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Old 03-10-2017   #1
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Roman Mithraism, the creepy and weird mystery cult

Roman Mithraism / Mithraic Mysteries

Some interesting excerpts:

"The Mithraic sanctuaries were subterranean caverns, which presented obvious limitations of size. None of the many excavated shrines could receive more than a hundred persons, most even fewer. All ceremonies were of necessity enacted in artificial light. The cavern always contained a well. Access to the cavern often consisted of a system of subterranean passages, which were used in the initiation ceremonies. Men only were admitted to this religion of soldiers, and no organizational hierarchy seems to have existed."


"Little is known about initiation ceremonies. Ancient texts refer to ablutions (baptism) and purifications and chastisements, to fetters and liberation, and to certain ceremonial passwords. Frescoes at Capua (Italy) show the initiates blindfolded, kneeling, and prostrated. A simulated death and resurrection was probably part of the ceremony."


"The creation of the world is the central episode of Mithraic mythology. According to the myths, the sun god sent his messenger, the raven, to Mithra and ordered him to sacrifice the bull. Mithra executed the order reluctantly; in many reliefs he is seen turning aside his face in sorrow. But at the very moment of the death of the bull, a great miracle happened. The white bull was metamorphosed into the moon; the cloak of Mithra was transformed into the vault of the sky, with the shining planets and fixed stars; from the tail of the bull and from his blood sprang the first ears of grain and the grape; and from the genitals of the animal ran the holy seed which was received by a mixing bowl. Every creature on earth was shaped with an admixture of the holy seed. One Mithraic hymn begins: “Thou hast redeemed us too by shedding the eternal blood.” The plants and the trees were created. Day and night began to alternate, the moon started her monthly cycle, the seasons took up their round dance through the year, and thus time was created. But, awakened by the sudden light, the creatures of the dark emerged from earth. A serpent licked the bull’s blood. A scorpion tried to suck the holy seed from the genitals. On the reliefs a lion often is also seen. With the bull’s death and the creation of the world, the struggle between good and evil began: thus is the condition of human life. The raven symbolizes air, the lion fire, the serpent earth, and the mixing bowl water. So the four elements (air, fire, earth, and water) came into being, and from them all things were created. After the sacrifice, Mithra and the sun god banqueted together, ate meat and bread, and drank wine. Then Mithra mounted the chariot of the sun god and drove with him across the ocean, through the air to the end of the world."


I remember reading somewhere that human sacrifices may have also been ascribed to Mithras (though Hidden X is correct it was never proven**).

Last edited by Mithras; 03-11-2017 at 10:33 AM..
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Old 03-11-2017   #2
Hidden X
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Re: Roman Mithraism, the creepy and weird mystery cult

I wouldn't give too much credit to claims of human sacrifice or degenerate practices.Roman writers were often extremely biased, and such over the top claims can be found in relation to Jews, Celts, Bacchanalians... What makes it worse is that in some cases that is only source of info we have, as some cults left not written works about their tenets and doctrines.
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Old 03-12-2017   #3
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Re: Roman Mithraism, the creepy and weird mystery cult

It's pretty amazing to me that they wore animal masks, associated with their grades, during their rituals in the caverns.

Also, here's some more on their places of worship:
Mithraeum Mithraeum

"The Mithraeum was either an adapted natural cave or cavern, or a building imitating a cave. When possible, the Mithraeum was constructed within or below an existing building, such as the Mithraeum found beneath Basilica of San Clemente in Rome. While a majority of Mithraea are underground, some feature open holes in the ceiling to allow some light in, perhaps to relate to the connection of the universe and the passing of time."

Here are some of their Mithraeum.

Quote Originally Posted by HiddeX
Both the Celts and early Zoroastrians believed the world, or aspects thereof, were created by the sacrificial slaying of a bull whose corpse became the seeds of nature.

Splitting a rock is also common in Indo-European mythologies. I think Mithras was born from a rock.

Last edited by Mithras; 03-22-2017 at 01:47 AM..
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