Friday, July 26, 2013

Mithra the other Christ

Mithra sacrificing a bull

Mithra and Christ

Over the centuries—in fact, from the earliest Christian times—Mithraism has been compared to Christianity, revealing numerous similarities between the two faiths' doctrines and traditions, including as concerns stories of their respective godmen. In developing this analysis, it should be kept in mind that elements from Roman, Armenian and Persian Mithraism are utilized, not as a whole ideology but as separate items that may have affected the creation of Christianity, whether directly through the mechanism of Mithraism or through another Pagan source within the Roman Empire and beyond. The evidence points to these motifs and elements being adopted into Christianity not as a whole from one source but singularly from many sources, including Mithraism.

"The evidence points to these motifs and elements being adopted into Christianity..."

Thus, the following list represents not a solidified mythos or narrative of one particular Mithra or form of the god as developed in one particular culture and era but, rather, a combination of them all for ease of reference as to any possible influences upon Christianity under the name of Mitra/Mithra/Mithras.

Mithra has the following in common with the Jesus character:

Mithra was born on December 25th of the virgin Anahita.
The babe was wrapped in swaddling clothes, placed in a manger and attended by shepherds.
He was considered a great traveling teacher and master.
He had 12 companions or "disciples."
He performed miracles.
As the "great bull of the Sun," Mithra sacrificed himself for world peace.
Mithra ascending to heaven in his solar cart, with sun symbol He ascended to heaven.
Mithra was viewed as the Good Shepherd, the "Way, the Truth and the Light," the Redeemer, the Savior, the Messiah.
Mithra is omniscient, as he "hears all, sees all, knows all: none can deceive him."
He was identified with both the Lion and the Lamb.
His sacred day was Sunday, "the Lord's Day," hundreds of years before the appearance of Christ.
His religion had a eucharist or "Lord's Supper."
Mithra "sets his marks on the foreheads of his soldiers."
Mithraism emphasized baptism.
December 25th Birthday

The similarities between Mithraism and Christianity have included their chapels, the term "father" for priest, celibacy and, it is notoriously claimed, the December 25th birthdate. Over the centuries, apologists contending that Mithraism copied Christianity nevertheless have asserted that the December 25th birthdate was taken from Mithraism. As Sir Arthur Weigall says:

December 25th was really the date, not of the birth of Jesus, but of the sun-god Mithra. Horus, son of Isis, however, was in very early times identified with Ra, the Egyptian sun-god, and hence with Mithra...

Mithra's birthday on December 25th has been so widely claimed that the Catholic Encyclopedia ("Mithraism") remarks: "The 25 December was observed as his birthday, the natalis invicti, the rebirth of the winter-sun, unconquered by the rigours of the season."

Yet this contention of Mithra's birthday on December 25th or the winter solstice is disputed because there is no hard archaeological or literary evidence of the Roman Mithras specifically being named as having been born at that time. Says Dr. Alvar:

There is no evidence of any kind, not even a hint, from within the cult that this, or any other winter day, was important in the Mithraic calendar. (Alvar, 410)

In analyzing the evidence, we must keep in mind all the destruction that has taken place over the past 2,000 years—including that of many Mithraic remains and texts—as well as the fact that several of these germane parallels constituted mysteries that may or may not have been recorded in the first place or the meanings of which have been obscured.

Christ as Helios or Sol Invictus in his solar chariot; 3rd century AD/CE; Mausoleum, St. Peter's, Rome The claim about the Roman Mithras's birth on "Christmas" is evidently based on the Calendar of Filocalus or Philocalian Calendar (c. 354 AD/CE), which mentions that December 25th represents the "Birthday of the Unconquered," understood to refer to the sun and taken to indicate Mithras as Sol Invictus. Whether it represents Mithras's birthday specifically or "merely" that of Emperor Aurelian's Sol Invictus, with whom Mithras has been identified, the Calendar also lists the day—the winter solstice birth of the sun—as that of natus Christus in Betleem Iudeae: "Birth of Christ in Bethlehem Judea."

