On Thursday, September 26, 2013 the Hermetic Hour with host Poke Runyon will present a discussion on The Legacy of Mithraism on Magick and Masonry. We will trace the origins of the Mithra sect from the ancient Persian Magi -- an offshoot of Zoroastrianism -- through the Greco-Roman Middle East, into the mileau of classical Alexandria, where its western branch acquired a cosmology that was largely Hermetic. In fact one might say that the Greco-Roman Mithra sect was ritualized Hermeticism. For several centuries it rivaled Christianity but was eventually overcome when emperor Constantine, himself a Mithraite, made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire for practical political reasons. The Mithra sect was an elite, initiatory, all male religious fraternity that extolled honor, bravery and loyalty. Great for the Roman army but not for the downtrodden masses. Its influence on the later Masonic fraternity is obvious. Mithraism had seven initiatory degrees so similar to Crata Repoa that John Yarker called his Crata Repoa degree in Rite of Memphis "The Sage of Mithras." We will unravel the complex astrological symbolism of the "Tauroctony", the ritual slaying of the bull, the mystery of the strange lion-headed god, and the theory that the secret communion meal was the old Persian-version of Soma. Our main text reference will be D. Jason Cooper's "Mithras" (1996) with references to Franz Cumont's (1912) "Astrology and Religion Among the Greeks and Romans" and "Mushrooms, Myth & Mithras" by Carl A. P. Ruck,
et allia (2011). So, if you want to follow us down into the underground temple of the Mithraeum for a look into the origin of many of our rites and degrees, then tune in and we'll lift the veil.