harming a cat. This was a very common occurrence in Egypt cultures.

What of the meaning nine lives? Well, this simply meant that a cat could only live nine separate lives as a cat. Meaning it could reincarnate nine times to a cat form, and no more. Now, when a cat completed this cycle it was a time of great mourning for the family’s involved. They would shave off their eyebrows, this was considered too be full mourning upon their death. Because, once this happened they could no longer incarnate into a cat, from this point on they would reincarnate into other life forms.

The funeral rites were very important to the Egyptians in how they buried their cats. They would be embalmed, with various herbs, oils, drugs, and spices. Depending on the families status they would then wrapped the cat in either plain or multi-coloured linen. Following this paper mache’ or a sculptured wooden mask would be placed over the cat’s head, and then too they would carefully cover this with either plain or multi-coloured linen. Painted and then decorated with the finest of gold, if the family could afford such luxuries. Once the mummification was completed they would then be placed into a mummy case, along with the necessary afterlife objects and foods. If this was for a kitten of course the case would be smaller and the metal bronze instead of gold.

The Egyptian word for cat is Máu, likely based for the sound that cats made.  The Egyptian word for lion is Maáu, however, the meaning of the word is light, and this eluding to the Sun god Ra. In Sanskrit the word for cat is ‘’margaras’’, meaning hunter, in Hindu ‘’cleaner’’, Aryan ‘’ghad’’, Latin ‘’cattus’’, French ‘’chat’’, Italian ‘’gatto’’, German ‘’katze’’, and Arabic ‘’ kittah’’. Original origins for the cat are believed to have come from the Greek word ‘’catus’’, meaning acute.

In the occult cats are viewed as being all knowing, all seeing, and with great psychic abilities. It is even said that if a cat allows you to look into their eyes long enough, you will see the land of the fey and the underworld. This is a rear blessing if one allows this of their human counterpart. They are known for predicting all kinds of weather, natural disasters [prodigies], and omens and portends. I usually know what kind of weather to expect, as Onyx is like a weather man, and she is always on target. She is observant and very powerful.

The Black cat that is most associated to the Underworld as many see it as an omen of death and many unless a Witch will not own a black cat out of fear of the connection it has to the Underworld.  It is mostly connected to the Underworld by the colour it carries as well as the associations to both Hel and Hecate.

Then you must remember that in the old days, during the burning times as well as the Celtic and Druids feared the cat, whether it be black, white, yellow, gold, because it was believed to be a Witch that had shape shifted into a cat to bring harm and/or death to anyone it visited in the night.  Also, being that the cat is nocturnal and most do go out and play during the late hours of the night this too associates them with the Underworld.  Druids on the night of Samhain would take all the cats they could gather and burn them alive.  This was how they believed to release the evil energy from the cat in which they saw as a Witches Imp to carry out dark works.  And cats carry messages to their friends that they choose to live with from the Spirit World and if allowed to look into their eyes you will see another realm behind them, that of the Underworld.

Later in history the cat was associated with witchcraft, and causing harm at the wish of their human counterpart. And this caused a great fear of the feline by many people. So, much so that they created a device that was a cat trap, called the “cat o gan”. It was a musical instrument that was used to entrap as many as 20 at a time, their tails being pulled by a mechanism that made them meow in grave pain. The cat o gan remained in use for exactly 100 years. However, during the hunts some were lucky enough to have escaped the hunts and tortures of their organs being removed and races that were used to torture these beautiful beings. They escaped a most interesting way, by way of ship. They were a welcomed site, as they keep the rodent population down and became then a favourite pet of the human. This was the time of the 1700’s.


The Little White Cat

[Folk song from the Gaelic]

18th Century

Anonymous—Translated by Mrs. Costello of Tuam


The little grey cat was walking prettily,

When she found her little son stretched dead

And ‘twas only a year since her family

Were cast out and drowned in a trench.

The little white cat, white, white, white,

The little white cat, Breed’s cat.

The little white cat, snowy white

That was drowned in a trench.

The little mother stood upright,

When she found her little son dead;

She brought him in and made a bed for him,

And then began to lament him.

The little white cat, white, white, white,

The little white cat, Breed’s cat.

The little white cat, snowy white

That was drowned in a trench

Andrew, the blind, had some of her family,

And they came together to lament him,

I am sure if Barry hears it,

He will regret the death of the Breed’s cat.

The little white cat, white, white, white,

He broke no chest, nor lock of the neighbours,

Nor did he destroy the cows’ butter.

And you never heard such discourse,

As the mice had in telling it.

The little white cat, white, white, white

His eye was grey, his walk was pretty,

His step was light and active:

And I’d rather far be going to the clay

Than the province of Munster should hear of it.

The little white cat, white, white, white,

The little white cat would hump his back.

As big as a three pint jug.

Wasn’t he a fine show for the gentry to see,

Poll, Breed’s pretty little cat?

The little white cat, white, white, white,

Walter’s Martin will put a wooden coffin on him,

And it’s he that is able.

And were it not for the time at which he died

We should have every cause for lamenting

The little white cat, white, white, white,

The little white cat, Breed’s cat.

The little white cat, snowy white

That was drowned in a trench.


Feline Associations

Here you will learn of various associations to the feline, herbs, deities, witches and shape-shifters, and even the elements that they rule.

Deities with Feline Associations:

These are just a few of the deities that are associated with the feline species, however, there are many others. Many of the deities not listed below are not commonly known to be associated with the feline in any way.

Ahriman; God

Persian, thought to have been the first personification of the Devil” because Zoroastrians believed in a completely dualistic for of religion. Associations: All cats.

Anait: Goddess

Phoenician, Canaan, Ur and Persia. She is seen as The High, Powerful, and Immaculate. She carried an Ankh and wore horns and a Moon disk. Association: Lion.

Apollo: God

Greek. He is of Life force and vitality, creativity, and self-expression. He is viewed as the Sun God and Lord of the Year. Association: Lion.

Artemis: Goddess

Greek. Sister to Apollo, she was also the goddess of wild things and places. She was also the Mistress of Magic, and aiding in the healing of wild animals and mountains. Association: Cats.

Attis: God

Middle East. The second face of Cybele, as well as beloved by her, but he refused her love. He ruled over fertility, and growth in Asia Minor. Association: Lion.

Bacchus: God

Roman. He is depicted as a youthful figure wearing ivy or grape crown and carrying a wand or thyrsus. Upon the Christian was renamed as St. John the Baptist, as depicted in a painting done by Leonardo da Vinci in 1510-19. Also, he frequently rides in a chariot drawn by leopards. Association: Panthers.

