Magi, the ancient Zoroastrian hereditary Priesthood, and Haplogroups I M170, I P215, and Haplogroup T1a2


The legend of the three “Wise Men or Kings” from the East who supposedly visited the savior child is very popular, and widely accepted in the Christian literature. The three “Wise Men or Kings” were actually Magi, or “hereditary Zoroastrian Priests” during the Parthian era. Parthia in the East (the second great, ancient Iranian Empire,) along with Germania in the north, posed the gravest danger to the once mighty Roman Empire.

Magi (Avestan magá, Old Persian magûs) were the designated terms for the ancient Zoroastrian hereditary priesthood. According to Herodotus (1.101), Magi were one of six Median tribes and formed the priestly clan of the Zoroastrians. He adds that Magi were scholars, tutors, skilled dream interpreters, and gave very accurate prophecies of the future events. An integral part of the wisdom of the Magi was connected with heavenly lights/stars, and white magic (hence the Greek term mageía “magic”; see Rose, p. 22.)

Classical authors such as Herodotus, Strabo, Pompeius Trogus, Apuleius, and Ammianus Marcellinus have provided significant information on the ancient Magi. According to them, the Magi were disciples and followers of seer/prophet of the ancient Aryans, Zarathustra.

According to the classic Greek authors, the Magi served ancient Aryan Gods (the supreme god, Ahûrá Mazdá, and his Brilliant Immortals), were outstanding memorizers (*framazdá, Greek mnemon,) held sacred twigs in hand when chanting the hymns of the Immortals, tended to the fires of ancestral hearth and altars, were of a very tall stature, dressed always in pure white, wore pointed hats or Phrygian-like caps, covered their mouth with white masks while tending to the sacred fires or offering pure libations to the Gods, and used the elixir of Immortality or haômá wine for ritual purposes.

Herodotus adds that no offerings could be made by the ancient Persians without the presence of a Magus who performed the appropriate rites and chanted hymns of the virtues/powers of the gods (gathas of Zarathustra.) Herodotus also narrates that the Magi did not bury their dead but left them on mountaintops to be torn by birds of prey (vultures) or wild canines, (1.140.)

In his Histories Herodotus also states that Xerxes (the third Achaemenid ruler) did not undertake any important decisions without advice of the Magi. The Magi interpreted his dreams, and gave him prophecies; they also accompanied the Persian army on campaigns with the sacred fire (see, e.g., Hdt., 7.19, 37).  Upon orders of Xerxes, the Magi performed libations to the sea/waters in the Hellespont.

Xenophon, in his Cyropaedia (Education of Cyrus) writes that Magi were ancient priests. Both nobility and laity followed their instructions in spiritual/religious matters.  Besides, the Magi were not only expert performers of worship rites but also scholars, tutors and teachers of sciences.

It is also known from Curtius Rufus that ancient Persian soldiers carried the sacred, victorious flame on silver altars in front of their troops, and the Magi proceeded behind them singing sacred hymns, (Historiae 3.3.9.)

Images of the Magi are attested on seal impressions on several clay tablets from Persepolis, the ancient, majestic capital of the Achaemenids.  These seals show usually two priests, under the sun-wheel/disk, holding a mortar and pestle before a fire altar (Schmidt, p. 55 and pl. 7, seal no. 20).

Émile Benveniste believed that Avestan term magá– signified a priestly or shamanic-warrior clan among the ancient Aryans/Iranians, renowned for their “wisdom, abilities, and skills,” (Benveniste, 1938, pp. 13, 18-20.) The term according to Benveniste preserved such a meaning also in the Avesta according to whom the Magi became the hereditary priestly class in Zoroastrianism.

The preserved portions of the Old Avesta/gathas of Zarathustra contain indisputable references to the Magi, as the closest disciples/inner fellowship of Zarathustra. Prophet Zarathustra, in his poetic gathas/songs calls his fellowship airyá “noble, honorable, Aryan,” or magá of “mightily powers and abilities.

