Zoroastrian Symbolism

Photo: Coin of Shapur I, Sasanian king, 3rd century BC.

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The interesting thing about the coin, and other very similar depictions on other Persian coins, is how the altar resembles many Buddhist and Jainist tower-like depictions of Mount Meru from the Rig-Veda. This tower corresponds to the sacred mountain Hara Berezaiti in the Zoroastrian Avesta. Mithra was believed born from the summit of this mountain (a rock) in a golden glow, where he looks over the land of the Aryans (Iranians). In this way, Mithra represents the Hoama burned in the fire.

The bottom of the altar slopes up and inward like a mountain with a tower symbol in the middle not unlike the etching in Rosslyn chapel (see link in comments). The top of the altar then widens outward corresponding to Svarga or the heavenly realm (see link in comments). At the summit of the mountain altar is then the sacrificial fire where the entheogenic Hoama (Soma) drink may be purified and delivered to the gods.

Both Vedic and Zoroastrian fire ceremonies may be accompanied by consumption of the Soma/Hoama communion. In the Vedic ceremony, a sacrificial yupa pole with a "wheaten wheel" crossbar at the top may also be used as part of an ascension ceremony to open the Sun Door.

As a ritual for the inducement of entheogenic visions, this Vedic and Zoroastrian purification rite is the origin for the Christian cross and simulated communion ritual.

* Ahura Mazda's son Mithra is also a Zoroastrian replacement for Vedic Mitra, who is twinned with Varuna.