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KRONOS Vol VIII, No. 4
CHILD OF SATURN (PART IV)
Copyright (c) 1983 by Dwardu Cardona
It has long been assumed that the Aryans originally came from that part of the world which today is southern Russia. From there they spread out in several directions. Some of them migrated to the country of the Mitanni where they were eventually absorbed by the native population. The rest continued to move, in successive waves, eastward across the steppes. There they separated and proceeded to found their two great nations: Media (later Persia, now Iran) and India.
Whatever the exact nature of the original beliefs of the Aryan race, their cosmogonical faith followed different routes and processes of evolution in the various regions within which they settled. The religious concepts of the indigenous populations, which they either conquered or assimilated, in turn infiltrated their original dogmas. Today there is little extant that can be considered common to the mythologies of the Indo-Aryans, the ancient Medes, and later Persians.
Judging by Vedic (Indian) and Avestan (Persian) literature, the Aryans seem to have brought the worship of Indra, Mit(h)ra, Agni, and Soma with them. In the kingdom of the Mitanni, the gods Mit(h)ra, Varuna, Indra, and the Nasatyas were mentioned in an extant treaty. If there were other deities common to these three nations, the mists of time and the later teachings of Zarathustra seem to have buried them. But even when it comes to these few common divinities, Persian mythology has really close to nothing to offer. The one exception is Mithra – spelt with the "h" when transliterated from Pahlavi, the language of the original Avesta.*
It is this particular deity who shall now be singled out, seeing as he constitutes a
convenient bridge between the mythology of India, which we last considered,
Mitra, spelt without the "h", is the chosen transliteration of the Sanskrit version of this
deity's name, and this variant is commonly used when alluding to the Indic god. The
Indological assumption that this god personified the Sun or, at least, an aspect thereof, stems
from a passage in the Brahma Purana where Mitra, together with Indra, Varuna, and nine
other deities, is spoken of as being a form of the Sun, usually identified as the god Surya.
This belief has been reinforced by the fact that, in Persian reliefs, Mithra was usually
represented "by a disc or orb", always without rays,
When the Romans, under Pompey, set their eagles in the East, something about this
deity or his cult captured the fancy of the Roman legions who then introduced both to the
western world. In time, the garrisons of Rome carried god and cult with them in their various
campaigns so that Mithraic temples and monuments have been discovered as far as Paris
Lengthy dissertations have been written concerning the moral character of this god, the nature of his cult, and the secret rites which constituted it. There is, of course, no doubt that, like many others, this religion underwent an evolutionary transformation so that by the time it was displaced by Christianity, it had lost all trace of its original form. None of this need concern us here for it is the impetus behind Mithra's origin with which we are concerned. Was Mithra, as Velikovsky believed, a personification of the planet Venus?
In Worlds in Collision this god receives but one mention:
The quotes in Velikovsky's passage are from a work by F. Cumont.
The correct identification of planetary deities can only rest on one of two bases, preferably on both: The direct or indirect evidence of the ancients themselves, where the most ancient should take precedence over later assertions and/or the favorable comparison of an unidentified deity with an identified one. One may therefore attempt to justify the equation of Mithra with Venus by arguing that Velikovsky arrived at it through direct comparison of Mithra with Tistrya. But, without even questioning the identity of Tistrya as Venus,*may I ask where it is stated that Mithra was the same as Tistrya? Or what it is about Tistrya that compares favorably with Mithra? Velikovsky remained silent on this issue so that the identification remains based on nothing but his say-so. Without any evidence to back it up, it must therefore be discarded. As will soon become apparent, it will have to be discarded anyway.
Are we then to subscribe to the orthodox interpretation of Mithra as the Sun? Conventional mythologists, at least, seem to have had some basis for their assumption. As we shall see, however, even they did not pay proper attention to what the ancients themselves had to say concerning this god.
To begin with, the identification of Mithras as Sol Invictus – the Invincible Sun – did
not take place until the 3rd century A.D.,
In an earlier section of this serialization I had shown that Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva
were all different aspects of the same planet, namely Saturn.
