In the Avestan calendar, the first month of autumn is named after Mithrá “friendship with the Immortal Gods. Ahûrá Mazdá, the supreme god of Zoroastrianism, is not a tyrannical despot or a jealous God, and Zoroastrian religiosity is not slavery and submission.
Zoroastrian belief is based on the reciprocal friendship/love mithrá between mortal men and Immortal Gods. Mithrá-, Mitrá– comes from the reconstructed Indo European root *meit-, and is a cognate with Lithuanian mūtō, Latvian mietot, Gothic maidjan, and Vedic metháti (Courtesy of Didier Calin.)
Reciprocating our alliance/bond with the Immortals, by fulfilling our divine destiny is the meaning of Mithrá. The sacred fires are called dar-é mehr “door or gateway to mithrá” in Zoroastrianism, ever reminding us of our mutual bonds with, and great obligations towards the brilliant god-powers!
Zoroastrian Worship is not concerned with anxiety, or self-damnation, but with the maturing of man in the face of destiny, which mankind confronts in loving alliance/bond with the Immortals.
Hermann Lommel uses the term “religiosity of this world” to characterize the Zoroastrian religion. “Life in this world”, Lommel says, “offered the ancient Iranians unbounded possibilities for the worship of God”.
Worshipping in Zoroastrianism is stewardship of the environment, for Nature is sacred and Godhood is universally present in Cosmos. Poetic Gathas teach that mortals, as hû-zéñtûš “noble genus,” possess something godly, and as such could claim to approximate to the “Godlike ahü.”
The second and third months of autumn are accordingly named after apa “waters” and áthrá “hearth fire.” It shall also be noted that the most repeated prayers in Zoroastrianism are the Five Niyayishns, or 5 sacred hymns that are addressed to the sun, Mithrá, the moon, waters, and fire.
For in the worship of the sun, the hearth fire and the eternal flames, in the worship of mountain heights, springs, rivers, waters and trees, in the worship of every new dawn, in the worship of the good earth, and the heroic memory of the clan, God is revealed.
The ancient Zoroastrians did not conceive of temples as dwelling places for Gods, Tacitus (Germania, IX) wrote that the Teuton’s idea of the greatness of the deity did not permit them to enclose their Gods within walls. Ahura Mazda’s Creation is the real sacred space for Worship. Lord Byron’s poem best illustrates this belief:
Not vainly did the early Persian make
His altar the high places and the peak
Of earth over gazing mountains, and thus take
A fit and unwalled temple, where to seek
The spirit, in whose honour shrines are weak,
Upreared of human hands. Come, and compare
Columns and idol-dwellings, Goth or Greek,
With nature’s realms of worship, earth and air,
Nor fix on fond abodes to circumscribe thy prayer!
Thus the sacred poetry, worship, and rituals of ancient Zoroastrianism unfolds into a multiplicity of Immortal Gods, always accompanied, however, by a clear recognition that ultimately the many Immortal Gods are only names for the different aspects of Mazdá Ahûrá.
In Zoroastrianism, Universe has a progressive direction/evolution and conscious purpose. Zoroastrianism is more than anything pantheistic, seeing Godhood in the brilliant odyssey of mind/consciousness, greater becoming and the dynamic forces in nature verses stagnation, limitation and gloom of the retarded evil.
Zoroastrian belief is a kind of Pantheist view that is very similar to the Star Wars concept of the force, and to the concept that there is a dynamic spirit of greater becoming found in all things.
The Avestan word for water is áp. Cognates include Old Prussian ape “river,” apus “water, well, spring,” Lithuanian ùpė “water,” Latvian upe “water,” Old Church Slavonic: (vapa), Vedic/Sanskrit āpaḥ, Tocharian āp, Hittite hapa– “river” from reconstructed Proto Indo European root *hâp-, *hap (See Didier Calin.)
Also Old Irish aub, Persian áb “water” comes from the same root.
The word for “fire” in the Avesta is áθar/áthar, also áθarš/átharš, referring to the “fires of altar and hearth.” It comes from reconstructed Proto Indo European *háhtr “hearth or altar fire,” from the root *hahs-“to burn”, and is a cognate of Hittite hâssâ “hearth fire,” (Courtesy of Didier Calin.)
The Avestan áthar is related to Czech vatra, Romanian vatrā “fire,” Latin āter “blackened by fire,” atrium “chimney, space over hearth” come from the same root, (Courtesy of Didier Calin.)