Sassanian Silver Dish

Mithra became an important figure in Iranian religion in post-Zoroastrian times. As Mithras, his worship extended into Phrygia. Adopted thence by Roman soldiers, the cult spread throughout the empire. (A Mithraic temple was unearthed during building work in the City of London). Originally a god of light, by the Roman era he was seen as a warrior, destroying a bull, and his followers underwent mystical initiations in underground caves and chambers.

In Iran, Mithra was worshipped in association with Mazda and anahita. Anahita, who was known during Persian expansion in the Near East as Anai'it, was a goddess of fertility and linked with Venus. A silver dish from the time of the Sassanid dynasty (240-400 A.D.) depicts Anahita with a goat. Male and female figures encircle her, and one of these appears to hold aloft a mushroom. Another mushroom appears opposite her. These may represent food fungi, but one of the figures seems to carry a stylized opium pod, hinting at potential narcotic use.

Images and excerpt from Adrian Morgan's Toads and Toadstools: The Natural History, Folklore, and Cultural Oddities of a Strange Association, (1995, p. 111-112).

For more on hallucinogenic mushrooms and their history, see:

Sassanian Silver Dish
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Every religion conveys the message of love and forgiveness. Everybody is equal to God. Followers of any religion shouldn’t impose their culture or religion on others. it has to be accepted by heart. God is one and is within our soul.

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