It might be thought a different story when we revert to the Indic Mitra for we are, of course, still burdened with the utterance, presented earlier, from the Brahma Purana where Mitra is not only presented as an aspect of the Sun, but is also said to have resided in the orb of the Moon. Is this, then, not enough to account for the presence of Sol and Luna in the Roman depictions of Mithras? Perhaps - but let us look more closely at the passage from the Brahma Purana.
I could, again, draw attention to the fact that the Puranas are very late sources
Thus Varuna, whom we have already seen identified as Saturn,
That Indra, most definitely identified as both the god and planet Jupiter,
As if to show that by Puranic times cosmological beliefs were anything but consistent
we find, in a corresponding passage of the Linga Purana, that these same deities are
enumerated not as forms of but as nourishers of the Sun. Thus it is written: "They [Mitra,
Varuna, Indra, Vishnu, et al.] nourish the sun by their lustre."
Without wishing to confuse the matter further, it should also be pointed out that Surya,
the Indic personification of the Sun par excellence, was himself derived from the same
If there is still any doubt in the mind of the reader concerning the true identity of Mitra, the following equations should dispel it:
It is said that, in essence, Mit(h)ra was light.
In another hymn it is lauded:
The equation of Agni with Saturn has been treated in an earlier section of this
One of the lesser known names of Agni was Saptan-Amshuh, which means seven rays
or beams of light.
This leaves us with the seemingly incongruous statement of the Brahma Purana in
which Mitra is said to reside "in the orb of the moon". But even this is explicable in a
Saturnian context. In Hindu mythology the Moon is personified by Chandra, also known as
An astrological painting in an Indian temple illustrates Saturn nestled comfortably
within a recumbent crescent on a one-wheeled chariot drawn by a lion.
Since Mitra was Saturn, the identity of his parentage can shed no light on that of
Venus. But in keeping with the subject of this serialization, we see that Mitra was believed to
be the son of Vishnu,
There was also a curious belief that Mithras was born from a rock. A famous sculpture
thus supposedly represents him emerging from the two broken halves of a boulder.
22. Ormuzd and Ahriman
According to the scenario presented in Worlds in Collision, the proto-planet Venus,
still in cometary form, became entangled in its own tail just prior to the Israelites' crossing of
the Sea of Passage.
That the planet Jupiter was known to the ancient Persians under the name Auharmazd
(the same as Ahura Mazda and/or Ormuzd) is verified by both the Bundahish
Concerning Ahriman, Velikovsky wrote:
Through this, Velikovsky meant to relate Ahriman and Baal Zevuv to the plague of
flies which beset the land of Egypt prior to the Exodus. It was Velikovsky's supposition that
the planet Jupiter may be populated by vermin,
There is, however, absolutely nothing in Persian and/or Iranian sources, late or early, that could conceivably connect Ahriman (the same as Angra Mainyu of the Avesta) with any aspect of the planet Venus.
What of the fly?
Velikovsky continued by stating that:
But neither in the Bundahish, of which there exist various and differing texts, nor in
the earlier Avesta, is it stated that Ormuzd and Ahriman (or Angra Mainyu) ever closed ranks
in personal conflict. It is only there recounted how Ahriman (or Angra Mainyu) sought to
disfigure Ormuzd's creation.
More importantly, where, exactly, in the Bundahish is Ahriman compared to a fly? Velikovsky himself supplied the quote in question, and it is this:
"Like a fly, he [Ahriman] rushed out upon the whole creation, and he injured the world and
made it dark at midday as though it were dark night."
As can be seen, and as Bob Forrest correctly pointed out,
The Bundahish continues with:
These noxious creatures, however, were not flies. They are listed as snakes, scorpions,
frogs, and lizards.
The Bundahish, like the Avesta, has to be understood in its entirety before selections
from it can be analysed in the light of planetary catastrophism. The very word "Bundahish"
means "creation of the beginning" or "original creation".
