Saturday, June 25, 2016

Zoroastrian Fire Pot

I studied Zoroastrianism, the ancient and still-living religion of Persia, during the 1990s. Zoroastrianism is the first monotheistic religion, worshipping the One God Ahura Mazda, which translates to "Wise Lord." (The Japanese cars were not named after him, but after a light bulb titled "Mazda" which was thought to be a word for "light.") The symbol for God in the Zoroastrian faith is a burning flame, which is kept at all times in their temples, fed by sandalwood and other aromatic substances. I wrote a number of articles on the Zoroastrian faith, gave lectures, and made a lot of art, some of which was published. This etching-like drawing of the Sacred Flame on its urn was never published. It shows the sacred fire surrounded by fruits, flowers, and nuts, as it is presented by the Parsis, the Zoroastrians of India. The name "Zoroastrian" comes from the original prophet of the religion, Zarathushtra. I am no longer active in Zoroastrian scholarship but I still have friends in the community and am working on a series of illustrations of the Prophet Zarathushtra for a book about his life and teachings.

Sacred Flame is ink on illustration board, 6" x 8", 1994.


Tristan Alexander said...

Those poor little birdies that flew into that fire! LOL, I love the wood cut sort of look to this and the details.

Pyracantha said...

Oh Tristan :-) Those are angels' wings, circling around the Sacred Flame like moths. Maybe that's why this image never got published!