BasicsWe need an awareness of the fundamental structure of existence so that we can act with success in life. We start life with an innate ability common to our species and this is developed through our daily experience. However religion can embody the wisdom of countless generations of other people and use this to clarify and amplify our own understanding.
RunesRunes are concepts we pay attention to that help us grasp the workings of the world: Some of these are:
Zurvan is the ground of time and space in which everything moves.
Urvan is the soul or the spirit of life. It is our feelings and our movement and actions.
Arta is Order. When the Zurvanic flux is in a state of Arta then the different elements, the different beings and their actions work together in harmony.
Darma are actions that uphold Arta. Where Arta is the Order of a well-functioning society, then Darma are the actions need to sustain this society and its institutions.
Noia is our way of thinking. It is how we see the world and the grounds we use to decide how to act.
Dolus is deception, trickery, false illusion. Dolus is what clouds our Noia and leads it astray. Dolus is an aspect of Dreg which is any deviation from what is right and true.
Strephis is 'churning' also 'striving, struggle and strife'. We are in Strephis when we are fully engaged in life.
Ataraxa is disengagement, the opposite of Strephis.
Asa YazataThe asa are a class of gods of which seven have pride of place. These are Sarus, Anhita, Mithras, Percus, Friya, Faber and Vatis.
Each of the yazads has a particular character, each has a different spirit at work in them. Thus each has tasks that they are better suited to perform than the others.
Sarus is a listener. He has a sensitive soul and a deep interest in individuals. He understand people and has respect for their innate dignity. He tries to help everybody and especially those in greatest need. He is the first to warn of danger and is a teacher of religion.
Anhita is fulfilled as a mother and carer. She has a love of life and a desire to nurture others, especially the young and vulnerable and to help sustain them and see them grow and flourish, protected from the wider uncaring world.
Mithras has a mature rounded character. He has an inclination to look at things as a whole and with dispassion. He is motivated by a desire to see good order in human affairs and he has all the ability needed to influence others to come into line. He is thus considered the rightful leader of the yazata.
Percus has an impetuous character and is easily raised to anger. He has great strength and will strike out against that which is creating barriers to the good life.
Friya is motivated by fiery love.
Faber is a craftsman. He enjoys manipulating inanimate materials and crafting them into new designs. He likes to be in control and has little interest in relating to people as equals. However where the opportunity arises he will become a demiurge, treating others as biological machines that respond in a predictable way to the input they are given, and which can be manipulated to desired ends.
Vatis has high energy and a desire for novelty and excitement. Vatis tends to break out of conventional patterns of thought and behaviour and creates his own new patterns. Vatis is able to see the world more clearly than others who are trapped by mental walls put up by others. Vatis is thus a major source of new knowledge. Vatis is also useful in warfare where existing structures need to be demolished.
AspinasThe belief in twin saviour gods goes back into the mists of time. The ancients of many nations believed in twin brothers who would come to help mankind in their time of need. They were often pictured as riders coming on horseback, one more vigorous and one more gentle, who would come to heal the world of its troubles. In stories it was imagined they appeared at dawn pulling the chariot of the sun. The ancient Persians called these twins the Aspinas. They were also known to the Indians as the Asvins, the Romans as Castor and Pollux and the Anglo-Saxons at one time as Hengest and Horsa. However we think that today the Aspinas are needed to return as the asa: Mithras and Sarus.
WorshipWe should worship especially the Yazata, singing them hymns of praise and giving them gifts. This helps us understand them and build a relationship with them and so have a greater awareness of their activity and be more inclined to support them in our daily lives.
However we also need to be aware of the Tyke who weaves reality for good or bad and how we may influence her.
We also need to pay attention to many other supernatural beings whose activity shapes our lives. We need to know about them and their value to us so that we support them if they are good to us, and strive against them if they are bad.
Ritual FiresThe Fire of Mithras is the Ritual Fire of World Order, mainly or solely tended to by men. The Fire of Hestia is the Ritual Home Fire, mainly or solely tended to by women.
Around the ritual fires we engage in ritual enactment of the actions needed to maintain the Cosmic Order. This includes feeding the fire that represents life with good wholesome food, and doing this continuously so that the fire never goes out just as we do not wish our human life to be extinguished. The maintenance of purity is an important part of many rituals, for elements that do not belong can bring harm and upset the good order of things.
The Mithraic ritual is concerned with the upholding of the whole order of human social life and even the totality of existence on our planet. The Hestian ritual is concerned with the order of the home, such that new life can be born, that the vulnerable be enabled to survive and grow, that all can find sustenance and can recuperate and heal from the vicissitudes of the outside world.
FestivalsThere are a range of festival dates that are important such as Ostara, Litha, Messis, Mihrakana, Atarkana and Yalda.
We celebrate these so that important aspects of life are brought to our attention at some point every year. They also times that we make a special effort to create activities that inspire us and foster good relations of community.
Teaching TextsGood stories help teach us about the world in a way that engages us. They shape our consciousness of the contours of existence. They point out to us the key agents that shape our lives, and let us know what is valuable and what is harmful. They give us role models and example of how we can interact with the powers around us to gain a better result.
There are just a small handful of modern Mazdaic stories existing. It is an important task of the wise amongst us to recover and rewrite old stories and to produce new ones out of our imagination and knowledge of the world.