Ahriman, who brought Auharmazd's original creation to the brink of destruction,
seems to have been the agent responsible for the catastrophe which brought the Golden Age to
an end. His attack against the celestial luminaries, his shattering of the sky, his injury of the
world, and his casting of it into gloom – all of which Velikovsky attributed to the cometary
Venus during the days of the Exodus
The Bundahish, as also the Avesta, was to Mazdaism what the book of Genesis is to Judeo-Christianity. As in the latter, it tells of the creation of the world, the celestial luminaries, the plants and beasts of the Earth, and of Gayomart (or Gayomard), the Persian Adam. It also treats of the Deluge as well as the origin and dispersal of the races. The utilization of any of these themes as literary evidence of what transpired during Velikovsky's Venerian catastrophe would be similar to the utilization of the themes of Genesis as evidence of what transpired during the time of Moses. It can not be done.
It is therefore quite evident that our quest for a Venerian genesis cannot be advanced through Ahriman. The question of Ahriman's parentage, on the other hand, is easily resolved. He had none. It might, nonetheless, prove of some interest to inquire into his origin.
It would seem that, originally, Ahura Mazda was believed to have ruled alone. But as
the dual principle of Mazdaism began to be formulated, he was said to have created "two
antithetical genii": Spenta Mainyu, the beneficial spirit, and Angra Mainyu, the evil one. In
time, perhaps because it became theologically difficult to believe that the good god would
condescend to create an evil spirit, Ahura Mazda was made to eclipse the prerogatives of
Spenta Mainyu, while Angra Mainyu was demoted to a Satanic position that was purposely
left without a genesis. In other words, the theologians solved their dilemma by making the
Satanic Angra Mainyu a pre-existent being together with Ahura Mazda himself. Through a
fusion of his two names, Ahura Mazda became Auharmazd (or Ormuzd). Angra Mainyu
became Ahriman. But, before all this, it is possible that Ahriman had enjoyed a position that
was entirely independent of Ahura Mazda. To the Mithraists, Angra Mainyu/Ahriman was no
demon but a god in his own right. Mithraic dedications to this god have been found under the
name of Deo Arimanio. One is therefore led to suspect that, when the followers of Mazdaism
decided to bestow a name on the evil principle of their dualistic faith, they picked on the name
of a god who had belonged to an earlier, and competitive, religion.
There is but one more point I would like to cover – lest I be accused of selectivity. It
has been indicated that Auharmazd the god and Auharmazd the planet (Jupiter) are presented
as two different entities in the pages of the Bundahish and its commentary, the Selections of
Zad-sparam. But if we accept Auharmazd and/or Ahriman as personifications of the planet
Satum, we are faced with a similar situation since Saturn is mentioned in the very same
sources under the name Kevan.
Allow me then to emphasize: Auharmazd as Jupiter is not rejected because of this
duality but simply because his character and the deeds attributed to him properly fit those of
the Saturnian deities of other races. Nor is this state of affairs a uniquely Persian trait. The
Hebrews also differentiated between their Saturnian god, El (or Eloah),
Is there no deity, other than Athene, that was correctly identified by Velikovsky as the
planet Venus? Ever since we left the realm of Greek mythology, we have not encountered
such another Venerian divinity. Instead, time and again, we have come to realize that various
deities equated by Velikovsky with Venus were, in fact, incorrectly identified Saturnian gods
and goddesses. The one exception, the Indic Mahadevi, was promulgated by another outside
of Worlds in Collision.
The above question is obviously rhetorical for, in fact, many are the Venerian deities mentioned in Worlds in Collision that are correctly identified. Before leaving Persian mythology behind, we shall therefore examine one of these divinities – namely Anahita (sometimes transliterated as Anahid), known also by the Hellenistic name of Anaitis.
As in the case of Mithra, Anaitis receives but one mention in Velikovsky's work:
Velikovsky thus attempted to show that, contrary to accepted belief, the Greek Athene
was not, as Augustine had surmised,
Anaitis has also been compared to Aphrodite
But where is it directly stated that Anahita, or Anaitis, was the Iranian or Persian name
for the planet Venus? This time we need not seek far. The very same Bundahish which we
reviewed last, in our search for Ahriman's real identity, refers to the planet in question by the
very name of Anahid.