Bastet: Goddess

Egyptian: She rules over protection, fertility, gentleness, and is depicted with the body of a female and the head of a cat. Associations: Cats, and Lynx.

Cybele: Goddess

Greece and Phrygia. Known as Mother Goddess of Phrygia [modern day Turkey]. She later became identified as the Roman Manga Mater, or Great Mother. She was considered in her myth to be of the first being, and of equal energy to both the female and male. Association: Lion

Damkina/Damgalnuna: Goddess

Mesopotamia. In the Akkadian language, her name means ‘’lady of the earth’’, and she was to the Sumerians the earth mother familiar to us in Greece as Demeter and in Rome as Tellus Mater. Association: Lion.

Diana: Goddess

Roman. She is today confused with the goddess Artemis, because of a familiar picture of both being lightly clad, bow-bearing goddess who rides the Moon or strides through the forest with the nymphs. However, she is the original “Queen of the Open Sky, worshipped only the out of doors, and possibly was the ruler of the sun and moon. Her name comes from the word “light”. She is also known as the Queen of Witches in Rome and her main association was with the white cat. Her day of feast is August 15th. Association: Cats.

Dionysus: God

Greece. He is the God of intoxication and wine, just as his counterpart Bacchus. His court included female Bacchanites, nymphs, fauns, and satyrs. He was the only god that was born twice, and was fathered by the serpentine Zeus and Persephone, other says his mother was Semele. Dionysus’ represents both earth and water, and resurrection and dead. There is much about Dionysus, but he was one of few gods that had the most associations to the feline species. Associations: Cheetah, Lion, Leopard, Panther, and the Tiger.

Durga: Goddess

India, and Hindu. Born from the flames by gods, and said to be the first female divinity in the universe. Her power alone was stronger than the gods who brought her to life. The goddess in this form symbolizes the fierce power of the combat against all evil, but also the rule of the intellectual sphere. Durga is unapproachable, represents the end to all things. Seen mounted on a lion to defeat the demon Mahisa, and in the end destroys and slaughters him and frees the earth. Associations: Lion and Tiger.

Eros: God

Greece. He is the god of love and desire; some say that he was the son of Aphordite and Ares. Because of his mother he loses some of the power over love and desire, and is considered to be more of a companion to it instead. He is in Roman mythology known as Cupid. He is seen riding on the back of a lion. Association: Lion.

Other associations not mentioned above are; Mafdet, Mut, Pakhit, Pasht, Inanna, Isis, Ra, Osiris, Hathor, Bes, Neith, Nut, Maat, Pakhet, Tefnut, Lillith, Freya, Brighid, Ceridwen, the Cailleach, Annis, and Hel. However, there are more than this associated to the cat power animal.

Herbs Associated to the Feline:

There are only a couple of herbs that are associated with the feline. The two herbs associated with the feline are catnip and valerian root. Now, it is not common knowledge, but not all cats are drawn to the taste or smell of catnip. This is true in cases when the herb is planted in seed form, if transplanted they are more apt to be drawn to the aroma of the catnip. Catnip essential in its purest form is used to repel mosquitoes, when used in a diffuser and burned. Catnip is also used for repelling nightmares. Add catnip juice to your wine and drink will aid in healing bruises. It attracts bees. Hung over ones’ doorway attracts good spirits. Catnip has a lot of different uses, but for cats it is like a play pen and it is easy to plant a small patch to deter them from using your main herb garden and a bathroom. It is also good to use in cat Magic when wanting a psychic connection between yourself and you’re familiar.

Catnip is ruled by the planet of Venus, and Element of Water. It is associated to four goddesses, all associated to the cat, Bastet, Cerridwen, Freya, and Sekhmet. It is known also by Cat’s Wort, Field Balm, Cat, Catrup, Nepoet, Nip and Cat’s delight.

Valerian Root is a long time favourite of witches for bonding with their cats’, and for attracting the likes of a cat familiar, totem or ally. This herb also was known to attract some forms of the wild folk [i.e.], the fey. The fey were sometimes known for shape-shifting into white cats [this being a favourite colour of the fey for their dresses]. Also, it was a colour associated with death and is often part of a fairy name for either a king or queen of the fey.

Various Associations:

Cats are also associated with the Underworld Goddesses, because of their ability to reproduce. They are also thought to be practically fairies themselves on the Isle of Man [an island in the Irish Sea].

Plant allies to the cat are the fir and pine tree. They are associated with the element of earth, and the directions of north east, and south east.

They are a nocturnal being, so if you look close enough to their eyes you will notice that they appear different depending on the phase of the moon.

There are two associations to fertility, reproducing of many litters and prey upon rodents, snakes and other animals that could destroy ones’ crop for the harvesting. In that they protect your crop so it will produce healthy. In Egypt newlyweds receive and wear cat amulets.

There are many associations to the cat and not all are good, some are perceived as bad and evil.

Witches and cats were how most identified a cat familiar. Black cats were most common among the witches. Some were said to shape-shirt into cats, and would go to do the work of the devil. Many witches have been associated with the cat and many even tortured and died. One of the most famous familiars of all time is a familiar by the name of Pyewackett. Now, because of the name alone is why this one was associated with the witch, as it was said no human could create such a name for household pet.

Some of the more famous ones would be Isobel Gowdie, known as the Queen of Witches in Scotland, Agnes and Joan Waterhouse, Elizabeth Frances of England, Catherine Montvoisin known as La Voison, and many others.

Isobel Gowdie revealed that she cast a spell in order to transform into a cat and go out too do the work of the devil, and when done would transform back into human form once again. She was known as his bride. She is the only one who was not accused when she confessed of being a witch.

So there is much to the mystical and powerful feline, her associations are just as strong as all that surrounds her.

Feline Astrology

You are probably what does astrology has to do with the feline. Well a lot, it is just as important as it would be for us when we are born. We all know that our characteristics are determined by the day, time, location of our birth, in that the planets are lined up at certain times of one’s birth. That is how we determine how one’s life will be dealt with, obstacles that you have to overcome, journeys and when they happen in life, early, mid, or later in life. How we communicate with one another, and ultimately get along with others around us. Well it is the same for the feline, as it is for humans. In that they too have an astrology makeup. This determines in most cases how they will get along with their human counterparts, as well as with other felines. Believe it or not they do not like everyone.

