The Mysteries of Mithras by Payam Nabarz

I have read The Mysteries of Mithras: The Pagan Belief That Shaped the Christian World by Payam Nabarz. I can straight away say that it is a great book full of valuable insights. As loyal readers of my book reviews will know, I have been interested in the Mithraic mysteries for quite some time now, and we have encountered Mithraism in many other book reviews. Thus, reading this book was a natural next step.

A note on terminology: Mithra is the Persian God; Mithras is the Roman God. One could, of course, say that they are the same God. Iran (land of the Aryans) and Rome share Indo-European (Aryan) roots, so it is to be expected that they have similar Gods. However, for the sake of academic precision, the difference is worth keeping in mind.

Love, Sun, Friend

In the introductory chapter, the author shares the following interesting insight; namely, that the name Mithra has three meanings in Farsi – love, sun, and friend. In the Roman Cult, Mithras wrestles with Sol and thereafter becomes his friend – in certain depictions they appear side by side. In the same chapter the following is said regarding the friendship aspect of Mithra:

‘Mithra is the beloved, with whom the Magi seek union. He is seen as the protector of the Aryan nations, giving victory to “those who lie not unto Mithra.” He is the warrior deity carrying the “hundred knotted mace,” from whom all demons flee in fear.’

Payam Nabarz – The Mysteries of Mithras. Page 5.

This is similar to Thor, who is also a friend and protector of mankind. Moreover, the author notes that Zoroastrian priests, to this day, carry the mace of Mithra as a symbol of fighting evil (this is a powerful image!). He also notes that when Zoroastrianism ascended to become the dominant religion of Persia, Mithra made the transition from the old religion to the new due to his popularity with the people. Some good old syncretism at work!

The Tauroctony – Mithras and Perseus

The Tauroctony (pictured above) is a familiar picture. The author shares the following wisdom in regard to interpreting the symbolism.

‘The bull that Mithras kills is his ego, the aim of all followers of Mithras. Mithras always looks away from the bull while stabbing him, just as Perseus looked away from the Gorgon when he decapitated her. One who looked upon the Gorgon would turn to stone; that is, the ego would turn the heart and the soul to stone. In order to overcome this ego (nafs in Sufism), one must turn the head (the intellect) away, because the intellect is unable to overcome the ego.’

Payam Nabarz – The Mysteries of Mithras. Page 41.

My own interpretation of Perseus and Medusa is simply the overcoming of one’s weaknesses. The garment pictured below is available here:

Mithraic Influence on Christianity

In the chapter titled thus, the author lists some similarities between Mithraism and Christianity – the most notable one being the birthday of Mithras and Jesus, the 25th of December. In this chapter, two epic quotes are included, from the Great Magical Papyri and Revelation respectively. As I have noted before, quotes like these are always a pleasure to read. Moreover, regarding the description of Mithras: the mystery cult was heavily influenced by astrology (hence the astrological references).

‘Mithras having a bright appearance, youthful, golden-haired, with a white tunic and a golden crown and trousers, and holding in his right hand a golden shoulder of a young bull: (seven stars of the Plough) this is the Bear which moves and turns heaven around, moving upward and downward in accordance with the hour. Then you will see lightning-bolts leaping from his eyes and stars from his body.’

– The Mithraic Liturgy from the Great Magical Papyri

‘And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.
14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow;
and his eyes were as a flame of fire;
15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.
16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.’


Aside from their shared birthday, the author also notes that (among other things) both were born of a virgin and that both had worshippers who were baptized, called themselves ‘brothers,’ and held Sundays sacred. Another interesting thing to note is the following: in Icelandic Magic (review), Stephen E. Flowers mentions that the Our Father prayer may have been used by the Cult of Mithras as well.

The Beautiful Goddess

Speaking of epic quotes, the following beautiful passage appears in the chapter Meditations and Initiations:

‘On the throne sits a Lady in silver and gold garments, proud and tall, an awe-inspiring warrior woman, as terrifying as she is beautiful. Tall and statuesque she sits, her noble origins evident in her appearance, her haughty authority made clear and commanding through a pair of flashing eyes. A crown of shining gold rings her royal temples, bejeweled with eight sunrays and one hundred stars; it holds her lustrous hair back from her beautiful face.’