Are we not, this time, going to question the possible corruption of this same late
source? In our quest for origins, we must question everything – and, in truth, we find that the
Bundahish also presents Anahid as the "angel" of the waters.
We can therefore accept this identification of the Bundahish with impunity. Actually,
the equation of Anaitis with Venus is well known and has been recognized for some time.
Strabo referred to Anahita by the name of Anaea.
In keeping with the thematic structure of our thesis, the question should now be asked: Can Anaitis shed any light on the problem at hand?
Our reasoning is this: If the planet Venus, as per Velikovsky, was really expelled from
Jupiter, the Persians should have retained some memory of the event just as he believed the
We find nothing of the sort. Anaitis is not thus presented. Even had she been, she would only have turned out to be a child of Saturn since Ormuzd, or Auharmazd, as has now been disclosed, was a Saturnian rather than a Jovian deity.
There seems to be nothing extant in Persian and/or Iranian sources that even hints at Anahita's parentage. We are therefore forced to seek her lineage through Nana, her Babylonian precedent.
Nana, of course, was the same as the earlier Sumerian Inanna (Innanna, again the
goddess of the planet In turn, both Nana and Inanna were identical to the Assyro-Babylonian
Venus, who or which was Ishtar.
The true Persian form of the name Anaitis seems to have been Tanata.
... to be continued.
Section 21: Mit(h)ra(s)1. D. Cardona, "Child of Saturn," Part II, KRONOS VII:2 (Winter 1982), pp. 29-40; Ibid., Part III, KRONOS VII:3 (Spring 1982), pp. 3-14.
2. P. Masson-Oursel and Louise Morin, "Indian Mythology," New Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology (London, 1972), p. 328.
3. J. Herbert, "Hindu Mythology," in "India: The Eternal Cycle," Larousse World Mythology (London, 1972), p. 229.
5. G.Rawlinson, The Seven Great Monarchies of the Ancient Eastern World (N.Y., 1884) vol. II, p.423.
6. C. Huart,"The Mythology of Persh," Asiatic Mythology (N.Y., 1972), p. 40.
7. G. Rawlinson, op. cit., p. 428.
9. C. Huart, loc. cit.
10. K. Branigan, Roman Britain (London, 1980), pp. 264, 266.
11. I. Velikovsky, Worlds in Collision (N.Y., 1950), p. 178.
12. F. Cumont "La Fin du Monde Selon les Mages Occidentaux," Revue de L 'Histoire des Religions (1931), p. 41.
13. K. Branigan, op. cit., p. 268.
14. J. de Menasce, "Persia: Cosmic Dualism," Larousse World Mythology (London, 1972), p. 202.
16. D. Cardona, op. cit., Part II, KRONOS VII:2 (Winter 1982), p. 33.
17. Idem, "Vishnu Born of Shiva," KRONOS VII:3 (Spring 1982), p. 17.
18. Idem, "Child of Saturn," Part I, KRONOS VII:1 (Fall 1981), pp. 61-63.
19. Ibid., Part II (see note No. 16), pp. 29-33; Idem, "Vishnu Born of Shiva" (see note No. 17), pp. 15-18.
20. Idem, "Indra," KRONOS VII:3 (Spring 1982), pp. 19-24; R. Ashton, "Brhaspati," in Ibid., pp. 25-27; A. Isenberg, R. Ashton, & D. Cardona, "Indra and Brhaspati," elsewhere in this issue.
21. D. Cardona, "The Sun of Night," KRONOS III:1 (Fall 1977), p. 32; Idem, "Night Sun," Frontiers of Science IV:1 (March-April 1982), pp. 30, 32.
22. Linga Purana 1:55:25.
23. D. N. Talbott, The Saturn Myth (N.Y., 1980), pp. 54-55.
24. P. Masson-Oursel & L. Morin, "Mythology of Ancient Persia," New Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology (London, 1972), pp. 311, 316.