This is very important tool in Magic working as some cats are not meant to be familiars, but only pets, and others may come along that you are meant to work Magic with instead. So, be careful to find that the counterparts of the zodiac they carry are compatible as to not cause problems between the two. Familiars will come to you in the time of casting Magic and/or guide you to what you are to learn and then just leave when you least expect them to, or they will go on their way once casting is completed. A pet stays with you all the times and shares your life.

Further into the article, I will go over her chart so that you have an understanding, but first I would like to go over the forms of astrology that is important in determining if you are compatible with your feline counterpart and him/her too you.

Note: I will not go into detail as to how to read a natal chart as that alone would take up 30 pages or more. If you are interested I would suggest taking a course in Astrology.

Brief history of Astrology

I will only cover the basic as it there is much involved with astrology and how it works. This will take one many years to learn, but it is well worth the time.

The Egyptians were very serious about their felines and how they were treated, they were considered more important than the human counterparts/friends that took care of them. So, you can only imagine how they viewed the stars in the personality of the feline.

They follow what is called a Cairo Calendar, this in itself was separated into three major seasons in the year. The first being called, Inundation [pronounced akhet] this was the season in which the Nile flooded its banks and farmlands was covered in water. This lasted from approx June 21 to Oct 21. The second Emergence [pronounced proyet} was when the water receded. This season was from Oct 21 to Feb 21. And last was Summer [pronounced shomu} lasted from Feb 21 to June 21.

There were exactly 360 days to their calendar and added five days to allow for discrepancy. These were known as New Year’s Day, which they called “the opening of the year”.

This was there form of astrology, and depending on the day it would be considered favourable, adverse, very adverse, this is how they determined their day to day life.

Now the system they use for astrology is very different. Even in modern days they follow this form of astrology. Depending on the day you were born, or your feline in this case also determined which deity you were associated with, and this in turn determined much. The same way our western system determines who we are, and what we are too expect in life.


Egyptian Astrology

Below are the dates and associated deities and their counterparts to those dates of birth: Now this can apply to both the human and feline counterparts. But do remember that most felines are of human spirits and indeed are really human too. Some are very wise and powerful.

January 1 – 7th, June 19-28th, Sept 1 – 7th, and Nov 18 – 26th:

The Nile

These characteristics are that of a peace-maker, lovers of refined things, receptive to the materials in their surroundings. Powerful ambitions and transformation. Counterparts/Related Signs: Seth, Osiris, Horus, and Thoth as well as Anubis. Associated with the months of Proyet, Shomu, and Akhet

January 8 – 21st & February 1 -11th:


Wheel of Time. Solar God. Life is a challenge; you will feel the need to be of a higher level of spirituality. Headed towards great things. Counterparts/Related Signs: The Nile and Horus. Associated with the month of Proyet.

January 22 – 31st & Sept 8 – 22nd:


Most ancient of the deities in Egypt. You will be secretive and be one that is nostalgic in life. All of life is too seek out that of a father figure for protection and security. Counterparts/Related Signs: Ra and Thoth. Associated with the months of Proyet and Akhet.

February 12 -29th & Aug 20 – 31st:


Creator, beginning of the world, the earth, principle of unity between worlds. This person and or feline will be highly sensitive and easily impressioned, empathic, protector, not vain. Human side is the same with careers in the creative fields. Counterparts/Related Signs: Seth and Horus. Associated to both the months of Proyet and Akhet.

Mars 1 -10th & Nov 27 – Dec 18th:


Duality, generous, fiery and vulnerable, you do not like confrontation, and you weigh before confronting a situation. Counterparts/Related Signs: Isis and Thoth. Associated with the months of Proyet and Akhet/Proyet.

Mars 11 – 31st, Oct 18 -29th, and Dec 19 -31st:


This is one of the most demanding signs. There is much dimension to her, and in that you will be one that is of hospitable means, unifying, and you love harmony. You are both a giver and protector of life, and you must be perceptive to others around you. Counterparts/Related Signs: Osiris and Thoth. Associated to the months of Proyet/Shomu, Akhet, and Shomu.

April 1 – 19th, and Nov 8-17th:


Excellent memory, enthusiastic, dislike meanness towards others. A risk taker, but with challenge. Dependable and honest values and morals. This is the sacred bird of Isis. Counterparts/Related Signs: Bastet and Isis. Associated to the months of Shomu, and Akhet.

April 14 – May 8 and Aug 12 -19th:


You will have strong will power and are good at finding hidden secrets, intelligent, and an excellent student in all things. But one must learn how to control the free spirit young, or this will be a hindrance later in life. Deeply psychic that comes from a strong connection of ones feminine side. Goddess connected. Counterparts/Related Signs: Geb and Bastet. Associated to the months of Shomu and Akhet.

May 9 -27 and June 29 – July 13th:


Compassionate, and clever. A strong connection to your darker side. Suffering can draw them to become an introverted personality. Very aware of the energies that lye deep within. Counterparts/Related Signs: Bastet and Isis. Associated to the month of Shomu.

May 28th – June 18th and Sept 28th – Oct 2nd:


Always looking for change and in search of who they are, and the wholeness that comes with it. Balance in life. Life is full of journeys and experiences, whether it be good or bad experiences, before really finding themselves. Mistakes are made many times over in life, before learning from them and moving forwards. They always seek out for knowledge and wisdom. Free spirit and a wanderer. Counterparts/Related Signs: Geb and The Nile. Associated to the month of Shomu.

July 14 – 28th, Sept 23 -27th, and Oct 3 -17th:


A need for balance and harmony in relationships, both friends and partners. They are protectors and very devoted to their loved ones. They do tend to ignore their own needs from time to time. They have great inner strength and agility and easily can sense their enemies. Strong psychic senses. Good in business and in matters of the heart. Counterparts/Related Signs: Sekhmet and Horus. Associated to the months of Shomu and two of the opening of the year days. These days are very sacred to the Egyptians and if one could name them all they were guaranteed a long and prosperous life ahead. Then the month of Akhet.

Now the day of procession for Bastet is on Sept 9, Day 10 of the Second Month of Akhet during the season of the Inundation.  Her feast day which is shared with Sekhmet is on Nov 13, Day 15 of the Fourth Month of Akhet still in the season of Inundation.  Her procession day would be under the western sign of Virgo and her feast day would be under the western sign of Scorpio.

July 29th – Aug 11th, and Oct 30th – Nov 7th:


Very telepathic, observant, not one to self-indulge. They are both pure and impure, chaos and harmony, and are bestowed with majestic grace, as is the lion. They tend to have secret desires. Counterparts/Related Signs: Bastet and Geb. Associated to three of the open of the year days, and Akhet.