Avestan magá suggest “great powers and abilities,” and goes back to the reconstructed Proto Indo European *magh-“to be able,” Old Norse mega “be able”, Old High German magan Old English magan, Gothic magan, German mögen, modern English may “enable, make possible.”

In the Younger Avesta, the designated term for priests is āθra.van- “keeper of the (hearth) fire/flame,” a term that most likely referred to the Western Magi of Media and Caucasus.

The Magi or the Magá fellowship of the gathas/songs of Zarathustra referred however to the ancient Zoroastrian Priesthood of Bactria–Margiana Archaeological Complex (or BMAC,) dated to c. 2300–1700 BCE. The BMAC site also known as the “Oxus Civilization” was located in present-day northern Afghanistan, north- eastern Iran, and former Central Asian Soviet republics. These sites were discovered and named by the former Soviet archaeologist Viktor Sarianidi (1976.) BMAC along the neighboring Yaz Culture has been regarded as a likely archaeological reflection of early Zoroastrianism as described in the Avesta.

With its farming citadels, steppe-derived metallurgy, amazing water canals dug from the mountain glaciers to fertile oases, and most intricate art & ceramics; Raphael Pumpelly hypothesized that “the fundamentals of European civilization—organized village life, agriculture, domestication of animals, weaving, etc.—were originated on the oases of Oxus Culture long before the time of Babylon.”

The connection of BMAC and Eastern Magi to the pagan European Civilizations appears Not to be only cultural, and linguistic, but also GENETIC.

The most frequent Y-chromosome DNA haplogroup among the Iranian Zoroastrian Priesthood seem to be I M170, and I P215, or the original I and I2 haplogroups. (My personal lineage is I M170.)

Today, Haplogroup I is the most common halpogroup in the Dinaric Alps and Scandinavia, and it is believed to have arisen in Europe, and not outside Europe. Yet, the Paleolithic continuity of Haplogroup I in Europe does NOT really make sense, based on the very young age estimate for haplogroup I. Furthermore, living examples of the precursor Haplogroup IJ* have been found only in northeastern Iran and Turkmenistan. This highly suggests that both the original haplogroup I, and its ancestor haplogroup IJ originated in BMAC. In that case, I2a-Din was brought to the Dinaric Alps by the early Indo-European migrations, and was part of the original collection of Y-DNA of early Indo Europeans.

Along Y-chromosome DNA haplogroups I M170, and I P215, the third most common haplogroup among the Iranian Zoroastrian Priesthood is T1a2.

While the original I haplogroups appear to go back to the Magis of Zarathustra and BMAC culture, the latter T1a2 haplogroup must hail back to the Median Magi from the West. T1a2 or (T L131) has been found as far East as the Volga-Ural region of Russia and Xinjiang in north-west China. T1a2 penetrated into the Pontic-Caspian Steppe of Eurasia during the Neolithic, and became integrated to the indigenous R1a peoples (Proto Indo Iranians) before their expansion to Central Asia during the Bronze Age.

During the Copper and Bronze Ages haplogroup T would have been an important lineage among ancient peoples such as Sumerians, the Babylonians and the Assyrians.

The Parsi Zoroastrian Priests of India on the other hand, overwhelmingly belong to Y DNA haplogroup R1a1a, sharing many close similarities to the Corded Ware Culture of Mesolithic Northeastern Europe. Interestingly, the genetic results of ancient Corded ware Culture of Northeastern Europe is closest to the Sintashta genomes. The Sintashta culture of northern Eurasian steppe on the borders of Eastern Europe and Central Asia dated to the period 2100–1800 BCE is believed to be the urheimat of the ancient Indo Iranians.

In conclusion, I shall add that the line of ancient Zoroastrianism goes back to the very beginning of early Indo-European people. It is the noble fellowship of ancient shaman warriors of Eurasia who saw themselves as kin to the Gods. It CANNOT be understood without its deep roots and its line to the very beginning.

ardeshir

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Rune Jera, the Zoroastrian maiδ-yaar festival, and Epiphany


The Zoroastrian maiδ-yaar “mid-year” festival, starts on December 31 and ends on or about January 4th. Maiδ-yaar ranks after Vernal Equinox, as the SECOND MOST FESTIVE and SACRED thanksgiving holiday in the Zoroastrian religious calendar.