25. J. de Menasce, op. cit., p. 200.
26. J. Herbert, op. cit., p. 234.
29. Rig Veda III:5:4.
30. J.Herbert, loc. cit.
31. D. Cardona, "Child of Saturn," Part II, KRONOS VII:2 (Winter 1982), pp. 36-37.
32. R. Ashton, "The Polar Planet" and other lengthy works, as yet unpublished.
33. V. S. Apte, The Practical Sanskrit-English Dictionary (Delhi, 1965), p. 959.
35. D. Cardona, "The Mystery of the Pleiades," KRONOS III:4 (Summer 1978), p. 38; Idem, "Indra," KRONOS VII:3 (Spring 1982), p. 20.
36. D. N. Talbott, op. cit., p. 58.
37. V. Ions, Indian Mythology (London, 1967), p. 81.
38. Ibid, p. 20.
39. V. S. Apte, op. cit., p. 1000.
40. For Shiva as Saturn see D. Cardona, "Child of Saturn," Part II, KRONOS VII:2 (Winter 1982), pp. 29-33; for Yama as Saturn see G. de Santillana & H. von Dechend, Hamlet's Mill: An Essay on Myth and the Frame of Time (Boston, 1969), p. 146.
41. V. S. Apte, op. cit., pp. 400, 1000.
42. D. Cardona, loc. cit.; Idem, "Vishnu Born of Shiva" (see note No. 17).
43. Satapatha Brahmana 1:6:3:16-17.
44. E. Howe, "Astrology ," Man, Myth & Magic 5 ( 1970), p. 155.
45. D. N. Talbott, op. cit., pp. 228 ff.
46. V. Ions, op. cit., p. 20.
47. D. Cardona, "Vishnu Born of Shiva" (see note No. 17), pp. 17-18.
48. J. Herbert, op. cit., p. 233.
49. P. Masson-Oursel & L. Morin, "Indian Mythology" (see note No. 2).
50. K. Branigan, op. cit., p. 267.
51. D. Cardona, "Let There Be Light," KRONOS III:3 (Spring 1978), pp. 35-39. Section 22: Ormuzd and Ahriman 1. I. Velikovsky, Worlds in Collision (N.Y., 1950), pp. 76-81.
2. Ibid, pp. 172-173.
3. Ibid., p. 86.
4. Ibid., p. 79.
5. Bundahish 5:1 (NOTE: All references to the Bundahish are taken from Text K20.)
6. Selections of Zad-sparam 4:7, 8, 10.
7. E. W. West, Pahlavi Texts (The Sacred Books of the East, Vol. V), Part I (Oxford, 1980), p. xli.
8. I. Velikovsky, op. cit., p. 183.
9. Ibid, p. 187.
11. Ibid., pp. 186-187, 369.
11a. Ibid., pp. 184, 186, Cf. Velikovsky and Establishment Science (KRONOS III:2), pp. 40-41, 79-80. [Also cf. F. Hoyle and N. C. Wickramasinghe, Evolution from Space (N. Y., 1981), Chapter 8: "Insects from space?". - LMG]
12. I. Velikovsky, op. cit., p. 185.
13. Bundahish 1:1-28, 3:1-27, and elsewhere throughout this same work.
14. I. Velikovsky, op. cit., p. 183. (NOTE: Velikovsky's quote is from Bundahish 3:14.)
15. B. Forrest, Velikovsky's Sources, Part 2 (Manchester, 1981), p. 159.
16. I. Velikovsky, loc. cit.; Bundahish 3:15.
17. Bundahish 3:15. (NOTE: In W in C, p. 185, Velikovsky does actually offer a quote concerning Ahrirnan and the flies: "His multitudes of flies scatter themselves over the world that is poisoned through and through." He gives Bundahish 3:12 as his source but, unfortunately, this says absolutely nothing of the sort. Nowhere in the entire Bundahish, nor in its commentary – the Selections of Zad-sparam – has this writer been able to locate the quote in question. It should be pointed out, however, that even had Ahriman scattered flies over the world, this would still be in keeping with his "evil" productions in his attempt to disfigure Auharmazd's original Creation.)
18. P. Masson-Oursel & L. Morin, "Mythology of Ancient Persia," New Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology (London, 1972), p. 316.