Now that we have covered the Egyptians, now let us view modern day astrology, and compare the relations to it. Now, one might think that we could also use Celtic Astrology for this area of Magick, but the Celtic were not known lovers of the feline, nor did they own them as household pets. They associated the feline to the fey and in effect feared the feline.

Modern Feline Astrology

Aries: March 21 – April 19

They like to be noticed and are quite demanding, if closed in can be damaging to ones house, by spraying, tearing up furniture and such. They are aggressive, quick tempered, adventurous by nature, curious and brave. They love humans, and too play with them, and they excite easy. They are well known for crashing with their heads into objects or say for instance a wall.

Human and feline counter parts that are best suited are the Gemini, Libra, Aquarius, Leo, Aries, and Sagittarius. Ruled by the planet Mars.

Taurus: April 20 – May 20

These ones love food and comfort. Simple surroundings are pleasing to their way of life. Not a complainer if pampered. Highly fear the loss of security, and habit forming. They like routine and get upset when it is broken for any reason. They are patient and loving. Can be stubborn. They love to talk a lot, and will chat till you respond back to them in the form of a meowing talk.

Human and feline counterparts that are best suited are Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces, Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn. Ruling planet is Venus.

Gemini: May 21 – June 20

Very talkative, great communicator, they are hard to keep quite as they tend to like the sound of their voice. This is a cat that you need to talk with on a regular basis, as they love to communicate, you can talk with them on an intelligent level, or communicate back in their language. Either way this will make them happy. Like all Gemini’s they will bore easily and will be fickle and need to be doing something at all times. Dinner must be the same time each night, or we get cranky. Attention is a must, as we are restless beings, both the human and animal. This sign loves to be the centre of attention, and can be very charming. We are also adaptable to movement and change. They will go back and forth between going outside and coming in to be with you. This sign is one with many characteristics and a joy, if able to keep up with them. This is Onyx’s Ascendant sign.

Human and feline counterparts that are best suited are Aries, Leo, Sagittarius, Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius. Ruling planet is Mercury.

Cancer: June 21 – July 22

Cancer cats are great house cats as this sign rules over the home. This sign easily attaches him/her to the family, and will stay close by if outside of the home. They make great mothers, as this is the maternal nature of the Cancer cat. Now, in this sign you will find that the male cat will also take a hand at tending to the litter and this is one of very few males’ that stay close to home, after mating with the mother feline. They are a great deal like that of the human, hurt easily, sensitive, giving, protective in a loving way, strong intuition, jealously, and more. This is Onyx’s true node.

Human and feline counterparts that are best suited are Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn, Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces. Ruling planet is the Moon.

Leo: July 23 – Aug 22

Here we have the ruler of the jungle, king of the throne, masculine, hunter, predator, and leader. Now, in the case of the Leo cat, you will find that their physical features may resemble that of a Lion and carry a crown upon their head. In Onyx’s case people sometimes mistake her for being a male cat, when indeed Onyx is a female cat. She is very strong, carries a crown on her head, and had the sneaky eyes of a hunter on the attack. She is protective of her home and her family. She loves to sleep, and she is generous to a point. She only accepts certain felines into the home and others forget it. Stay out, or die is her motto. She is the spoiled one and this the Leo cat loves. Now, in my case, she will eat dinner at the table with my husband and I, assist in the preparing of dinner, watch over the stove to make sure no one takes what is hers, and so on. She has the best of everything and expects this daily. She is seriously spoiled and a snot, and loves to show off. She does not let anyone just touch her. This is the down fall on spoiling the Leo cat.

Human and feline counterparts that are best suited are Gemini, Libra, Aquarius, Aries, Leo and Sagittarius. Ruling planet is the Sun.

Virgo: Aug 23 – Sept 22

Here we come to the tidy cat; this one hates messes and will not tolerate them at all. This one is most likely to enjoy bathes and having there claws trimmed and made to look nice.

Very loyal and rather choosy in whom they pick as friends to live with, not just anyone will do. Virgo cats are very loving and affectionate. If hurt or made angry will always remember what you did to hurt them in any way. Very intelligent and they love to think things through before making a decision. Security is very important to the Virgo cat, and the will appreciate you for giving them a warm home. Sometimes you will notice that they do not make up their minds easily, they will go back and forth on what kind of food they like to eat. So, it is good to keep a variety close at hand. This is Onyx’s ruling Moon as well as her IC {Imum Coeli }

Human and feline counterparts that are best are Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces, Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn. Ruling planet is Mercury.

Libra: Sept 23 – Oct 22

Here we have the graceful cat and rather mellow. This is one cat who loves to be loved. Attention of all kinds is their favourite; flattery will take you far with this sign.

This sign is very friendly and likes most people and other felines. Socialists, and rather charming is in their nature. They do, however, like their environment to be well balanced, and peaceful. They are attentive to what is going on and it would be best to involve them, in anyway to be near the action. Television and music are favourites of choice. Choosy eaters so do not feed them just anything. They are easily influenced by other felines and hard to make up their minds in doing something, so keep them in the good crowd. This one will eat a lot when not happy; they also hate confrontation and would rather walk away than deal with a bad situation.

Human and feline counterparts that are best are Aries, Leo, Sagittarius, Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius. Ruling planet is Venus.

Scorpio: Oct 23 – Nov 21

This is one of the two most powerful signs that a feline can be born under. This is a sign of high intuition and magickal gifts. The other is Pisces which carries the natural gift of psychic sensitivity. This applies also to the human Scorpios and Pisces signs. They know before you, what you will do in a situation or what you wish to do in general.

Just as the humans this cat is jealous, possessive, suspicious, and secretive in nature. They are good at hiding their feelings. If hurt are rather vengeful, and do not neglect them as this will turn out to start your day off rather interesting. They influence other felines easily, and have their likes and dislikes.

This is the sign that will fight viciously and will not stand down when confronted by another. This would be the ideal cat to have if you live alone and do not like dogs. This would remind me of our first cat that we had, named KyKy. She was very possessive of her family and once when someone tried to break into the house, attacked at full force and drew blood as well as cut one of the intruders’ eyes. She was a Siamese and very beautiful. Always in heat, but they do tend to have a hard time with mating.

Human and feline counterparts that are best are Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn, Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces. Ruling planet is Mars.