The Avestan word yaar reminds us of a time that YEARS were counted by the passage of WINTERS. The time to celebrate maiδ-yaar corresponds very closely with the winter festivities of Yuletide in the Pagan Scandinavian Europe.

The importance of maiδ-yaar as “the second most important holiday” is cited throughout the ancient Avestan texts. We read in an Avestan ritual text: “In the case that a person does not celebrate “Maiδ-yaar,” he/she must be expelled from among the community of the Mazda worshippers.”

In the Avesta, the word yaar refers also to “auspicious, turning points during seasons, and cycle of time.” The six most sacred, religious holidays in ancient Zoroastrianism, known today as gahan-bár or “gatha banquets,” are called yaair.iia ratvö  “sacred rituals/year round festivities” in the Avestan original.

The Avestan word yaar is very ancient, and goes back to Proto Indo European ancient past. A number of cognates are Old High German jār, Gothic jēr, Old English gēar, German Jahr, Old Church Slavonic jara, Luvian āra/i, and Greek hôrá. The reconstructed Proto Indo European form is *yéhrom also *yóhr̥, (See Didier Calin Encyclopedia of Indo European poetic and religious themes.)

In the ancient Germanic, mystic alphabet, rune *jērą “year, cycle of time, turning point(s),” has the same ancient Proto Indo European root as the Avestan yaar.

Andreas Nordberg suggests that (much like the Zoroastrian yaair.iia ratvö  “sacred rituals/year round festivities,) the heathen Scandinavian calendar was also divided into auspicious, turning points, marked with festivals and religious gatherings such as Yuletide.

Rune Jera teaches “right timing,” and to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature, and seasons of the year. Living in tune with nature was believed to result in happiness, abundance and plenty. An Old English rune poem says:
Ger byÞ gumena hiht, ðonne God læteþ,
halig heofones cyning, hrusan syllan
beorhte bleda beornum ond ðearfum.

Year is a joy to men, when God lets, / the holy King of Heaven, / the earth bring forth / shining fruits for rich and poor alike.

The theme of the holy kings of heaven in the above rune poem, reminds one that the Zoroastrian maiδ-yaar ceremonies end a day or two before Epiphany or the time when the three Kings/Wise Men, or more accurately the three Zoroastrian MAGI (priests) have supposedly visited the Christ child.

There is NO record in the entire Zoroastrian literature that would independently corroborate the Epiphany story. However, it is important to understand the symbolic meaning of Epiphany for the early Christian Church fathers. Epiphany emphasized the physical manifestation of Jesus to the children of Japheth.

In the biblical tradition, Japheth is the ancestor of the Indo European peoples of the ancient world, from Europe to west Asia. Magi represented the hereditary, Zoroastrian priesthood of the ancient Aryans. So any supposed visit by the Wise Magi Priests to the Christ child was considered a strong confirmation of Jesus “revelation to the gentiles.”

The early Christian Church fathers saw their mission as universal in scope, but during his earthly ministry, Jesus of Nazareth explicitly declared his mission to be focused only on the “lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matt 15:24,) a statement made upon Jesus’s initial refusal of a Gentile woman who asked for healing for her daughter.

The Magi story validated the extension of the Christian message to the children of Japheth without having any basis in historical realities.

ardeshir

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Zoroastrian Winter Solstice celebrations and the pagan origins of the Christmas tree


The celebration of Winter solstice is an age-old Zoroastrian sacred rite. The time of winter solstice in the Zoroastrian sacred lore symbolizes the defeat of darkness and gloom in the moment when all hope has faded. It is in this exact moment that the Invincible Sun, the energy of light/brilliance triumphs over sorrow and sadness.

The Sun is described as follows in the poetic gathas/songs of the prophet Zarathustra: sraæštãm at töi kehrpém kehrpãm ávaæda.yá.mahî mazdá ahûrá//imá raôčáv barezištem barezi.ma.nãm//avat ýát hvaré avácî.