19. E. W. West, op. cit., p. xxii.
20. P. Masson-Oursel & L. Morin, loc. cit.
21. I. Velikovsky, op. cit., pp. 183-185 and elsewhere in the same work.
22. D. N. Talbott, "Saturn: Universal Monarch and Dying God," Research Communications NETWORK (1977 special publication), p. 8.
23. P. Masson-Oursel & L. Morin, op. cit., pp. 315, 316.
24. Bundahish 5:1, 28:48; Selections of Zad-sparam 4:7.
25. For El (or Eloah) as Saturn, see D. Cardona, "Let There Be Light," KRONOS III:3 (Spring 1978), pp. 34-35. Section 23: Anaitis 1. A. Isenberg, "Devi and Venus," KRONOS II:1 (August 1976), pp. 89-103 .
2. D. Cardona, "Child of Saturn," Part 111, KRONOS VII:3 (Spring 1982), pp. 8-12.
3. I. Velikovsky, Worlds in Collision (N. Y., 1950), p. 170.
4. Aurelius Augustinus, The City of Cod, VII:16.
5. F. Cumont, Les Mystères de Mithra (1913, 3rd edition), p. 111.
6. E. Zehren, Das Testament der Sterne (Berlin, 1957), p. 326.
7. I. Fuhr, "On Comets, Comet-Like Luminous Apparitions and Meteors," Part II, KRONOS VIII:1 (Fall 1982), p. 51.
8. Ibid.;G. Widengren, Die Religionen Irans (Stuttgart,1965),pp. 123,177, 188, 179, as cited in Ibid.
9. I. Fuhr, loc. cit.
10. Ibid., p. 49 where various other sources are cited.
11. D. Cardona, op. cit., Part I, KRONOS VII: 1 (Fall 1981), pp. 58-60 where the work of P. J. James is also cited.
12. Bundahish 5:1.
13. Ibid., 32:8
14. Ibid., 27:24; Shayast La-Shayast 22:10, 23:2.
15. Bundahish 27:24; Bahman Yast 3: 32; Shayast La-Shayast 22: 20, 23:3.
16. Bundahish 27:24; Shayast La-Shayast 23:2.
17. Bundahish 27:24; Shayast La-Shayast 12:8, 22: 12,23:2.
18. D. Cardona, "The Archangels," KRONOS VIII:2 (Winter 1983), p. 31.
19. E. W. West, Pahlavi Texts (The Sacred Books of the East, Vol. V), Part I (Oxford, 1880), p. 144.
20. J. de Menasce, "Persia: Cosmic Dualism," Larousse World Mythology (London, 1972), p. 193 P. Masson-Oursel & L. Morin, "Mythology of Ancient Persia," New Larousse Encyciopedia of Mythology (London, 1972), p. 313.
21. W. F. Albright, "The Mouth of the Rivers," The American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures XXXV:4 (July 1919), p. 184.
22. G. Rawlinson, The Seven Great Monarchies of the Ancient Eastern World, Vol. II (N.Y., 1884), p. 427.
23. Strabo, Geography xvi:1:4.
24. II Maccabees 1:13,15.
25. G.Rawlinson, op. cit., Index p. 100.
26. Ibid., main text p. 427.
27. Ibid., Vol. 1, p. 90.
28. P. Masson-Oursel & L. Morin, op. cit., p. 311.
29. I. Velikovsky, op. cit., pp. 171-175.
30. "Ishtar," Encyclopaedia Britannica (1959 edition), Vol. 12, p. 707.
31. For Nana as Ishtar, see G. Rawlinson, op. cit., Vol. I, p. 90; for Inanna as Ishtar, see G. Pettinato, The Archives of Ebla (N.Y., 1980), p. 251.
32. G. Rawlinson, op. cit., Vol. II, Index p. 100.
33. Ibid. (See also main text p. 427).
34. Clemens Alexandrinus, Propreptikos, 5.
35. For Anat as Ishtar (or Astarte), see A. Caquot, "Westem Semitic Lands: The Idea of the Supreme God," Larousse World Mythology (London, 1972), p. 90; for Tanit as Ishtar, see L. Delaporte, "Phoenician Mythology," New Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology (London, 1972), p. 84.