Sagittarius: Nov 22 – Dec 21

This is the most independent of all the felines, just as the humans of this sign are known to be. Explorers, adventurers, they like variety and are extraverted personalities. They love competition and challenge, so be careful not to stare them down, and they may win. But this applies to all areas in life. This is one of the messier felines, not much for tidiness, and love a messy surrounding

Accident prone and tends too be moody as well, as this is a characteristic of the one with the Centaur in their chart. Center of attention, is where they are happiest and you will laugh at what they come up with from time to time. Very risky, and will tend their nine live [being that a cat can only take feline form nine times in their life]. After that they are reincarnated into something else. This is in Onyx’s seventh house.

Human and feline counterparts that are best are Gemini, Libra, Aquarius, Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius. Ruling planet is Jupiter.

Capricorn: Dec 22 – Jan 19

Now we come to the most earthly of all the felines. This feline loves quiet surroundings, loud noises will make them very nervous, and if humans come into their home they will hide to be alone. They approach other animals with great caution. This feline likes to know that his/her surroundings are secure and they are also the most loyal of all the felines.

They love time to themselves, as they are known for being solitary. They are leaders and will dominant other cats within the same home, unless of course it is a Leo. Then there will be a struggle for who is the more dominant. Usually the Leo will win, and the Capricorn will continue to overpower the Leo cat.

This cat loves to just find a spot and stay put, a window for gazing, a chair for resting, a fire and just watching the flames. This cat is your ideal for quite. Now, when it comes to being a one that loves to climb this is your cat. You may find him/her in the tree, scaling a trellis, even a book shelf. Whatever it can dig its claws into and scale be sure the Capricorn cat will do exactly this. Now, here is the one you will have to rescue from the trees. Now, this was my other cat Flicker-Jasmine. However, because of the fact that Onyx and she did not get along we had to send her off to another.

Human and feline counterparts that are best are Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces, Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn. Ruling planet is Saturn.

Aquarius: Jan 20 – Feb 18

Freedom and independence are these main characteristics. They do like being locked up and are resentful if they are placed into a carrier of any kind. They are adaptable, friendly, and naturally curious in their nature. Here is where the famous term “curiosity killed the cat” comes about. They enjoy watching instead of participating.

If any of the feline is unpredictable it is the Aquarius cat. However, you must be watchful not to allow this one to become over stressed; you will receive the silent treatment if he/she does feel out of sorts. If the Aquarian cat has Aries in his natal, that being in houses as well will tend to be very temperamental. However, if there is Scorpio in his/her natal reactions to stress are to be rather spiteful.

Here we have a highly intuitive cat and very intelligent. This is the one that is easiest to train and they are fast learners as well. They have great pride and will show that in how they develop in the mind.

Do not be concerned if your cat acts out in spurts, as this is typical of an Aquarian cat. This cat is ruled by a crazy planet and well it is good to act out sometimes, life would be too boring for them otherwise.

Human and feline counterparts that are best are Aries, Leo, Sagittarius, Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius. Ruling planet is Uranus.

Pisces: Feb 19 – Mar 20

This is the last of the signs in the zodiac. This cat is very strong in intuition and rather psychic as well. They have a strong sixth sense and can sense something from far away. This is the case with my first cat Black Widow. Many times I would be traveling and when I would return home, she would come running straight to me. She would sense my arrival from a far and when I would enter the house she would be there immediately giving me hugs and kisses.

She loved the night and the moon, she loved to roam about, but she was also rather timid at times. She was a mover, she never sat still for too long, sometimes she would be gone for days on end and come home and say here I am, miss me. Well, as you can see I talk with all my cats.

This is a very emotional cat, along with the Cancer and Scorpio as well. They are very hypersensitive, moody and sometimes very temperamental. The Pisces cat has to be feed on time or they become very grumpy. As well as their human counterparts the feline is also very impatient and they love to whine when they do not have things there way. However, when relaxed they are very affectionate and love to cuddle.

This is the most mysterious and mystical of all the felines. This is the one cat that draws to Witches the most, as well as others who practice, or take a strong interest in the arts. The eyes on the Pisces cat are very distant and dreamy, if allowed to look into them long enough you will see the Otherworld. This is Onyx’s Mid-heaven {MC}.

Human and feline counterparts that are best are Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn, Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces. Ruling planet is Neptune.


Lunar Influences

Now here we come to the part of when you actually bring one into your home. Well, remember they choose you and they are rather familiar with the timing of the moon and the best times to come into ones home. However, this is not always the case with strays.

The best time to bring a new cat into your home is on a Dark Moon, or in the First Quarter {Waxing Moon}, when not being ruled by the sign of Pisces or Scorpio. Why you may ask? Well, these are the two water signs that are the least stable and the least loyal in all reality.

They will not stay, this is learned from experience. A friend needed a home for a black male cat and I had agreed to do this, but with the instructions that I could only do it on a Dark Moon. Well, she came the following day and it happened to be ruled by none other than the Pisces Moon. In his brief stay with us Onyx came to tolerate him, he destroyed all the screens on the doors, and some of the windows. He also destroyed the furniture and well, he loved to be outside at night, so we let him enjoy. The last time I say Myst, we had let him out one night and never to return.

Training is best done under the Taurus Moon. Planting of catnip is best done under the moon of Libra, or any of the other water signs. However, cats do not always like catnip. They are more adapting to like it if transplanted from a small pot. Planted by seeds alone they will draw away from it, and some may never draw to it at all. Onyx is not fond of catnip in anyway, oils, plant, herb, nothing. This too depends on the cat. I have many others that I tend too that come groaning at the smell of the oil itself. If they do like it you will know harvest time when they are found rolling about in the patch that was planted for them. Reminder, plant this away from your normal herbal gardens and give them a special place of their own.


Year of the Cat

The following years are represented by the cat in North China; 1903, 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, and 1987. Now in Tao this represents the Hare, in Chinese the Rabbit. Now according to Taoist Astrology the following would apply in North China. The year of the purple Cat; 1927, and 1987, the gold Cat; 1939, and 1999, the silver Cat 1951, and 2011, the grey Cat 1903, and 1963 and the blue Cat 1915, and 1975. Each cycle comes around every sixty years, meaning that each colour associated with the year only appears every sixty years; for instance the next one to come will be in the year 2011 and it will be the year of the silver Cat. Then to follow in the year of 2023 with be the year of the grey Cat. Then the following years to follow are; 2035, 2047, 2059, 2071, 2083, and 2095. Now, remember this really applies to North China, as the rest of the system is ruled by either the Hare or Rabbit, which just depends on whether you follow the Chinese or the Taoist lunar calendar system.

