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Copyright (c) 1983 by Dwardu Cardona

21. Mit(h)ra(s)

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.*

[*See F. Cumont, The Mysteries of Mithra (Dover ed., 1956).]

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,(1) and that of Persia, which we shall now evaluate, in our continuing search for the progenitor of Venus. It should, of course, be remembered that, in his Worlds in Collision, Immanuel Velikovsky went against accepted belief by identifying this god, long assumed to have been a manifestation of the Sun,(2) as a personification of the planet Venus.

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.(3) At first sight it might seem somewhat incongruous that, as such, Mitra is also stated, in the same source, to reside "in the orb of the moon".(4)

This belief has been reinforced by the fact that, in Persian reliefs, Mithra was usually represented "by a disc or orb", always without rays,(5) but also as a Phrygian capped youth whose head is surrounded with rays.(6) It was only from the time of Artaxerxes II Mnemon (404-358 B.C.) that depictions of this god began to be sculpted in the well known form of Mithra Tauroktonos, or bull slayer.(7) A dog and a snake were usually included. This famous depiction, of which there are various examples, has been considered to represent "the Sun quitting the constellation of Taurus".(8) Since, invariably, the Sun invades and quits every constellation of the zodiac, it has never been explained why Taurus was singled out for Mithraic fame.

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(9) and even Britain.(10) To the Romans, the god became known as Mithras spelt with an "s" at the end.

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 Persian Mithra, the same as Tistrya, descended from the heavens and 'let a stream of fire flow toward the earth,' 'signifying that a blazing star, becoming in some way present here below, filled our world with its devouring heat'."(11)

The quotes in Velikovsky's passage are from a work by F. Cumont.(12) Velikovsky used the passage as evidence of the "fire" which fell from the proto-planet Venus in one of its supposed near contacts with Earth. But, as is often the case with Velikovsky, he has flung this passage on the page without informing his reader on what the identification is based.

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.

[* Because of the subject's complexity, I intend to handle Tistrya m a future separate paper. - DC]

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.,(13) at a time when the god's true genesis had long been forgotten. This assimilation, for which we have the Romans to thank, should never have been arrived at since portraits of Sol, together with Luna, are often incorporated in the same relief in company with Mithras.(14) One famous scene even portrays Mithras sharing a meal with Sol.(15)

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.(16) One may therefore counter by reminding me that these deities of the Indic Trimurti are not only represented as individual gods but are often so depicted in sculpture and painting, the most notable example being the oft repeated scene of Brahma's birth from Vishnu's navel. It therefore becomes obvious that just because Mithras and Sol are depicted as individual deities in the same scene, it does not necessarily follow that they must represent different celestial bodies. While this point is well taken, it must, nevertheless, be pointed out that there is nothing in Persian mythology which can be utilized as a direct identification of Mithra as the Sun.

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(17) as late as the Roman legions who carried Mithras with them from Persia, or Parthia, to the West. Thus one might be tempted to sweep the utterances of the Brahma Purana aside by claiming that the myths it refers to were already somewhat corrupted by the time of its compilation. But it has always been my belief that even such corrupted sources require an explanation. When it came to the interpretation of the myths of their forefathers, the ancients, it seems, were never guilty of downright fabrication but only, sometimes, of mistaken identification due to an understandable confusion. As I have often stated in my writings, those who were not themselves witnesses of the primeval events found it difficult to maintain a belief in their ancestors' cosmology simply because the sky above them was entirely different from the one described in the most ancient of their sources. While holding these ancient beliefs as sacred, those who came later were often forced to reconcile them with what they could see transpiring in their own heaven. Thus, for instance, the belief that the Saturnian deity personified the sun of their forefathers was never abandoned; but when those who came later looked up, they could only see the one Sun of day shining above them.