“The fairest, most beautiful of thy bodies, Mazdá Ahûrá, is known to us //to be this light, highest of the high// expressed in voice/words to be the sun.”

Despite whatever moderns might think/say, the ancient Roman Mithraists themselves were convinced that their religion, the religion of SOL INVICTUS or the “Invincible Sun,” was founded by none other than the seer/prophet of the ancient Indo Europeans, Zarathustra.

The Roman Mithraist religion was centered entirely on “Deus Sol Invictus Mithras.” Thus, Mithras was ahûrem berezantem, the “lofty god-force,” he was the “unconquered light/energy,” associated closely with the Sun and other Cosmic Powers of “life, fertility, abundance, and prosperity.” Mithras was worshipped as the source of “reciprocal friendship” with all the Immortal God Powers/Energies.”

Avestan mithrá-, Vedic mitrá– comes from reconstructed Indo European root *meit– “reciprocity” and is cognate with Latin mūtō, Gothic maidjan, Latvian mietot, (See Didier Calin Dictionary of Indo European Poetic and Religious themes.)

To the identity of Roman Mithras as the Sun/Light Energy and to his Invincibility must be added his Persian-ness, a “fact” known to outsiders as well as to his initiates. Mithras is depicted specifically with ancient Persian garb and ancient Persian Mithraic Cap in the Pagan Roman Iconography.

The hat known as Santa Hat today is modeled after the Phrygian Cap, or more accurately the classic Mithraic Cap used in the worship of the Sun and other Cosmic Powers of fertility, life-force, abundance, and prosperity.

Hargrave Jennings, in his Rosicrucians states: A Phrygian Cap or Mithraic Cap is always sanguine [Blood Red] in its color. It then stands as the “Cap of Liberty” a revolutionary form. . . . It has always been regarded as most important hieroglyph or figure. It signifies supernatural simultaneous “offering to the Gods” and “triumph.”

Another ancient rite associated with Zoroastrianism, is the custom to worship with sacred branches of evergreen trees in hands during prayers and religious ceremonies. The use of evergreens to symbolize IMMORTALITY, Avestan ameretát is a custom that all the ancient nations observed concerning the Zoroastrian/Magi Priesthood mode of worship.

In the beautiful religion (as Zoroastrianism calls itself,) the offerings to the Immortals, sacred space, and home are decorated with clippings of evergreen shrubs during religious holidays.

Tree worship was also common among the pagan Europeans, and survived their conversion to Christianity in the Scandinavian customs of decorating the house and barn with evergreens at the New Year to scare away the forces of darkness/death, and of setting up a tree for the birds during Christmas time.

Likewise, in ancient Zoroastrianism, as part of winter solstice celebrations, living trees were decorated with food for the wildlife.

Today, if it is not possible to decorate trees with food for the peaceful wildlife, an effort must be made by devout Zoroastrians to put food out for the deer as part of the winter solstice festivities.

It shall be added that the decoration of trees was deemed as PAGAN by the early Church fathers, and became popular again around the early 19th century.

The night of solstice is a night of poetry, delicious wines, nuts, seasonal fruits such as pomegranates, and hearty dishes. It should be celebrated into the dawn hours, but if not possible at least celebrations must continue pass midnight with festivity and much joy.

I shall conclude by adding that when the exact moment of Winter Solstice falls during early morning hours or around high noon, both the night before and the night after must be celebrated.

If the exact moment of Solstice falls in the afternoon the following night must be celebrated. If Winter Solstice falls during night hours, the same night must be celebrated. However, if Winter Solstice falls during early dawn hours, the night before dawn is the night of great festivity with celebrations that must continue into the early dawn hours.

Winter solstice teaches that when all hope has faded, and darkness is at the zenith of its power, in that exact moment, the energy of the Invincible Sun, and Cosmic Powers of fertility, life force will TRIUMPH over gloom and darkness.

ardeshir

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The Norns who spin the threads of fate in Norse mythology, and the ancient Zoroastrian view of destiny,


 

One of the key concepts of the worldview of the Norse and other Germanic peoples of pagan Europe was their unique view of destiny.