Now in legend it is said that Buddha [c.563-c. 483 BC] was the original creator of the Chinese astrology, however, more believe that in the year 2637 BC, the Chinese Emperor Huang Ti standardized this system. Now, it is known as both Chinese Astrology and Taoist Astrology [pronounced Daoism]. In the Taoist system each animal is given a colour and years that it rules. Being as that humans needed to have contact with animals in order to survive. The cat had been one of the original animals invited but fell asleep and didn’t make it, and then another contest was created so that the cat could participate and at this time the rat and the cat had been long time friends. However, the rat broke a promise to his friend and didn’t wake him from his catnap. Upon the cat waking the race was finished and the rat won a spot. Needless to say this ending the friendship between the two animals and forever they live as enemies.

In Vietnamese astrology the Cat [which corresponds with the Rabbit in Chinese Astrology] is one of the twelve animals represented in the calendar. However, in North Korea the Cat replaces the rabbit, for the reason that this word is insulting to this part of the country.

So how does this play in your cat’s astrology, well if you follow this system it determines your cat’s characteristics just as the other two systems. In this case you would do the same reverse the person for the feline. But one must remember that the cat really is a person as most of us have lived other lives as cats or have yet to live our lives as cats.


Magic of the Cats

This dates back as far as the time of the Egyptian culture. Most people wore amulets as well as most if not all cats. Onyx wears a encircled Celtic knot on her collar. It was cleansed of all energies before it was placed on her neck. These are very easy to do, find one that has a strong connection to it and then run it under cool water and chant;

Negative energies I call to thee,

Remove yourself and banish from thee,

Positive energies I call to thee,

This is the charge to the amulet,

For {cat’s name} protection

‘Tis my will,

So Mote It Be!

Now, you come to enjoy your feline and remember to celebrate her birthday the same as we celebrate ours. If you are not sure of the day, just watch closely and see how they act, this usually can help you figure out about when she was born. You may also use a dowsing pendulum, and or a Spirit Board [also known as an Ouija Board] to find out around when they were born. But remember this too, that your cat does have a Natal Chart and not only will she show her sun sign, but that of the signs in her houses, ascendant, and her moon rising. All of this will tell you who your cat is and what she wants.

Just love her and take care of all the ones that follow. For sure, if you love one that much the strays will see this and come to be part of your family. They may not like each other, but they certainly will tolerate each other.

Feline Book of Shadows

The Feline Book of Shadows is much as the same as a regular Book of Shadows, the main difference is that it will focus on divination with your familiar and the associations that are sacred to her/him.

Setting it up is much the same formatting as your own personal one? You would set up your Feline Book of Shadows with a book blessing and an invocation to deity [being the deity that you are the devotee of, or your Patron deity]. If you wanted you could place a copy of the Witches Creed/Wicca Rede, or even create your own Feline Creed. This book of shadows is dedicated to your familiar and the Magic is worked with the two of you on a more personal level of growth. When working with feline powers you are first asking permission for the use of their spirit for this takes a great deal of energy away from them, as it does you, when working rituals, or spells. So, you must be careful to prepare in the same way as you would if you, yourself were working the divination on your own.

Preparing a Feline for Divination

This is a long process and one that will take from the time of your familiars’ birth to the time she/he is ready to work divination. Remember, not all cats are your familiars, some are there as just a friend and your special pet. They are not treated in the same manner. One is treated more like a person and the other more of someone that is there to keep you company.

When preparing your feline for the art of divination you must do a number of things from the beginning. Begin first by preparing a naming ritual and bless them, do a paganing ceremony, and allow them to work with you to understand that of what you are doing. Allow them an amulet, stones that are associated to their sun sign, moon rising and ascendant sign as well as an elemental association. They will want to know of what tools are within your altar, so let them investigate to learn more. They too must develop as we do when it comes to working Magic. Now, with Onyx I did a naming ritual, and blessing ceremony after I learned her birth date. I also got her an amulet of an encircled Celtic knot of Triquetra and cast a protection spell upon her amulet. I gave her an Onyx stone, and she has various others that she will play with from time to time. I also, allow her pretty much room to do as she will, but then again you must set boundaries or have a destroyed home.

Cat Naming ritual is very simple for this all you need is your cat a single white cat candle and some catnip essential oil, if available for anointing. Otherwise you can use oil that is associated with their Sun Sign [if known] and it must be performed on that night of the Dark Moon/New Moon. Prepare yourself as you would for any ritual, by cleansing the Nemeses [Gaelic for Sacred Space] and then calling the quarters to invite in the elementals. Then begin by calling upon the Quarters first from the East, South, West, and then North, also known as Deosil movement. Hold your familiar and cradle him/her as to comfort them during the ritual and upon finishing give your familiar a kiss and you may now close the circle. Remember, that you must ground and clear upon the closing of the Quarters.

Cat naming ritual

[Name] is thy name I bestow unto thee

[Name] is who I dedicate to thee

Thy name may come to thee,

To sound and bring magic three times, three, times three.

Thy life is lived free and sacred to thee

You shall be blessed, protected and honoured by thee

Blessing a feline is rather a simple ceremony. You need only your feline, cat candles [I used black], as this is a good colour for banishing and removing negative energies, as well as other associations. [But, for this lesson we will stick to the colour for banishing of negative energies, which is very important when working with Feline Magic and in the blessing of your familiar]. You must do this upon the Witching Hour of the Full Moon. Then of course you cast your circle in a Deosil movement. Now, you can also use fire in a cauldron for this ritual if you have the space for it, otherwise just use a candle and then anoint it with the proper oils. When finished allow the cauldron fire to burn down and let cool, [if used], and extinguish the cat candle and you may now close your circle by moving Tuathail also known as Widdershins. As usual, ground and clear. Now, your familiar is ready for divination.

Blessing of a Familiar

O sacred familiar

Wise and old beyond your years

Unto thee I send this blessing

Love and Light

Fire that burns with lighting of the night

Upon thy Witching Hour

Moons’ Power

I bestow upon thee

Thy Witches’ Power

Power of the ancients I call for thee

Bring the power of all ancestors unto thee

May the forces of the elements

Be blessed unto thee

Thy nature so bold and known to thee

Calling upon Bastet to honour thee

Blessings bestowed unto thee

In thy casting of magic

You shall be blessed, protected and honoured by thee

These ceremonies are usually done upon the birth of your familiar; however, if they come to you in another form, you may perform this ritual, or have the High Priest of High Priestess of your local Coven do this ceremony, at the next Full Moon after your familiar coming to you home. This is very similar to that of a paganing ceremony or a baptism of a child. However, if you are a solitary you may perform this ceremony in a place that is sacred to you, and to your familiar.