Thus Varuna, whom we have already seen identified as Saturn,(18) was also described in the same passage of the Brahma Purana with which we are concerned as a "form" of the Sun. So was Vishnu, another deity who has already been identified as Saturn.(19)

That Indra, most definitely identified as both the god and planet Jupiter,(20) is included in the same passage as yet another "form" of the Sun need not disconcert us for, in truth, the compilers of the Brahma Purana were not entirely wrong since both Saturn and Jupiter had at one time shone as veritable suns.(21)

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."(22)

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 Saturnian sun.(23)

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.(24) He was the "heavenly god of light".(25) Mitra was the twin brother of Varuna.(26) That Varuna was Saturn can be further gleaned from the fact that the ancients themselves equated him with Agni.(27) For that matter, Mitra himself was also said to be Agni.(28) It is stated in a hymn to Agni in the Rig Veda: "Agni is Mitra when enkindled duly . . "(29)

In another hymn it is lauded:

"O Agni, when thou art born, thou art Varuna; when thou art perfectly illumined thou dost become Mitra."(30)

The equation of Agni with Saturn has been treated in an earlier section of this serialization.(31) In addition, Roger Ashton has amassed a vast amount of evidence in favor of this equation.(32) From his monumental compendium I offer the following:

One of the lesser known names of Agni was Saptan-Amshuh, which means seven rays or beams of light.(33) A near-identical name, Saptan-Archis, which also translates as seven rays of light, is actually one of the Indic names of Saturn.(34) Both appellations are long-forgotten allusions to the seven rings which surrounded Saturn in primeval times.(35) As an alias of Agni, and also of Varuna, Mitra must therefore be identified as Saturn. An entirely different line of investigation led David Talbott to the same conclusion.(36)

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 Soma.(37) This god's absorption of lunar traits, however, is traceable to a somewhat late event.(38) Nowhere is Soma spoken of as the Moon in the early Rig Veda. What is not widely known is that Soma is an alias of both Shiva and Yama,(39) who are both deities of the planet Saturn.(40) Soma-Garbha is also a name of Vishnu (41) who was also Saturn.(42) Actually, the Satapatha Brahmana tells us quite plainly how Soma became the Moon.(43)

An astrological painting in an Indian temple illustrates Saturn nestled comfortably within a recumbent crescent on a one-wheeled chariot drawn by a lion.(44) To the uninitiated, this would appear as if Saturn resides within the crescent of the Moon. The recumbent crescent, however, was properly a symbol of Saturn.(45) The imagery was derived from the sun-lit portion of Saturn's ring(s).

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,(46) which makes him a veritable child of Saturn. This relation also serves as yet one more example of Saturn having been thought to be the father of himself a phenomenon which I have already expounded on elsewhere.(47) Other sources make Mitra the son of Kasyapa.(48) In both cases his mother is said to have been Aditi.(49)

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.(50) Close inspection, however, reveals that the jagged ends of this conspicuously oval object more clearly resemble the two cracked halves of an egg. Thus, in my opinion, the birth of Mithras from a rock is nothing but a confused memory of Saturn's "hatching" from the Cosmic Egg.(51)

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.(1) Velikovsky was of the opinion that the onlookers saw this event as a battle between a god of light (the comet's head) and a dragon-like demon of darkness (the cometary tail). To complicate matters and still according to Velikovsky - the comet's head was mistaken by some for, or confused with, the planetary god Jupiter.(2) Velikovsky compared this celestial event to the conflicts recorded by various ancient races as having taken place between the Jovian deity and his antagonist. One of these divine struggles, with which Velikovsky attempted to illustrate his point, was that which occurred between Ormuzd and Ahriman. Ormuzd, as Mazda, was thus accepted by him as Jupiter,(3) while Ahriman was presented as the personification of the Venerian tail and/or cometary Venus in its total aspect.(4)

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(5) and the Selections of Zadsparam.(6) But since the Bundahish, the older of the two, cannot be dated earlier than 651 A.D.,(7) we must keep in mind that some of the identifications contained within its pages might be corrupt. In fact it is quite evident from the text of both the above mentioned scriptures that Auharmazd the god was an entirely different entity from Auharmazd the planet.

