The Chalipa


The Chalipa is a symbol used by some Western Mithraists to represent the religion. The symbol is made up of an equilateral cross potent with free-floating solid circles in the diagonal positions and all enclosed by a circle. Chalipa means 'cross' in Persian and refers particularly to the sun cross at the centre of the symbol as well as the whole symbol.

The cross stands for the Sun, or more precisely the power that rightly directs the movement of the Sun. It stands for Ahuramazda and Mithra, and is called the "chariot of Mithra".

The four circles stand for four planets which we might name as Mercury, Mars, Venus and Saturn. These are associated with 4 elements: Earth (Saturn), Air (Mercury), Fire (Mars) and Water (Venus). Venus stands for Love and emotions of attraction and care, Mars for Anger and Hate and disturbance among people, Saturn stands for the more earthy, practical activities of men, and Mercury for the more intellectual and spiritual.

The outside circle has two possible meaning. It can be seen as the boundary of the Cosmos which encloses the Sun and Planets, but also as the the outline of the Sun itself as the universal energy source. These meanings work together in fact because a world only comes into being where there is a source of energy to drive activity - otherwise there is just Void.

To recap then the outer circle represent the limits of the world within which there is a field of energy. The planets stand for different ways that energy can be used - whether for good or bad or something in between. The sun cross represents the right-guiding power that influences the movement of the planets and directs the overall flow of sun-energy towards the Good.

Marcus Zartianus, March 4017