Note: Remember, that these are very sacred ritual/s and must be performed with respect and honour to Bastet.

Spell for Calling upon a Familiars Spirit

This is a very powerful spell if performed properly; however, you must be prepared and ready to accept what is brought to you from the working of this particular spell. I created this spell some time back, upon the death of one of my familiars so as to have a final blessing for her. She was a very wise and powerful familiar and taught me a lot, in the time she was here. I knew before her passing that it was to come, just not when or how. But, the same morning of me seeing her running in a dream/vision, my husband found her on the side of the road. Later he told me, after I heard from another [who is not a fan of felines] that a black cat was hit earlier that day. He had taken her to a place that well destroyed them in a very UN humane manner. So, this spell was dedicated to Agatha and I used the spirit of my Widow as well in the casting of this spell.

Please use it wisely. Now, I cast this on a Waning Moon near the time of the Witching Hour [if you are not able to perform this at the Witching Hour, you may do so at or after the hour of 9 p. Casting the Circle from the North to the West and Opening the Circle from the West to the North.

Spirit Call Cat Circle of Magick

Altar Set up



W          E


In accordance to how your house or altar is located in your home. Centre the candles to the altar facing you. You may also perform this outside if you so desire. Cleanse altar before using, with Moon Water, which has been blessed by the Goddess herself [Full Moon Water], and Sea Salt. Cleanse yourself and your charkas, by taking a bath. Using either Myrrh oil or Sea Salt, for cleansing take a long bath or shower to cleanse and have the Goddesses energies flow through. North being Earth, East being Air, South being Fire, and west being Water.

Before performing this ritual, make an herbal tea of pure herbs to prepare your state of mind to a trance state. Mugwort, Dandelion, and Lavender work best. I usually drink about two or three cups, relax my body for an hour and then begin the ritual.

Place in both the North and East direction one Bastet Statue each, and on the West and South direction place a picture of your familiar/s. Anoint with Myrrh oil, you may also use pure Catnip oil, if available. This is very expensive, and will burn your skin if contact is made, use carefully. Picture placement (only if calling on a spirit who has passed on to say farewell, or for guidance in what is to come. In my case my familiars, Black Widow & Agatha’ photos were used; place them at the West and South side of the altar.



1 Gold and White Cat candle. Place in the centre of Altar.

2 Gold candles (they can smell of Amber), place one on each side of the Cat candle.


Myrrh, Frankincense and Catnip. Best used the resin and burned on charcoal. Also, you can use the oil in an oil burner for the scent as well. Place behind the candles. Altar Cloth colours, Gold or Blue, or both. I used Yellow and Blue. Moon to perform on, any phase is fine, however, it must be under the sign of Scorpio or Pisces, for this is the strongest of all the Moons to perform spirit callings. Once your altar is cleansed, cleanse yourself and prepare. Burn your myrrh or frankincense incense for cleansing the room and space.

Now, you are ready to begin. First of all, call on your quarters [North to West] using your athame, wand or staff, asking the spirits to join you in circle.

Relax yourself, and light your candles incense. Now say the following words:


Goddess of Love,

Goddess of Light,

Come to me and shine so bright,

Let me see what is to be,

Come to me O spirit be.

So mote it Be!

You may also use the Chant of Witches; Isis, Asparte, Diana, Hecate, Demeter, Kali Ma, Inanna. This will do well in raising your cone of power. After you start to feel the energies moving, say the following words:

Goddess I accept all that

You are to reveal.

Spirit comes to me

And reveal yourself.

Let me see you, Goddess

I accept thee, Desire, Will and Intent unto me

So mote it Be!

Repeat as many times as it takes for you to feel the energies start to surround your space of Magick. You will eventually start to feel like you are in a place that is not of the physical realm, but of the Outer Realm.

Open the circle [West to North] and thank the spirits for their assistance and send back the spirits of your familiars back to where they came from, as this is draining on them.

You must be willing to accept what every guide the Goddess blesses you with for it is the reason of the calling. My results were seen just a few days later. That too, you must remember it will be revealed when the time is right. When I did this I ended up with ten felines around the house within hours after the ceremony ended and both Agatha and Widow came full blast in spirit. The manifestation was quick and is still in effect to this very day.

Final Words:

In doing this article, I have taken great thought in how to best to bring it to each and every one of you. This is a very large part of my life and my Magic; however, it is only used in the greatest of respect for the feline. When you work divination with a feline or call upon their energies to help you in understanding omens, finding lost objects, easing your anxiety, and some even are there for calming of dreams in ones sleep. You must remember that they are freely allowing you to draw on their energies, so you must respect them, and give back to them what you take. Otherwise they will lose not only power, but they will lose energy and strength if we do not give what we have taken from them.

They are wise and powerful power animals and should be treated as that, not as just a domestic pet. Remember in how you treat a feline, whether it is yours or another’s, you honour them with your love, Bastet honours you in many ways.

How do you know this? Well, recently I found a black cat on the side of the road, which, for a moment I thought had been one of the many I tend too, however, it was not. I buried him/her under our Coconut tree along with Isobel’s kittens whom were buried earlier the same day. A manifestation to me were a new kitten that had lost her mother, found her way here and now has a safe place. You never know what you will receive from the giving of your soul to another. So, respect that soul no matter what. In death is rebirth, in rebirth is a spirit that if meant to be in your life will come no matter what you expect.

Love and cherish the feline for all they are, as they are the Witches Familiar.

I hope you have enjoyed this article and take with you something to begin a new area of divination.




My Personal Experiences and Workings

Shows were revisions or add on has been placed.


Egyptian Astrology, http://www.pvv.ntnu.no/~raaness/astrology

Ancient Egyptian Magic; Spells, Incantations, Potions, Stories, and Rituals

by Bob Brier

Your Magickal Cat, by Gerina Dunwich

Magic in Ancient Egypt, by Geraldine Pinch

The Twelve House, by Howard Sasportas [used in translating Onyx’s chart]

Taoist Astrology, by Susan Levitt with Jean Tang


Familiars Animal Powers of Britain, by Anna Franklin

Herb Craft, by Anna Franklin

The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Fairies, by Anna Franklin

The Werewolf Book, by Brad Steiger and forwarded by Dr. Franklin Ruehl

Scottish Witches and Wizards True Accounts, by H. M. Fleming

The Encyclopaedia of Witches and Witchcraft, by Rosemary Ellen Guiley

1000 Years of Irish Poetry;

Edited by Kathleen Hoagland, Intro by Malachy McCourt

Egyptian Magic by E.A. Wallis Budge

Cat Magick, by Patricia Telesco,

Your Magickal Cat, by Gerina Dunwich, and

The Mysterious Magickal Cat, by D.J. Conway.