The starting point for understanding the Norse view of destiny is the mythological image of Yggdrasil and the Well of Urðr, the Well of Destiny

Yggdrasil is a tree that stands at the center of the cosmos and holds the Nine Worlds, the dwelling-places of humans, gods, and all other beings, in its branches and roots.

Another name for Yggdrasil or the world tree is Irminsul, and refers to the pillar of Irmingott.

The Avestan Airyaman is a cognate of Irmin or Irmingott. Yasna 54, the concluding hymn to the poetic gathas of the ancient seer/prophet Zarathustra, is dedicated to Airyaman the god-force of “nobility” or the “noble fellowship.”

The world tree Yggdrasil or pillar of Irmin Gott grows from the Well of Urðr or the Well of Destiny. In the Well of Urðr, live the Norns the three sisters who spin the threads of fate for gods, mortals and ALL the beings who live in the Nine Worlds of Yggdrasil.

Old Norse urðr, Old English wyrd, Old High German wurt, Proto-Germanic *wurðiz were the words that defined fate/destiny in pre Christian Europe.

However, unlike the pronouncements of the Greek Fates, what the Norns carve into water ripples is only a possible form of destiny, and not the necessarily absolute, final form.

The forms carved by the Norns can be reshaped. All beings have some degree of power over their own destiny and the destiny of others. Everything and everyone uses this power in some small way, merely by being a stopping-point in the course the water of the Well of Urðr takes as it cycles through the well and the world tree.

The Norns may be the shapers of destiny par excellence, but they are far from the only beings capable of altering the course of destiny as it flows through the Well of Urðr and Yggdrasil. Just as no life’s course is entirely determined by the Norns, no life’s course is entirely free from the influence of the Norns and one’s fellow inhabitants of the Nine Worlds.

Accordingly, there is no absolute free will, just as there is no absolute unalterable fate. Instead, life is lived somewhere in the enormous range of possibilities that lies between these two mysterious forces.

The imagery of the Water and the Well are central to understanding the concept of fate in ancient Indo European view of fate. Destiny is this mysterious, unknowable force that like water, cycles between past, present and future. In this water/well imagery, fate not only causes the past to exert its influences upon the present, but also includes the influence of the present upon the past and, thereby, the potential for a new and different present and future.

It shall be added that the Zoroastrian fire temples with their eternal flames are always built near a sacred well, waterfall or lake.

Discerning and shaping one’s own destiny is central to the ancient wisdom of Zoroastrianism. For this very ancient faith is all about the triumph of light and the spirit.

Godhood is the brilliant wisdom or wondrous creativity that overcomes limitations and obstacles. In Zoroastrianism, Godhood is defined as “discovery, learning and new horizons, the odyssey/ progressive journey of consciousness, mind and will power.”

The supreme god of “learning, discovery and mind power” Ahûrá Mazdá, by his thoughts, brilliance and music has first ordered cosmos. Each of his thoughts gave rise to the Brilliant Immortals. The light, brilliance of these Immortals is a special force that awakens the Titans/Gods within. Through the wisdom of the Immortal ahûrás (æsir,) mortals can obtain powers/virtues with which they can shape/reshape destiny, and nature splendidly.

In the poetic gathas of the ancient seer/prophet Zarathustra, past, present, and future all happen at the same Moment in eternal time of the Immortal Gods, and are like the different shores of the same ocean.

While the idea of Greek Fates and Indic Karma show very close similarity to each other. The views on fate and destiny are the same in ancient Zoroastrianism and Pre Christian Norse beliefs.

I shall conclude by adding that urðr, the word in Old Norse that designates destiny comes from Proto-Germanic *wurðiz. The root of Germanic *wurðiz hails back to Proto-Indo-European *vert or *vérete/o: “to turn, rotate, come to pass, become.”

Avestan as one of the most ancient and earliest languages of the Indo European peoples, has few roots that are cognates, such as Avestan vart “to turn, set in motion, come to pass, become.”