Moreover, it would seem that there is more to this story, as Aurelian was the first to institute officially the winter solstice as the birthday of Sol Invictus (Dies Natalis Solis Invicti) in 274 AD/CE. (Halsberghe, 158) It is contended that Aurelian's move was in response to Mithras's popularity. (Restaud, 4) One would thus wonder why the emperor would be so motivated if Mithras had nothing whatsoever to do with the sun god's traditional birthday—a disconnect that would be unusual for any solar deity.

Regardless of whether or not the artifacts of the Roman Mithras's votaries reflect the attribution of the sun god's birthday to him specifically, many in the empire did identify the mysteries icon and Sol Invictus as one, evidenced by the inscriptions of "Sol Invictus Mithras" and the many images of Mithras and the sun together, representing two sides of the same coin or each other's alter ego. Hence, the placement of Mithras's birth on this feast day of the sun is understandable and, despite the lack of concrete evidence at this date, quite plausibly was recognized in this manner in antiquity in the Roman Empire.

"The Mithraists believed that this night is the night of the birth of Mithra, Persian god of light and truth."

The same may be said as concerns another Persian or Zoroastrian winter celebration called "Yalda," which is the festival of the Longest Night of the Year, taking place on December 20th or the day before the solstice:

Yalda has a history as long as the Mithraism religion. The Mithraists believed that this night is the night of the birth of Mithra, Persian god of light and truth. At the morning of the longest night of the year the Mithra is born from a virgin mother....

In Zoroastrian tradition, the winter solstice with the longest night of the year was an auspicious day, and included customs intended to protect people from misfortune.... The Eve of the Yalda has great significance in the Iranian calendar. It is the eve of the birth of Mithra, the Sun God, who symbolized light, goodness and strength on earth. Shab-e Yalda is a time of joy.

Yalda is a Syriac word meaning birth. Mithra-worshippers used the term "yalda" specifically with reference to the birth of Mithra. As the longest night of the year, the Eve of Yalda (Shab-e Yalda) is also a turning point, after which the days grow longer. In ancient times it symbolized the triumph of the Sun God over the powers of darkness. ("Yalda," Wikipedia)

It is likely that this festival does indeed derive from remote antiquity, and it is evident that the ancient Persians were well aware of the winter solstice and its meaning as found in numerous other cultures: To wit, the annual "rebirth," "renewal" or "resurrection" of the sun.

"'Christmas' is the birth not of the 'son of God' but of the sun."

In the end the effect is the same: "Christmas" is the birth not of the "son of God" but of the sun. Indeed, there is much evidence—including many ancient monumental alignments—to demonstrate that this highly noticeable and cherished event of the winter solstice was celebrated beginning hundreds to thousands of years before the common era in numerous parts of the world. The observation was thus provably taken over by Christianity, not as biblical doctrine but as a later tradition in order to compete with the Pagan cults, a move we contend occurred with numerous other "Christian" motifs, including many that are in the New Testament.

Mithra the 'Rock-Born'

Mithra's genesis out of a rock, analogous to the birth in caves of a number of gods—including Jesus in the apocryphal, non-canonical texts— was followed by his adoration by shepherds, another motif that found its way into the later Christianity. Regarding the birth in caves likewise common to pre-Christian gods, and present in the early legends of Jesus, Weigall relates (50):

...the cave shown at Bethlehem as the birthplace of Jesus was actually a rock shrine in which the god Tammuz or Adonis was worshipped, as the early Christian father Jerome tells us; and its adoption as the scene of the birth of our Lord was one of those frequent instances of the taking over by Christians of a pagan sacred site. The propriety of this appropriation was increased by the fact that the worship of a god in a cave was commonplace in paganism: Apollo, Cybele, Demeter, Herakles, Hermes, Mithra and Poseidon were all adored in caves; Hermes, the Greek Logos, being actually born of Maia in a cave, and Mithra being "rock-born."