Concerning Ahriman, Velikovsky wrote:

"The beautiful Morning Star was related to Ahriman...
also Beelzebub or Baal Zevuv, or Baal of the fly."(8)

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,(9) that this verminous population may have travelled with Venus in its cometary tail after it was supposedly expelled from Jupiter,(10) and that Venus, in turn, infested the Earth with its insects when the latter passed through the former's gaseous envelope.(11) However, Velikovsky was also careful to note that terrestrial vermin could have been made to "propagate at a feverish rate" due to the heat brought about by the interaction between the proto-planet Venus and Earth which helped to "create the impression that the flies in the tail of Venus were not merely the earthly brood, swarming in heat like other vermin, but guests from another planet".(11a) For that reason he believed that Venus became known, inter alia, as the god of the fly, believed by some to have been the Baal Zevuv of the Philistines.

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:

"Ahriman, the god of darkness who battled with Ormuzd, the god of light, is compared in the Bundahis[h] to a fly."(12)

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.(13)

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."(14)

As can be seen, and as Bob Forrest correctly pointed out,(15) the "just like a fly" comparison refers to the manner in which Ahriman "rushed out upon the whole creation". In other words, Ahriman rushed out like, or with the speed of, a fly. This is hardly the same as comparing Ahriman to a fly; only his rushing out is compared to that of a fly.

The Bundahish continues with:

"And noxious creatures were diffused by him [Ahriman] over the earth, biting and venomous "(16)

These noxious creatures, however, were not flies. They are listed as snakes, scorpions, frogs, and lizards.(17) Now, while it is true that frogs constituted one of the plagues which smote Egypt prior to the Exodus, and snakes did plague the Israelites during their wanderings through the desert of Sin, one should not, as Velikovsky did, jump to the conclusion that the same event is here being described. These noxious creatures which Ahriman "diffused" were actually created by him in his effort to disfigure Auharmazd's creation. Mazdaism, it must be emphasized, preached a dual principle. Its disciples could not believe that the ugly reptiles of the Earth had been created for their torment by their good god Auharmazd. They therefore believed everything they deemed unsavoury to be the product of the evil genius, Ahriman or Angra Mainyu. Auharmazd created the good land and the fine weather, the needful plants and the grazing cattle, life itself and all that was good in it. The desert lands, winter and snow, the harsh wind, thorns and nettles, wild animals and the creeping creatures of the reptilian world death itself - these were believed to belong to Ahriman's creative domain. In the Avesta, Ahura Mazda is made to say:

"Thus each of the marvels I have given to men for their welfare has been counteracted by a baneful gift from Angra Mainyu [the same as Ahriman] . It is to him that the earth owes the evil instincts which infest it."(18)

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".(19) Auharmazd is presented there as the original Creator. He presided over the Golden Age and, like the promised Messiah of the Jews, was expected to return at the end of time after exterminating his adversary, the anti-Christ of the Christians.(20) As such he compares more favorably with Saturn than he does with Jupiter.

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(21) - constitute a sequence of events which properly belong to the close of the Saturnian era. Ahriman thus seems to fit Jupiter's character better than Auharmazd. It must be remembered, however, that there is also a corpus of myth which blames the catastrophic end of the Golden Age on Saturn's own alter-ego(22) and, in truth, Ahriman seems to fit this role much better.

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.(23)

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.(24) It might be reasoned that, if Satum is mentioned as Kevan, the same planet could not have been personified by Ahura Mazda and/or Ahriman; or that if I can accept this duality, on what grounds do I reject Auharmazd as Jupiter?

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),(25) and the planet Saturn, Kewan (the very same Kevan of the Persians and Khivan of the Assyrians). All this, however, transpired at a time when theologies had already succeeded in disguising the planetary origin of their deities. This was especially true of monotheistic and quasi-monotheistic faiths, of which Judaism and Mazdaism are prime examples. In time, of course, it was even forgotten that the gods had once been planets. In some cases, the planets were later given astronomical names which differed from those of the planetary deities, and what was already a confused notion became even more confounded. Certain clues, however, remained for no matter how diligent the theologians were in expurgating their ancient texts, they could not erase the fact that the very basis of their religious dogmas rested, as it still does, on the celestial events of primeval times. We do not find such differentiation between planets and planetary deities in the religious beliefs of the Assyro-Babylonians, the Canaanites (or Phoenicians) and other ancient races who did not find it theologically expedient to suppress the astral nature of their gods. There is a fundamental lesson to be learned in all of this.