Payam Nabarz – The Mysteries of Mithras. Page 128.

The Zoroastrian Primordial Bull

As I noted in Podcast Episode 29. Fehu, Uruz, the Primordial Beast, bulls and cows have a special place in the Indo-European heart. In Germanic cosmology, Audhumbla is the primordial cow that gives nourishment to Ymir, the primordial giant. The author notes that in Zoroastrian tradition, the first animal in the world was a white bull as bright as the moon. The bull is, of course, central to the Mithraic mysteries as well.

The Phrygian Cap

The author shares the following quote illuminating quote in regard to the iconic Phrygian cap (as seen in the Tauroctony):

‘Mithra’s Phrygian cap originated from Phrygia, a centre of Mithraism in Anatolia, the capital of which was Konya. It was worn there by manumitted slaves, and Mithra’s wearing of the cap denotes his freedom from slavery of the lower self.’

Massoud Homayouni – The Origins of Persian Gnosis

On a personal note, I have contemplated whether or not to release a red Phrygian cap for Legio Gloria. There are two aspects to the matter; I do not want to wear anything associated with the destruction and evil of the French Revolution, but I do want to wear a cap associated with the glorious Mithraic mysteries. I am inclined to release such an item because of the following reason: the Mithraic mysteries came before the French Revolution. Furthermore, wearing it as a statement that one has overcome one’s lower self is indeed a good thing. We will return to the topic at a later time!


As already noted, The Mysteries of Mithras is an interesting book that I can wholeheartedly recommend to anyone interested in the Mithraic mysteries, or indeed esoteric matters in general. It is 164 pages and written in accessible language. It also contains some beautiful poetry in addition to practical instructions for rituals.

Good stuff!

Nietzsche – Der Zeitgemässe by Julien Rochedy

The author, Julien Rochedy, introduces the teachings of Nietzsche and puts them into the context of our current struggle. Interestingly, Nietzsche himself said that his work should be appreciated 100 years after his death – which is now, and this turned out to be a good prediction.

Rochedy also discusses Nietzsche’s life (i.e. when and under which circumstances he wrote his most important works) as well as clearing out some misconceptions about the man:

  • Nietzsche was indeed sickly later in his life, but was in good physical and athletic condition in his youth (he also spent time in the Prussian army).
  • Nietzsche did not, as some believe, triumphantly proclaim the death of God. Rather, a character of his laments the death of God. Thus, it is more a warning of atheism than a celebration of it.
  • Nietzsche also warns about nihilism, and encourages the new aristocracy (that will save European civilisation) to revolt against it.
  • The Overman (Übermensch) is not something that you are born as, but rather something you become. ‘Man is something to be overcome.’ A common misconception is to link the concept of the Overman with eugenics.
  • Eugenics is good, but Nietzsche’s concept of the Overman does not refer directly to it, but rather to do with the overcoming of oneself. That being said, Nietzsche presented the path of the Overman as a viable option for but a few. This reminds us of Evola’s Aristocrats of the Soul.
  • Nietzsche started out as a German Nationalist, but would later come to a more pan-European vision (similar to yours truly).

The book is in German (it is also the first book in German I have read), so I am certain I missed a few insights and nuances, but I found it interesting and understandable enough to recommend it to those who are interested in Nietzsche.

Temple of the Cosmos by Jeremy Naydler

I have had the pleasure of reading Temple of the Cosmos – The Ancient Egyptian Experience of the Sacred by Jeremy Naydler. I read the book per the recommendation of Mer-Rekh on Twitter. I can right away state that the book is highly interesting. Up until now, I had not delved deeper into the religion and metaphysics of the Ancient Egyptians, but their Gods have always had a certain place in my heart – not in the same way as the Indo-European Gods, but a place nonetheless. I had the great fortune of playing Age of Mythology in my younger years (which instilled a love for mythology). I am no stranger to Egyptian history and have always viewed the civilisation with admiration.