Mithra, born from a rock holding a dagger and a torchAs the "rock-born," Mithras was called "Theos ek Petras," or the "God from the Rock." As Weigall also relates:

Indeed, it may be that the reason of the Vatican hill at Rome being regarded as sacred to Peter, the Christian "Rock," was that it was already sacred to Mithra, for Mithraic remains have been found there.

Mithras was "the rock," or Peter, and was also "double-faced," like Janus the keyholder, likewise a prototype for the "apostle" Peter. Hence, when Jesus is made to say (in the apparent interpolation at Matthew 16:12) that the keys of the kingdom of heaven are given to "Peter" and that the Church is to be built upon "Peter," as a representative of Rome, he is usurping the authority of Mithraism, which was precisely headquartered on what became Vatican Hill.

"Mithraic remains on Vatican Hill are found underneath the later Christian edifices, which proves the Mithra cult was there first."

By the time the Christian hierarchy prevailed in Rome, Mithra had already been a popular cult, with pope, bishops, etc., and its doctrines were well established and widespread, reflecting a certain antiquity. Mithraic remains on Vatican Hill are found underneath the later Christian edifices, a fact that proves the Mithra cult was there first. In fact, while Mithraic ruins are abundant throughout the Roman Empire, beginning in the late first century AD/CE, "The earliest church remains, found in Dura-Europos, date only from around 230 CE."
Mithra remains underneath the Vatican (Vatican Hill) - Mithra was before Christianity

Priority: Mithraism or Christianity?

It is obvious from the remarks of the Church fathers and from the literary and archaeological record that Mithraism in some form preceded Christianity by centuries. The fact is that there is no Christian archaeological evidence earlier than the earliest Roman Mithraic archaeological evidence and that the preponderance of evidence points to Christianity being formulated during the second century, not based on a "historical" personage of the early first century. As one important example, the canonical gospels as we have them do not show up clearly in the literary record until the end of the second century.

Mithra's pre-Christian roots are attested in the Vedic and Avestan texts, as well as by historians such as Herodotus (1.131) and Xenophon (Cyrop. viii. 5, 53 and c. iv. 24), among others. Nor is it likely that the Roman Mithras is not essentially the same as the Indian sun god Mitra and the Persian, Armenian and Phrygian Mithra in his major attributes, as well as some of his most pertinent rites.

Moreover, it is erroneously asserted that because Mithraism was a "mystery cult" it did not leave any written record. In reality, much evidence of Mithra worship has been destroyed, including not only monuments, iconography and other artifacts, but also numerous books by ancient authors. The existence of written evidence is indicated by the Egyptian cloth "manuscript" from the first century BCE called, "Mummy Funerary Inscription of the Priest of Mithras, Ornouphios, Son fo Artemis" or MS 247.

Egyptian Mithra inscription on cloth; 1st century BCE; The Schøyen Collection,

As previously noted, two of the ancient writers on Mithraism are Pallas, and Eubulus, the latter of whom, according to Jerome (Against Jovinianus, 2.14; Schaff 397), "wrote the history of Mithras in many volumes." Discussing Eubulus and Pallas, Porphyry too related that there were "several elaborate treatises setting forth the religion of Mithra." The writings of the early Church fathers themselves provide much evidence as to what Mithraism was all about, as do the archaeological artifacts stretching from India to Scotland.

These many written volumes doubtlessly contained much interesting information that was damaging to Christianity, such as the important correspondences between the "lives" of Mithra and Jesus, as well as identical symbols such as the cross, and rites such as baptism and the eucharist. In fact, Mithraism was so similar to Christianity that it gave fits to the early Church fathers, as it does to this day to apologists, who attempt both to deny the similarities and yet to claim that these (non-existent) correspondences were plagiarized by Mithraism from Christianity.

"Regardless of attempts to make Mithraism the plagiarist of Christianity, the fact will remain that Mithraism was first."