Internet Resources:


Goddess and Gods, at http://members.tripod.com/witchiegirl/deities.html

European Witch Adoption, at http://sacredcirclescoven.com/WitchesNames.htm

Greek Mythology, at http://www.loggia.com/myth/eros.html

Pantheon, at http://www.pantheon.org

http://www.themystica.org/mythical-folk/articles/dionysus.html  and http://www.themystica.org/mythical-folk/articles/bacchus.html



To reprint this article emails Rev. Darcie Clausen De Velez. at csolarwolf1@aol.com  please provide your sites address, and a valid email all requests for reprint will be reviewed prior to approval.  I have the right to remove this article from sites at any time I no longer wish it to be used by outside sources.


At the time of writing this article I was going under the Open Craft Name of Dark Oak.


Article Featured: Silver Wheel Magazine UK ~ Samhain 2003 Issue



















My Journey to Future Earth Vision

My Journey to Future Earth Vision

Received on 29 June 2008

by Ariana Clausen -Vélez

In many of my journeys in which I have travelled I remember few, but on this night I went on a most powerful journey of awakening and new life in which lies ahead. Now, when I had this vision it was so profound that in my describing it to my True Mother, I knew it was not yet time to reveal to any form of mass community. What makes this vision even more powerful is that I received it on the 8 year anniversary of Leo’s passing to Sumerland and 8 years prior on the same night he came to me in a vision to reveal to me who I truly was and that it was really my time to remember and find my True Mother.

Why am I revealing said vision now, well today, my husband and I went to see the movie Knowing with Nicholas Cage and within this movie many of things in which I saw and have been seeing occurring were revealed to in the movie.

My journey as shown to me by the Ancient Mighty Ones, to our Future Earth, is as follows’. This the day in which we honour Leo Martello & journey within as he makes his presence known and visiting from the Sumerland, magic cast, knowledge gained, visions and dreams with answers to questions and Prophecy seen.

Within this most of profound vision journeys I took an extraordinary journey, a journey to future earth. A world that was awash of Solar lights, bridges connecting to all the lands and planets in this system, silent voices in which communicated through the mind, and the colours so radiant and pure, ones that could only be of the Gods Lands. Each planet had a special feature one was of Agriculture, another arts and artisans, another of knowledge and teaching, each planet represented the nature of the God or Goddess in which was the Patron or Ruling nature. Yet here, everything was utilized and for free, nothing was paid for with money, but with hard work and all were one. The people were peaceful by nature and enjoyed communicating with one another on such a higher level that speaking and writing were not necessary, though the library on this Earth held all of the works of Philosophers, Astrologers, Occultists, and more from time before it existed. I have travelled many a journey and most are profound but this came at a time when we are seeing so much change in the world and not so much for the better, but it is a time of which we are to know that those who truly seek shall find truth and be the ones chosen to continue life in another place and time as destined by the Gods for those who seek to evolve and understand without fear and without question.

As for my life in this world, I am unsure, as I was viewing from above the this world, hovering as if to only see of what will come in the future. However, I do know that in this world in which I was later walking around and all you could see were souls that were so radiant and pure it was a breath of fresh air. Clothing here was light and thin as the weather was not hot nor cold, the air one breathed was pure as pure could be with no pollution of any kind. People walked or rode horses to get to where they were going, or simply transported themselves through the realms. A world not yet experienced and one that only in time humanity shall experience.

Future Earth is awash with two Suns and one Moon, the neighbouring planets were so close that you need not travel far to arrive, the light of the Moon lasts longer as does the Sun light. Many did not even need to sleep and no one was ever deprived of anything in which they needed. Life and the pleasures of learning, teaching, crafting in the arts, mathematics, sciences, astronomy, astrology, artisans, dressmakers and so much more were priority over sleep. The minds were all connected as if one speaking was a wasted energy as everyone spoke and communicated by entrée of the mind. There were Twelve planets in this world as many as originally were in the beginning of time, all being connected by one bridge, which brought not only unity but full balance. No one worried, needed for anything, money was not used as all things were traded and bartered for what one family needed, it was a world of complete peace, a time that was once before during the Golden Age and forgotten.

A land, a world, in which one day shall return and those who are chosen and those who have sought to gain through seeking the path of the Ancient Mighty Ones shall once again get to experience as those who are of an elevated mind and soul. In colour they were pure hues, purples, red, yellows, greens, oranges, as pure as one colour could ever be, the Sun was a pure gold colour the moon pure silver and white. Transportation in this time was all utilized from the energy of nature alone and all things created in Future were only from what the land could provide from the natural sources and that was all humanity needed to survive. There were no dis-eases, no governments as the people worked together, it was all pure and of truest of ways, simple, honest, and full of life ever evolving.

This is our Future Earth our New World. Moreover, during this vision I was not sure of what I was being shown at the time, until approximately two weeks later when I got an ezine from Spirit of Ma’at in which there was an article entitled Ea a Messenger from the Future in which Paula Peterson who channels with Ea, a Sumerian God of communication and travel had written a journey in which she had been shown in the year 2003. In this I tried to communicate with her to speak with her of my vision and to compare to her journey, though sadly she never returned my correspondences.

Then again some weeks after this I saw Future Earth again in an article I had come across in which it showed planets of the pure hued colours in which were being looked at, as the next Earth for humanity to life upon. Now, from time to time I travel there back and forth and everything thus to date has been warnings of what we need to do to awaken our minds and guide those who are closed to open their minds before it is too late. In reality the truth being this earth will not be destroyed per say, but their shall be an awakening and the humanoids shall once again live among humanity to see who is worthy and who is not, and this is to determine who shall reside in the Future Earth.

Why have I waited to reveal this message or vision, well when I have such visions I wait for a confirmation to share such revelations with a larger group of persons as to say, the Gods give us extremely profound visions and not all are able to handle the messages we are given, if at all, so one must be careful of when such a message is shared with others outside of one’s inner circle. May the Mighty Ones guide you all and may you be blessed with the knowledge and gained wisdom in your path to truth and understanding. This is an ongoing journey as I learn of the Other Worlds and Lands in which are full of life and knowledge.

Note:  Since having this vision and journey many validations have come to pass in which Solar Systems have been discovered by NASA that are out there with such colours and Sun’s within the systems in which have been found.  This may not be the world in which many of us shall live in, but it will be the Future World of our Descendants.


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