Whenever I review books, I note down particularly interesting pages and passages which contain insights that I wish to share. This book contains a spectacular amount of those! Below are but a few.

A Divine Land

The author notes that the Ancient Egyptians were much more connected to the divine (spiritual, metaphysical) than modern man. The two quotes below explains this quite well:

‘The physical universe had a “vertical dimension”; it reached up into, and included within itself, spiritual realities that for the modern consciousness are no longer a living experience.’

Jeremy Naydler – Temple of the Cosmos. Page 2.

‘The Egyptians themselves did not experience any gulf separating the spiritual from the physical realm. There was little in nature that could not effectively communicate a divine power. The starts, sun, moon, wind, and earth – all were gods or expressions of gods to them. Animals, plants, trees, serpents – all were capable of mediating a divine presence. For the Egyptians the natural world was full of gods. And the world of physical objects could equally become filled with divine powers.’

Jeremy Naydler – Temple of the Cosmos. Page 133.

Statues and Idols

On the same page as the passage above, the author explains that the Egyptians never worshipped idols and that idolatry was not an issue. The reason for this is that the concept of an idol (i.e. a mere physical object) was unconceivable for the Egyptian mind – the physical and metaphysical did not have the clear distinction as they would come to have in later centuries. The concept of an idol was introduced by the Israelites. We encountered a similar discussion regarding idolatry in our review of The Agni and The Ecstasy by Steven J. Rosen. Also interesting to note is that the Egyptians ensouled statues in rituals.

Horus and Seth – The Two Lands

A central conflict in the Egyptian cosmology is that between Horus and Seth. Horus is connected to the life-giving powers of the Nile; Seth is connected to the death of the desert. The conflict is thus between creation and destruction – order and chaos. This conflict was seen in the very landscape itself with the annual rise and decline of the Nile. Just as the Germanic weltanschauung was intertwined with the cycles of the year, so was the Egyptian (although these cycles are, of course, quite different).

‘From the beginning, the Delta was the domain of Horus while Upper Egypt was the province of Seth, the great opponent from whom the imperiled life and fecundity of the Nile valley had annually to be won. Seth ruled the desert; the desert was Seth’s land. And Seth was eternally opposed by Horus; eternally combatted and defeated.’

Jeremy Naydler – Temple of the Cosmos. Page 2.

The author goes on to note that Egypt was referred to the Two Lands not only because of the distinction between the North and the South, but also because of the contrast between the fertile Black Lands of the Nile (black = fertile soil) and the Red Lands of the desert. Metaphysically speaking, there was also the distinction between the spiritual realm on the one hand and the world of lifeless matter on the other.

‘Horus rules in opposition to Seth. Horus is the protector of life, the guarantor of order and harmony on earth. Seth is the destroyer of life, the instigator of disorder and chaos.’

Jeremy Naydler – Temple of the Cosmos. Page 71.

Horus was associated with the king; Seth with enemies.

East and West of the Nile

The author notes that the physical geography of Egypt played a role in their metaphysical conception of the world. The rise of the sun – the daily rebirth of Ra – was in the east. His descent into the realm of the dead was in the west. Therefore, mortuary temples and similar structures had to be on the western side of the Nile (the side of the dead).

A Beautiful Poem and an Epic Quote

As loyal readers will know, I am always on the lookout for beautiful poems and epic quotes. To my great delight, I found several in this book. Below is a hymn to the Sun-God Ra:

‘Splendid you rise, O living sun, eternal Lord!
You are radiant, beauteous, mighty,
Your love is great, immense.
Your rays light up all faces.
Your bright hue gives life to hearts,
When you fill the Two Lands with your love.’

Temple of the Cosmos. Page 2.

In the chapter titled The Marriage of Myth and History, the author notes that historical events were often presented as mythological. The Battle of Kadesh was a historical battle between the Egyptians under Ramesses II and the Hittites under Muwatalli II. Below is an epic quote which tells of the battle in a mythological fashion:

‘I was like Ra, when he rises at dawn.
My rays, they burned the rebels’ bodies,
They called out to another:
“Beware, take care, don’t approach him…
Anyone who goes to approach him,
Fire’s breath comes to burn his body.”
Thereupon they stood at a distance,
Kissing the ground before me.’