Nevertheless, the god Mithra was revered for centuries prior to the Christian era, and the germane elements of Mithraism are known to have preceded Christianity by hundreds to thousands of years. Thus, regardless of attempts to make Mithraism the plagiarist of Christianity, the fact will remain that Mithraism was first, well established in the West a thousand years before Christianity had any significant influence.

"I Give you a Seed of Truth, nurture it and Grow!" - Dr. Gale Candice

In Love and Light,

Dr. Gale Candice Revilla
(Candice ~ Enchantress)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Why Go Skyclad? The Wiccan Way

I think you will get a better understanding of the Wiccan Way with this article.

If there’s one thing that everybody “knows” about Pagans, it’s this: they dance naked in the woods. No matter how much you try to explain that not all covens do that, it’s an image that sticks in everybody’s mind. Pretty soon, you start to wonder if there might be something to it after all. Well, there is!

Why Go Skyclad?
Written by; Sheela Ardrian

People have been worshipping naked for a long time. Judging from the pictures on some cave walls, our ancestors probably worshipped naked before they worshipped clothed.

Certain ritual activities are greatly facilitated by nudity. For example, some Native American tribes have a sweat lodge ceremony, such as the Lakota inipi, where they pour water on hot rocks for purification. Everyone crawls into the lodge naked. For this reason, men and women traditionally have separate sweat lodges.

Would you believe that Christians once practiced ritual nudity? They sure did! In early times, the sacrament of baptism was performed naked — both the priest and the person seeking baptism would disrobe before entering the water. Plus, the witnessing congregation usually included both men and women. Sadly this tradition died out after a few centuries.

Ascetic monks may give up worldly goods — up to and including their clothes. The Digambaras, a sect of Jainists, practice spiritual detachment by going naked, even in public. The name “Digambara” literally means “sky clad” and this is believed to be the source of the modern Pagan term.

There are also written records and pictures of Witches worshipping naked. Most of these are from unreliable, biased sources. But we do have Leland’s Aradia: Gospel of the Witches, originally published in 1890, which suggests that Italian Witches, called strega, practiced their rites nude.

Many of today’s Witches who wish to practice nude look back to Leland for inspiration. He writes (speaking as the Goddess):

And ye shall all be freed from slavery, And so ye shall be free in everything;
And as the sign that ye are truly free, Ye shall be naked in your rites, both men And women also…

A similar command appears in Doreen Valiente’s version of “The Charge of the Goddess,” later adapted in many variations. Although not all Pagans are Witches, ritual nudity has spread far beyond Wicca. After all, some rules are fun to follow!

Many people believe that magic moves more strongly and smoothly when there’s nothing to get in its way. As Gerald Gardner explains, in a skyclad ritual, “when power is given off the flow is more easy and regular.” Rick Johnson adds, “The magickal reason for nudity is that anything worn upon the body will interfere with and change the energy given off by the body. This includes clothes, make-up, perfumes, jewelry, glasses, contact lenses and so on.”

Other folks feel that skyclad improves safety, because there is no fabric to trip over or set fire to. Johnson writes, “Experiences of Witches all over the world often report that naked is safer. You are more aware of where the candles are when you begin to feel the heat as opposed to not detecting the heat of a fire until after your robe is engulfed in flames. Naked people step more carefully and bang into the altar and others far less frequently than clothed Witches.” Gardner agrees, “when dancing you are free and unconfined.”

Yet another reason: going skyclad puts people in the right headspace, too. Gardner says, “it is most important of all that there is not the slightest thing to divert the attention.” (Apparently he didn’t find naked people distracting.) Johnson notes several effects: “the person must accept themselves as they are or change themselves,” and “To be naked indicates freedom from conventional mundane thought. You are free to place your mind into a sphere of magickal thought where anything is possible.”

Removing status symbols brings down barriers. Johnson says, “Equality between class and gender is assured when naked as the rich no longer have jewels to show their class worth. Women must face men as equals, both showing their inadequacies and realizing that the other sex is just as physically imperfect as you are. With this barrier down, men and women can accept each other as equals.”