In the Zoroastrian sacred lore, vart is closely associated with the verb varz “to work, have power, strength, energy to achieve a change/result.”

The emphasis of the magical word play here is that the turning of events always comes with the power, energy, opportunity to achieve a desired result and reshape destiny.

Other verbs associated with vart “to turn, set in motion, become” and varz “to work, have power, energy to achieve a desired result,” are the verbs vard “to grow, become energetic, worthy,” and varš to “rain.”

Again, we see an allusion to the water imagery and fluidity of reality. Truth is that reality is extremely fluid, and our focus, vision, and intensity of intent determine our reality and the power to reshape destiny.

ardeshir

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Rune fehu, Aveatan fšü, pasu and the celebration of wealth, prosperity in Zoroastrianism


The first rune in the ancient Germanic alphabet is fehu literally “herds and flocks.” Fehu is the rune of “wealth” and moveable property.

Avestan fšü/pasuu, Gothic faihu, Old Norse fe, Old High German fihu, Latin pecu/pecus and Lithuanian pekus/pekas are all cognates, (See Dictionary of Indo European Poetic and Religious Themes by Didier Calin.)

Cattle and domesticated animals were of great importance to the ancient Indo-European pastoralists, and provided them with a ready point of reference in many aspects of life. The English word fee is a reminder of payment in the form of herds and flocks.

It is therefore not surprising that we find the semantic transition in the ancient Indo European society from “herds, flocks” to “moveable wealth” and “affluence, prosperity, abundance.”

Unlike some faiths, in which poverty is viewed as virtuous and desirable, Zoroastrianism has always viewed poverty and misery, most negatively. Instead prosperity, health and triumph of the spirit define the Zoroastrian faith.

Mazdyasná (The worship of Mazdá, “wisdom, learning, discovery,”) insists that man should have a powerful impact on time and destiny. Gathas or the songs of the ancient prophet Zarathustra teach that the more a man seeks to rise into the heights of heavens and light, the deeper shall his roots grow into this good earth.

Hence, in Zoroastrianism, a true embrace of the spiritual horizons is only possible when we are firmly centered in the material.

In Yasna 31.10 of the poetic gathas, “the virtuous ahûrá/god is the cultivator, bringer of prosperity to brilliant disposition, good energy/mind ahûrem ašavanem//vaηhéuš fšéñg.hîm man.aη.

Here the word fšéñg.hîm alludes to “increase, prosperity wealth and affluence” of good energy/mind. Likewise, in the ancient Indo European poetics, a god or ruler is a cultivator, increaser of wealth, a herdsman who guides and empowers.

Theodor Benfey first observed in 1872, that “giver of good things” is the common term for “god” in ancient Iran and the pagan Slavonic countries. This can be inferred from the word for god dátár meaning “dispenser, giver” in the Zoroastrian sacred lore. In Zoroastrian prayers the invocation of dátár ahûrmazd is very common.

Another interesting Avestan term associated with “herds, flocks, affluence,” is pasuu vîrá. The Avestan term can be compared with the Anglo Saxon werewolf “man-wolf.” However, the Avestan hero vîrá, (Anglo Saxon were) is not characterized by bloodthirsty violence. Rather the real hero embodies “prosperity, wealth, the stewardship of animals, and cultivation of the land.”

In the poetic gathas, Zarathustra wants vastriiö fšüiiantö “herders of flocks and cultivators of the fields” to function at the same time as both warriors and priests. In Zarathustra’s vision rise into the heights of spirituality means an embrace of the physical and stewardship of the material creation.

The seer/prophet of the ancient Indo Europeans envisions a noble aristocracy that cultivates this good earth, is a steward of animals and creation, is a fierce warrior, defender of deep roots, and learned keeper of eternal flame.

ardeshir

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The worship of waters in Zoroastrianism, the fiery grandson/nephew of waters apam napát, and the kinsman of the sea sævar niðr in Norse Mythology,


October 26 marks the festival of waters in the Zoroastrian religious calendar. Zoroastrianism could justly be termed ancient worship of pure, undefiled waters as well as worship of lights and sacred fires.