Battle of Kadesh Inscription (the quote appears on page 115 in Temple of the Cosmos).

In the same chapter, the author notes that Egypt’s enemies – Ethiopians to the south, Libyans to the west, Asiatics to the east – became symbols of the archetypal enemy that the king of Egypt had to eternally defeat. In this chapter, he also refers to the teachings of Mircea Eliade, whom we have encountered before – in our review of The Myth of the Eternal Return, for example.

Religion and Magic

The author notes that for the Egyptians, religion and magic were not separated – religion was magical. Moreover, he notes that, generally speaking, it was necessary to be a magician in order to hold office of state. This makes perfect sense with the knowledge of how important spiritual matters were for the people – a ‘separation of church and state’ would have been an absurd proposition! He also elaborates on the importance of Egyptian magic to the later Western Esoteric tradition. He shares the following quote by Jakob Böhme (1575–1624), a German philosopher and mystic:

‘Magic is the best theology, for in it true faith is both grounded and found. And he is a fool that reviles it, for he knows it not, and blasphemes against both God and himself, and is more a juggler than a theologian of understanding.’

Jakob Böhme (the quote appears on page 122 in Temple of the Cosmos).

He also shares the following quote by good old Paracelsus (1493–1541):

‘Magic is the greatest wisdom and the knowledge of supernatural powers… acquired by obtaining more spirituality and making oneself capable to feel and to see the things of the spirit.’

Paracelsus (the quote appears on page 123 in Temple of the Cosmos).

We encountered both Jakob Böhme and Paracelsus in our review of Evola’s The Hermetic Tradition.

The Hieroglyphs

In the chapter titled The Theology of Magic, the author notes that the hieroglyphs were the product of a different mentality than the modern (more profane) one – therefore, it is a misconception to only view the hieroglyphs as symbols without a deeper meaning. In this sense, they remind us of the Runes – which all contain deep mysteries and teachings (I will elaborate at length about the Runes in my upcoming book).

Ka – Ancestral Vital Energy

The book contains many interesting passages about the various metaphysical elements of a person. Elaborating on these lies beyond the scope of this book review; but one metaphysical element of particular interest is the Ka – the source of a persons vital energy. This energy was (for the common people) bestowed by an extraneous source:

‘This was the ancestral group that existed in the spirit world as a source of power at one with ka energy. It was the ancestors who directed this energy toward the physical realm, thereby infusing not only human beings but also animals and crops with vitality.’

Jeremy Naydler – Temple of the Cosmos. Page 193.

One could say that the Egyptian dead were not really dead, but influenced the living world in a sense. The author notes that ‘going to the Ka‘ was an experience of becoming absorbed into the ancestral group.

Supremely interesting!

Assassin’s Creed: Origins

In case you encountered Thoth’s War Elephant of Enlightenment on Telegram, Twitter, or Instagram and wondered where he is from, I can reveal that the picture you see is a screenshot from Assassin’s Creed: Origins. AC: Origins is one of the better games in the franchise, and a game I can recommend for those who are into gaming and Ancient Egypt. The game is not set in the Ancient Egypt of the native Egyptian pharaohs, but rather Egypt during the Hellenistic era – in any case, the aesthetics and setting are great!


As noted in the introduction, I thoroughly enjoyed this fine tome of knowledge and can definitely recommend it not only for those interested in Ancient Egypt, but also to those interested in spiritual matters in general. The book is 286 pages and written in accessible language. Great stuff!

The Fraternitas Saturni by Stephen E. Flowers

I have read The Fraternitas Saturni – History, Doctrine, and Rituals of the Magical Order of the Brotherhood of Saturn by Stephen E. Flowers. The book is, as the subtitle suggests, about the history, doctrine, and rituals of the Fraternitas Saturni. The brotherhood was founded in 1926 by Eugen Grosche (1888–1964), also known by his occult name of Gregor A. Gregorius, and exists to this day. In my humble opinion, the most interesting part of the book concerns the brotherhood’s view of Lucifer.