According to Starhawk, nudity likewise encourages honesty, trust, loyalty, and bonding within a group.

Most importantly to our discussion here, the sight and feel of a lover’s nude body can excite both, generating a tremendous surge of magical power. Although generally an advocate of demure nudity, Gardner admits that “the touch of the body of your beloved thrills your inmost soul, and so your body gives out its utmost power.”

From Naked to Nekkid

According to Wiccan tradition, going skyclad means going before the God and Goddess as they sent you into this world. It sets aside everyday concerns.

… damn, she’s got a great pair of knockers.

All of us stand equal in the Circle. It is an occasion of solemn spiritual celebration. It is not an occasion to point or poke fun or make personal remarks.

… he’s really hung. I mean this guy could compete with Sleipnir.

Who are we fooling? Nobody, that’s who!

When people get naked together, if they’re not used to seeing naked people all the time, they’re gonna look. And if they look, sometimes they’re gonna like what they see! In Paganism, that’s okay. Pagans generally aren’t prudes. Our religion is one of love and, sometimes, lust. That’s not an excuse to slobber all over the unwilling (or the happily handfasted) but it does mean that you don’t have to feel guilty about finding other people’s bodies attractive.

Serious worship is all to the well and good; so are bawdy rites. You can be naked in ritual, and have it mean nothing more than “worship with your clothes off.” Alternatively, you can get what I like to call nekkid — which means you’ve got your clothes off, and you’re doing something sexy. The Wheel of the Year includes several holidays where nekkid is perfectly appropriate (Ostara, Beltane, and Litha especially) and there are many more choices such as Lupercalia, Veneralia, and Radha’s Day. Some other occasions lend themselves well to such earthy entertainment, like handfastings. And if it’s just you and your sweetheart(s) … then anything goes!

A few simple steps can help you arrange an erotic skyclad frolic:

Make sure all the participants understand that this will be a nekkid event rather than a naked event, and that everyone is of legal age.
Hold your ritual in a comfortable, private place with a warm atmosphere.
For outdoor activities, consider exempting shoes from the “no-clothes” rule to protect tender feet from rocks or other sharp objects. Provide blankets to sit or lie on.
Put some safer-sex supplies on the altar in case people decide to celebrate the Great Rite for real.
Begin with fun physical activities to help people feel “at home” in their bodies, such as yoga, body painting, or backrubs.
Include ritual lines praising the male and female body, as found in many sacred texts; also encourage participants to praise each other’s bodies too. Everybody likes to hear how sexy they are!
If you have never worshipped skyclad before, consider giving it a try. You can practice alone, with a partner, or as part of a group. Make your ritual as serious or as sensual as you want. Experiment! Remember that your body is your temple, and you are the High Priestess or High Priest of it. How you decorate that temple, and worship in it, is entirely up to you. So have fun!

Being "Transparent" (nude) is a needed requirement of the
Enchantress when any kind of magick is performed.

Many people believe that magic moves more strongly and smoothly when there’s nothing to get in its way. As Gerald Gardner explains, in a skyclad ritual, “when power is given off the flow is more easy and regular.” Rick Johnson adds, “The magickal reason for nudity is that anything worn upon the body will interfere with and change the energy given off by the body. This includes clothes, make-up, perfumes, jewelry, glasses, contact lenses and so on.”

According to Starhawk, nudity likewise encourages honesty, trust, loyalty, and bonding within a group.

And as you have read many times over in a statement I make: If you are Honest, Truthful and Transparent, people trust you. If people trust you, they have no grounds for Fear, Jealousy or Suspicion. - Dr. Gale Candice

I hope that this sheds light on the power and eroticism of why some groups are skyclad and also how my group sees it.

