A Flash of Mithras
My wife and I currently are on a short vacation to Freiburg, the most south-west city of Germany. This is the place where we got together 14 years ago and neither of us had come back ever since. So it's a trip full of memories and rediscoveries. Yet as it turned out it is also a trip full of adventures...
Today we had the chance to visit the Archeological Museum in the Colombischlössle, built 1861. Since my visit to the wonderful Glauberg, archeological museum visits have have become some of the most interesting magical adventures I can think of. You never know what types of magically charged artefacts scientists or laymen alike have torn from the ground and locked up behind glasswalls? Many of the archeological museums have a dedicated section on religion and cult practices. And while the textual information often is plainly admitting that they have no idea how the objects displayed were actually used for, the objects themselves are telling the best stories.
This time I stumbled across a stone pillar altar of the famous cult god Mithras. It had been discovered in 1932 by chance in the garden of a children's home. Later excavations confirmed that a small temple of Mithras had been in use on the same ground at least from 250 until 350 A.D.. Back then the stone pillar stood at the end of a long ritual hall. Its top is still crowned by shallow bowl carved into the stone. On its side we find a damaged inscription that tells us that the altar had been donated by a slave of the name Victor representative for all slaves employed by the imperial administration.
It was lunch time and very quiet in the small museum. My wife had wandered on to kill some time - as she knew from experience I would always painfully slow down by the time we hit the section of religious artefacts... So without further ado I knelt in front of the altar and went into the void to examine it closer. Here is what I found. And if you care - below are some additional photos of the stunning 'talking artefacts' you can find in the small museum.
The darkness came down like a veil and took away all form. After a while the flame in my center was everything that remained. I inhaled and slowed down, then I stepped forward.
I found myself in the middle of large room that was part of a low wooden building half buried in the ground and lit by the light of torches. Before me at the end of the hall I saw the stone altar. To my left and right people were standing and watching me. I walked slowly towards the altar when someone stroke at me with a sword. Then my eyes were blindfolded. I was led in front of the altar and my face was pressed into the stone basin on top of the low pillar.
The basin was filled with blood. I pushed my hands into the blood, then I smeared it over my face. I covered my head in blood, my hair, my throat, my chest... The blood soaked into me. When I was finished I looked up. Above the stone pillar in the dark of the room energy was pouring down from above and streaming up from below. It looked like to waterfalls meeting in the middle. The energy funneled through the stone altar - just like through a crystal prism - and shot forth into my body. From my body it returned again into the stone and rushed back into the earth... A loop had been created, a shortcut of energy from out of the land, through my blood covered body and back into the land.
The thought hit me: 'The death of the bull is not the aim but just the beginning. It creates the key to unlock the energy required for the ritual act. It sets the blood free which builds the bridge between the realms.' Then I fell unconscious - either because I was hit with a club or because I had been given a potion to drink before that kicked into action.
My body grew weightless and floated up into the dark of the room. It floated up in the half-light below the roof, all limbs stretched out, motionless like a deadman. Then something grabbed my skin by the ends of my hands and started to peel it of my body. My skin came off like spinning bandages - as if it didn't belong to my body but had covered up something more natural underneath... The old white skin flew off and was flung away.
My consciousness returned into my physical head. I opened my eyes. My sight had changed. It actually didn't feel as if my skin had been taken off, but as if the skin of the world hat vanished: I saw the light captured in every being, shining like rays of silver or crystal in the dark. It was a wonderful and strange sight. I looked at the faces of the people in the room. While I couldn’t hear their voices I saw the static around their shapes and the light streaming off their bodies. I started to concentrate; I didn't want to ever lose this sight again. It was as if I was looking right into the heart of life...
Within a very short timeframe I had spent all my energy. The vision faded and I returned into the void. In the dark all images disappeared. Then I opened my physical eyes again. Before me stood the stone altar of Mithras.