Sunday, February 21, 2010

Let the Gods into the Fray

"Quest for the Simurgh" is available at:

Print $7.95

Large Print $8.95

Kindle 99 cents

Quest borrows mostly from Persian mythology, but the gods pretty much match up to the Roman and Greek gods. Essentially, every civilization re-uses the same gods, but give them different names and their own special flavor.

The heros are often the mighty warrior types: Hercules, Gilgamesh, Samson. Since I’ve written this books for kids, my heros are teenagers, not at all like the legends, but might become legendary themselves. But they’re not in mythology, so you’ll just have to read my book to find out about them.

As usual, the "real" info is from the Encyclopedia Mythica.

Ahura Mazdah

In Persian belief, Ahura Mazdah ("Lord Wisdom") was the supreme god, he who created the heavens and the Earth, and another son of Zurvan. Atar, his son, battled Azhi Dahaka, the great dragon of the sky, and bound it in chains on a high mountain. The dragon was, however, destined to escape and destroy a third of mankind at the final reckoning, before it was slain. Ahura Mazdah was the god of prophetic revelation, and bore both Ahriman and Ormazd.

As leader of the Heavenly Host, the Amesha Spentas, he battles Ahriman and his followers to rid the world of evil, darkness and deceit. His symbol is the winged disc.


The ancient Persian water goddess, fertility goddess, and patroness of women, as well as a goddess of war. Her name means "the immaculate one". She is portrayed as a virgin, dressed in a golden cloak, and wearing a diamond tiara (sometimes also carrying a water pitcher). The dove and the peacock are her sacred animals.

Anahita was very popular and is one of the forms of the 'Great Goddess' which appears in many ancient eastern religions (such as the Syrian/Phoenician goddess Anath). She is associated with rivers and lakes, as the waters of birth. Anahita is sometimes regarded as the consort of Mithra.

My Mashup

I use Ahura more or less as described in the mythology book. Because he was the leader of the Amesha Spentas (the good guys), I decided to portray him like Zeus or Thor, just another god amused at the foibles of humankind, but rarely steps into the action. He is also equated with Mithra, so I have him married to Anahita (see below). Ahura shows up in only one chapter ("Demons and Deities") and he chats with Anahita about the progress of the heros. He claims to have set up the whole situation (just like a man).

Notice that I liked Azhi Dahaka so much, I gave him a major role in "The Seven Adventures of Cadida." See Azhi's post here.

I made Anahita my main character’s supporter. She appears to Faiza hovering over a lake. She tells the girl that one or more of her companions (three boys, wouldn’t you know) will be seduced to the dark side by demons. In typical godly fashion, she can’t give Faiza a straight story; she only hints at what might happen.

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