In Love and Light,

Dr. Gale Candice
~Master of the Old World ~

Mystic/Shaman - Gale Candice

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Veil of Innocense

The Veil of Innocence
The chain mail representing the "Veil of Innocence" and channeling
the Magick energy needed along with being "Transparent" (nude).
In the olden Days, Veils were considered the norm in attire. The same went for the Transparent Spiritual Teacher. If the veil had a weave in it, then it could be used magickally. Through the holes went displaced magick energy that wasn't needed. The weave would catch the needed Magick and the Enchantress then absorbs this magick into her to use and to share with the tribe/group.
The "Veil of Innocence" is my own phrase that I use. I did find it on the internet but it seems to be a lost phrase, so I will use it here for reference to magick and the veil.
But there are times when this can falter and assistance may be needed by the group. Nothing in Magick is ever fool proof.

Using the "Veil of Innocence" to enhance Magick, Sexuality and Spiritualism
Click to Enlarge
No one is to wear it except for the Spiritual. One can carry it, robe her with it but NOT WEAR it. It is charged and considered a Sacred instrumentation and wearing it without authorization can be detrimental to one's health.
It is like the Native American Dream Weaver, where it catches only good dreams and weaves them into you when you sleep at night. The "Veil of Innocence" as I call it is for catching magickal energy flowing around the Enchantress.
So when you see this sitting next to the Enchantress, it be best to leave it alone.

Understand Esoteric Spiritualism and the power that the,
Veil of Innocence brings to you from the Spiritual Teacher

True Love and Affection:

Do you understand True Love and Affection? So many people who are barely learning would find it as copping a feel when I make the rounds and you put your hands on me.
If you understand my TRUE intent, then caressing on your part is not copping a feel. It is channeling my magick into you via your hands and my body.
You want to heal, then caress. You want energy flowing through you? Then caress all over. When the Enchantress (I love writing 3rd person in a flash) is charged with magick is the time to caress. She will slowly dissipate it over time and can re-charge it any time she feels most of it is gone!
Her intention is to connect and bond with you at many levels magickally, spiritually and that does require hands on to do it.
What happens if you caress the "Sacral Chakra" area and she becomes erotic in feeling. Then what you have done is sent back your energy to her and it will enhance and be sent back to you magickally. If you have an orgasm in the process, who cares, it is not shunned. It is not bad, it means the magickal energy exploded within you and you released it. Great for you! Maybe others can have that same thing happen to them in the near future.

Understand that erotic hugs does not mean sex. It means sexuality/eroticism and magick all in one. Let her become one with you and you will see and feel the difference. Her intention is TRUE LOVE and AFFECTION for her people!

The Spirit World and the Earthly World are one with the Spiritual Teacher


If you are Honest, Truthful and Transparent, people trust you. If people trust you, they have no grounds for Fear, Jealousy or Suspicion. ~

This is a representation of The Group and the Spiritual Teacher - Transparency
The group is clothed and she is not as it should be
Transparent (nude) of the Spiritual Teacher and the group clothed.
This also represents Submissive-Leadership as she serves her group
submissively. Her kneeling before her group in submission
Now as you walk towards the, "House of the Morning Star." You are aware of the life changes that will take place. You will see, feel and hear first hand of Magick in all its beauty. You understand the old Ways and you feel from the heart that it is what you need and want.
You know that to want something and powerful and as Spiritual as this way of life is going to take effort, commitment and dedication not only to the group but to yourself.

Yes we are a Cult:

You are not here to start a New beginning. You are here to start a New Ending!

My Spiritualism runs over like a cup overflowing with spiritual nectar. I am a Spiritualist and my sexuality is like a ball of fire ready to explode.
 I am a Spiritual Being on a Human Journey. What I have learned, I want to show you. I want to open that Spiritual Door but only you can pass through.
Come, hold my hand and let us walk together down this path of the Old Ways.

I Give You a Seed of Truth, nurture it and Grow! - Dr. Gale Candice

In Love and Light,

Gale Candice
~Masters of the Old World ~

Veiled and Transparent in Nature