Earlier this week, I finished reading Original Magic by Stephen Flowers, PhD. I decided to read this book after thoroughly enjoying The Magician Tarok and wanting to explore more of the Persian magical system.
This book begins by exploring and trying to define the beginnings of magic, describing the wisdom and science of magic as the first great mystery. He dips briefly into the Tripartite system and the different levels of power affiliated with each group. After these explanations have been explored, Flowers begins to explore the religion of pre-Zoroastrian Persia.
He begins with a brief explanation of several deities (called ahuras). From there he discusses the theory of the religion, which indicated that humans can gain benefit from the gods by engaging in gift giving. This reciprocal relationship is something we see in many different ancient cultures, like the Xenia of ancient Greece, and the term *ghosti which is a re-constructed word regularly used in ADF. It’s interesting to see so many correlations in religions that appear at first to be vastly different.
Flowers then begins to discuss the important actions found in their religion, which includes a large emphasis on sacrificial fire. There is also a brief exploration of some of the culture’s mythology, including a creation myth, cosmological view, and a description of what happens after someone dies.
From here, the book moves on to descriptions of the Amesha Spentas which were “beneficial immortals,” which are often interpreted to be Angels or minor deities. This description includes an explanation of Fravashis or the inner guardian angel & guide that lives inside each human.
After all of this information has been shared, Flowers begins to describe a magical practice that leads the reader toward initiation. It includes a twelve-month program that involves daily training sessions with meditation, multiple prayers each day, recommended reading, and additional learning of specific words or phrases (both in English & Avestan). The program is quite involved and changes each month to allow the participant to explore themselves and their spirituality in the way of the Avestans.
At the conclusion of the study program, the book also contains descriptions and scripts for several different Mazdan Magic rituals. The book ends with a number of appendices, including: History of Eranshahr, Avestan Pronunciation Guide, Analysis of Avestan Manthras, 101 Names of Gods, Astrological Lore, and Resources.
Overall, this book has a lot of information in it, and is presented in a way that feels approachable. The study program seems like a good way to establish a daily practice, so I will be experimenting with it personally to see how I like it. While this book isn’t for everyone, I enjoyed learning more about the practices of the ancient Persians and look forward to seeing where these studies take me.