|Some of My Views on Mithraism
I, Nelson Templar, am a Mithraist. For Lord Mithras is my God, my Patron and my Guide. In the course of my relationship with Him, I have come to understand some things about Him: who He was in the ancient world, who He is in the modern world. I have come to learn somethings about walking the Mithraic path and I have come to see that, newly reborn as our faith is, we are still lacking certain understandings and practices that are important to it. We have begun to reconstruct His ancient practices from the ruins and texts that have been left behind for us and scholars to decipher, but we have not as yet truly adapted them for use in the world we find ourselves in now. It is up to us as Mithraists to see that our faith continues to grow and flourish once again and to see that the faith continues to evolve so that we as humanity can grow spiritually and intellectually as well.
There needs to be goals, ideas and methods towards progression of our faith. There is currently no set dogma. No Mithraic Bible. No two Mithraists are always going to think alike. But there needs to be goals and I believe that those goals can be broken down into four categories and that is:
1. To reconstruct our faith.
2. To move forward into the future.
3. To establish strong traditions.
4. To provide a legacy for our descendants.
And this is what needs to be done not just by me, but by all of us. Of every single person in our faith. We all need to be moving towards these four goals. We all need to accomplish the same ideas and rebuild this faith, so that our children can have a faith that is firm with a solid foundation that they can build upon and help it to flourish into the future. And this is something that should be important to all of us and yes we will have differences of opinions, different views and beliefs, interpretations, but we are all working together and we are all striving to build a brighter future for us and the world.
Mithraism, then as it is now, is a faith that is diverse in its followers. Just like in ancient Rome, the Mithraists were from all races as the faith took in people from all the nations that Rome conquered. Throughout Roman history there wasn't an issue of the color of ones skin. Look at the great Romans of history: Julius Caesar and Marc Anthony, for example, they were both with Cleopatra VII and she was the daughter of a Greek father and a Syrian mother. If there was any discrimination in Rome, it was in one's social status. Unfortunately that's the way it is with all Empires. The rich despise the poor and the poor despise the rich. But Mithraism embraces people of all colors and social statuses. During Mithraic ceremonies the rich and the poor, the Emperors and the Slaves, they all sat and participated together. Because in Mithraism they were Brothers. And in the faith then, as it is now, they were and are equals.
In Mithraism, race does not matter, nor does your income or gender. Honor, Justice, Intelligence, Wisdom, Compassion and Piety, they are the qualities that matter. In a Mithraeum when you pray and participate in ceremonies you can stand or sit next to one another. A homeless person can stand right next to a king because it doesn't matter — in the eyes of Lord Mithras we are all equal.
And yes, in Mithraism there are times when you have to be willing to fight. There is violence and hatred in the world and at times you have to meet fighting with fighting in order to survive. Mithraism Encourages you to seek Peaceful solutions whenever possible. For violence should only be used as a Last resort, NOT a first one. But unfortunately the world does not always allow for that possibility. Mithraism allows for certain reasons to go to war, for example: If you and your family are under direct threat, or if you or someone else is being threatened or persecuted. If so and you are able, as a Mithraist, you have an duty to step up and protect yourself and others. Now not every person can physically fight. But there are other ways to contribute. For example: Your voice it a weapon, use it.
Mithraism also suggests that Mithraists try to learn and better themselves. Along with seeking Knowledge there is the path of self-improvement. Going out and fighting is the easy part, but coming home and trying to be better — a better husband, wife, father, mother, a better person in general — is the harder challenge and therefore it is the more rewarding of the two.
When we say a prayer over our meals whether one chooses to do so at every meal or just as a religious sacrament, you are free to come up with your own prayer to Honor Lord Mithras. This is the one that I say. If you like it, then feel free to use it.
My meal offering to Lord Mithras
"The Universal Life that Lord Mithras has bestowed upon us,
it flows in me as I flow through it.
This Sacred Bread symbolizes my body and nourishes this life that has been given to us.
The trees, the earth, the sky and the stars are as much a part of me as the Bread that I now consume.
It is I and I am it. I Drink the Sacred Wine that symbolizes the Blood of Life.
As it becomes One with me, I then become a part of the Water of Life that Blesses the living beings in the Universe and causes them to flourish in the Light of Mithras.
And as I now consume the Body of Life and The Blood of Life, I now become One with the Light and Love of Mithras our Lord."