The Avestan term for Water is áp or ápö, (Compare Hittite hāpa, Lithuanian upė, Latvian upe “moving waters, river,” and Old Irish ab, Modern Persian áb “water.”)

Making the offering of “pure, undefiled” waters is the culminating rite of the main Zoroastrian act of worship, the yasná ceremony, (literally “yearning, desire, Greek zelós is a cognate.”)

At the heart of the rituals of the second part of the yasná is consecrating the holy water that is prayed upon/invoked (Avestan apæ zaôθra.)

The ancient belief is that waters, which give vitality to all living things, make the act of longing, worship “much more powerful and purer.”

The use of holy water in libations has continued in Zoroastrianism up to the present. Prayed upon waters is poured on the sacred ground, before or at the beginning of acts of worship.

In Zoroastrian religion, water should never be drawn from well or river/stream during hours of darkness, nor can holy water, ever be offered during nighttime.

In Zarathustra’s poetic gathas, waters are associated with “healing, wholeness” haurvatát (Greek hólos “whole.”) In the Old Avestan Yasna Haptaŋhāiti (Yasna 38.3,) the waters are venerated as ahûránî, “goddesses.”

In the Avestan lore, the concept of waters tends to merge with that of “tri star” tištriiá, “the mighty lady of the undefiled waters, arədvî sürá anahitá and the fiery descendant/nephew of waters apam napát.

Apam napát is a splendid god figure ahûrá in the depths of waters. The first part of the name apam relates to “flowing waters,” while napát refers to “descendant, nephew of,” thus the “kin, nephew of the waters.”

Napát is a cognate of Lithuanian nepoutìs, Latin nepōs, Old High German nefo “descendant, nephew.” Also Old Irish nai “descendant” and modern Persian niyá “descendant, navæ “grandchild” come from the same root.

In the most sacred yasná liturgy, waters are repeatedly invoked with apąm napát. In the religious divisions of the day, the morning is set under the protection of Mithra, while the sunset/afternoon under that of Apąm Napát.

Still today, when a Zoroastrian says the prayers proper to the watch of sunset uzærîn gáh, he/she calls upon the fiery descendant of waters, apąm napát.

The epithet of apąm napát is bərəzantəm ahûrəm, the “lofty, high ahûrá or god-being.” (Avestan bərəz “lofty” is a cognate of German berg “mountain, hill.”)

In the Avestan hymns or Yašts (Yt. 19.52,) follows a magnificent verse in honor of apąm napát:

“We worship the lofty god/lord (bərəzantəm ahûrəm), regal, shining, Son of the Waters, who has swift horses, the hero who gives help when called upon. (It is) he who created men, he who shaped men, (yö nərə̄uš dadha, yö nərə̄uš tataša) the god amid the waters, who being prayed to is swiftest of all to hear.”

The chief duty of apąm napát is to watch over the “divine glory or fiery luminous halo” (xarənah or farnæ) that he safeguards in the depths of seas/waters for the Aryans (Yt. 19. 51–64.)

There exists a close relationship here between the “fiery luminous halo of good fortune” (xarənah or farnæ) and apąm napát “the brilliant descendant of the waters” himself. He is somehow a form of light/fire, but not synonymous with fire. “The abode of the “adorable high god” yazad bôrz (as he is so called in the middle Iranian) is there where are the undefiled waters.

In the Greek mythology, the dive for the gleaming gold ring, as the concrete symbol of Minos’ sovereignty, has an analog in the Avestan account of the Turanian warrior Fraŋrasyan (Persian Afrásiyáb) who dived three times into the “wide shored sea” vôurû.kaša in a misguided attempt to rob the fiery luminous halo or the divine glory of xarənah or farnæ of the Aryans.

The old Armenian poem about the birth of the hero vahagn may preserve another reflex of the motif of the fiery god figure in the waters.