Saturn, Lucifer, Satan

‘The elements that make the FS unique are its focus on the Saturn archetype, the Satunian mythos of a new aeon based on an astrological process, and an unabashed Luciferianism.’

Stephen E. Flowers – The Fraternitas Saturni. Page 41.

The author notes that in the Saturn Gnosis, the planet and archetype of Saturnus is the focal point for the manifestation of the Demiurge (Demiurge = Creator God). This Demiurge is identified with Lucifer as the ‘higher octave’ of Saturn, whereas Satan is the ‘lower octave’ – the Saturnian brother should focus on the higher octave to remain fully conscious and independent. According to secret teachings of the Fraternitas Saturni, Saturnus is the ‘Great Judge’ that manifests justice, as well as being a bringer of reason and intelligence. Saturnus is, moreover, the ‘breaker of cosmic order and unity.’ He instituted death, thus causing regeneration and change to come into being. One of the ways he broke the cosmic order was in the revelation of divine secrets to mankind. Therefore, in the view of the Fraternitas Saturni, Lucifer is the ‘Good God’ who brought the Divine Light to mankind – he is the embodiment of enlightenment and reason. Lucifer in this context takes on a similar shape as Prometheus of Greek myth (who brought the divine fire, or higher consciousness, to mankind).

‘Gregorius was always anxious to point out that this Lucifer mythology was in fact older than the ignorant misunderstandings and willful distortions of the Judeo-Christian tradition.’

Stephen E. Flowers – The Fraternitas Saturni. Page 62.

Perhaps Otto Rahn was inspired by this view of Lucifer; it is not an impossibility since he was active during the same tumultuous time in Germany. As we saw in Lucifer’s Court, Rahn believed Lucifer to be an ancient Indo-European God (equivalent of Balder among the Norsemen and Apollo among the ancient Greeks).

‘I believe that I just saw God on this road! He came riding like a knight, beautiful and strong. His blond hair fell around his bronzed face and his bright eyes shone. […] Peire Vidal, you have met Lucifer, whom you call Lucibel!”’

Otto Rahn – Lucifer’s Court

Weimar Degeneracy

In the appendix of the book, a chapter titled An Outline of Adonism is included. Adonism was connected to, although not in any official capacity, the Fraternitas Saturni. In essence, the adherents of ‘Adonism’ were degenerates (i.e. similar to modern-day Leftists). They profaned the sacred name of Adonis by connecting it to ‘sexual liberation’ and radical Left-wing policies (abolishing of marriage as the societal norm, for example).

An Epic Poem

As an aspiring poet, I am always on the look-out for beautiful and epic poems to serve as inspiration. Here is the first part of a poem by Gregor A. Gregorius.

‘Thou must affirm the God in Thee,
for every doubt takes power from Thee.
Every hour of Thy divine knowledge brings
Thee a step higher in Thy journey.
Thou canst unfold the spark,
that God bestowed on Thee, to a pure flame
that makes worlds fall and rise again,
God is in Thee! – Thou art Thyself God!’

– Gregor A. Gregorius

As any loyal reader of these book reviews will know by now, I do not endorse the teachings of every person I quote. The passage above is merely a part of a beautiful poem – it does not mean that I endorse Gregorious as a person.

Illuminati and the Rosicrucians

Also included in the appendix of the book is a chapter on the Bavarian Illuminati (founded 1776) and the Rosicrucians (founded ca. 1604). The reason for including a chapter on these two different organisations is due to their importance to the later occult revival to which the Fraternitas Saturni was heir. The quote below summarises the difference between the two quite well:

‘Rosicrucians are spiritual and mystical, whereas the Illuminati were purely materialistic and rational. The Rosicrucians are children of the Renaissance and Reformation while the Illuminati are the offspring of the Enlightenment.’

Stephen E. Flowers – The Fraternitas Saturni. Page 171.

A longer discussion of the two organisations is beyond the scope of this review, but we will most likely return to the topic in coming articles.


Since I have read quite a few of his books by now, I am confident in recommending everything by Stephen E. Flowers – including this fine book. It is 181 pages and written in accessible language. Good stuff!