23. Anaitis

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.(1) But even this goddess, it was found, had originally been a Saturnian one before she became linked with Venus.(2)

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:

"Anaitis of the Iranians [and/or Persians] ... is identified as Pallas Athene and as the planet Venus."(3)

Velikovsky thus attempted to show that, contrary to accepted belief, the Greek Athene was not, as Augustine had surmised,(4) a goddess without a star. Velikovsky's source, it is true, was another secondhand one by F. Cumont(5) but, since then, the identification has been subscribed to by E. Zehren who has stated that: "For the Greeks, Athene embodies the morning star."(6) As Ilse Fuhr has recently noted, no information was supplied by Zehren concerning his assertion,(7) so it is possible that he was merely following Velikovsky's lead. Taking her cue from G. Widengren,(8) however, Fuhr herself seems to concur with Zehren's and Velikovsky's conclusion:

"Most likely Athene of Ilion was equated with Anahita
[and therefore Venus] by Xerxes who sacrificed to her."(9)

Anaitis has also been compared to Aphrodite(10) whom we have already seen identified as Venus.(11)

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.(12)

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.(13) This "angel", however, seems to have been more popularly known by the name of Avan (or Aban).(14) In any case, it is not, in itself, contradictory that the planet Venus should be considered an "angel". In Persian mythology so was Vahram (Mars) ,(15) Tir (Mercury),(16) and Mah (the Moon) .(17) Persian "angels ", however, must not be confused with Biblical ones. The Persian Izeds, translated as "angels", were more correctly genii, that is tutelary spirits rather than the messengers which the word "angels" connotates.(18) Modern mythologists, in fact, no longer refer to these beings as "angels". As the personification of the waters, Anahita is more generally known by the epithet of ardvi sura(19) and is now recognized as the goddess, rather than the "angel", of the waters.(20) This aspect of the planet was also upheld by the Assyro-Babylonians who held the theological view that Ishtar, who was their Venus, was the goddess of the fertilizing waters.(21)

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.(22) Besides which, the etymological and historical roots of this goddess also point unmistakably to Venus. In fact, let us, at this point, ask: Whence came this planetary deity whose idolatrous character together with that of Mithra was so foreign to the teachings of Zarathustra, as expounded in the Avesta and the later Bundahish?

Strabo referred to Anahita by the name of Anaea.(23) A slightly earlier form was Nanaea, which is the name of the goddess as used by the author of the Second Book of Maccabees.(24) This latter name continued to be used by the Persians themselves down to the Sassanid period, for the form Nanaea is found on Sassanian coins.(25) It has of course been quite obvious for some time that Nanaea was merely a different rendering of the Babylonian Nana,(26) who was the goddess of the planet Venus.(27) None of this should surprise us, for it is no secret that the Persians based their astral lore on Chaldean astrology.(28)

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 Greeks did.(29) Such an awesome event should have found itself recorded somewhere in the cosmo-mythical annals of the race. In keeping with Velikovsky's scheme, we should somewhere find a tale, or at least a hint, of the birth of Anaitis from Ormuzd. If not that, perhaps a belief that Anaitis was considered, even if only by a minority, to have been the daughter of Ormuzd.

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.(31) But since this takes us entirely out of the realm of Persian influence, we had best reserve an analysis of these goddesses for that portion of our thesis which will deal directly with Assyro-Babylonian mythology.

The true Persian form of the name Anaitis seems to have been Tanata.(32) Artaxerxes II Mnemon has left an inscription which alludes to his erection of an image of Tanata in a temple at Susa.(33) Clement of Alexandria called Anaitis by the name Tanais.(34) The names Anaitis and Tanat are assimilated to the Canaanite and Cathaginian deities Anat and Tanit, both of whom were, again, prototypes of the Assyro-Babylonian Ishtar.(35) We might learn more about Anaitis, therefore, if, en route to Mesopotamia, we should first pass through these Phoenician lands.

... 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.
4. Ibid.
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.
8. Ibid.
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.
15. Ibid.
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.
27. Ibid.
28. Ibid.
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.
34. Ibid.
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.
10. Ibid.
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.

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