The Zoroastrian names of the summer months and their Indo- European legacy

The Zoroastrian names of the summer months and their Indo- European legacy

The first month of summer is named after Tíshtar or Tÿshtar. Tíshtar is the Dog Star of the THREE Stars or Sirius, the brightest and most auspicious star in heaven. It has become Tir/Tyr in Persian.

For the ancient Iranians, Sirius was the luckiest of all stars. Yet, for the ancient Greeks, Sirius heralded the hot and dry summer, and bad omen. Anyone suffering its effects was said to be astroboletos or “star-struck”. The season following the star’s appearance came to be known as the Dog Days of summer.

In Sanskrit literature Sirius is known as Mrgavyadha and represents Shiva, the Auspicious One. In Scandinavia, the star has been known as Lokabrenna (“burning done by Loki”, or “Loki’s torch.”)

Sirius is also mentioned in SurahAn-Najm (“The Star”), of the Koran, where it is given the name الشِّعْرَى (transliteration: aš-ši‘rā or ash-shira; the leader). The verse is: “وأنَّهُ هُوَ رَبُّ الشِّعْرَى”, “That He is the Lord of Sirius (the Mighty Star).”

Here is an analysis of Tíshtar by Didier Calin; the DOG-STAR OF THE THREE-STARS ( = Sirius) – IE *Tríhstriyos hstḗr k̑wṓn

(Vedic, Iranian, Greek, Latin, Armenian, Norse, Celtic, Baltic Calin 2012)

○ In. RV 1.161.13c “the Dog (śvânam), the awakener (of the Rbhus)”

// Tiṣyà-: a.o. RV 5.54.13c, RV 10.64.8c, TS, TB,

○ Iranian. Tištriia-: Yt 8.5g,13c,16c,18c,20c,23e,26c,28i,29e,30c,32c,40a,42b,55a,60g, Ny 1.8d, 2.8c tištriiō (> ○ Pers. Teštar)

// Y 16.4f, Yt 8.1i,2a,3cd,4a,5a,6a,8a,10a,35a,36a,37a,39a,41a,43a,44a,45a,48a,49a, 12.27b, 18.5d,7a, Vd 19.37f, Ny 1.8f, 2.8e, S 2.13a tištrīm stārǝm, Yt 8.50c,52c stārǝm yim tištrīm, Y 1.11d, 3.13c, 4.16d, 7.13c, 22.13d, 24.21d, 27.2c, 66.10c, Yt 8.0f, 8.62b, S 1.13a tištriiehe stārō

○ Greek. Κύων (Canis Minor Prokúōn), a.o. Il. 22.26-29 “the star (ἀστέρα) that men call by name the Dog (κύνα) of Orion”

// Σείριος: Op. 417 Σείριος ἀστήρ, Alcman, fr. 1.63 (P.M.G.) σήριον ἄστρον, Aeschylus, Agamemnon 967 σειρίου κυνός

The name of the second month of summer is ameretát “immortality.” Immortality is symbolized by the verdure and growth of the plant life and ancient trees. While ancient trees have their roots deep in the earth, their branches are extended into heavens, connecting heaven and earth, symbolizing the unleashing of a higher, brighter consciousness into the earth plane, thus making this physical life immortal as well.

The name of the third month of summer is taken from Yasna 51 of the poetic gathas “Khshatrá vairya.”

Khshatrá means “dominion, power.” Sanskrit equivalent is Kshatriya” from the root kšī “to rule, govern, have dominion.”

The Ancient Greek kratía from κράτος krátos, “power, rule, is an exact equivalent. CRACY in words such as aristocracy comes from the same root.

The second part Vairya comes from the root vr “Will.” It means expressing will, wish, desire.

Khshatrá vairya is the ideal realm/dominion. Khshatrá vairya is the will to have/possess the wondrous godly-powers.

For the destiny of mortal man as is foretold by the brightest star in heaven, is to become god-like and immortal.


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2 Responses to The Zoroastrian names of the summer months and their Indo- European legacy

  1. Didier Calin has made the following remarks: “all good and interesting, except khshatrá does not have anything to do with Greek krátos-, which is kindred with Avestan xratu- and Vedic krátu-, and English hard. The Greek cognate of kshatrá- is ktáomai “I acquire”.

    I Respectfully dissent, Avestan khshatrá and Greek Kratia “power, rule” are the same and “cracy” in words such as aristocracy come from the same root. Avestan khratü denotes work (kaar) and wisdom, manifestation or taking form of the spiritual power/wisdom.

    Concerning Tíshtar, Didier Calin writes; originally, meaning proto-indo-european, it is tri-hstr-iyo-s (nominative). The root meaning star (*hstr-, nominative *hstêr) begins with a h- as shown by Hittite h(a)ster-(z(a)). iya Indo-Iranian *tištr-) is explained thus: the /r/ from *tri- “three” disappeared because of the following /r/ and a laryngeal (/h/) disappears in such a cluster of 3 consonants: *trihstr- > *tristr- > *tistr- – the rest of the word is the suffix I mentioned previously. Since the base *tihstr- is no adjective, no comparative can derive from it.

  2. rainlightningwind says:


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