Finally, in Old Norse appears the phrase sævar niðr “descendant of the sea” as a kenning for fire (Ynglingatal 4. 3). The Norse kenning derives ultimately from a sacral formula of Indo-European hymnal poetry, based on a cosmological myth with many parallels to Avestan apąm napát.

 ardeshir

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The ancestor of Thinking Man, Avestan Manuš, Ancient Germanic Mannus, and the Rune Mannaz


In the Zoroastrian sacred lore, Manûš is the ancestor of “thinkers, sages, and the wise, learned scholars”. The Magi priests of the ancient Aryans (or specifically the Indo Iranians) trace their “lineage/ancestry” to Manûš.

The earthly prototype for Mazdá, “the supreme god of mind, memory discovery and learning,” are the learned wise, brilliant thinkers with highly developed mind powers “man-.”

Manûš-čiθra represents the seed of Manûš, manifested in “thinkers, sages and scholar priests.” Avestan čiθra– denotes “light and ancestral lineage.”

Avestan čiθra or čithra “manifest, apparent, brilliant, shining” is a cognate of Vedic citrá, Old High German heitar“ bright, shining,” and Old Norse heiar “honor, rank.”

Examples of čiθra as “light, brightness, and ancestral lineage” may be seen in the proclamations of Darius and Xerxes to be ariya(-)ciča– “of Aryan light/lineage,” and Ardeshir I, Shāpūr I, and Narseh’s declarations to be “of the line/light of the hallowed gods” kē čihr az yazdān.

The oldest trace of the name Manuš-čiθra denoting ancestry from Manûš, is found in the Avestan hymn of Fravardin Yašt, where the archetype (fravaši) of Manuš-čiθra son of Airya is venerated (Yašt 13.131.) We hallow, hail the archetype (fra-vaši,) of the virtuous Manûš čiθra, son of Airyá: Manûš čiθrahæ airyávahæ ašaônö fravašîm yaza.maidæ.

Airyá “honorable, noble” is the ancestral father of Indo Iranians. Airyá and his two brothers ruled over three realms of this earth. But it was the specific destiny of the descendants of Airyá (Middle Persian Ērič, Modern Persian Iraj) to rule over all the realms as “warrior priests and philosopher kings.”

The Indo Iranians and the ancient Germanic tribes shared a tradition about a “first king,” who divided the world among his three sons.

In ancient Iran, we have the case of the “first physician, healer sage” called thraætaôna, his three sons Airya with his two other brothers, who each ruled over a third of this earth. Thraætaôna literally means “the third, thrice, extremely lucky.”

The ancient Germans also had a similar legend recounted in Tacitus, Germania 2.2. They relate that the ancestor of the Germans, called Mannus, divided the Germanic world between his three sons, who became the eponyms of the three main Germanic nations: Ingaevones (north), Herminones (middle), and Istaevones (south).

Herodotus (4.5-6) attests the ORIGINS legend of the ancient Scythians. Accordingly, their first king begot three sons; the oldest was Lipoxais, the middle Arpoxais, and the youngest Colaxais. They ruled for some time; but, when divine fortune favored Colaxais, the elder brothers made over the whole kingdom of Scythia to him. From these three sprang all of the Scythians. From Colaxais sprang the Royal Scythians or Paralatae.

In the legend, the surname of the Royal Scythians, Paralatae, is the same as the Primordial dynasty of Paraδāta, the first and most preeminent dynasty of ancient Persian mythology. Paraδāta literally means “Primeval law (givers).” It is from this venerable and ancient house of Paraδāta that Airyá and Manuš-čithra hail from.

Manûš of the Avesta is a cognate of Mannus “the ancestor figure of the ancient Germanic tribes,” and rune mannaz of the ancient Norsemen.

A Norwegian rune poem states: Maðr er moldar auki//
mikil er græip á hauki. “Man is growth of the earth; great is the hawk’s claw.”

In the Zoroastrian sacred lore, Manûš represents the unleashing of the powers of man– “spirit/mind,” our ancestral connection to the Immortal Gods, the potential of man to overcome himself, and become of the same “brightness, light” as the race of the hallowed gods” kē čihr az yazdān.

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